By: K.M. Weiland
One of the worst criticisms any writer can hear is that his character is acting out of character. This indicates that the writer has failed in one of his most important jobs: creating and maintaining realism in his story world. When a character acts out of character, what this really means is that the writer has failed to sustain the causal believability of his character’s actions. And the result? Readers become distanced from the character, and their suspension of disbelief is, at best, endangered.
But the most frustrating thing about this accusation is that, however easy it may for readers to sling it, it’s ridiculously difficult for writers to identify it. After all, who knows their characters better than we do? If a character is acting out of character, certainly we’d be the first to spot it. So our first inclination can be to snort and think our readers are crazy. Obviously, they just don’t get this character.
But when readers then supply specific examples, we’re often still at a loss. We’re likely to throw up our hands, stomp our feet, and howl, “He’s totally in character! I know my character! I know what he would do! And this is what he would do!”
Sadly, all this throwing, stomping, and howling doesn’t go far in convincing readers that we’re right and they’re wrong. The proof, after all, is in the pudding.
5 Warning Signs Your Character Is Out of Character
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- RT @elizabethscraig: Setting as Part of Story: http://ow.ly/udtVt @mooderino
- Ten Publishing Trends: An Indie Author's Take | Laxmi Hariharan http://ow.ly/usIpn
- Your Book Launch: Marketing Methods and Ideas Used by Outstanding Authors – A Study http://ow.ly/usN7C
- Ten Publishing Trends: An Indie Author's Take http://ow.ly/usNlP
- Warning Signs! Your Character Is Acting Out of Character http://ow.ly/usO7U
- What to do when you get an offer while your MS is still with other agents?
- Understanding the storytelling arc http://ow.ly/usPkP
- 7 Free Tools to Organize and Prioritize Your Writing Life http://ow.ly/usQys
- A 3-Step Formula for Captivating Your Audience With a Few Opening Lines http://ow.ly/usQIc
- 6 Proven Ways to Boost the Conversion Rates of Your Call-to-Action Buttons http://ow.ly/usRni
- 10 Dialogue Tips To Make Your Novel Shine http://ow.ly/usRX7
- Websites, Beat Sheets, and Lost Pants—Oh My! http://ow.ly/uujqn
Happy writing and running, Kathy