Three things that make Characters POP!

I have been writing furiously for the last few weeks and have neglected my blog somewhat, so apologies for that. I had some serious planning and structuring to do around the novel, which has become a trilogy….

One of the hardest things to get right for us writerers in this little pen monkeys humble opinion is Character.

So here are my three top tips to make your character pop.
1. Characters show themselves in many ways, most of them are not just about what they say or what their eyes and face are doing. There are thousand different little ques that people give off, these are non verbal and not centred around just the eyes. Try livening up your character by talking about areas other than the peepers. Notice how that makes the character pop a little more on the page? As a novice writer it is sometimes tempting to write about our darlings like walking eye sticks. Stay away from this approach unless you’re writing sci-fi.

2. It is not always what they say but also what they leave out. Whilst you’ve heard the words “Show” don’t “tell” since you have been able to pick up a pen. This also applies to not telling. How much do you hate it when an author info dumps in dialogue. Keep it short, keep it snappy and keep it real. This is a person talking not a plot device!

3. Tension reveals character. Know you characters really well. If you are a writerer of a novel. Character sheets are a god-send. It’s not so much about stifling your creativity more about really knowing who you are writing about. The better and more worked out their wants and needs, the easier it is for your character to tell you something about themselves. It is also easier for them to stay in character and lets you get on with the exciting task of developing that tension.

So that’s it from me and thanks for listening.

Comments as always welcome!

2 thoughts on “Three things that make Characters POP!

  1. thanks for the advice, i am still working on the characters- what they do and say, and really trying to give them their own stance in my stories. But sometimes it sooo bloody hard, and they all end up talking cockney or yank slang!!

    • If you are anything like me, you’ll end up with characters who are similar to each other. That was my first mistake, people who looked different but sounded the same. Don’t worry it’s hard, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Characterisation is one of the toughest bits to get right, but also it is character driven stories that sell the best in any genre…. So there’s an upside. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

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