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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

3 Small Ways I Give My Characters Big Personality — syndicated post from @JeanNicole19


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The following is syndicated from the blog of JeanNicole Rivers and is posted here with permission.

For me, an important aspect of writing is being able to convey a huge message and story without a huge manuscript. Nothing aggravates me more than reading a 400 page book that was OK, but could have been written with half the words. In my writing, I try to make everything mean something and I try to show several things about my characters without just listing everything that I want my reader to know about them. Here are some of the small ways that I give my characters big personality.

1. The Way They Dress

The way a person dresses says much about who they are. Make sure that what your character is wearing immediately tells your reader something deeper about the character:

Let’s say an attorney enters the room with an expensive pressed suite that is coordinated right down to his matching sock and hankie combo but on the other hand we have a lawyer that enters the room with a wrinkled suite that is slightly oversized and tie that is tied crookedly, either way my reader makes a judgment about him immediately and that is exactly what I want.

2. How They Speak

We make our initial judgments of a person immediately based on the way that they look, but the way that they speak is incredibly important because it has the power to enforce what we already assume based on our initial sight or change it. The way a person speaks tells us about who they are, it can tell us about their background, it can tell us about their education, and it can tell us about where they grew up.

Let’s say my well dressed attorney walks into the room and says, “Good Afternoon, I am Winston Buchanan III and before you ask, yes that is Buchanan of Buchanan Shipping Industry.” Hmm, he is very different from the same attorney who walks in and says with southern accent dripping thickly off of his tongue, “How ya’ll doin today? I’m Sam Johnson. Lovely weather today, great for fishing, you fish much?”

3. Their idiosyncrasies.

Idiosyncrasies are a great way to tell your reader about your character because they are fun and funny and make your character more interesting. Your character may have to get out of the bathroom after flushing the toilet before the flush is completed as part of some childhood superstitious ghost repelling ritual or check inside of their nose every time they pass a mirror as a result of an overprotective mother who always made sure that they were as clean as a whistle. These things describe your character in a way that you cannot tell the reader and in a way that evens the character themselves may not be able to completely understand or articulate.

Good luck and happy writing!






About JeanNicole


Syndicated from her website

I was born in the tiny, but lovable town of Centralia, IL which has a two screen movie theatre, one high school and still celebrates May Fete, so I had no choice, but to develop a fantastic imagination. Since childhood I have been writing everything from short stories to songs, but I have always aspired to compose a novel. Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers is my first novel and the first book in what will be a series of thriller novels.

Philosophy was my study in college and I received a Bachelor of Arts in the subject from Florida International University. Writing is one of my most favored artistic pursuits, but my love for the arts does not stop there, I am also a vocalist and actress and participate in local theater in Houston Texas.

Follow her on Twitter: @JeanNicole19
Check out her blog: HERE

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