Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Characters

I just finished reading Cross My Heart by Julie Wright. Since her book starts with C, it's safe for today's discussion.
Which leads me to caramel steamers, which also start with C and are therefore pertinent to this post.So what does Cross My Heart and Caramel steamers have to do with characters? Everything.

When I read a book that makes me want to eat what the character is eating, see the sights, hear the sounds, feel the flutter or horrors that the character is experiencing for myself, then the character is real.

In Cross My Heart, Jillian, the main character, does not care for chocolate. I know, it sounds like a conspiracy. But instead of turning into one, she honestly lead me to believe that caramel steamers were one of life's pleasures that should not be missed.

Simple, but effective. No, this story isn't about food. But when you make your character real enough that the reader cares about what the character's preferences are- you've successfully drawn your audience in.

So here are some Character tips for the day:

*Know what your character looks like. Be specific to yourself. Hair, eyes, face, height, weight, complexion, etc.

*Know your character. Even better than your best friend, you have to know how your character would react in every situation.

*Give your characters flaws and quirks and then figure out how to make those things flow with your story. Characters without flaws are boring cartoons. People want something to fall in love with. No one is perfect, if your character is perfect, no one will relate to him/her.

*Let you amazing hero make mistakes. Stupid mistakes. Use their flaws against them.

*Know how your character is going to change by the end of your book. You can't start out with a finished product and then expect to make a convincing story. If your character isn't going to grow in some way or change as a result of the story you're writing, something is wrong with your plan. Go back and figure out how your character is going to change.

*Change isn't just good, it's critical.

*Let your reader into the character's heart and head. The reader wants to fall for your protagonist. They're anxiously waiting for any excuse to relate and love this person. But we have to get to know a person (even an imaginary one) before we can love them. Be open about how the character feels and thinks.

Okay, just for the record, I made a homemade caramel steamer- and it was awesome. I made homemade caramel sauce and added warm milk. Mmmmm. I'm thinking of adding cool whip next.

But for the record, no it hasn't replaced my beloved hot chocolate. But still, it's worth the treat. I'd definitely make some again in the near future. Right now sounds good...

1 comment:

Ella said...

Nice to meet you; Great post! I so want one of those! Yummy~