Standing Out in a Crowd

One of the challenges of writing characters is when there are groups of characters, particularly large groups like parties. The challenge of large groups is often the urge to describe as many people as possible to show the reader that we’re in a large group. However, sometimes when we’re describing a large group the less … Continue reading Standing Out in a Crowd

Advertisements

Sticky Side-Characters

One of the trickiest parts of description can be side-characters, in this article we’ll use side-characters to refer to any character who isn’t part of the main cast. What makes it so tricky is finding the balance in how much description is required, especially if the character isn’t going to reappear. As mentioned in the … Continue reading Sticky Side-Characters

Description Through Interaction

As mentioned in the previous article if we want to describe a character then it can help to break up the description, particularly if we want a sense of speed to our prose. One of the ways we can do this is through interaction; how they interact with others/the setting, how others interact with them … Continue reading Description Through Interaction

To Describe or Not to Describe

Some of the most iconic characters in literature have no description of what they look like. Mr Darcy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is an example, we know he’s aloof and how he behaves but Austen never tells us what he looks like. Darcy seems to have ended up in the tall, dark … Continue reading To Describe or Not to Describe

Creating Characters

This week we're looking at character description: How much, when, and what do with do with big groups of characters? Monday - To Describe or Not to Describe, Looking at different degrees of description and avoiding info dumps. Tuesday - Description Through Interaction, Considering ways to break up description by using interaction. Wednesday - Sticky Side-Characters, How much description do we … Continue reading Creating Characters

Breaking Apart the Perspective

When writing limited omniscient narration there are two main methods of separating the perspectives. One is to give each perspective their own chapter, such as in the Game of Thrones/Song of Fire and Ice books by George R. R Martin. Martin gives each character a chapter with their name as the heading, this isn’t mandatory … Continue reading Breaking Apart the Perspective

Plotting Perspective

When we begin a story we don’t have to have to have all the perspectives plotted out, we don’t even have to know who all the perspective characters are, we can work this out as we go. However, when we’re editing we do have to work out which way all these perspectives need to go … Continue reading Plotting Perspective

Can’t or Cannot?

As with subjective/first-person narrators when we write a limited third-person narrator it can help readers to identify different perspectives if we individualise the voice. We can do this the same way as we might with first-person narration, tailoring the words to match the character’s speech or carrying on the narrative as if it was their … Continue reading Can’t or Cannot?

A Word on Word Lists

NOTE: In this series of articles we’re looking specifically at how I self-edit, this doesn’t mean you have to use my methods, these articles are examples of the way I work. They may help you, or at least give you some tips, or they may not. These articles compare Hysteria: The First Draft and the version of Hysteria published … Continue reading A Word on Word Lists

Doing Dialogue

NOTE: In this series of articles we’re looking specifically at how I self-edit, this doesn’t mean you have to use my methods, these articles are examples of the way I work. They may help you, or at least give you some tips, or they may not. These articles compare Hysteria The First Draft and the … Continue reading Doing Dialogue