Monday, February 27, 2012

Guess the character!

No matter what type of book you set out to write [romance, YA, action/adventure, horror] you are going to have characters... and you are going to have to describe those characters to the reader. This seems like an easy enough concept, but it's just one of those things (like riding a unicycle or jumping a horse) that looks easy until you try it yourself. Then it sucks and you wonder why you ever thought you could do it in the first place.

The problem arises when you try to describe how you, as the author see your character(s), to your readers. As the one who created Johnny you have such a clear picture of him in your mind. What he looks like. How his voice sounds. His wittiness and overall perfection. Except you can't write "Johnny had dreamy blue eyes, brown hair, and was really, really awesome" because that would be bad writing not do your character justice. You also want to watch out for "descriptive writer cliches"... the character looking in a mirror and describing what they see being one of them. So what is the best way to make your characters jump off the page? Well, the good news and the bad news is there is no right answer (although there do seem to be quite a few wrong ones).

In an attempt to strengthen my own writing, I have been flipping back through some favorite books of mine and reading how the author described their characters. Because I am a lame and boring person I thought it was actually kind of fun, and because I assume everyone is as lame and boring as me I thought it would be even MORE fun (back off, grammar police.. this is my blog and I'll do what I want to) to make it into a game. So behold... GUESS THE CHARACTER! (I know, I know... I am a game naming genius!)

Guess the Character Rules

1) Every Monday I will post a character description directly from one of my favorite books. This book could be anything - historical romance, YA dystopian, high end fantasy... I like a lot of stuff.
2) If you think you know who the description is describing, name the character, the author, and the book you think it came out of. 
3) No cheating! Cause winners never cheat and cheaters never win. I know this is true because I saw it on a bumper sticker. 
4) Winners will be announced every Wednesday. Your reward will be a direct link to your blog or website.  
 Sound like fun? You know it does! Okay, here we go...  

"Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but ******* had always been small and skinny for his age. He looked even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to wear were odd clothes of *******, and ******** was about four times bigger than he was. ******* had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times ******** had punched him on the nose. The only thing ****** liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that was shaped like a bolt of lightening."

 * Names will always be removed to make it harder, although this one is pretty easy.