Friday, June 15, 2012

Writing a book - takes character

Think of your favorite character from a movie, book, or TV. The first ones I thought of were: Sherlock Holmes, Han Solo, Jane Eyre, Katniss, and Tyrion Lannister.

Now think of some famous celebrities or singers or politicians. First ones that came to my mind were - Goldie Hawn, Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, and Nixon.

These characters all have something in common. They are all memorable!



Now think of the MC of your book. Is she average? Is he boring? Is she predictable? What makes her stand out? Are readers going to remember him? They don't have to be super, just different! Make your characters memorable. Make them stand out. Make the reader care about your MC or hate him or root for him.

Lynda had a great post about how to do this last week. Check it out =)

And my post has a second meaning for us authors. To be successful, I want to be read. And that means I need to stand out. My writing needs to be noticed, different, eye catching! So I will keep working at it until my voice is heard! How bout you!

To give you a boost into the weekend, I give you the famous Pen Monkey, Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds, infamous for his bare all, tell all, lay it all out there advice for writers. I really enjoyed this latest list "25 Reasons it's the best time to be a storyteller!" (he also puts out a weekly writing challenge on Fridays, check out today's prompt!)

Keep writing! And have a great weekend!

26 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

This is SO true. I try to make my characters memorable but I don't know if they are lol!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

True! Even the people we don't like we remember well.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

For myself, I find there's a fine line between characters that are different, unusual and characters that are over-the-top, trying too hard to be different, unusual. I want my characters - even the bad guys - to be memorable in a good way and not in an annoyed eye-rolling way. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Agree! It's very important to have standout characters with so many books to choose from. Those with memorable characters are the ones people talk about. And that's great news if you want people to find out about your book.

Thanks for the links!

Dana said...

Great advice!

Petro Neagu said...

I love the title :)
I might not be a writer, per se, but I strive for the same excellence regarding my blog posts so I will keep writing on it, until I reach my goal.

Hugs

E. Arroyo said...

I love Han Solo. =) Great post.

Heather M. Gardner said...

When you're right...you're right! It's important to stand out!
Thanks for the info and the reminder.
Heather

Rena said...

Oooh, you bring up the best points. I totally needed to be reminded of this today.

Now how do I make my love interest more like Han Solo? (kidding)

Lynn Proctor said...

nice post--thanks!

Angela Brown said...

When I consider the books that have been best sellers, I don't often hear of the excellent writing that caused one's mind to perpetually consider the meaning of life. I hear and read, "that story really stayed with me" or "when he told {MC chick) that he would chase her love to the ends of time, I wanted to die and take her place". It's the things that build and show character that put characters in the spotlight. Something many of us writers have to consider.

Emily R. King said...

I believe this too. I saw an agent tweet the other day, "No boring characters (like Bella Swan)!" Made me laugh.

Cherie Reich said...

Great post about memorable characters. :)

Anonymous said...

A very memorable character for me was Joe Cobden in Heart of the Country by Greg Matthews.. As you know I reread books. Probably read this book 5 times or more.

Tara, Nixon????????? You're funny.

mom

LD Masterson said...

As a reader, I'm totally character driver. Once I make a connection with a character I have to stay with the book. Can't stand not knowing what happened to him/her.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

It's a struggle to create memorable characters sometimes. But you can't do it if you don't try.

Christine Rains said...

Awesome advice! I try to make my MC's stand out, but for me, I like to be behind the scenes. My squeaks are subtle. :)

Leigh Covington said...

AGREED,
AGREED,
AGREED!!!
Love all of this, Tara!

Daisy Carter said...

EXCELLENT post!

Nick Wilford said...

I absolutely agree. And it's hard to do naturally, not just giving a character an extreme or quirky trait for the sake of it. Still working on it!

Brinda said...

I think this is something I need to work on with my current MS. Do we ever stop editing??!

Tara Tyler said...

Kyra, me too! hard for us to tell!

Alex, exactly!

Madeline, i can see that, they should be believable too

Stina, yes! want people to buzz my mc!

Dana, thanks =)

Petro, your blog definitely stands out!

Elizabeth, he's such a charming rogue!

Heather, you know how, look at stormy! instant stardom!

Rena, he's tough, defiant, yet fallible! and funny! you can do that!

Lynn, thanks!

Angela, right, a deeper meaning connecting us to readers.

Emily, ha! thats great!

Cherie, thanks!

Mom, i should get that book!

LD, thats what i want to do, make the reader have to find out what happens to him!

Sheena, you are so right!

Christine, gotta come out sometime! be proud!

Leigh, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Daisy, thanks very much!

Nick, theres always some fine line to aspire to and not cross, isnt there!

Brinda, I know, right?!

michelle said...

Thanks for sharing Tara!
The keyword for this character lesson is M-E-M-O-R-A-B-L-E!
I must keep it in mind.

Crystal Collier said...

That's pretty much the heart of what you're selling in a novel right? The characters? And then of course yourself. =) Great post.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

True, the ones that were the most horrible in school are the ones I remember most.
I will definitely have to check out the Pen Monkey!

I have chosen you as the recipient of the 'One Lovely Blog' award. Hop on over and see what it's all about!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Great post! Loved the title before I even read the rest. I think I'll go make some noise, so I can get noticed!