Friday, September 24, 2010

Writing Compelling Characters: BlogFest

Elana Johnson is having a blogfest on writing compelling characters to see how different bloggers are!

From Dictionary.com

com·pel·ling  [kuhm-pel-ing] Show IPA –adjective 1. tending to compel; overpowering: compelling reasons. 2. having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect: a man of compelling integrity; a compelling drama.

How do I write compelling characters?

  1. Dialogue- says a lot about a character. I like to use dialouge and italisized thoughts to reveal what's happening to the character.
  2. Elusiveness- the less you say, the better. I say it gives room for the reader to imagine about the character.
  3. Actions- what the character DOES sparks a lot of interest, the more stunning and shocking they are. It keeps a story going, I guess
  4. Physical traits- I like to give subtle descriptions of the characters, so readers have rough sketch of what they look like. I try to remember that there's no such thing as perfect looks, there's always a flaw.
  5. Flaws- I don't like perfect, as appealing as it may be. To make a character "real" and "compelling", there has to be a few flaws. Personality flaws, physical flaws, etc...
Yup.






15 Comments,

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

I love dialogue too, sometimes I think I write too much of it and forget about the rest - but, I like it, so I'll keep doing it that way.

Melissa said...

You are the first to mention elusiveness. I didn't even think about how important it was but as soon as I read it... I knew.

You are SO right.

Great contribution!

Quinn said...

Elusiveness ... I'm on the fence with this one. While I agree that it draws the reader in in the beginning, if the character stays elusive too long it feels like the author is holding back and I'll lose interest.

Rachel Morgan said...

Hmm... Elusiveness. I didn't think of that one! I think if used correctly it keeps the reader hanging on, desperate to know more about the character!

PS. You have a beautiful blog :-)

Rachael Harrie said...

Love your idea about elusiveness. In my current WIP, I'm actually trying not to reveal too much about her directly, preferring to let the reader draw their own conclusions from how she acts and thinks. I think you're onto a winner with that one! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Elusiveness is so important to a story! You're right about that. I like it when the author gives information about physical traits, too, since having even a vague mental image somehow makes it more real.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

First let me say how much I like the title of your blog.

Having said that I enjoyed the content and agree with what you write, I am a poet so writing a story or coloumn is just not me but I am fast learning what a writer should or not do.
Thanks for a most pleasurable read.

Yvonne,

C. N. Nevets said...

I'm jumping on this elusiveness bandwagon. :)

Cinette said...

I'm big on dialogue myself. Sometimes I forget all about setting! I love creating unique voices for each of my characters. Great post!

cindy said...

Cool! I purposefully avoided reading anyone elses contribution before posting my own, which happens to be all about dialogue. :)

Your comments on elusiveness got my thinking, too.

Great post!

Peace,
Cindy.

Elena Solodow said...

I agree with Quinn that elusiveness could also get in the way of having a compelling character. In the beginning it works to keep a reader reading, but after that, feeding them more information is going to create a relationship over the long-term.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I love dialogue! I think it shows who a person is...

Jen Daiker said...

Elusiveness... I haven't heard anyone mention this one, which is remarkable! Great choice of words. I believe that keeping them elusive for awhile is very beneficial for the reader, especially knowing in the end more will be revealed.

Thanks for participating in The Great Blogging Experiment! I've really enjoyed reading everyone's posts, and finding new fun people to follow (such as yourself!)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

There's a great reason why writers aren't lynched for hearing all them voices in our heads, right? We need them cause they tell us how to make them real in our books!

Great post! Come and visit me!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Elusive... love it. That's one I had thought of before but you're right, a little mysterious makes the reader want to turn the pages. Great post!