Friday, September 22, 2006

Lesson 5: Characterization cont...

Whoa! It's Friday already! For all of the CFBAer's, I can't check on the stats for Something That Lasts. Technorati had a major meltdown Thursday morning, and as of this posting at 2:30 AM Friday, it is still off line. The last time I saw it we had 53 links to the book!

Today we are continuing editing lessons from the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

These lessons will be shortened overviews of the chapters and by no means should be a substitute for buying the book. I'm rereading but not posting a lot of good stuff!

Let's continue with characterization.

Some writers take a more subtle approach than simply describing a new character's personality...they describe each new character's history. In the course of the story, they may even trace theri characters' ancestry back two or three generations. It is perfectly understandable that a writer should undertake this sort of historical characterization.

Delving into a character's past can be a good way for you to understand the character in the present. but htough it may have been helpful for you to write a character's history...it may not be necessary for your readers to read it!

One you understand a character well enough to bring him or her to life, we don't have to know where the character came from.

So how do you go about establishing a charater gradually and unobtrusively? This topic could make a book in itself, but there are some techniques that fall within the area of fiction mechanics.

Have one character characterized by another instead of by the writer.
Develop your characters through dialogue.
Another way is to develop a character is to write not about the character directly but about other matters from that characters viewpoint.

Next week we'll start on Exposition. Have a great weekend. In light of the lasted fiasco with Blogger, checkout the joke!

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job."

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.

They faxed.

They e-mailed.

They e-mailed with attachments.

They downloaded.

They did spreadsheets!

They wrote reports.

They created labels and cards.

They created charts and graphs.

They did some genealogy reports

They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.

Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers.

Satan started searching frantically, screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! I lost everything when the power went out!"

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.

Satan observed this and became irate.

"Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said...

JESUS SAVES.

6 Comments:

  1. Bernita said...
    so far, so good, Bonnie.
    That story has a moral, diyathink?
    Joe said...
    I liked that joke.

    When I took "Creative Writing" in college, my papers always came back with red all over them: Shorten this sentence; too much information; why did you need this?

    It was both humbling and stressful, but it taught me to say what I mean and leave the rest out.

    Readers will read that.
    Dennie McDonald said...
    LOL - too funny
    Ballpoint Wren said...
    Bwa ha! JESUS SAVES.

    All others go into massive credit card debt.
    Jon Cox said...
    YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL BLOG!!! :o)
    Sandra Ruttan said...
    LOL Bonnie!

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