If you've got lots of characters in your story or just have characters who leave the page for a while--or, you know, just have characters--it's nice to remind readers who these people are. Enter character tags. A couple of weeks ago, we identified six or so ways to tag characters, and last week we learned … Continue reading Character Tags: In our own work
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. 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
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
So, we're looking at the inner journey this week. Let's see what kind of an inner journey we can create for the one-liners we're working on. Here we go... 1. Our human-rights-attorney story: Set in the mid 1950's, against the backdrop of the first US Supreme Court case to affirm gay rights, a human rights lawyer … Continue reading Character Change: In our own work
We're looking at the Inner Journey this week. Here's the inner journey (to my eyes and ears anyway) of the main character, Ian Paine, in Lisa Unger's Crazy Love You (336 pages). Spoiler Alert. And Long Post Alert. Crazy Love You is about Ian, a 30-something graphic novelist who writes Fatboy and Priss, heavily based on … Continue reading Character Change: How Lisa Unger does it
So this week we're looking at how to make our antagonists as awesome and effective as they can be. Let's see what we can do with the antagonists we've got in the one-liners we're developing. 1. Our human-rights-attorney story: When the money runs out before the case against his transgender partner is over, a human rights … Continue reading Antagonists: In our own stories
Here are my takes on the antagonist breakdowns of the stories we looked at last week (for main character want, need, flaw, symptoms). Andy Weir’s The Martian This is a story about a guy who's left behind on Mars and has to survive until he can be rescued. Antagonist: This is a man vs. nature … Continue reading Antagonists: How the masters do it.
The masters use many names for antagonists, including nemesis, opponent and villain. Here's what they have to say... What's an antagonist? The antagonist, or Nemesis, "is the character who most stands in the way of the hero achieving his or her outer motivation," says Michael Hauge. John Truby agrees: "The opponent is the character who … Continue reading Antagonists: How to create a great one.
We're looking at the wants, needs, flaws, and symptoms of main characters this week. Let's get to our own: 1. Our human-rights-attorney story: When the money runs out before the case against his transgender partner is over, a human rights lawyer joins a prestigious and wealthy law firm not knowing that the managing partner is the devil behind … Continue reading Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms: In our own stories