Tag Archive - characters

Ordinary Characters Can Be Extraordinary

We’ve been going deep into character these last weeks, and I want to offer you some more ideas for developing complex, riveting characters. We hear things like “Your characters need to be larger than life,” meaning they should be extraordinary (extra ordinary? A whole lot more ordinary than the next guy? Sorry, that word got me thinking about how counterintuitive it is!). Okay, I get that to a point. To me, that means they need to be complex, unique,  passionate about something.

But I would like to say you can have ordinary characters that are ordinary people, but what makes them engaging and believable is their complex issues that drive them. For we all have them. You could say we are all both ordinary and extraordinary people.

If I’m presented one way, I can seem very dull, boring, average. But if I’m presented another way, I can become compelling, fascinating, deep. It’s all in the presentation. And in tightly developing and understanding those three essential aspects I spoke of in the last post: knowing the character’s core need, their deepest fear, and the lie they tell themselves because of the wound they suffered early on. Continue Reading…

Getting to the Core of Your Characters

Leon Surmelian in his book (written forty years ago) Techniques of Fiction Writing, has this to say about creating characters in fiction: “Characterization is a complex and elusive art and cannot be reduced to exact rules or to a comprehensive statement. The more we talk about it, the more we feel has been left out, and this is necessarily so because the human personality remains a mystery, subject to obscure forces; it is a universe it itself, and we are strangers even to ourselves. . . . Characterization requires self-knowledge, insight into human nature . . . it is more than impersonation.” Continue Reading…

Creating Not Good but Great Characters

Since this blog is dedicated to help writers get to the heart of their stories, there is nothing more important than character, for your protagonist is at the heart of the story. I don’t want to get into the nuts and bolts of developing characters. There are plenty of online websites and blogs that have lessons in coming up with characters and how to make them seem real and not like wood posts. What I do want to explore, though, is a deeper and more personal approach to developing the characters in your novel. Continue Reading…

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