Character Tags: What are they?

Tags, markers, labels, traits. The craft masters have a lot of words for the details that help readers identify and distinguish the characters in a story. Here are 6 character aspects that you can mine for tags and 5 ways to put those tags to work. What are character tags? Jim Butcher says "TAGS are words you hang … Continue reading Character Tags: What are they?

Forging the Reader-Character Bond: In our own work

Forging the Reader-Character Bond.  It's easier than you might think, and the results are well worth the effort.  Especially if you can dig deep and come up with ways to demonstrate sympathy, jeopardy, etc. that are tailor-made for your specific character, in his specific story world. That extra specificity might be a little harder and take … Continue reading Forging the Reader-Character Bond: In our own work

The Reader-Character Bond: How the masters do it

This week, we're learning how to forge the reader-character bond.  Here's how the masters do it: For these examples, I'm rereading only the opening scenes and otherwise drawing from memory.  Let's Get the classic example out of the way first: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J. K. Rowling (MG) Main Character: Harry Potter First … Continue reading The Reader-Character Bond: How the masters do it

Creating Three-Dimensional Characters: In Our Own Work

It's Three-Dimensional Characters week.  Let's see if we can flesh out our characters with backstory and description, internal depth, defining choices and actions, and a future to anticipate or dread. When we last left off, we were working on a human rights attorney story and a diamond bullets story. Many of the past Friday posts have … Continue reading Creating Three-Dimensional Characters: In Our Own Work

Three-Dimensional Characters: How Stephen King Does It

Stephen King.  All I can say is, no matter which of the three methods for creating three-dimensional characters you prefer, Stephen King is ALL ABOUT the three dimensions of character. Especially in The Shining. To make this exercise more manageable, I've merged Frey/Egri's dimensions (physiological, sociological, psychological) and Brooks's dimensions (Surface Appearance, Backstory, and Meaningful Choices) … Continue reading Three-Dimensional Characters: How Stephen King Does It

Three-Dimensional Characters: 3 Ways to Create One

We know them when we see them.  We all want to create them.  But what exactly distinguishes a three-dimensional character from that other kind?  What exactly does "three-dimensional" mean and how do we render it on a two-dimensional page?   Three-Dimensional Characters: What are they? Honestly, I had a hard time finding (as in, "I didn't … Continue reading Three-Dimensional Characters: 3 Ways to Create One

Character Change: The Inner Journey, Part 2 — A Master Outline

We're looking at the Inner Journey this week (Part 1 here), and today we're looking at the structure of the character arc over the course of a story. In general, a story has four Parts with key Points happening between each Part (more on this next week when we get to the outer journey).  The following … Continue reading Character Change: The Inner Journey, Part 2 — A Master Outline