Character development: the nuts & bolts of it - Page 2

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  1. #11
    I try to make my characters come out of the action and dialogue. That makes it awkward to provide physical description, especially of the main character, but I'm more interested in mental stuff anyway.

    I put my head in my hands and cannot stop weeping.


    Why did I say I could turn straw into gold?
    That's the start to a short story. It's setting, but your guess on character is likely to be right. For example, she doesn't act that smart.

    I'm in first person present, so the word choice is character. Another start:

    I start my dying when I see a strange car in our driveway.
    Without the "my", dying is more like something that happens to him; with the "my", it becomes more like something he owns. He never gets above depressed in the whole short story.


    I try to be relentlessly consistent in my characters, so that they are always in character.

  2. #12
    Lucky:
    That was a great example of brush strokes from Dickens. I have to admit I never read Oliver (but am a big fan of the musical )

    To illustrate what I was talking about using brush strokes to continually paint the scene and characters, I underlined them:
    The bold sections are where Dickens used speech patterns to illustrate the Dodger
    (In the UK, your accent speaks to your station or heritage, at least according to Rex Harrison )




    'Hullo, my covey! What's the row?' said a strange young gentleman to Oliver.


    'I am very hungry and tired,' replied Oliver: the tears standing in his eyes as he spoke. 'I have walked a long way. I have been walking these seven days.'


    'Walking for sivin days!' said the young gentleman. 'Oh, I see. Beak's order, eh? But,' he added, noticing Oliver's look of surprise, 'I suppose you don't know what a beak is, my flash com-pan-i-on.'


    Oliver mildly replied, that he had always heard a bird's mouth described by the term in question.


    'My eyes, how green!' exclaimed the young gentleman. 'Why, a beak's a madgst'rate; and when you walk by a beak's order, it's not straight forerd, but always agoing up, and niver a coming down agin. Was you never on the mill?'


    'What mill?' inquired Oliver.


    'What mill! Why, THE mill--the mill as takes up so little room that it'll work inside a Stone Jug; and always goes better when the wind's low with people, than when it's high; acos then they can't get workmen. But come,' said the young gentleman; 'you want grub, and you shall have it. I'm at low-water-mark myself--only one bob and a magpie; but, as far as it goes, I'll fork out and stump. Up with you on your pins. There! Now then!

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