Character Development: It's the Little Details (and a Contest!)
This week's post comes with a giveaway. Read the post to learn more about it.
I received this feedback during a workshop I participated in last October.
Unlike me, the other participants had MFAs and considered themselves literary writers. I don't consider myself literary, but I do believe I can learn from all genres, so I attended the workshop.
At first the question baffled me. Afterall, I'd said she pulled on and old pair of jeans and a T-shirt. To me, that fit the situation--cleaning out a house--and nothing else should matter. So I asked, "Why?"
The answer I received made perfect senseIs she wearing Levi's or Lucky or maybe even Wrangler? Each one of these brands tells me something about the character. Lucky jeans imply a level of income and social or fashion status for my character. Wrangler, on the other hand, are serviceable jeans. Nothing fancy. You can buy them at WalMart. Someone who buys Wrangler jeans sees them as working jeans or doesn't believe their jeans should make a fashion statement or can't afford anything more. If she wears Levi's, she probably likes jeans and wears them often, but she doesn't spend a fortune on them. They probably aren't a fashion statement, but they do hint at her income and practicalities.
I gave my character Levi's. I, also, gave her a pink "Save the Ta Ta's" T-shirt.
With a few extra details, I managed to develop my character more.
One lucky winner will receive:
- Writer's Editing and Critiquing Tips pdf (based on several of my blog posts)
- 25% discount on a manuscript edit or proofread or a free 50 page edit*
- An issue of moonShine review featuring my short story, "Just Me"
Every one who enters will receive a pdf of the 10 Grammar Rules Every Writer Should Know and a few other grammar goodies.
Next week, I'll post the best entries, and let my readers vote on their favorite.
Here's What You Do
- Pick your sentence.
- Add a detail or two that adds character development to your story.
- Post it in the blog's comments by midnight (EST) on Monday, April 10 . (Do not post your comment on Facebook. It must be in the blog's comments.)
- Post a second comment (that I will not publish) that provides your name and email address.
- Return to the blog between April 11 and April 17 to vote for your favorite entry.
I promise I won't publish your contact information for the world to see. All comments need my approval before they appear.
What are you waiting for? Get writing!
Pages in excess of 200 will be billed at full price.