Hi there guys, I was still trying to catch up with school work, writing, and working on this blog since I didn’t have anytime this last weekend. Frantically planning for NaNoWriMo and Drill which is coming up again kept from making last weeks Writing Wednesday post. I appreciate all of your understanding, and let’s hope I don’t let this happen again.
Characters & the Intro
The introduction is one of the most exhilarating periods during the writing process. You, as a writer, are brimming with new ideas and the energy that comes with a fresh project. Since we have been focused on the role of characters in storytelling, we are going to focus on the ways that the introduction should influence characters.
The primary role of the introduction in regards to characters is to give us something we can use as a basis for the rest of the story. All character growth and progress will be judged from when we first meet them. It is a fairly common rule that all of your major players should be introduced within this grey area known as the introduction so they all have ample to time to create fulfilling character arcs. This doesn’t mean that you need to cram every detail about the important people into your first chapter, but rather that the major players should at least be mentioned.
The viewpoint character/protagonist should appear within the first page, while other characters can come in as you need them to. You should not throw in a brand new major player ¾ of the way through your novel. The readers will have a hard time connecting and might feel that character is less important because of the lack of time they’ve had to associate with it.
A noteworthy point is that your antagonist is a major character too. This means that your heroes should not be wandering through the world only to have the bad guy pop up at the last-minute and there was no mention of him otherwise. Even if the characters don’t see the villain, the antagonist is important enough to be mentioned in the intro.
The first time that character is seen should be pivotal point in your story. The more important the character, the more important the writing needs to seem to a reader. Many of us have read about a hero with striking green eyes, so find something else to focus on. You should not describe every detail of the characters. Focus on one or two things that would catch the eye, and let your reader fill in the rest. Hair and eye color are safe, but overdone. Find something else about the characters to make them stand out. Rather than describing hair color, you could describe the texture. Your reader’s imagination is far more descriptive than anything we can write.
Lastly when you are writing details about your characters, try to make everything serve a double purpose. If you want a character have a cool scar, make it the scar play into their personality as well. Did they get it from a close call in battle? Maybe they are clumsy and suffered an accident. The appearance of your characters should give an indication on how they would act.