Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Tuesday's Inspiration F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Begin with an individual, and before you know it you have created a type: begin with a type, and you find you have created - nothing." F. Scott Fitzgerald.
This is all about creating characters who leap off the pages and pull the readers into the story. We've all read books where the characters become friends or enemies. And we've all read stories where there's nothing to like about the characters. There are types and types. Think about the "serial killer." Now this can be a type but there are many kninds of serial killers and some stick in your head. What about "Hannibal," Now he's not a type he's an individual who became a type. I've seen him repeated time and time again, not always done well and sometimes he leaps off the pages. What Mr. Fitzgerald is talking about is making each character into an individual rather than just being a type. Just what makes your character different.
There are times when you use a stock character in a story. This is a character you don't want the reader to remember but what they may have to say will put a spin on the story. The witness in a murder mystery who has something to say that the main characters need to know. Maybe this character is a taxi driver or a nurse in the story. I've done this in stories particularly since I often write nurse romances. But you must remember this character doesn't need to glow.
So listen to the advice above and make your main characters individuals who become involved in the story. Let them shine on the paper and perhaps someday one of your characters will be a type other writers want to imitate. Look back to your favorite characters in books you have enjoyed and see how they were first individuals before becoming a type.