I came across a blog post the other day that discussed how to write emotion—a subject not new to us—but explained in a new way. I don't like to regurgitate information if someone blogged it better. So I had to share.
If you read my previous blog post on how to create your cast of characters, then you're ready to concentrate more on what type of protagonist you’re dealing with.
When I think about good stories, stories that last with me long after the last page was turned, it’s often the characters that stick with me. I feel I could know them inside and out as much as the people in my life. What they like and hate, how they would react to any situation, and the key to their happiness.
Have you ever been confused by these two writing techniques? Although mystery and suspense often work together, knowing the difference can help us understand which strategy we want to achieve in our story.
Think of a person who’s had a long day of dropping her kids off at school, going to work, driving her kids to soccer practice, coming home to make dinner, putting the kids to bed, and then finally has an hour or two to herself before she has to go to sleep. Can your book keep this tired person turning the pages before bedtime?
Suppose you’re in the middle of plotting or revising. You have your main antagonist and protagonist outlined. You’ve set up their opposing agendas within your plot. But what about the scenes when good and evil aren’t battling each other? Does the rest of the story fall flat? Feel static? Maybe you need more conflict, just not a lot of the same. Different types of conflict.
Like people, characters make first impressions. Readers will either like or dislike a character immediately. It’s up to writers to sculpt their characters for a desired effect and control the reading experience for their audience.
Often revealing character can feel like you’re showing your poker hand prematurely and it’s especially difficult to balance when the plot is character driven (meaning the primary conflict comes from within the protagonist). So how do we help readers understand our characters if our characters are unwilling to share or if sharing runs the risk of weakening conflict?
I’ve read some books in the past where I didn’t feel that connected to the main character, even though the plot was going places, things were happening… I realized I was part of the adventure, but felt left behind from the character’s inner journey.