Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Tagging The Characters

Now that we know all the ways to tag a character how often do we use them, and how many for each character. Much depends on their importance to the story, The walk-on character may need just the burly cabdriver. The prim secretary because they don't have much to do with the story. For major characters, there have to be enough tags so the reader immediately recognizes them when they step on stage. Major characters need a tag in each of the categories and perhaps more than one.

Use the tags in an active way. Her eyes were green. Boring. Show those green eyes snapping, turning glacial, and giving the reader an insight into what the character is doing. He had broad shoulders. Show those shoulders pushing his way into a crowded room or tensing before he swings a punch at the villain. The picture is yours to paint.

Wave those tags often. When you've chosen each characters tags, use them to bring the characters solidly into the reader's mind. One thing here to remember is not to use the tags in the same way every time the character is on stage. Also don't use the same tag every time the character appears. When you have her push back her blonde hair from her face in chapter 1, 2, 3, 4. The reader will become bored. Find something else for her to do with that hair or find another tag, one of the at least 4 you've created for the main character of your story.