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Drama: April 07, 2021 Issue [#10704]

 This week: Getting to Know Your Characters
  Edited by: Kittiara
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

What is the biggest 'this is totally out of character' moment you've had with a book, movie or TV series? If you're anything like me, it can throw you right out of a story.

Getting to know your characters as a writer is very important, then. It can take time, but that's okay!

This week's Drama Newsletter is all about that special bond that we form with our characters.


Word from our sponsor

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Letter from the editor

What is it like for you when you first meet your characters? Do they make themselves known fully straight away, or does it take some time to become well-acquainted?

I am not the most organised writer and this, perhaps, is why I tend to get to know my characters as I join in on their adventures. I have never been one for character sheets and plot outlines. In fact, it is not uncommon for me to sit down in front of a blank page without a clue as to what I am going to write. I’ll not know what I am waiting for, but then I’ll catch a glimpse of scene, or an opening line, and I’ll take hold of it and go from there. I’ve even written NaNo novels that way – no idea of what I am going to write until November 1st, and then all of a sudden words happened.

Sometimes I think that it would be nice if characters introduced themselves to me before wanting me to write down their stories. It would certainly help me keep things consistent. People, on the whole, have quite stable personalities, and knowing these personalities helps prevent the creation of those moments that feel completely out of character.

That does not mean that characters cannot change, of course. Just like anyone else they can learn and grow. That’s the whole point of character development. This development can also be in a less desirable direction, because life can get to us and make us less enthusiastic, less hopeful, less kind. Hopefully, such setbacks are temporary, but that is not always the case.

When, however, you get to know a character as a reader and that character goes on to behave in a manner very much contrary to their established personality it can pull you right out of the story. It may make you flick back through the book, make you wonder what you missed. It can even be slightly upsetting when you’re emotionally invested in a character and their storyline and everything you thought was true about them, well, isn’t. And it’s not even a twist that you didn’t see coming. Something that makes sense when you think back. It’s just this weird inconsistency that may well put you off investing in that author’s next work.

It makes me think about the Game of Thrones TV series. I know that I should be over it by now, but it was such a good series and then it got messed up by Tyrion turning from a smart, witty man into someone whose conversation mainly revolved around the same old jokes and Dany, who always cared about the poor and the vulnerable, who always protected women and children, suddenly just unleashing her wrath upon them. Or even Dany forgetting about the Iron Fleet despite her having just looked at the maps… Not to mention what happened with Jaime. It's too painful.

As writers, then, we have to be careful. We have to learn about our characters and respect their personalities and we have to respect our readers, too, who invest their time and their emotions in our work. Sometimes, it may take us all the way through a novel and beyond to get to know a character. It may well be that once we have written our story we have to go back and use our improved understanding to adjust the storyline and make everything fit. That’s okay. We all tend to have to go over our work several times.

It’s so worthwhile, though, isn’t it, that bond that we form with our characters? They are a part of us, yet it feels as though they have a life of their own. Each and every one of them is special in their own way. They touch our hearts and, if we are fortunate, they will forever live on in the hearts of our readers.


Editor's Picks

Some contests to inspire you:

 Journalistic Intentions  (18+)
This is for the journal keeping types that come to PLAY! New round starts April 1!
#2213121 by Elisa the Vaccinated Stik

Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar  (18+)
It's a cyber bar owned by an imaginary monkey and run by his minions.
#1985857 by Brother Nature

The Dialogue 500  (18+)
Dialogues of 500 words or less.
#941862 by W.D.Wilcox

The Writer's Cramp  (13+)
Write the best POEM or STORY in 24 hours or less and win 10K GPs!
#333655 by Sophy v.2021

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge  (13+)
Enter your story of 300 words or less.
#896794 by Arakun the Twisted Raccoon

No Dialogue Contest  (E)
Write a story containing no dialogue, in 700 words or less, based on the monthly prompt.
#2079495 by QPdoll

Your Better Nature Contest  (E)
A celebration of connecting with the natural world around us.
#2244409 by Bob'n Around

The Whatever Contest  (13+)
This irregular contest will change each round. Nature poem? Horror story? Whatever.
#2232242 by Schnujo

The Prompt Me Contest  (13+)
Weekly prompt entries one month, story entries the next, based on the winning prompt!
#2000519 by 🌎Cubby✏️

And don't forget:

Journey Through Genres: Official Contest  (E)
Write a short story in the given genre to win big prizes!
#1803133 by Writing.Com Support

Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!

Word from Writing.Com

Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!

Don't forget to support our sponsor!

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Ask & Answer

The Drama Newsletter Team welcomes any and all questions, suggestions, thoughts and feedback, so please don't hesitate to write in!

Wishing you a week filled with inspiration,

The Drama Newsletter Team

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