03 April 2009

More on Characters

From Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel (read it!), I've gleaned some info on characters. Maass says "..all stories are character driven." Thinking about that, I agree. He further says, "...identify...what is extraordinary in people who are otherwise ordinary." I agree with that also. Later, Maass says, "Actions speak louder than words... What is the most outrageous thing your protagonist could do?" I would have to add: an important aspect of character is understanding motivation(s), so the reader can have empathy with said character. Thus, your stories (whatever length) should be driven by well-motivated extraordinary actions of characters. This means the protagonist in your story should not be an everyman; he/she/it should be the person most uniquely suited to drive the story.

So, send us your character-driven stories!

A final character-related quote: "Are not objective narration, first-person and close third-person pov the nearly universal choices for novels today?" Yes. And I would add they are the nearly universal choice for short speculative fiction, too. :)


David E. Hughes said...

Good points, Lesley (and Donald). I think one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between an experienced writer and a novice is how well the author gets us into the (main) characters' heads.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Okay, going to dust off my copy and read it again. :)