If you are old enough, you probably remember when cameras had something inside them called a film. After taking pictures you had to develop the film, and for the college-aged or younger, developing the film involved hunkering down in a dark room for a good part of the evening with chemicals. After several hours you’d get images on a special piece of paper.
It was just like magic, only that the magic took a bit of time. If you happened to use too much of the chemicals during the development, or accidentally expose the film to light, you ended up with fuzzy images you wouldn’t want your friends to see. Getting crisp, clear photos mostly depended on how you developed the film.
Just like photos back then, coming up with a story that fills the reader with vibrant mental images, tastes, and even smells largely depends on how well you develop the story. If you use a storytelling prop too much, you end up with fuzzy story readers cannot relate to.
But if you use just the right mix of props, your reader will be hooked for the entire length of your story. You want your reader to read your entire story, don’t you?
If you do, here are a few handy tips to help you flesh out your story and possibly win a literally award while you are at it. For these tips to work, you must be willing to spend a few hours in the writer’s dark room so to speak.
You should spend a good deal of time muddling inside the heads of your characters. I know, most of us like to write plot-driven stories. You know, where the protagonist jumps from thrill to thrill, entertaining everyone along the way.
That doesn’t work. If you are writing for the serious crowd, folks who’ve read tons of novels and stories, you want to put a bit of effort into your story. Bring out the characters inside your novel so that they can relate to them. Think of things like how the character talks. What words does the character a favor? Can you use this to make the character more interesting? How can these words influence the voice of the character? You’ll find that taking the time to develop such seemingly minuscule details adds a flavor to your story, and makes the writing easier.
Develop the History of your Character
The best way to write a chapter longer than a few paragraphs is dishing out the history of characters in that chapter. Think of things like where the character comes from, what he went through his childhood and how those events shaped his childhood. You’ll find that dealing with these issues makes it extremely easy to connect one sequence of action to another in your story. It becomes easier to explain the actions of your characters throughout your novel, and makes it easier for you to write a compelling story your readers can relate to.
Do you have any tips for injecting life into your characters? Leave them in the commetns below!