Saturday, November 2, 2013

It's Forever Girl Month! Let's Learn About Characters

Well, It's Forever Girl Month!!! Those of you who are fans know that The Forever Girl is awesome! Awesome I tell you!! And Rebecca Hamilton is the coolest! Today she is coming to my blog to do a workshop...on one of my favorite writerly things....CREATING UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS!!
She also wants to give you more information about The Forever Girl Month and another surprise! In fact, the cover above is from her release in Germany! Below is the cover for the Amazon release! So cool!
Take it away Rebecca!

Rebecca Hamilton here, and I’m going to talk to you today about creating unforgettable characters. I know your time is valuable, so let’s dig right in. Then we can get to the workshopping.

What makes an unforgettable character unforgettable? We’ll, there’s a few things.

1)      First we have the unforgettable details a character contributes to. I can’t tell you how many times I meet a distant relative who insists we met before, but I can’t remember them. But then there’s Uncle Michael. He has a box in his closet full of toy eyeballs, an inch of dust on his TV and remote, cat litter boxes that never get cleaned, an unidentifiable film of yellow dust covering every inch of his bathroom floor, and a couch made of pillows covered in a sheet. He carries a briefcase with him everywhere he goes, but not one knows what’s in it, because no one has ever seen him open it! These details ensure I will never forget this guy, and most likely neither will anyone else who meets him.

2)      Next we have the unforgettable things they say. Using poor Uncle Michael for an example yet again, I think of when my mom and step-dad had him over for dinner, shortly after the married. (Technically he is my step uncle.) We were all sitting around the dinner table, eating a not-so-memorable meal. “Pass the potatoes please, Uncle Michael,” my mom said. (It might not have really been potatoes.)To which he replied, “I’m not your uncle.” Anything that elicits an EMOTION in a big way is what will make them unforgettable. Is your character always making your reader laugh or cry? Is your character always annoying your reader? Do they say things that are just outlandish? I have a character in The Forever Girl who gets a fair amount of comments in reviews, despite not being a major player in the game. Most it’s just because she is obnoxious. People either find her highly entertaining or extreme annoying. Sophia, the Main Character, finds her to be both. Everyone remember her.

3)      Finally we have unforgettable actions/choices. Is your character always creating conflict wherever they go? Do they fight with everyone? Do they never lose an argument and always make the most valid, though infuriating, points? Or perhaps they make decisions you wouldn’t expect but which impact you or your experience of the story in a major way? You aren’t going to remember the character who goes into the bank and makes a withdrawal. You will remember the character who robs the bank, launders the money, and donates it all to a charity for children with terminal cancer.

So when you put those three things together, you create unforgettable moments. Unforgettable moments are what remind us most people in life, especially when we can ground these things in the “ordinary everyday”. After meeting people like this, and spending time with them, will you have the same thoughts when you enter a bank? Sit down to a family dinner? See a man carrying a similar brown, leather briefcase that looks older than they do?

When it comes to writing unforgettable characters, you have to remember what defines a person.  It’s not just how they look. It’s what they say and what they do—what defines who they are. Think of someone unforgettable from your life—someone you’ve only met in passing. When you remember them, what unforgettable moment do you remember?

For this workshop, I want you to answer the following questions, then write up an unforgettable moment with your character.


a)      Tell me a story of someone you barely know/knew, but will never forget. What made them unforgettable?

b)      Now think of your character. What details about them are unique to them? What details about them will your reader never forget? Don’t tell me eye color and hair color or how tall they are. Tell me something specific and unique about them! Think also how you convey information. If you character is thin, do you say so—or do you find a way to show this to your reader? (As they easily navigate through small spaces or, as an adult, shop in the Juniors department, or the bracelet someone bought them as a gift keeps slipping off their wrist.

c)       Next I want you to tell me the most memorable thing your character will say. It can be from an argument, it can be the professing their love in a unique and deeply moving way, or it could just be the way they ask someone to pass the potatoes.

d)      What is the most alarming and notable choice your character will make or action they will take?

e)      Finally, write a passage that shows your character in an unforgettable moment.

I’ll be here to read the responses and give feedback, and you can also feel free to respond and give feedback to others participating in the workshop.

Don’t forget to thank Jason for hosting this workshop on his blog! And if you want to follow along with Forever Girl Month, just click on over HERE—there’s more workshops to come!

~Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy. Her bestselling novel, TheForever Girl, is releasing in Germany this month under the German Harlequin imprint “Darkiss” by Cora Verlag.~
Follow Rebecca through her month and see the cool things you could win!!! Heck just follow her because you'll love her to death!!! And pick up your copy of The Forever Girl. It was awesome!

No comments:

Post a Comment