William Michael Goins

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Dec
01

10/6/2015 The Trilogy

Everything is working quite well on the trilogy mentioned earlier and I really like the characters, both the good ones and the bad ones. It’s surprising sometimes how a bad character will come to life, often quite unexpectedly, and then just how much fun they can be to write. The complexities of character development can make both good and bad characters difficult to make real and that’s where writers sometimes go astray, but the reality with fiction is that with most characterization there are really just three types of characters. Obviously, the main characters, protagonist and antagonist however many there are or might be, have to be fully rounded and fleshed out with subtly to them and considerable depth including tics, mannerisms, etc. The other two types are necessary for reality. Walk-on characters are those that are necessary to make scenes true and real, whether one is writing historical fiction or science fiction ad they generally interact with the main characters or at least are hears in some way. They walk in and out of scenes and usually have names, though one has to be careful with too many named characters or the reader won’t know who is actually important and who to pay attention too – at least initially when opening the book up. They are the waitresses interrupting the action at the table and taking orders that make a restaurant a restaurant, the librarians waving a finger and shushing in the library, the characters – whoever they might be – that somehow come into contact with the major ones and then interact with them in some way. This would be the waitress that talks to a major charter on more than one occasion, for example. Last, and certainly important to setting, are what I refer to as the cardboard characters. They are the ones who are nameless and in the background but vital to setting or moving the story along in some way. The people walking in and out and eating in the restaurant (so it’s a restaurant and not a bus station, for example). They are nameless but quite vital to the realization of the scene, the ones who drop the glasses/call out the orders/greet customers, brush past/etc. the people in the restaurant so it feels/looks/sounds real. Deep breath. Back to the manuscript.

 December 1st, 2015  
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