The Character Series Part 2/5: Things to Avoid When Creating Characters
Cut down on the number of characters you have by having one character take on the roles of others. You don’t need your heroine to have five girlfriends that keep appearing. One girlfriend is enough with two at the most. Make it simple for the reader in regards to characters to remember. Put their focus on the story and the main characters, and make it easy on yourself as well. The fewer the characters the easier it is for you to have to remember while writing.
I have a Romance/Love story novel where the leading lady meets up with her high school team for lunch. In this case, it’s okay to have several characters, but not as recurring characters. Maybe two or three show up again.
Along with Character Clutter, you have characters that are basically the same. You don’t need that unless it is specific to something in the storyline. When I read Gone with the Wind there are a few too many characters in the beginning for my liking, but slowly it dwindles then it picks again to similar characters in Atlanta. Yes, there is a party in the beginning so I get it, but it is still a touch difficult to keep up with at the party itself. In Atlanta, there are the matriarchs of society that are almost impossible to keep up with. They all become a blur, and perhaps that is part of the story. They are all the same. Scarlet is different and Belle Watling is different and that is why you remember them.
METAPHORS AND SIMILIES
You have the characters and you need to describe them. Be original.
A simile is when you describe something in comparison to something else.
Her skin was as pure as the white of a Magnolia petal.
A metaphor is when you say something is something, you transfer the characteristics onto the person.
Her lips were sweet red berries and he needed to taste them at least one time.
One very important thing to remember. Don’t do the literary version of the mistakes people look for in time period movies. The digital watch on the Civil War soldier. Make sure when you metaphor or simile that you keep in mind what you are using and the words you are using, they need to be time period applicable.
Part 1: Creating Character Names
Part 4: Creating Believable Characters
Part 5: Character Beyond the Internal
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