Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Tuesday's Writer's Tip - More on Characters - Actions and Reactions #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Action #Reaction
There is another way of making your characters leap into being in the reader's mind. Action and Reaction are vital elements to understand. How often have you heard someone say "He or she isn't acting in character." So this is one of the ways you need to look at your characters and make sure they stay in character all the pages of the book.
When something happens around your character, how do they react. Are they angry? Do they retreat? What emotions are stirred inside? You need to know how your character will react to the good and bad things of life. One of the ways of doing this is of course knowing your character very well. We all react to different things in different ways. So do characters. But for the characters there's little room for ambiguity. Feeling one way today and another way tomorrow about the same thing can make the character's reactions seem wrong. Sometimes I have this problem with my critique group. They think about how they would feel about something and want the character to feel that way. Some characters feel differently from the general public.
After you have their reaction, you need to think about how they will act. Will they become physical, retreat, just do nothing. Any of these reactions will show something about the characters. Action means taking steps and thinking about what to do. Sure an action can seem like a spur of the moment but but not necessarily so. But it can also be a triggered response and the writer needs to know what is behind that response.
So as you write the scenes of the book, you need to think about all the characters involved in the scene. The scene may not be in their viewpoint but how they react can be seen through their body responses, their dialogue. So think about reactions. Then think about action. What will the main character do? The other characters in the scene, what will they do? Reaction and action make your character seem alive, but make sure they stay in character.