This week's guest poster is my wonderful friend Andrew McDowell, author of Mystical Greenwood which came out earlier this year. He is here today to discuss characters. Enjoy. Hello. Firstly, let me thank Ari for inviting me to be a guest post on her blog. This is the first time I’ve ever been a guest …
When creating characters we already know we need to make them memorable, interesting, diverse and avoid those nasty stereotypes. However, we also need to consider how we create the characters' voices. We may use words to bring them to life, but those words need to sing with their own unique voices.
Today's topic is all about the Bechdel Test and why you might want to think about it when you're writing your novel. Not sure what the Bechdel test is and why it's important? Don't worry, I've got you covered.
So today I want to talk about dealing with a massive cast of character. I am talking about main and secondary characters (not the odd village baker passing through a random scene never to be heard from again). If you're not sure what I mean by a large cast of characters, think Lord of the Rings. As well as the main cast of the Fellowship, there were also additional characters that came in and hung around for a while. They were fleshed out and with their own thread in the plot.
Recently, while driving, I got to thinking about perspectives within stories. You won't believe how often I think about writing while driving. Now by 'perspective', I mean in reference to the narrator's voice. As in the perspective of the narrator. If you are writing a book in third-person your narrator will probably change (unless you're writing third-person limited). I have seen in a few unpublished stories by young writers, where the authors didn't really take into consideration who the narrator was within a scene or chapter and this led to a disjointed story as the narrator randomly changed mid-scene.
Following on from my recent article How to avoid Female Stereotypes in your novel, we obviously need to discuss some of the male stereotypes. These stereotypes creep into books and movies all too often and so I feel it's my duty to point them out (mainly because they annoy me and well, that's a good enough reason for me to write this article) 🙂
So this article has been bumping around in my head for a while. Probably because I’ve read books/seen movies that left me cringing at the stereotypes/clichés that popped their heads up. Characters should be likeable and relatable (unless their purpose is to be the opposite) so throwing in stereotypes that can frustrate, annoy or offend is not helping to encourage people to read your work.
So I felt it was high time I did another post about dialogue. You may have read my more comprehensive article on dialogue - How To Write Dialogue (pt.1). If not, I do suggest you check it out because it's got lots of tips and suggestions. This article will be shorter, just covering a few extra points. 🙂
Do you ever struggle with character interactions in your novel? When creating characters, I think most writers understand that they need to think about them in terms of physicality and personality. After all, your readers need to have a vague notion of the characters' looks and attitudes in order to connect to them. But it doesn't end there, interaction is also important and needs to be considered.
So, today I am going to be discussing the Anti-Hero! Why? Well firstly, I haven't covered it before and secondly my own story has one so I thought it might be a good time to bring it up.