Friday, July 20, 2012

Ask Elnora--about characters? Third Friday Writing--Lenora Worth

Hello, my quirky blogging characters. It's Third Friday Writing Day and Elnora is excited. Today, I thought we'd discuss characters. I watch a lot of the programs on the USA Network and I love the network's theme--Characters Welcome! That's how I feel today--Characters Welcome. We can't write our stories without having several interesting characters. The problem we don't want--cookie cutter characters. What does that mean? It means we don't want flat, boring, one dimensional characters. Okay, so what does that mean? We don't want characters who talk like this: "Hello, Ralph. How are you?" "I am fine, thank you, George. And how are you?" We don't want characters who seem stiff and formal and unbendable--like paperdolls. We don't want dolls. We want living, breathing, flawed, confused, uptight, too loose, distraught, joyful, frustrated, radiant, smiling, crying, angry, happy, sad, mad characters.
Or ... this guy!!! But seriously, we want to write characters that grab our readers and say in that sweet, convincing voice, "Come with me on this journey. Hear my story. Listen to my woes and my joys. I promise you won't be bored." How do we create such characters? That is the question of the day. Elnora tries to let the character take the lead. I let my characters create themselves, to a certain point. Then I try to take over and fluff them a bit. I give them real issues and real problems and we figure things out as we move through their story. Some characters can be stubborn and some don't want to talk about it. We have to draw them out and make them see that they are going to change before this story is over. This process isn't always easy but with time and what I call "digging deep" you can write a real life character and you can use that character's point of view to show and tell. Now let's hear from some of the other fabulous Love Inspired Ladies. What tips do you ladies have for our bloggers? Please discuss.

7 comments:

  1. Often my characters have made a mistake in the past that troubles them. They're carrying some heavy baggage about that mistake, perhaps feeling guilty about what happened. Usually their biggest struggle is to forgive themselves. Once they do that, they're able to accept forgiveness from the Lord and accept love from that other significant person in the story. :)

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  2. Wonderful, Debby. We' ve all done things we regret. Our characters should have a past that will shape them today and into the future. We can make them real, but give them redemption.

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  3. Characters who struggle with their faith are always the most interesting to me. They need to ask the same questions I do and wrestle with loving God while navigating a broken world.

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  4. I agree with Dana. We all wonder why bad things happen to people. My characters often struggle with unfair things that have happened to them.

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  5. Hi Elnora:

    I’m not a lady but I do have a view on characters to contribute.

    “The greatest hook is a sympathetic character. People will read a saggy book just to find out what happens to the characters they care deeply about but they often won’t finish an otherwise good book if they don’t care what happens to the characters.”

    Vince

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  6. All great advice!! Faith and family, a sympathetic character (one we can understand and identify with) and a promise of grace and redemption all add up to a great character!! Even Scarlett O'hara had a trace of grace.

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  7. This is a good topic and I really enjoyed hearing what others find important--fodder for my next character.
    And btw, WHO IS THAT gorgeous man?? :-)

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