Noah Lukeman's chapter on Characterization is ace. In a mere fourteen pages he lists all the ills that can befall a writer's characters. I'll summarize them, and then urge you to buy/borrow the book for yourself so you can ponder it at your leisure.
Noah Lukeman's characterization sins:
- The use of stock, cliche, or overly exotic names.
- Launching into a story without stopping to establish any of the characters.
- The presence of stock characters or character traits (the Russian spy, the mad scientist etc.)
- The introduction of too many characters at once.
- Confusion over who the protagonist is.
- The presence of extraneous characters.
- Generic character description. ("We're all tired of being introduced to the man in his forties, of medium height and weight, with brown hair and brown eyes.")
- Characters we don't care about.
- The unsympathetic protagonist.
Characterization is a long, arduous and ever-developing process. Don't be discouraged. The longer you consciously work at it, the better you'll become.He recommends that you
Reread great works of literature, carefully observing how various writers handle characterization and character description.And that's it from me this week. I'm off to stare at my $10 Survivor of a Christmas Tree.
Happy writing to you all.