This week JJ and Kelly talk about the characterization of protagonists, how to get a vivid, realistic character, and whether or not “unlikeable” means “unsympathetic.”
Show Notes/Further Reading
- Characters need a balance of flaws and strengths.
- Universal appeal is not possible—it generally means the character becomes incredibly bland.
- Specificity breeds intimacy, and specific action shows more than telling details.
- There is a difference between an “unlikeable” and an “unsympathetic” protagonist. An unlikeable protagonist can still be sympathetic, but an unsympathetic character just makes us not care.
- Writing Wednesday: Characterization by JJ
- Active Characters by Julie Eshbaugh
- Writing Three-Dimensional Characters by Susan Dennard
- Character Movement and Characterization by Kat Zhang
- Creating Characters Readers Care About by Julie Eshbaugh
- Know Your Characters by Marie Lu
- The Ultimate No-Effort Character Sheet for Writers
- The No-Effort Character Character Sheet for Lazy Writers Like You and Me
What We’re Reading/Books Discussed
- City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
- The Rose Society by Marie Lu1
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- JJ is in a reading rut, so nothing new.
Off Menu Recommendations
- Boredom! Boredom is kind of great. Mindlessness breeds creativity in many ways.
- Betrayal at the House on the Hill
- Arkham Horror
What We’re Working On
- Kelly is working on freelance stuff
- JJ is working on Wintersong copyedits and she has a cover! The cover will be revealed on Monday, April 11, but those who are subscribed to JJ’s newsletter will get to see it first!
That’s all for this week! Next week we will be continuing our characterization series with an episode about VILLAINS. As always, if you have any questions, sound off in the comments!
- PubCrawl alumna! ↩