Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Ways of Revealing Your Characters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Now that you know who your major players are and you've forbidden them to do all those things characters shouldn't do, how do you let the reader know who this person is?

There are many ways. One of my favorites is to have other characters give their impression of the character. This can be done by their observation but better in a conversation between, say the heroine and her best friend or the villain and his crony. Of course the heroine's best friend could be kind of a villain or just one who has her doubts about the hero. As for the villain, he wants to paint the hero black for the heroine, but he might be more subtle when talking to a crony.

Another way is to have the character, hero, heroine or villain do some introspection to reveal what he or she is really like. Don't have them look at themselves in a mirror though. This has been overused. Also be careful about the heroine who talks about her glorious blonde tresses. She probably wouldn't think about hair color, eye color of herself but would relish hearing someone else praise her assets.

Showing the character at work can also give a bit about their character. Having someone dash off a note or send a dozen emails might show one kind of character. I've often used this when I'm writing about nurses and doctors. Characters can be one way on the job and different in other ways. I used this contrast in Pursuing Doctor West. The heroine is very serious at work and her life becomes a comedy of errors off the job.

Giving a character something that's important to them and becomes their symbol is a good way to show character. This could be a word, an object but something that belongs to the character and appears when they do.

So there are many ways of revealing the characters. Try to use one of more as you show the readers jsut what your character is like.


Sandra Nachlinger said...

Thank you for the great suggestions! You're right -- the "looking in the mirror" thing has definitely been overdone!

Janet Walters said...

You're welcome. There are so many other ways to achieve bringing a character to life