Characterization and Exposition
Characters are what draw the readers in, not the plot. Readers care about the characters.
Kick characters out, not everyone is needed.
Too many characters drag down the story.
Avoid all good and all bad characters. Characters should be flawed.
Bad guy who is relatable and understandable, is way more scary. The guy you don’t noticed or recogize is more scary.
But they should also be sympathetic
Dialogue- let them talk to each other. It helps the come alive.
Put them in the worst case sinerios. Make life really hard on them.
Give them a name… early on. (Page 1 or 2)
Let them do their job. If they are a doctor, show them being a doctor.
Readers LOVE to read about careers they don’t have.
Who’s story is this about? Who is THE character you want your reader to identify with. Keep them in most of the scenes. Don’t kick them out for four chapters.
Stay as close to the character as you can. Put yourself in that characters body.
Have then fully defined- two characters can’t react the same way.
How will your character react to the experience.
Interview your character. Get to know your character better.
Do I have too many characters in the scene? Do I have not enough characters?
Combine characters if need be.
No roll call.
Exposition can tell background info. Family history or past events—it’s ok to use when you need too.
Look for Author to Reader lectures…. Authors don’t talk to the reader, characters do.
Self Editing for Fiction Writers, chapter 2
First Five Pages, chapter 13
My addition: Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook -chapters 1- 3,7,9,12
Read Lola and the Boy Next Door for the perfect example of well define characters. (That was my plug for a book, not from the teacher)