Revealing Characters

charactersThere are many charts, lists and questionnaires to help you reveal a character. For me, one of the strongest is this simple summary:

We reveal character by:

  •        DIALOGUE
  •         ACTION
  •         REACTION
    •         thoughts
    •         feelings
  •         DESCRIPTION

Which of these do you think is the strongest way to reveal character? Which is the weakest way?

We also reveal character by discovering what the character

WANTS – right now

IS AFRAID OF – right now

This last is not general, but very specific and immediate. “My character wants happiness.” No. “She wants to impress the new man in her accounting class at university. What is she afraid of? Not death or illness. She’s afraid she’ll say something stupid to the man when she talks to him after class.

What is your way of revealing charcter?

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2 responses to “Revealing Characters

  1. To me actions and dialogue are the strongest methods of revealing characters. Although a mix of all of these is preferred. If I had to choose a weakest, it would be description as the reader can form their own description from how the character acts, thinks, and talks.

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