Elana, Jen and Alex.
The Topic: Writing Compelling Characters.
Let's break it down. Shall we...
Writing--I think we all know what this is because we are doing it.
Compelling [kəmˈpɛlɪŋ] adj.
1. arousing or denoting strong interest, esp admiring interest
2. (of an argument, evidence, etc.) convincing
Characters-char·ac·ter (krk-tr) n.
1. The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another. See Synonyms at disposition.
2. A distinguishing feature or attribute, as of an individual, group, or category. See Synonyms at quality.
3. Genetics A structure, function, or attribute determined by a gene or group of genes.
4. Moral or ethical strength.
5. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
6. A formal written statement as to competency and dependability, given by an employer to a former employee; a recommendation.
7. Public estimation of someone; reputation: personal attacks that damaged her character.
8. Status or role; capacity: in his character as the father.
a. A notable or well-known person; a personage.
b. A person, especially one who is peculiar or eccentric: a shady character; catcalls from some character in the back row
a. A person portrayed in an artistic piece, such as a drama or novel.
b. Characterization in fiction or drama: a script that is weak in plot but strong in character.
Yeah the character definition was a bit long so I cut it. I think you get the idea.
What is the main reason why you should have a compelling character?
Reader's interest. That's right-- a compelling character is what drives your story. No interesting characters, readers move on.
It can also help a weak story-you have a compelling character-- it will hold the readers attention. Making them overlook the weakness.
So then how do you write a compelling character? Good question.
First try and think of what characters are compelling. What characters made you want to read and read till you finish the book.
There are many trust me--I had a hard time picking one. The one that sticks out is Katniss from The Hunger Games. I had to know how and if this girl would survive. But why?
1. I felt for her. She struggled in her daily life but made the best of her situation. Her family wasn't picture perfect and she put herself in front of harms way so her sister didn't have to. Empathy. I felt it.
2. She had to overcome one problem after another along with the mother of all problems. Weird bugs, fire, mud, heat, dehydration, starvation, you name it, they threw it at her along with the whole possible love thing. I kept thinking what else could happen to her and how would she get through it.
The mother problem-to survive.
3. I'm sure Suzanne Collins drew some of these characteristics from life somewhere along the line. I don't know her personally but I know I draw from life (write what you know.) It helps make the character real so the reader can relate. Katniss had real life issues --Mother who wasn't always there, dad died, loved her little sis and was figuring out boys.
**I tried to be a little vague on the details incase you didn't read the book and want to.
Any thoughts on writing a compelling character?
What characters are compelling to you?
So there you have it my take on Writing a Compelling Character. This was fun and I can't wait to check out the other participants.
Monday, I will update you on the conference I'm attending tomorrow. Have a great weekend!