Writers' Lodge 8: CHARACTERS
Who are they and what do they want?
In this Issue:
What is a character?
Creating a character
What’s on the outside
What’s on the inside
The Defining Moment
Welcome to the Writers’ Lodge! We’re a few issues in now, and I’m delighted to say our little community is growing! But as we head into summer, and life gets busier, I wanted to ask how everyone is getting on? Are we all staying focussed? Is everyone managing to carve out writing time along with everything else that life throws at them, good and bad? Let us know. Share!
And let me know, too, if there’s anything you’d like to see more of (or less of!) in The Writers’ Lodge. This is for you, after all.
There aren’t (m)any rules in fiction. Stories can be anything, they can fly wherever the author chooses to take them. You can write a book in the third person, the first, even the second. Present and past tense. Future, if you’re brave1. Books can be set in the real world or one that’s entirely invented, the future or the past, or a parallel universe, you can bend and warp the laws of physics to serve the tale you want to tell. Stories have been written with whole chapters using words limited to a single vowel2, entire novels have been written without chapter breaks. You can do whatever you want.
But the one thing that every story3 — from the simplest of nursery tales all the way to War and Peace — absolutely has to have, is characters4. So, like it or not, if you want to write fiction, this is a topic you’re going to have to get to grips with.
What is a character?
Stupid question, right? But like most things, think about it for a moment and the obvious answers suddenly start to seem a little too easy. The protagonist of your book? Well, what about the antagonist(s)? A person that something happens to? Well, what about the characters that aren’t people? And the people in your book that nothing much happens to? Aren’t they characters too? About some books it’s said that the setting itself feels like a character. How can this be? What do we mean by this?
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