Tag Archives: Characters

Characters Make The Plot- Part 2

Part 2

1-Character vs Character- protagonist vs another character

2-Character vs Nature- A hiker vs the cold Yukon

3-Character vs Society- Jonas vs the norm of his community( popular in YA books)

4-Character vs Self-The character over our own fears, guilt, self-esteem etc.

5-Character vs Fate-Using the example of Stanley in the book “ Holes”. Stanley vs the family curse

One plot will take center stage and become the main plot.

Subplot- A secondary plot strand that is a supporting side story for any story or the main plot. Subplots may connect to main plots, in either time and place or in thematic significance. Subplots often involve supporting characters, those besides the hero and villain.

Situation irony- This is where the ending is the opposite of what the reader thought it would be.

One needs plot, setting and characters all threaded together to give substance to one’s story.  Some authors use multiple themes. Themes add meaning and depth to a story in fiction

There are four elements to make one’s writings complete: setting, character, plot, theme.

Put equal attention to one’s antagonist for you may flip and he soon becomes the good guy or the one that readers attach to Try to give as many problems as possible to make one’s character more developed.

A plot needs to have three elements:

1-Character Emotions-These should be seen in the first five or six sentences of the story. This creates fascination.

2-Dramatic action-This is the action that happens in a novel, screenplay, memoir, short story, or any other kind of writing that causes a character to react and thus be affected by and changed at depth over the duration of the story. This provides excitement.

3-Thematic significance-This is the deliberate step-by-step development of the underlying meaning of the overall project. This portrays the overall story meaning. When the dramatic action changes the character at depth over time, the story becomes thematically significance.

If a writer does not have all three you will lose your audience. The story will falter or get stuck.

This class is moving along pretty well. We are halfway done

Characters Make The Plot- Part 1

These are the notes from my Character Development class. This is week 4.

The setting tells you where and when a story line is occurring. It has to be believable for it gives you the opportunity to deliver a backdrop for your book.

For example:

If you are in the tundra or jungle odds are the book is an adventure.

If the dust bowl in the Midwest is where you are at the character might experience tough times in the story line.

Mood and setting can change through the book one just has to make it believable for the reader.

Location and weather also hints where the reader will find themselves. The setting gives us the physical boundaries, it develops the plot and characters.

The protagonist is the central figure that readers can identify with but they must go through changes through the book or else they will fall flat and one dimensional. The antagonist is working against our hero, the protagonist You want your characters to be well rounded. They should have positive features and still be flawed making them dynamic as they change with the experiences they encounter.

Static characters- Static characters are minor characters in a work of fiction who do not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also referred to as “two-dimensional characters” or “flat” they play a supporting role to the main character, who as a rule should be round or complex.

Flat characters- A flat character is a minor character in a work of fiction who does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also referred to as “two-dimensional characters” or “static characters,” flat characters play a supporting role to the main character, who as a rule should be round.

Characterization-Ways to develop characters directly or indirectly. Directly we state what the character looks like, what they say, do or feel. Indirectly we let the readers draw the conclusions by the words written.

Plot- An arrangement of sequence of the story including conflict and obstacles.

There were a lot of notes to put in one post. So will make this a two parter.

Next post will be on the different type of plots.

Character Development

My class “ Character Development” started Monday night. The class was amazing and I have six more to go. Learning how to make our characters strong, believable, lovable, loathed, and focused is something we all should strive for as writers. For as an avid reader, I want to fall in love with my character or hate them so badly I want to see how the book ends. Most times I follow through with the liking of a character. There are some books by the time it ends I wish the one I fell for would just go away as my alliances has shifted to the villain who is suddenly amazing.

If we just stick to the physical aspect of what our characters look like ,while we may describe them so well our readers can image them in their minds, you can only go so far with looks. Well that is what they say right? So invest in your characters, go to the root of what makes them who they are, what they are and why I should as a reader get so invested in this one person. For if you don’t chances are the book will not be read

So the instructor asked how strong were our characters in our book? Do they make the reader get invested in them relatively soon or does it drag on? The format my professor suggested was very simple and something I am sure most of you are all aware of.

Who? Where? What? How? When? Why?

Simple enough but then break it down even further. Who did what where and how did they do it and why? Or you can say how did it happen to this other character that is in the book? The possibilities are endless depending how big your cast is in the book.

So in my mind I mentally went through the two books I am trying to get published and did the math so to speak to see if the characters in those books matched up to the rigor of those six questions.

Fortunately they did, and I did not even know I was doing it correctly. I was happily surprised. For in those two books the main characters I broke down to the core. Not just the physical aspects of what they looked liked. But I talked about their character: weakness, likes, fears, hopes,goals,strengths and so on. I started each character from birth and worked my way up. By doing that you give your person the best chance of working whether it is to be loved or hated. Without that, for me as a reader, the book no matter how well written, will be either read and honestly reviewed or just not read at all.

Each class I will share what I have learned, in hopes I can pass on some insight to others so we can all somehow improve our craft.