Struggle with Fictional Characters

28 11 2018

                                                                     Illustration: Academic Life

How to develop engaging fictional characters

Creating fictional characters is a struggle for even the most experienced writer. Here, author and PWA and Faber Academy course director Tom Bromley offers tips and advice on creating engaging characters with unique voices and discusses questions such as whether they should be likeable and how many your story needs.

Wrestling with your fictional characters is a familiar pastime for experienced as well as new writers. It’s an ongoing struggle to create realistic characters who fulfill all the functions of story and resonate with the reader as real, engaging people.

Here, experienced author, ghost-writer and tutor on both Faber Academy and PWA courses Tom Bromley looks at the basics of writing characters, and suggests ways to form and maintain realistic, entertaining individuals to inhabit your a stories.

Read further @ Professional Writing Academy

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Drawing Stories

17 02 2017

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HOW TO DRAW A NOVEL

TRACING THE SHAPES OF THE STORIES WE TELL

Mexican writer Martin Solares likes to draw the shapes of novels—describe the plot, in a literal sense.  The following is the introductory chapter to How to Draw a Novel, a work-in-progress translation—in collaboration with poet Tanya Huntington—of his original Spanish title, Cómo Dibujar Una Novela, which will feature entirely new chapters. 

Some say novels are constellations composed of words; others, the closest we will ever come to a powerful incantation. From page one, they transport us to a world where every word conceals more than one intention and the very laws of physics operate differently. Baptized by their authors with suggestive, enigmatic names that sometimes constitute the first words of the spell being cast, novels are frequently baptized a second time by their readers, transforming them into something more endearing and familiar.

While we are compelled to choose a single bough from the tree of life, albeit a dazzling one, a well-constructed novel can lay claim to several branches at once: the most unexpected and passionate, the most unsettling and amusing. Then there are those that recount the greatest failures, the most ambitious exertions, or the feats that once seemed impossible to us.

Novels do not openly tell us how to live, but they do tell us stories. In difficult times, when one seeks to overcome life’s cares, the novel offers us a tale that seems to have been written expressly for the present time.

Read further @ Literary Hub





Writing Characters

30 08 2014

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Creating Characters Readers Will Love

To write a good story, we must develop characters readers care about. Without strong likeable characters, the best of stories fail.
Dwight Swain, author of Techniques of the Selling Writer, states that even the longest book can capture only a tiny segment of a human being. We humans are much too complicated for the writer to create in their entirety. So we must simplify, and develop our characters to the degree each needs to be developed in order to fulfill their function in the story. Give an impression and approximation of life rather than attempting to duplicate life itself.As the author, you need to know something about your character beyond the story you are about to write. But don’t spend so much time analyzing them that you get bored and want to kill them off.

Here are a few basic questions you should ask that will help you begin:

  • What do they want out of life, and what do they need?
  • What do they want to accomplish in their life?
  • What are their beliefs? A kind God? Life sucks or is unfair? Money is more important than love? Vice Versa. If we are very good we go to Heaven.

Read more @ Novel Spaces