Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABC - Character's Reactions #MFRWauthor #writing
When some event occurs in a character's life, they need to react. How they react depends on the characteristics the writer has sent for them. There have been times when I've been reading a novel or short story when I want to stop reading because the character is reacting in a way that seems not true. How do you go about making the reactions fit the character? This is something you need to do before they take action.
There are a number of ways to show how a character reacts to a change in their environment. The first is through inner thoughts. Does the change make them angry, sad, happy or a dozen other emotions. This can be shown through their inner thoughts, usually short phrases, not complete sentences. Sometimes as they puzzle through they need sentences to clarify how they will react and move forward.
A second way is through conversation with another character. What they say can show the reader what they are feeling. If what they say is different from what is going on in their head this doesn't change the way they will react. This is one way to show they are conflicted. Conflicted characters must be true to their nature.
A third way is through their body reaction. Now they may not notice what they are revealing through gestures and expressions of the face. Other characters can notice and make conclusions.
So when a character reacts to a situation, they must remain true to the character. If they react in a way that doesn't belong to their nature, the reader will see this. There are times when I write a character's reactions in a rough draft and when I go back realize they aren't acting according to their nature.