Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Going Beyond Lists of Character Traits

From time to time I do more reading about the writing process to work on developing my skills (aside from the great stuff I find on everyone's blogs). Right now I'm reading The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman, since I always seem to have issues with my plots. The first chapter is about characters. It essentially helps you to create a list of traits about your character. I've never done too much of this in the past, because I always thought I'd "discover" more about my character as I write.

But here's the thing I never understood before: once you have that list of descriptions of your character, the way it really helps your story is to think about how each one of these traits could affect the plot. Time consuming? Yes. But, wow, it really helps you get a deeper understanding of your character's world.


  1. Character trait lists were not all that helpful to me. But taking them beyond, to this step is going to be a huge help. I have to read this book because, like you, I have issues with plots. Thanks for this post, Andrea!

  2. I don't think I've heard of this book, but boy does it sound like something that would come in handy. Thanks for sharing!

  3. For me it's always the characters I struggle with the most. I think if I work harder on the front end, really getting to know who they are, I'll have an easier time weaving them into my plots!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  4. Andrea and Anna, I'm hoping that working through the book will help me take my writing to a whole new level.

    Angela, I have never struggled with characters, but I'm thinking that maybe I should be. The more I learn about the writing process, the more I see the value in the time planning and thinking BEFORE the writing.


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