Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Depth of Character

In addition to a pre-conference session, Donald Maass also did a worshop called Creating Depth of Character. I was only able to stay for about half of this session until I had to leave to get ready for my pitch session with Sarah LaPolla.

What makes for deeply engaging chracters?
Their jurney, their arc, their transformation.

What makes people interesting?
What they think
What they feel
     emotionally unexpected
Something new to us, a fresh perspective

How can this be accomplished?
Through opinions, especially the strength of those opinions

Try to provoke the reader through the character's strong opinion so as to connect and engage the reader.

Consider you protagonist and his/her sidekick or best friend. Think of someone that the protagonist hates about the other person. At the end of the story, turn around the opinion through acceptance and tolerance.

And that's all the notes I have on creating depth of character. What do you think best creates depth of character?


Jen Daiker said...

I think you nailed this. Depth of a character is so important and it's been something I've been working on. I realize that at times my character is just a little bland. Her voice is very strong but the description I've given her isn't strong enough. I guess as a writer we are always changing, always improving, always strengthening one's work. Isn't that what is fabulous about it all :)

Happy Tuesday lovely!

frigngruvn said...

Keep the notes coming, Nicole. We need to refresh ourselves from that awesome workshop! Donna G

Melissa Gill said...

Great point about using characters opinions to develop character. I'll have to keep that in mind. I always love a character who does the unexpected, keeps you guessing. Also characters who defy expectations.

I've developed an unhealthy obsession with The Game of Thrones lately and I'm finding Tyrion Lannister to be one of the most fascinating characters I've ever read.

mike draper said...

I agree with your points.
Mike Draper

Ann said...

I am soaking up all your lessons sponge like Nicole. Thank you!

ali said...

This is great, thanks for sharing Nicole! I also think weaknesses make the character. It's all well and good to have a super-awesome MC, who's smart and good looking and and and. But what will really make him come alive for me, is to learn that he squeezes people's hands extra hard not because he's a blow-hard, but because someone once told him he shakes hands like a girl and he's been overcompensating ever since. Ya know?