Chapter Four Commentary Turned into a Rant on Characterization

So I wrote and posted my commentary for Cavern of Babel chapter four this morning.  It’s up, and you can view it here, but I have to warn you–I got sidetracked.  Somehow it turned into a debate with myself about characterization and how to do it well.  I don’t think I’m qualified to really give out advice, but I found myself doing it anyway, and I’m not even sure it’s any good.  However, it IS how I approach characterization right now, so take it for what it’s worth.  I’d be interested to see what other people have to say about the matter, since it’s not something I discuss regularly with others.  As I wrote down my thoughts, I could see that they probably had some gaping holes in them, which is in turn discussed in the commentary . . .  Anyway–tell me what you think, if you happen to wander over there to read it.

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One Response to Chapter Four Commentary Turned into a Rant on Characterization

  1. raisinfish says:

    Hmm. How to make a good character is not something I feel confident talking about either. That’s one of the things in my writing I’ve never had to work at. If your characters are real to you–if they are real, rounded people in your head–then I think they tend to come out that way on the page. I don’t need to know someone’s favorite food in order to understand who they are. Understanding doesn’t come from amassing a pile of facts about a person. Understanding a person–and therefore, a character–comes from knowing how they think, what they want, what they believe, and what kinds of contradictions are present in those three things, because people are always contradictory. Crap. Now I’m on a soapbox. I’m going to stop now.

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