Tag Archive - characters

12 Questions to Ask Your Character about the Setting She Is In

On Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive

Today’s post is from Settings in Your Novel That Work As Triggers:

When choosing settings for your scenes, you want to think about the kinds of places that will allow the emotions, needs, dreams, and fears of your characters to come out.

Certain places will trigger these things to come to the surface and will stir memories. Your character has a past, and even if she never visits any of the places in her past in your novel, other places can draw out feelings and memories. This happens to us all the time.

Of course, if you are putting your characters in places they’ve been before, or they are living in the same town their whole life, those memories and feelings are closer to the surface.

The point it, you want to use your setting to help bring out your themes, drive your plot, and reveal character. You don’t have to do this, but by ignoring setting you are missing out on a great tool in your writer’s toolbox that you can use in a powerful way. Continue Reading…

How Writers Can Develop Emotional Connections between Reader and Hero

Today’s guest post is by Patrick Cole: 

When I first met Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, I was in high school and certainly not yet “fully baked.” In fact, my major emotional connection to the novel was not with Sydney Carton but with Lucy and Charles. They were so in love, and I just wanted there to be a romantic happy ending for them. Dickens did not disappoint me.

Of course, since that time, I have reread this novel two more times—once in college for an English Lit. class and once more because there is much to learn from Dickens’s writing.

To me, now that I am closer to coming out of the oven, Carton as a redemptive figure is one of the best in literature. And while many fiction writers do not have “Christlike” characters in their novels, the methods used by Dickens to establish that emotional connection are timeless and universal. Here are things I have learned that you can learn too. Continue Reading…

The Importance of Creating a Rich History for Your Characters

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from popular past posts on Live Write Thrive.

From History as Mystery:

I mentioned how it’s not all that helpful (or interesting) to spend time creating the outward attributes of your character, for what really shapes a person is their history. I showed how by creating and exploring a character’s past hurt or wound you can determine the way she looks at herself and the world. When your character believes lies about herself and her world because of this hurt, she creates a persona that’s not her true self. And when someone is not their true self, they feel restless, unhappy, and lost. Which spurs them on their journey to find their essence. It’s the place she needs to get to, and her journey through the novel is not just aimed at her reaching her visible plot goal but also her spiritual goal of embracing her essence or who she truly is. Remember the sixties and how we were all about “finding” ourselves? This is the same thing but without the drugs.

Create Some History

So, once you’ve established this key, pivotal element or incident (or series of incidents) that have made her who she is at the start of the story, you’ll want to create some more history. With that major task out of the way, the next step is giving your characters an entire life. This doesn’t mean you have to write or know every single second in their past. But you want to create enough of a past that they fill out. And the events and history you create need to be homogeneous with who they are now as well as fit in with your plot. Continue Reading…

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