Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Characters My Friends

This is a statement that probably only fiction writers can truly appreciate: when I write my characters become fully dimensional. Yes, the people peppering my stories take on real personalities. Here is another phrase you can identify with: Joe wouldn't do that ... or Joe would do that. Are you feeling me here? When I work on fiction, my story's characters become people. In fact, some of them are based on people I know. I recently memorialized my over-chatty daughter (who I absolutely adore) in my new screenplay project. The little girl talks fast and a lot. Now it's a comedy so her bullet-paced speech is over-the-top to be sure, but none the less based on my seven-year-old's rapid fire mouth. It's just interesting how our imaginations conjure up such dimensional characters that we understand them. People who don't write might suspect we're a tad bit crazy with a dab of lithium on top. Writers though right now are nodding. They get what I'm saying. I can assure you that if you are writing and don't understand this, there is a very good chance your characters will be flat and one dimensional and probably not very interesting. Understanding how to "birth" your characters is a talent -- and definitely not something I can teach. I can advise you, though, to try and base certain characters on real people and that will help you improve. BTW: I am a fiction coach. I can tell you my many clients appreciate my input. If you're in need of some unbiased guidance on a manuscript, send me an email at

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