Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Characters Alive

Techniques of The Selling Writer by Dwight V Swain gives some advice about making the characters seem to move under their own power.  These are a few of the things to remember after you've learned what they lack and what compensation they seek which brings their character realization.

Look at self image. Does the character think he can do anything or does he feel as if anything he tries will fail. Does she think she's a nerd or a bombshell? These inner images really help drive the character. And we're always looking at the alpha male and trying to see beneath the surface to see what's beneath that vaneered surface. Or what prods the girl with glasses to go after a dream.

Consistency is another area to pay attention to. If your character reacts to a stimuli in one way when you begin the book, he or she should act in the same way when the stimuli appears. Unless this comes when they must make a decision or action that goes against this behavior. If this happens, make sure this scene is played out in full.

Learn to discover the cause from the effect. John a mild mannered man slugs someone. Mary tears up an outfit she thought was stunning. Why did this happen, you ask. Then find the reason. Cause and effect are important elements of character development.


Melissa Keir said...

I've noticed that my characters tend to have low self esteem, but then again, so do I.

Janice Seagraves said...

I noticed some of my characters have low self-esteem, but my bad guys have high self-esteem.