Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - More on Character Development
Bringing characters to life involves making them into individuals. Another way to do this is by labeling them. So how do you do this. There are a number of ways to explore and add details to the people in your story. So how do we label people in fiction. Sometimes we do this in real time as well.
The first is appearance. Molly becomes the red haired woman with the flashing blue eyes. She's tall but not exactly slender but well-built. She is different from Susan who is short, blonde hair and hazel eyes. When giving the appearance of the characters in your story unless there's a reason they shouldn't all be blondes, red-heads or have dark hair. Maybe in a mystery you could get away with the three sultry blondes of if your characters are twins or triplets. So picture your characters as individuals.
The second way is by speech patterns. Sometimes when reading stories by beginning writers, all the characters, male, female all sound the same. Speech patterns should be individual. The way a person speaks and the words they choose often depend on many things. Their choice of a career, their family upbringing. They also can have little tells in their speech. "In my opinion," the man says many times. "Er" Uh" these are other things that can show who is speaking and makes the character more real.
A third way is mannerisms. He slicks his hair back. She chews on her fingernails. His gaze is always on the ground. She closes her eyes when she talks to anyone. These kind of manners also bring the character into view as a person.
The final way is attitude. The boy was eternally defiant. She was obsessed with perfection. He's so vain. She seems perpetually embarrassed.
Adding a bit from each area is a great way to make the characters alive. The reader will think they know the person you've created to make the story work.