On Writing

Character Sketch

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Your job, as a writer, is to introduce your characters in a way that:

  1. is interesting
  2. brings them to life for the reader
  3. conjures up an image that is as close as possible to the way you see them in your mind
  4. gives the reader more information than just their physical appearance – i.e. also gives an insight into their personality and what drives them

Your job is to let every sentence earn its keep – not just telling us what happens, but leading us to other understandings as well. Use this as an opportunity to enhance the emotional depth of the piece. Describe actions that lead to reactions. Avoid the easy descriptions, the cliches, and the stock phrases. Put yourself in the heroine’s mind. Imagine what she’s thinking. Help the reader to experience her emotions and to see what she’s seeing. It’s a lot of extra work – but your writing will leap up a couple of levels.

© 2015 – 2016, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.


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