Reposted – Critique: 6 Tips for One Characters

​Check out this piece by K.M. Weiland:

Critique: 6 Tips for Introducing Characters

Most of the time, I hate real-life introductions. For one thing, I almost always forget the person’s name in the rush of shaking hands, smiling, and saying something charmingly banal. Then there’s the small talk, important but often tedious. Squirm. But that’s most of the time—because occasionally I run into one of those special people who is just brilliant at introductions. You know the ones. Just like a good hook in a story, these people immediately grab your attention. You go from being interested in getting to the point to being interested in them.

That, right there, is the main secret in introducing characters in your story, especially in the first chapter when you’re using these characters to hook readers into sticking around past the small talk.

Successfully introducing characters in a way that highlights all their fantastic potential is one of the trickiest parts of writing a strong first chapter. Part of this challenge is that these characters must indeed offer potential. Experienced readers are quick to intuit that flat character introductions signal characters who lack staying power to support an entire story.

Then there’s the technical challenges of choosing the right descriptive details to show who these characters are, without bogging down the story in too much early information. When introducing multiple characters at once (as you almost always will be), the challenge increases, since you also have to juggle dialogue attributions, multiple descriptions, motivations, subtext, and more.

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