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Thanks for stopping by Fiction Tips Weekly. This blog is one of the primary blogs hosted by me, Cyrus Wraith Walker. You will find many goodies here.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009


So many short story and novel publishers today are preferring character driven prose over plot driven prose. Stephen King in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, states that first and foremost, “story must be paramount.” Most of the books you can pick up that deal with plot explain that outlining a plot is what amateurs do. A three dimensional character is what we are after. One who thinks and breaths and eventually takes over the story in a secret collaboration with your Muse that will send all your best plotting efforts into the dumps and you too if you don’t comply with their wishes.

The wonderful thing about writing fiction is when you sit down before the page in your comfortable narrow space free from all distractions and you don’t let the left side of the brain complicate things by simply putting the pen to the paper and beginning to jot out some dribble without thinking about, you suddenly find yourself in the right side of the brain. Dreams, Van Goghs, Picassos, and Lovecrafts, come from the right side of the brain.
It is where the Muse lives. Mine likes to hide behind the earwax on occasion so that he can chastise me should I get distracted by those Left side attacks.

Characterization is one of the five elements of fiction. Plot, Setting, Theme, and Style make up the other four.
If you want to write a character driven prose than the character must be the driving force behind your story. All characters in the story are participants and all collaborate with your muse. Commonly one thinks of the character of a story as being a person. Our world of storytelling has become a breeding ground for many different types of personas, identities, and entities their existences spawned from fiction.

When it comes to bad teeth THE SPOON sees all!

If we categorize the types of characters typically found in a story we come up with:

  • Point-of-view character: the character, by whom, the story is viewed. The point-of-view character may or may not also be the main character in the story. Think of the narrator point of view we hear in the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Road Warrior.
  • Protagonist: the main character of a story. Often the hero in some form but occasionally, and to the author’s who create such characters credit, can actually be the bad guy. This twisting of Protagonist and Antagonist roles give fresh flare to a story and intrigues the reader.
  • Antagonist: the main opposition to the protagonist
  • Minor Character: a character that interacts with the protagonist. The voice of reason is a common important minor character. They help the story move along. In The Rings Trilogy, Sam acts as the voice of reason for Frodo. So does Gollum to a point but Gollum is more a foil character
  • Foil Character: a (minor), this adverse little creep often hinders the protagonist and helps in escalating the tension along the dramatic curve.

Copyright©2009 by Cyrus Wraith Walker

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