Tag Archive 'characterization'

All Hail Dilemmas: Why Your Characters Need to Make Tough Choices

Last month I began a series on story lessons learned or refined during my multi-day Story seminar with Robert McKee. (It was fantastic. If you get a chance to attend, I highly recommend it.) The first post was about cultivating the gap between reality and expectation, or Turning Points. This month, I wanted to talk about the necessity of giving characters agency, or setting them up to make active, well-structured choices in fiction. (Even if their ultimate choice is not […]

Linguistic Quirks: What Wordbirthing & Name-Nicking Can Do for Fiction

I awoke from a nightmare last weekend and did the sensible thing. I got up and showered off the flop sweat, crawled back in with the ToolMaster, and poked him in the shoulder — firmly, since he was the cause of my distress.

“Hey,” he said with a fair degree of irritation. Then something must have shown on my face. “Another bad dream? What do you need?”

While he wrapped his arms around me, I told him the sordid tale.

Despite it being considered […]

Characterize through Experiential Description, Part 2

It was 5 years ago that I wrote a post for Writer Unboxed on using experiential description to add characterization to a narrative.

Pause for HOLY COW, 5 YEARS!? Yep, it was 2007. My, how time gallops.

I coined the phrase “experiential description” to express the blending of a character’s perceptions of a setting, person, or an action with description of the literal what it is/what is happening.

The reason I’m writing about this again is that I’ve been teaching experiential description in […]