It's blogfest time and today it's all about writing compelling characters. I feel a little intimated to write this post, because frankly I'm still learning, but here's what I've read from a great book. The First Five pages by Noah Lukeman
1) Using stock, cliche or overly exotic names. No John Smiths or Raylazan
2) Introducing too many characters at once (this is something I've been guilty of)
3) Confusion over who the protagonist is.
4) Generic character descriptions.
5) Having an unsympathetic protagonist.
Here's how to fix those problems:
1) Research names, look to mythology, look at the meaning of names.
2) Have patience - learn to stagger your character's entrances.
3) It's hard to enter a new world, give the reader a friend, a guide, someone to follow.
4) Make the character unusual looking, describe different body parts. Notice your characters cheeks, complexion, posture, aspect.
5) Remember what might be interesting to you, might not interest others.
To me writing compelling characters means that the reader has someone to relate to, someone to route for, someone whose just a little extraordinary. Readers want someone who captivates them, whether they be the hero or the villain.
I'm looking forward to reading other posts on this subject.
Remember Monday is the start of another blog week, but if you can only do it for one day that's okay. It's all about seeing how much time we really spend writing.
Have a good weekend.