We've been looking at how to select character details and introduce characters. Today, we're going to select some concrete details for the main character of one of the stories we've been working on and then next week we'll try out some introductions. Let's use the main character from our human-rights-attorney story: Set in the mid 1950’s, … Continue reading Character Names, Details, and Introductions: In our own work
I read Red Dragon* again recently. Let's look at the details Thomas Harris chose for his antagonist's introduction, in Chapter 9, which consists of a scene at work and a scene at home. These details are mostly from the first scene, his public persona. Name: Francis Dolarhyde. People at work call him Mr. D, which … Continue reading Characterizing Details: How Thomas Harris Does It
As Nancy Kress says, "Characters have to be called something. And since they do, you may as well . . . make your names contribute to world building, characterization, and plot development." To that end, here's what the craft masters have to say about choosing character names. Is this post on names really necessary? Dwight … Continue reading A Particular Character Detail: Choosing Names
Whether you know everything about your characters before you start writing or nothing about them, you can't include every single detail in your manuscript. (Well, you can, but you probably shouldn't.) As Nancy Kress says, you'll want to "choose artfully." You'll want to home in on the particular details your readers are looking for. Which details … Continue reading Character Details: How to Choose
We've been looking at character: introducing the character, forging the reader-character bond, creating contradictions . . . All good stuff. But let's back up a bit. There's a word that gets thrown around a lot about character, and, I'll admit, sometimes I feel like maybe I don't actually know what it means. The word is … Continue reading Characterization: What is it?