21.2.14

The Snowflake Method + Characterization

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For the Scribblers' Conference.
The Snowflake Method is amazing. I'll just start off with that. Ever since I heard of it I've been using it. It's a ten-step outlining method from Randy Ingermanson (referenced yesterday). I won't be explaining it in this post because it's looooooong. And he explains it so well. There's no need for me to rephrase it all. (:
Now for the characterization part of today—yes, you have to do this. Your characters' personalities will affect their actions. Your main character isn't going to make a rash, last-minute decision and run off into a dangerous situation if they are a cautious and calculating person. Your characters' decisions are going to be what makes what happen in the plot. Plot and characterization work together, not separately.
Step Three and Step Seven of the Snowflake Method go into characterization. Below are a few of resources for making developed characters.
The Write Practice: 35 Questions to Ask Your Characters from Marcel Proust
The Write Practice: Characterization 101: How to Create Memorable Characters
Writer's Digest: Agent Donald Maas On: Your Tools for Character Building
Go Teen Writers: Identifying Your Characters' Weaknesses
Go Teen Writers: Identifying Your Characters' Strengths
Surly Muse: On Writing Strong (Female) Characters (This post has a few iffy pictures/words in it, but overall it's a good post. Some of the points work for male characters, too.)
Helping Writers Become Authors: Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?
Helping Writers Become Authors: Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes
Something that I've learned over the past six months is that your characters must be memorable. Not necessarily lovable (think Katniss. I hated her until Mockingjay), but you must relate to them. You understand them.
Another thing is that the villain has to be developed to. He/she/they need motives just like your other characters. They're human, too, usually. And this is all explained in the articles above, much better than I can.
I must say that characterization is probably the thing I struggle with most, so I don't feel very comfortable writing about it. I'm still trying to learn what my personality is. I'm getting there, though, and one day maybe I'll be an expert on the subject. ;)

Bekah Joan

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