Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Dour Can Be Good…

August 14, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Dour – definition: sullen, gloomy, severe : stern

One of the more enjoyable parts of creating a story is the creation of the characters that populate it. Apart from the main protagonist and antagonist, there is a wealth of supporting ‘actors’, who bring the story alive. Character traits are great instruments to build these bit players into the minds of our readers. Two well known ‘gloomy’ persona’s are from the Harry Potter novels and movies.

character-development

Alan Rickman played Severus Snape. He is the ultimate flawed, tragic or anti-hero character. The Snape persona has considerable complexity. We can all remember his coldly sarcastic and controlled exterior, making him disagreeable to say the least. However, during the story’s progression, clues to Snape’s real nature are glimpsed. He conceals deep emotions and anguish. His back story only disclosed at the end of Harry’s journey. (Image: Harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki)

Emma Thompson played Sybill Trelawney. A delightfully shabby, slight woman resembling some sort of insect, with huge thick glasses, which magnified her eyes. She was always draped in a large spangled shawl and wore gaudy bangles and rings. Her misty voice and sudden loud declarations of doom were predictions of the future – some of which came true. (Image: Harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki)

Who is your favorite ‘gloomy persona?

A favorite of mine is Wednesday Addams. A pale, dark-haired, grim-looking little girl, who is fascinated with death and the macabre. Seldom smiling and raising spiders as a hobby she is also a ballerina, of all things! Her favorite toy is a  Marie Antoinette doll, which her brother insists on guillotining. Wednesday also paints pictures; one of which was a tree with human heads hanging in it and writes poetry, dedicating one to her favorite pet spider, Homer. She is totally unfazed with people around her and quite happy to deliberately scare and freak them out – this is trait is the one I love best. She is secure in who she is, even if that’s strange.

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Creating a Conscience for Your Character…

June 13, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Qualm – definition: an uneasy feeling or pang of conscience as to conduct

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When creating the protagonist and antagonist in our stories, we give each opposing views and/or values. This is the basis of the conflict that carries our readers along their journey. Character development is a vital element of our narrative. Each character, whether major or minor, needs to have flaws and redeeming features, motivations, expectations, loyalties and deterrents.

Here is a good post by Kathy : http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/ten-character-development-tips/

We should also consider giving our characters a conscience. Will the hero question his actions if they are extreme to his morals? Does the villain have a deep seated angst? What motivates them?

Another great post here by S. Jae-Jones:

http://sjaejones.com/blog/2010/heroes-villains/

Their battles with their conscience and how they come to terms with conflicts within themselves has to be believable. A vegetarian isn’t going to eat raw meat on page 33!

Have you struggled with a character’s conscience issues?

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