Monday, January 20, 2014
LET YOUR CHARACTERS LIVE THROUGH YOU BY RITA KARNOPP
To create exciting strong scenes – make sure they vary from quiet to loud. Lackluster to exciting. Emotional to in-control. Highs to lows. Happy to sad. Yet, they all must fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Everything should snap into place and fit – nothing should stick out at odd angles. Every part of the story should contribute and move the story forward, making it complete.
I don’t know about you, but I like to put myself in my character’s body, living the scene with his/her baggage, experience, flaws, and attributes. Do the situations or challenges feel ‘real’? What doesn’t feel believable? You will know what needs changing by running your scenes through your mind like a movie – you are the character – living, breathing, and experiencing each scene you’ve created.
You’ll find yourself rewriting - adding spontaneity from the character you’ve become. You’ll make changes that transition the story better. Step-by-step, you’ll feel, hear, touch, taste, and see yourself in the scenes of your character. Do you believe them? Did you miss any of the senses? Add them in and you’ll be surprised how this will improve your story.
If a scene feels confusing or uncomfortable – fix them. Never leave them in hopes the reader won’t notice – believe me, they will. Add deep internal emotion and allow your characters to have flaws that hinder their goals . . . making them realize they must change to have what they need or want by the end of the book.
You should laugh, cry, and get angry if that’s what the character experiences. If the words don’t evoke this . . . rewrite . . . rewrite . . . and rewrite until you find yourself crying . . . laughing . . . and ticked with the world if need be. If you don’t feel it when you write it – the reader won’t feel it when they read it. It’s as simple as that.
Grab your reader right from the beginning . . . and don’t let go until you type ‘the end.’