Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't Just Sit There!

Morning Folks,

Almost done with my coffee, which means I'm almost awake LOL. Okay, the sunshine returned yesterday (or was it the day before?) But I've been getting over some kind of a bug, so I haven't been out much. (I'm feeling much better, by the way).

I promise today isn't about hula dancing. Nope, I'm talking characters not just sitting around.

Just sitting around means they aren't passionate, action filled, expressive beings. It means they're stagnant and nothing is happening.

You have to move the story along, so you don't want them just sitting there. You want them flying into a rage because their best friend betrayed them (or stole their significant other) or pleading for their lives or their heart beating wildly as they experience their first kiss with the person they're to end up having a relationship with.

In short, you want them to be animated, breathing, living and lively.

They can't be couch potatoes (yes, TV has some great programs, but your characters have other, more pressing matters on their minds)

Sleeping is important (but you don't want to go into long descriptions about their sleeping habits unless it's important to the story--like if you're describing a dream that plays a big part in the plot)

Sitting around in chairs is a great way to talk with friends, but make sure the conversation moves the story along. They aren't going to just be saying "lovely weather we're having" they're going to be saying stuff like "You lied to me! You're a jerk." or "I can't live without you." Or something like "The murderer is here, we have to question everyone."

Passion moves your story along. Tension moves it along. Action, emotion, fear, joy, horror, sorrow, pain, ecstatic moments move your story along.

So unless a TV show is going to play a role in a scene where more than just the TV is full of action, they aren't going to be sitting on the couch watching a show. (Good example of using TV watching to move the story along is what Alex Flinn did in A Kiss In Time).

Sometimes you have to have your characters sitting (and sometimes TV watching comes in handy in a story) but you have to make sure that's not just what they're doing. That there's more going on than just silently watching a show.

So let the passion, emotion, action, living, breathing characters lose! It'll help keep the story going and the pace strong. (Whether fast or slow).

Have A Tremendous Thursday!

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