Tom Rance's blog
How do you start to build fictional characters when you're an an aspiring writer or author?
Using Victoria Lynn Schmidt’s archetypes will help you make sense of your character and their world. It certainly will help you to address, explore and deal with current situations coming out of your plot.
Before you are put off by the word ‘Archetypes – they are, quite simply, unconscious image patterns that cross cultural boundaries.
James Scott Bell in Plot And Structure tells us that opening lines must hook a reader. Open any Dean Koontz novel to find an excellent example of one line paragraphs with a named person and some sort of immediate interruption to normality. Not just anything, something dangerous or ominous. An interruption to normal life. Give readers a feeling of motion, of something happening or about to happen from the absolute first line.
Check this example from Dean Koontz’s Darkfall:
Penny Dawson woke and heard something moving furtively in the dark bedroom.
As an aspiring novelist you need to ensure your reader can relate to your fictional characters. Your reader needs to know the depth of emotion being experienced. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi's Emotion Thesaurus explains that as emotional beings, feelings propel us. They drive our choices, determine who we spend time with, and dictate our values.
Opening Writers’ Digest Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein at the table of content immediately hooked my interest, with chapter 1 telling me I would learn about creating real people for my nov
Joel Friedlander from The Book Designer tells self-publishing authors in his eBook - free to download at The Book Designers - about 10 things you need to know about self publishing. To help new self-published authors from making common self-publishing mistakes Joel tells us about Subsidy Publishers.
Ron Rozelle tells us novelists that foreshadowing gives the reader a clue – a taste of what is to come – like a formation of geese ahead of an approaching cold front. Listen to the first sentence Ron gives us about foreshadowing a novel from Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones:
My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.
Ron says that the word that is packed with foreshadowing is the verb was. Why, most readers will want to know, isn’t her name still Susie Salmon? The very next sentence answers that: