On Characters

Here is a list of tips On Characters:

1-      Every scuffed shoe and stained collar provides reams of information for your reader, and makes your job easier.
2-      Every character, whether major or minor is motivated by something.
3-      Rather than describing your character through physical appearance, try creating a sense of who he is and how he looks based on what he does and how he moves.
4-      It’s only through writing and rewriting that characters finally gain their feet and become well defined.
5-      Good characters almost never see themselves as others do.
6-      Interview or observe someone who shares your character’s experience.
7-      Characters are what they do.
8-      Part of a character’s identity is what others say about him.
9-      If the circumstances change, is okay for the characters to change too.
10-  Physical description is not characterization.
11-  First impressions are important: when a character first shows up in a story, readers start to like them or dislike them right away.
12-  It is always good to give characters endearing imperfections. Humans are not perfect.
13-  Murder will only make a character into a villain if he commits the crime for selfish reasons, and if the crime harms people who don’t deserve to be hurt.
14-  No one likes to read the dull parts of a character’s life. In our own journals we tend to write down only what was interesting, skipping the boring parts of the day.
15-  Everyone alive has habits and characters should too.
16-  Don’t allow your characters to do stupid or illogical things.
17-  Character transformation can be one of the most powerful effects in any story.
18-  The highest character qualities are forgiveness and self-sacrifice.
19-  Characters shouldn't always act in character. People are not always predictable.
20-  All stories are character driven.

Did I use the word character too many times? Probably.


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