Posted by Lisa
If you don't happen to read Therese Fowler's blog, you should. Not only is it entertaining (American Idol prophesizing, indeed!), it's also like an online writing seminar - a nearly daily dose of what works/what doesn't.
In Thursday's blog, Therese talked about some of her own quirks, and frankly, they're pretty darn quirky. I won't repeat them - you'll have to check out her blog for yourself. But she got me thinking. About writing. About characters. About what we love about our characters. About how we fall in love with them.
Writing 101: A reader must care about a character.
Otherwise, why bother?
You, a writer, are the first reader who will ever see your story. Do you care? Why? Let's see...Think of this as a writing exercise:
Take one character from something you are working on, and say one quirk you love about that character. (If you can't think of a quirk, think of a characteristic or gesture). The character from my writing that jumps to mind is Laura, a girl from a short story I wrote last year. I love that she hates pop-tarts. Hates their smell, their taste, their cardboard consistency.
Next, ask yourself why you love that quirk. I love that Laura hates pop-tarts because her best friend's mom makes them every morning. And, Laura hates this lazy woman for many reasons.
You see, I love that Laura will hate pop-tarts the rest of her life. I love Laura. I love my quirky character.
And I wonder, Therese, if any of your characters love chasing lobsters on the beach, or mix grape jelly with various meat products, because a lobster-chasing character who's got a thing for grape jelly, now that's a character I could fall in love with. She's quirky. She's human.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Posted by Lisa