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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Great Blogging Experiment

Today is the day! Elana Johnson, Jen Daiker and Alex Cavanaugh have teamed up and are going to be conducting a little experiment. The Great Blogging Experiment to be exact. All we have to do is post on their assigned topic.How easy is that?

What exactly is the method to their madness? They want to see just how different every post is. They want to see what each individual blogger brings to the topic. I for one can't wait to see what everyone else has come up with! So without further ado I give you The Experiment...

The topic: Writing Compelling Characters.

Compelling is defined as having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect.

Characters are the individuals that grace the pages of our stories and become a significant part of the tales we weave.

Forging a happy union between the two is key to writing a novel that readers will want to lose themselves in and keep turning page after page until they reach the very end.

Characters need to be not only believable, but effective and necessary in the story. I like to create characters that compliment each other as well as create drama and tension. It's also no secret that I love to torment my characters. There's nothing more satisfying than taking a character to the brink of their sanity and watch how they deal with it. I always ask myself, what's the worst possible thing that could happen to this character? How will they handle it?

Seeing character struggles, triumphs and everyday mishaps and how they react are what urge readers to keep going through the ups and downs of a story. So dig deep...peel back the layers of your characters and ask yourself those burning questions.

Will readers love this character...we can only hope.
Will readers love to hate this character...even better.
Will this character make or break my story...only time will tell.

Well, I'm off to check other the other posts! To read them for yourself...visit Elana's blog here. I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and a great weekend and be sure to check back here on Monday for an awesome contest with the one and only Joanna Volpe! See you then!

34 comments:

The Golden Eagle said...

Good points! Conflict and how it's dealt with are revealing about a person--they also keep the reader's interest.

Candyland said...

Wow. You're advice is helpful (in opposition to mine, lol)! Super post, Renae!

salarsenッ said...

You brought up a good point about characters complimenting each other. That compliment can be in a positive or a negative way. Now that I think about it, in my current ms I do have a few pairs. I tend to use them together, bouncing them off each other.

Sweet. I just learned something about myself and my writing that is actually working. Hah.

Have a great weekend.

Jessica Carmen Bell said...

Yep. Conflict brings it all together in perfectness :o) Great points!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I forgot about this experiment . . . not that it would have worked for my blogging schedule.

Great advice. I didn't even think about the compliment part. I guess it just happens for me. Even my antagonists compliment the mc, only you don't know they're the antagonists until the end. And maybe the compliment thing is what makes it suspenseful in my novel's case.

Jen said...

This was my favorite part "Characters are the individuals that grace the pages of our stories and become a significant part of the tales we weave."

I couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you for your thoughts and joining the experiment!! So far everyone has had their own little twist to the mix, which I adore!

Hannah Kincade said...

Again we are of a like mind. I love putting my characters through hell, take them to the brink of sanity and their life. Yes!

beautifully written! This is fun!!

p.s.
wasn't Vampire Diaries awesome last night?!

Laura Pauling said...

Too bad we can't tell as we write whether our character are all of these things! Creating emotion in our readers.

Quinn said...

It's so true that our characters reactions are what make them. Seeing how they react, that's how readers get to know them (and us too). Only through their reactions and actions can they be compelling. Great post!

Christine Danek said...

Great points Renae. I love writing characters people love to hate. It's a challenge but it's fun.
Have a great weekend!

clp3333 said...

Love to hate characters are my favorite. Or at least the broken protagonists.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Awesome points Renae. I, like you, love to torment my characters too (but you knew that, lol). Seeing them struggle reveals who they are. That's what makes me read on. Oh, and cute guys. haha. :)

C. N. Nevets said...

I love that you stressed that importance of characters' being necessary and effective!

Janet Johnson said...

Torment is necessary, is it not? Seeing how they overcome struggles definitely keeps me reading.

Clara said...

Wow, this was very insightful actually.I also always think about the characters reactions, and thats how they define themselves to me.
Thanks for sharing!

Bish Denham said...

Excellent stuff here. My computer is being very slow, like dial-up slow. I'm having problems leaving comments and/or following. Will try later.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pushing them to the brink - I like that!!

Shallee said...

A big yes to "effective and necessary!" Thanks for sharing.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

"Seeing character struggles, triumphs and everyday mishaps and how they react are what urge readers to keep going through the ups and downs of a story. So dig deep...peel back the layers of your characters..." I love that! Perfect! :-)

Elana Johnson said...

I love that question: What's the worst possible thing that could happen? And then write it. See what the character does/reacts/feels. That is powerful stuff, there.

Melissa said...

Excellent advice.

You know, I have a feeling - and this is just a hunch - that your characters are very compelling. Just saying.

Margo Berendsen said...

My favorite part "I like to create characters that compliment each other as well as create drama and tension." Wow I think I have got something useful and different from every post I've been too so far!

Jemi Fraser said...

So true. Love your point about characters complimenting each other - perfect!

RaShelle said...

It's true. The characters need to be compelling AND important to the story. Great!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Such good points! I think a lot of people don't think about the characters in terms of how they work together. There should be tension throughout the entire story, and this can often be created by the interaction of the characters. Great post, Renae!

Tiffany White said...

Great post. I am struggling with this myself. I'm trying to make my characters likable. It's a rough gritty story and you've brought me back to the sound fundamentals of building characters. Thanks!

N. R. Williams said...

I know that I love my characters and I hope my readers will too. Otherwise I will have a broken story and I'll have to call in a witch doctor. Good post.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Ah yes, nothing like torturing a character to make her show us what she's made of. Good post.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

You're so right. I can only measure my MC's compelling factor according to how it makes my readers feel. My MCs will always appeal to me in all levels,but my question is, will they appeal to my readers as well??

great post, girl!

Come and visit me!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great post with excellent points! Conflict is huge, and how a character reacts tells so much about their motivation, personality, etc.

stickynotestories said...

I love hating a character (unless, of course, they are the one I'm supposed to feel sympathetic towards). I think a good bad guy with an interesting background is one of my favorite characters!

Jackee said...

All great points! I love how you tie in the character struggles, because in truth that is what is going to drive the story.

And so great to meet you, Renae! :o)

Julie said...

"So dig deep...peel back the layers of your characters and ask yourself those burning questions."

Great advice!

Fantastic Post! :)

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