Introducing your characters

Introducing characters is an art in itself.

I believe that a character should be described once, in a memorable and vivid way, and as early as the narrative allows.┬áIf you’ve done your job well, the reader develops an internal image, and unless it’s absolutely pertinent to the story, this should not be altered, tampered with, or even mentioned again (or it can pull the reader out of the story).

Pen portraits

My approach is to introduce each character in a few lines, or preferably a single sentence, in a way that really cements the character in the reader’s mind. One of my writing buddies called this a Pen Portrait.

Continue reading Introducing your characters

The Power of the Enigmatic Outsider

In the last few years, I’ve read several manuscripts where the writers have misunderstood that the role of their protagonist is split between two characters: the main character and the hero.

The role of the protagonist

Typically the protagonist in a story is the character who:

  • the reader experiences the story through
  • whose choices/actions drive the plot and have the greatest affect on the climax of the story.

Occasionally the story is told through the eyes of a more passive character who is swept up into the world of a more interesting and enigmatic character.

Continue reading The Power of the Enigmatic Outsider