Monday, June 27, 2011

Character Development

Today I have a guest blogger. Ms. Judith Marshall will share with us some do's and don'ts about our character development. She is the author of, HUSBANDS MAY COME AND GO BUT FRIENDS ARE FOREVER, which was recently optioned for the big screen.

If you are having trouble with your character's development, here are a few pointers...

Some do’s and don’ts about character development:

Do pay attention to your characters.   Remember story is as much (if not more) about character as about plot.

Do make your characters original.  The beauty of this approach is that your plot will often grow out of a unique character, instead of vice versa.

Do use a less expected way of describing your character; instead of saying her eyes was were “blue,” you could say, “Her eyes were the color of the lake behind her.”

Don’t use stock, cliché, or outrageous names.  You will either look lazy or like your trying too hard.

Don’t introduce too many characters at once.  Figure out a way of staggering them or focus on one and ignore the others.  You can switch the focus later.

Don’t describe just the usual characteristics, such as eyes, hair, and face. Go farther.  “The sun reflected off his bald head.”  “The skin on her face was drawn tight across her cheekbones, eyelids stretched smooth, forehead shiny and line-free -- all the signs of recent cosmetic surgery.” 

Remember readers don’t want the ordinary, the everyday; they want to be captivated.  Ask yourself:  Are my characters interesting?  If not, there’s more work to be done.

Judith Marshall
Author of HUSBANDS MAY COME AND GO BUT FRIENDS ARE FOREVER, recently optioned for the big screen.

Judith Marshall with book

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