Today’s Writing Tip

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Giving characters a distinguishing feature or mannerism increases your story’s imagery and provides a handy mechanism to remind readers what they look like. This can be something like their hair color or style; other distinguishing physical features such as eyes or nose; or certain gestures.

The more characters your story has, the more important it is to give them each some sort of “tag” so readers can keep them straight. With the possible exception of red herrings in mysteries, everyone in a story needs to serve a purpose and move the plot along. If they don’t, zap ’em, and if they do, make them memorable.



6 thoughts on “Today’s Writing Tip

    • For the important characters I have a biographical sketch and perhaps a timeline for certain events that tie into the story. Sometimes it turns into a backstory. LOL. It can be time consuming, but I think it pays off by saving time in the long run and assuring consistency. I think everyone eventually develops their own techniques that work for them.

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  1. I try to give them unique names, too…. have never gotten over reading Tolkien and needing to read very, very slowly because some of the characters and/or place names were very close…. I’ve also avoided putting twins in a book because I feared this could be confusing.

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