Saturday, September 3, 2011

Character Depth

What am I reading now?  Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover (Ally Carter)
Annnd. . . what do I think so far?  Crap! Crap! Crap! NO, NOT THE BOOK--I love it!
I just realized that I have skipped a book in the series. I read I'd Say I Love You but then I'd Have To Kill You awhile back. You might have noticed I also love the Heist series she is doing right now, so when I saw this one I was excited to read it. But I keep asking myself "Who is Zach?" "Wasn't his name Josh?" "What other school?"

I'd hate to admit how many times I've done this, except I just did.

This book is funny, interesting and twisty with smart-girl characters full of unique voice. LOVE IT!

Character Depth
Confession: Some characters in my first draft are just kind of hanging out on the page in some scenes. I write them in, they do something or they say something, but the reader won't get to know them better because of the scene. I know what is motivating my character. But by reading what I wrote, you wouldn't--which is ultimately what I'm hoping for.

Our latest book "Damnation" is in revision now, and I'm adding questions to my revision list that I hope will help me examine scenes more closely to develop the characters more.

Did I describe the physical traits? (Start with an easy one on the top of the list, start with success)
 Why is the character motivated to be here, doing this, with the other characters?
 What do other people in this scene say about the protagonist or antagonist?
 How can I show the character's reactions to characters, places or circumstances that will reveals values, inner demons or desires?
 What effect does that character have on the others?
 What actions are natural here? Which ones would surprise or reveal?
 How can I tweek the speech to add more understanding of the character?
 What did the character succeed at and fail at in this scene?

Here's another one for the revision list! Go through the Character Depth questions in each scene.

5 comments:

Donna K. Weaver said...

Those are great questions to ask. Though I tend not to give too much information about the physical appearance of my characters. I prefer to leave that to the readers' imagination, since they're going to see things he way they want anyway.

Canda said...

Maybe I should switch the word traits to say "gestures and background" instead, to clear up that I don't describe appearance in each scene. Thanks, Donna!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I absolutely LOVE Ally Carter. I have all of the Gallagher Girls Academy signed by her. So excited for the next book to come out!!! =)

Canda said...

I borrowed the ones I'm reading. I might have to but the set though.

Stacy Henrie said...

I've thought before how fun those books by Ally Carter look. Might have to check those out. Great list of character questions!