To avoid bogging down prose with overly detailed narrative, it’s important to make wise choices when we write descriptive passages in our stories. Three paragraphs describing a setting or character’s appearance is a big no-no in my book. As a reader, it will turn me off faster than grammatical errors. I know! Bad, right? So how do we create a mental picture with the minimal amount of words? Continue reading “Accessorize Your Characters: Paint a Picture with Fewer Words”
Great characters can make or break a novel. That is why authors work hard to develop these players. Big time authors get a lot of mileage out of one good character. Rowling certainly did that with Harry Potter, Nelson DeMille created John Corey and has had long string of bestselling books. One of my favorites is Doc Ford in the Randy Wayne White series set in Sanibel Island, Florida.
Back in April, JD Mader posted an article on character development and descriptions. He did a great job of breaking down character development of both physical and psychological traits. Today, I want to take his post a step further and discuss character arc. Character arc is essential to story success.
So what is character arc? Continue reading “Character Arc & Stories That Stay With You”
“Smooth and smiling faces everywhere, but ruin in their eyes.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
I did not plan on starting this week’s post about eyes. Eyes may be the windows of the soul, but how do you describe your character’s eyes or facial expression without being cliché? A book I recently finished repeated the same phrase over and over again – “his smile never reached his eyes”. Yes, we can figure out that this person is not genuine. But, what other body parts can we use to gain insight into our character’s motivation, career opportunities, pride or self-esteem? Let’s start with a story about feet.
When we moved to Florida from New Jersey I was disappointed to realize that I could no longer indulge my habit of checking out what kind of shoes people were wearing. I love shoes. Many people in Florida don’t wear shoes – they wear flip-flops. It can be 35 degrees, and they’ll be in flip-flops. And, sadly, for some of them it doesn’t matter to them what their feet look like. Continue reading “Body Parts”