Ch 1 Blunders: Generic Characters

stick figure couple. Easy DIY(Photo Credit: Adventures in Married Life)

Few readers will read about stick figures!

Last month, I received some fantastic feedback on the first quarter of my current MS. For this series of articles, I will draw from the remarks of my wonderful Beta readers and discussions I have had with other writers on these topics.

In some ways, I used fleshed out stick figures. Here were three bloopers that I made in the first chapter…

  • Interchangeable characters may be well rounded but have overlaps in personality, functions, or appearance (physical, speech patterns, names). Overlapping personalities can be a source of conflict (especially in opposing forces) but can also mean that you are not fully exploring the posibilites that people offer.
  • Emotional reactions are a must even in the most action-driven story. Ultimately, the reader reads because of the character. Readers can relat better to characters who react and act emotionally. Emotion provides motive — and therefore logic — for the action, too.
  • 2-D: Okay, I did not use on in this book — but I have in others! Archetypes are one possible building block for character design. However, if you do not “build” but instead stick with the model, you can end up with stereotypes.

DISCLAIMER: This was feedback for one author’s MS and should not be taken as all-or-nothing advice for all stories.

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