By: Dell Smith
Writers, I ask you: What do you see when you write your characters? Are they fully formed, in-the-flesh people that you conjure completely each time you sit down to write? Are they composites of people you know or have known? Are they based on pictures of strangers or movie stars?
How much do you describe them? Do you have to describe characters at all? If you don’t, how do you convey them if not by physical detail? By showing their actions, other character’s reactions to them, or a combination of both? In the story La Reine Hortense by Maupassant, there is this line: “He was a gentleman with red whiskers who always went first through a doorway.” Physical detail mixed with action. This gives me, the reader, a good start to understanding this gentleman. I want to go through the door after him to see what happens next.
When I’m writing a story or novel, I don’t picture my characters in the whole. I see them in bits and pieces—in pixels—depending on where I aim my spotlight in the scene. There is a moment where you pass your creation to your reader’s imagination and they take the baton of character description and run with it.
And isn’t this suspension of disbelief (or rather, flight of belief) part of the narrative language of writing? . . .
Read the full article HERE!
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