Characterization


* Go for a walk.

* Create a character (or use one you’ve already created) and experience the walk through his or her eyes. Does the red Corvette remind him of lost dreams? Does she grimace at the ugly grafitti? Or smile at remembrances of when she did the same thing?

* With your character in mind, choose which details are important to him or her and delete the others. Part of writing descriptive fiction is choosing what to include, and a character who notices the red Corvette may not care about the maple tree under which it is parked.

* Change details as necessary to fit your character. Perhaps the red Corvette won’t mean as much to your character as a fully-loaded black pick-up with chrome accents.

* Change details to enhance your theme. At a conference, Jessica Page Morrell encouraged writers to look for details that resonate. She gave the example of a ginkgo tree, whose yellow autumn leaves fall very suddenly, all within a few days. This sort of description can echo a failing relationship, for example.

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