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You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ') ORDER BY comment_date ASC' at line 3 How To Create Layers Within Each Of Your Characters How To Create Layers Within Each Of Your Characters - Article Marketing

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How To Create Layers Within Each Of Your Characters

By: sandraclark | Total views: 86 | Word Count: 612 | Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2012 - 9:12 PM

Every person consists of several layers, starting with the thin veneer you see on the surface, then tooling down deeper and deeper to the core which remains hidden to many. But a novelist's task is to penetrate these layers. This must be one of the most enjoyable challenges in fiction writing: building up a character in layers, through what they say of themselves, what others say of them, through their actions and words, through thoughts, hopes and dreams, through references to former events and relationships. And the task which is most difficult and testing yet carries the most excitement is knowing what to reveal, how much and when. The fiction writer uses real life as a springboard, and then plunges into the water, passing through the shallows, into the depths of character creation.
1) When your observations of life have brought you to the stage at which you are ready to start creating a character, first you must write a character bible. You will refer to this throughout your novel, and it will contain a large amount of information you will never explicitly use within the story. But it's vital you know all these things about your character. Here you'll make notes on your character's values, ambition, goal, conflict and so on. But you will also need to record such details as date of birth, colour of hair and eyes, weight, height, work history, family background etc. Here too you can record the character's philosophy of life, best childhood memory, and a synopsis of the novel as if it were taken from this character's point of view.
2) Once you have your character bible for each character, and have planned your scenes (or if you prefer simply have a rough idea of the direction the story may take) then you can start the first draft of the novel. The magic begins when the characters start taking over and determining how the plot will change and twist, in a way that can totally surprise the author.
3) When you have your first draft, you will then go back and look over this canvas that you have filled with paint, and start focussing on the details. Then you will find the anomalies, the logical impossibilities, the inaccuracies. None of that mattered in the first draft because you were simply covering the canvas. But it is at this point that you will go much more deeply into the layering of your characters, and will acknowledge things about them that may mean you have to alter what you wrote in your character bible.
4) It is when you reach the point of offering your novel for professional appraisal and feedback, that you first experience the miracle. This is when people talk to you about your characters, taking them seriously as if they were real living beings with a separate existence and integrity of their own. It makes all the isolation and stubbornness and obsession of being a novelist worthwhile. The next step is of course a contract of publication, and then beyond that your readers, the audience you always wanted to connect with.
Great fictional characters do indeed have a life of their own, because then they inhabit people's minds and imaginations, and are carried through the years, like Elizabeth Bennett, or Miss Haversham, or Oliver Twist, or Jane Eyre, or, perhaps, Hercule Poirot, or James Bond, or Harry Potter....
These are the heights, but it is no business of the novelist to even think of them while creating and layering the character. How your characters and story will be received is irrelevant at that point. Only the act of creation itself matters.

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