Friday, August 29, 2008

Characterization: Five Rules

These five rules are from How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction, a book that has excellent advice for all fiction writers in spite of a title that emphasizes genre fiction. These rules (much abridged) were written by Dean R Koontz. I always prefer advice from successful writers, not amateurs or academics, and Dean Koontz certainly qualifies here.
  • Your character must not act irrationally and must not get into trouble merely because he makes stupid decisions.
  • Your character must not be passive.
  • Your lead characters must not be supermen or superwomen whose actions always succeed.
  • Your characters ... must have lives outside the central story.
  • Your lead characters must not be concerned solely about his own fate.

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