Tag Archives: Character building

Of Dialogue and Characters

One of the best tips I was given in developing a character is to talk to them. Not just chatter but real conversations that bring out what type of person that character might be.  It can shows how they think, shows personality traits. If you can get past feeling this is kinda crazy, it can really help make your characters  come alive, with more depth.

I was reading an excellent article over at Writer’s Digest on “Rewriting the 7 Rules of Dialog” which showed how you can use dialog to reveal your characters.

Here’s what they had to say, ”

“In real life we talk in spurts, in jumbles, in bursts and wipeouts and mumbles and murmurs and grunts as we try to formulate our thoughts. We stumble and correct ourselves. We pause and reflect. We backtrack. We wander into tangents, and then get back to the point.

It’s often said that on the page, good dialogue doesn’t do the same thing. But I disagree.

Tangents reveal character traits and priorities. If dialogue is too focused and direct, it’ll become predictable. Readers want to see the motivations, the quirks, the uniqueness of each character. The prudent use of digressions can add texture to a story.

People don’t always respond to what was said or to the questions they’re asked. They interrupt, change the subject, and attempt to stay on their pre-determined course even after the conversation has taken a turn in a different direction.

“How come it’s so hot out here?”

“It’s supposed to hit 90 today. Hey, listen, do you want some lemonade?”

“Ninety? Man, I hate this. Remind me why we left Maine in the first place.”

“Ninety’s not so bad. So, lemonade?”

Even in this brief exchange, multiple conversations are taking place. They overlap, reveal the character’s attitudes and add verisimilitude to what’s being said.

At times you’ll want your dialogue to pool off into tributaries. This doesn’t mean it’s unfocused or random, but rather that it’s layered with meaning to show the goals of the characters, the social context of the conversation and the subtext that’s present in the scene.”

Another good point  Steven James, the man who wrote the guest post bought forth was:

Although in real life people speak primarily to impart information, in fiction a conversation is not simply a way for something to be expressed—it’s a way for something to be overcome. As you’re writing, rather than asking yourself, “What does this character need to say?” ask, “What does this character need to accomplish?”

Check out the complete article over at the source, Writer’s Digest

For more tips on Character building, with a handy chart of character words,  check out an earlier post at: http://writerssecrets.com/get-real-have-your-characters-come-to-life-using-these-5-questions/

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Get Real! Have Your Characters Come To Life Using These 5 Questions

Bring your Characters to life. Make them real. Speak to them. Ask them questions. Yah I know you’re talking to yourself but if you dig deep, bring out the details, really think it through, being really specific, this will make your characters more believable and easier for your readers to relate to them.

If you’re feeling a little stuck for how to start building your characters, Bethany Cadman over at Writers Life put together a wonderful list of question you could ask your character that will make them seem more real.

1. How old are they and do they act their age? Do they mind being that old or are they clinging to their youth? Perhaps they are old before their time?

2. What was their childhood like? How do they get on with their relatives? Are their parents still alive, and if not what happened?

3. What kind of relationships do they have with others? Do they have a partner, and if so is it a happy relationship? Do they have lots of friends or are they more of a recluse?

4. What hobbies and passions do they have? Find out what they love to do.

5. What makes them happiest?

See 5 more questions over at the source of this article Writers Life

Here’s something that may help – a list of Character words

Character_words

For more writing tips go to http://writerssecrets.com/writers-secrets-tips/  plus

Get a FREE Copy of “How to Be a Writer Who Makes Money, Flies High and Dazzles the Folks Back Home. Oh Yeah!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

The Secrets To Connecting With Your Audience (Readers)

To connect with someone you must first be real – have feelings and empathy so you can put yourself in the other persons shoes.

Open up and dig deep into your emotions not cutting the true communication off just the the flow starts to happen.

This will establish trust and rapport, get people past ambivalence  and open doors to new possibilities.
Over at School Transformation they shared a handy PDF with this chart which will change casual attributions.
Attributions we may be giving to our characters in our writing or in our  communicating. go ahead and check it out and let me know what you think.
reframing_casual_attributions
Source of chart – School Transformationneeds