Writing Club Wednesdays are a weekly feature where one of us Misfits talks about writing, reading, or publishing. This week I want to talk about something that I positively love, but usually have a lot--a LOT--of trouble with when I'm reading: connecting with the characters. (This goes with Monday's Pep Rally post, so you should probably go check that out, too.)
|What happens when I DO connect with a character.|
If you're a writer, the connection you have with your characters can make or break your manuscript. If you're a reader, the connection (or lack thereof) you feel with the characters in a book can make you love it or hate it or set it aside in unadulterated boredom. It's the writer's job to make sure the reader connects.
So how, as a writer, do you keep your readers interested in your characters?
You have to make them see what you see in the character. All that development you did? All those little extra scenes that show off the character's traits?
Show them off.
Not the scenes, but the traits. Show off your character's character in every. single. scene. they're in. One of my favorite characters from recent YA is Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games Trilogy. Every word he says, everything he does has Finnick written on it, and you know Suzanne Collins had a connected to that character--and you're seeing it in action. He's a secondary character, yet I felt just as connected to him as I did to Katniss.
You can connect with a character even if you only get little glimpses into who they are, as long as they're the right glimpses. In real life, you can learn everything you need to know about a person from a single unique gesture, or a certain thing they say (or even the way they say it). The same goes for fictional characters.
Of course, this is definitely easier said than done. Sometimes it takes focus, sometimes it just takes spending a lot of time with the characters.
What about you guys? Have any special characters you really connected with, whether they're yours or someone else's? What was it about them that clicked with you?