Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Advice to Writers: Chuck Wendig

The Core of Every Good Story is a Character for Whom We Care

The core of every good story is a character for whom we care—and not just care a little, but care deeply. This alone is no easy task: Such a character must be likable, but not annoying. He must have virtues but remain imperfect. She must possess the potential for sacrifice, for selflessness, for selfishness, for evil. He may be funny, but not only that. She may be serious, but not only that. He comprises many dimensions but not so many that he seems unreal or unpindownable.

This truly is a good quote about characters. In writing, sometimes our characters are based off of ourselves, or someone we knew deeply. One contemporary story I wrote was similar to one of my past experiences. I wrote it as a way to reach out to teens but I'm hoping an agent will want to pick it up. As an author we want our characters to get remembered by the audience who is reading them. In an interview I saw on TV with New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer Wiener, she said something that clicks if you write in a contemporary setting. Jennifer said, "I write characters people can relate to." With a contemporary story, it makes sense to want the characters to be like everyday people. So they will be left breathless when they reach the last chapter of the book. You want the characters to be burned into the minds of the reader.

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