Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y = Yes to Characters

Characters: sometimes we love them, sometimes we hate them but it’s important to say YES to our characters.

When we say yes to our characters we, as writers, are giving a character we care about to our readers. If we care about our characters, love them for who they are. We are better able to tell their story.

Understanding your character

Even if all the information isn’t in the story the author should know:

How does the character look: features, clothing.

Where is the character from: background, location.

What is the character’s motivation: good, evil.

When does the character live: time period, lifestyle.

Why does the character want this: the small stuff

Who does the character: love, like, hate & why

Just like real people, characters need to be consistent; otherwise the reader will know the piece isn’t authentic. When characters exhibit flaws and failing in correct measure and context the story is more believable. With a more believable story your readers will say YES to your characters.

11 comments:

loverofwords said...

I also heard, "What does the character have in his/her pocket?"
Thanks again for your critique of "Marilyn."

Kate O'Mara said...

Great question! I'm going to use it.
Kate

Joanne said...

Indeed, that's been my problem on fiction - I get bored with my characters and end up not liking them. I recognize the problem, now to solve it. Good Y stuff. YES!

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Kate! Thanks for your recent visit to my blog. I like your Y post.

Loverofwords shared a character question I'd never thought of. I hope she doesn't mind if I add it to my list of questions.

Leslie Rose said...

Super character checklist. I have to make sure I'm interested in my characters. If I don't want to be FB friends with them, even if its just to check up on their shenanigans, why write them.

fidel said...

On this Challenge, the sheer speed of creating characters was an new experience. Something to develop...

Francene Stanley said...

Yes, let them behave in inappropriate ways if need be, but always redeem them in the end. The ones we love or care about anyway.

http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.com/

Haddock said...

Like what loverofwords said " "What does the character have in his/her pocket?""

Jarm Del Boccio said...

Good thoughts, Kate...we need to keep track of our characters so we can be consistent. Maybe a chart would help!
Just stopping by the Challenge...one more day!

MakingTheWriteConnections

Gina said...

I'm kind of obsessed with knowing my characters and I often spend way too much time writing and thinking traits from my characters, defining them, stuff like that. For long series this is actually a definite must but for shorter stories or stand alone novels, not so much, yet I struggle not to let my mind wonder for days on the theme.

Thanks for visiting Diary of a Writer in Progress

Adrienne said...

These are great questions, and I think knowing your characters makes writing them so much easier. Great post!