Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alexandra Cooper: Show, Don't Tell: Developing a Character

Basic building blocks of character:

Character arc:  What does your character want more than anything?

"Stories should start on the day everything changes for the main character." -Judy Blume

What is your character's deepest fear?

How will your character face his/her greatest fear?

Use benchmarks.  If a character is in a similar situation at the beginning and at the end, show that a character reacts different.  It is a way to concretely show that the character will react differently.

Diamond Structure of character building--four different aspects of a character:  Spine, Supporting traits, fatal flaw, and a shadow.

Don't forget to add flavor to your characters!  Give your character a past.

Through the course of the book, the character must work through fear and conflict to get what they really want.

Sympathy is what turns type into character.

1 comment:

  1. This session gave me an idea on how to bring alive a character -- Claiborne Tuck -- that I had put aside. Now I know what Claiborne fears most, and it is such a simple, yet powerful thing. But, it closes the pain of his original loss.

    Thank you, Alexandra, for this insight which enables me to continue with Claiborne Tuck's story.

    Daniel Rousseau