Yesterday, I went to see Avatar at the IMAX. Super movie. I plan to go see it again.
As I was coming home, though, I got to thinking about two aspects of the movie: the Characters and the Story. Both played major roles. But I think it’s the characters who carry the story.
The message in the movie is not new. The plot is not new (of course, there aren’t any new plots, just versions of old plots). The setting is different, but recognizable.
The characters and how they interacted with each other pulled me into the movie and kept me hooked.
I would love to have my readers so involved with the characters that they stayed glued to the story, forgoing bathroom breaks and ignoring all around them.
To create those kinds of characters, the author has to see and be the characters s/he’s writing. She has to know how the characters think, feel, react, love, and believe. She has to know who they are at their core and what they’re trying to hide. She has to be able to see them from top to bottom, from toenails to eyelashes, from spots to tail. And the author has to be able to get the reader to see and feel that character through their actions, their words, their reactions, their emotions, their decisions - not through looking in a mirror.
Have you written a character who came to life on the page? Have you read a character who felt real and whole to you? Is your character so real to you that you can see him? Can your readers?
(Have a Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!)
6 months ago