Showing posts from November, 2020

Give Your Protagonist More than Just Words – Part 2

Part 1 looked at the how your character’s inner thoughts (or inner dialogue) can help with characterisation, and ways that it can deepen the narrative, but in addition to that, writers also use visual prompts – things like gestures and body language - to give their protagonist more than just words. A lot our communication is nonverbal – we gesticulate, we move our bodies, and our facial expressions show sentiment, mood or emotion. We easily pick up on those subtle movements and we interpret them, or “read” that person. In fiction, your characters are no different. Writers can show a lot about a character without him or her having to say a word. Body language covers a large area – everything from gestures, posture, ticks, facial movements, and other movement not associated with gestures. But gestures are the one thing we all do and understand – it helps us express ourselves and reinforces what we say. For instance, someone might show open palms as they talk, which is often symboli

Give Your Protagonist More than Just Words – Part 1

The depth of characterisation comes from how well your write your characters. Their personality, their flaws and their unique characteristics, coupled with how they behave, how they act and react to other people and situations, and importantly, what they say, provides more for characterisation than just the words they speak. Characterisation isn’t just about what your character says or how they say it. While dialogue is important, it’s also important to give them more than just words. As writers, you can give them more, and to do that we give our characters inner dialogue, or inner thoughts. Inner dialogue refers to the internal thoughts of your character. It’s his or her deep thoughts and feelings, which the reader is privy. This provides the reader with insight into the character which can’t be gleaned by actions alone – because often what the character really feels on the inside is very different to what they do or say on the outside, seen by everyone else. So in a way, inner dialog

Putting the Horror into Horror Stories – Part 2

When we think about horror, we immediately think of visceral, blood and guts stories, but horror is much more than that – the best horror stories are about our fears, perceptions and the unknown - the things we don’t see or understand. All you need is the fears of your reader’s imagination.   No horror should be without some foreshadowing. It’s another way to add atmosphere and tone to the story, as well as added tension. Writers use all manner of things to foreshadow – the weather, an animal, a dream, a sound, circling birds…as long as it isn’t out of place within the story, and the reader can see it, so they will know that the birds circling the trees might signify something, or the coal coloured clouds in the distance represent a dreadful, suppressive mood that belies something terrible is about to happen.   The right pacing is essential. It can create dread, tension and provoke fear. To do that, use longer descriptions that deliberately linger on certain sensory details –