Friday, June 26, 2009

Writer Workshop - Characterization

Tuesday, June 16th

My teacher, Suzann Ledbetter Ellingsworth, is using her 20 years of writing experience to educate us. Now that I've dinged her Google Alerts (Hi Suzann!), let's talk about characterization.

"A good novel tells the truth about its hero; a bad novel tells us the truth about its author." G.K. Chesterton

Class continues to educate and impress me. Today’s talk was about characterization. Some of the highlights:

- fiction exists to entertain & inform
- Don’t beat symbolism over a reader’s head
- Three-dimensional characters are vital
- Write forward, learn about characters from beginning to end.
- Don’t confine characters to a box


I didn’t realize how much us talking about mysteries in class would help. After talking with Suzann after class about my project, I realized something significant for me – I’d always looked at this as a fantasy/mystery, but Suzann looks at it as a mystery with fantasy elements. She mentioned Devil’s Tongue would probably be marketed as a mystery since it has a larger market. I’d never thought of it that way.

Also learned that licensed PI’s have to remain within the bounds of the law. Thank goodness I was corrected of that error before I made a big oopsy.

The talks today weren’t what I was expecting by a long shot. No offense to the speakers, but a talk about meditation and playing word games, and a paper analyzing history isn’t exactly shoptalk. I hope the others are more interesting.

3 comments:

Danyelle said...

Good points! I love Chesteron quotes!

Jess said...

I envy your writing abilities, as you seem to have an existing grasp on the things you're learning. I know everyone always has room to improve somewhere, and I think it's great that you're taking this class and also taking something from it.

Can't wait to read more of your novel. You had me at hello.

Glynis said...

Interesting post again, thanks for sharing.