Monday, 28 December 2009


Well, there I was, trawling for online articles on characterisation – specifically, the importance of drawing your reader into a ‘relationship’ with your characters – ie, making the reader believe in them, believe they are ‘real’ for the duration. Not everyone has a copy of Short Circuit - shame...
Without the belief of the reader my friends, you may write a nice story, but without the compliance of that reader, you are telling the story to yourself. In sex, there’s a word for that… which best not use here, OK?
So – whether or not YOU believe in your character is irrelevant. Actually. What you need, if you are still learning, as most of us are, is an indication that other people, readers, also believe. If you ask for feedback - including submitting to an experienced editor – and they tell you they don’t believe your character is real, or they ‘would not do/think/act like that’…… especially if they are good writers, experienced readers, don’t simply brush off their opinions. It is possible you’ve failed. Have the humility to think for a moment or two, that they may just have a point? Or you are in danger of - er- telling your story to yourself. Oops.

I digress. I wanted to share this article with you, as it seemed good stuff. On Fiction Writing - Convincing Characterization by Sandi Payne.

Or this one...actually, masses of different articles!

Or, you can just buy a copy of Short Circuit, and see what a group of top prizewinning writers have to say about it. Buy from Salt Publishing at 20% off. Cheaper than Amazon!!
Next craft article: dialogue. As and when.


Gilly Smith said...

Hope you'll be sharing some of your secrets over dinner with our literarty guests at The Sussex House Party on Jan 16th. xxx

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Literarty!!! brilliant. I am greatly looking forward to it, Gilly - thanks for the invitation.

Rachel Fenton said...

Can you send me a doggy bag?

Happy New Year, Vanessa - really enjoyed your writing/blog this year and looking forward to more in 2010!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Rachel, you are lovely - thank you! I enjoy my visits to NZ too!