Characterization

I find creating a character that readers will care about is one of the most difficult task to do as a writer.  My biggest concern is what about this character causes a reader to turn the page and find out what happens next. If you don’t like or dislike my character, why would you keep reading?

The how to write fiction books suggest establishing the characters. Are they happy, sad, mad, good, evil, etc. which can be done in as little as the first paragraph, and then begin the problem or conflict that he/she reacts to. Yet this is harder than it sounds….

Do you have trouble introducing a character that readers want to know more about? If not, what’s your method?

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9 thoughts on “Characterization

  1. Stacy S. Jensen

    For a nonfiction project, it’s been tough to craft real people into characters. I receive feedback that an event or a person’s emotion doesn’t seem real. I struggle, because I can’t change what happened. I know I need to write it better to convey the emotion, etc., so people will want to follow this person’s story.

  2. Stacy S. Jensen

    It’s about the four years after my late husband had a catastrophic stroke. He was mute and could only blink and move his right middle finger. (Think: Diving Bell and Butterfly) Lots of drama with the health care system, etc. Lots of funny moments, too. I’ve tried to work myself and others into characters to see if I can write it differently. Some of my initial beta readers complained I didn’t come across as emotional enough. I didn’t cry a lot, because there was so much to do to keep everything going and this throws people off.

  3. Jennifer McFadden

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband. I think Mary Beth Chapman’s biography “Choosing To See” will be some help to you. She wrote about her life but also about the tragic loss of their adopted daughter, Maria, who was run over in their driveway by their son. It was very emotional without adding false characters in it.

    If you want, I could read it and give you my thoughts on it…

  4. Anthony F. Rando Post author

    Stacy- I’m also sorry for the loss of your husband, that must have been such a difficult four years….

    I can relate to the drama with the health care system, I’ve been battling with my injuries from my car accident from 2009.

    Jennifer- I haven’t heard of this book. I’ll have to check it out…

  5. Anthony F. Rando Post author

    Stacy- I would agree creating a real story character presents a big challenge. Crafting a person so a reader can understand and follow the person in the novel while exhibiting a few exaggerated traits which fits your story goal, obstacle and other characters without changing the characters story is a mountain to climb. However, it will be a big accomplishment when the novel is complete.

  6. Stacy S. Jensen

    Thanks so much for your offer Jennifer. I might take you up on that. I begin working with a new critique group on Saturday, so I hope this will help. I know you are busy. I’ll check out the book too. Sorry for the delay in giving my thanks… remember how I said I had little drama – baby bumped head and well, I totally had drama for a bit. Everything is OK. 🙂

  7. Stacy S. Jensen

    Sorry to hear about your car accident Anthony. For those of us, who have battled in the trenches of the health care system, it gives you a different perspective about reform. Thanks for the feedback. I’m enjoying your blog.

  8. Jennifer McFadden

    Yay- I’m happy your baby is Ok, but that must have been scary! I hope you new critique group works out well. Maybe they will let me join as well…

    We never seem to lose a bit of drama in our lives, but it has us become stronger once we are through it!

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