Middle grade Monday
Steven James Keynote on Characters
OWFI Session, 5 May 2012
by Natalie Bright
The keynote speaker for the Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc 2012 meeting was Steven James. Following is a list on his observations regarding character development:
* Your main character is a putty person. They change shape as a result of the struggle of the story, and as the story transforms, the character emerges always different
* One moment can pivot your entire book; heroes don’t back down
* Every verb you choose shows status for your character
* Raising the stakes of the antagonist also raises status of MC
* Develop characterization using internal dialogue, show sarcasm by thoughts, not words, posture, body language.
*Main Characters always have self control.
*Give your main character what he wants the most, then snatch it away. Or,
dangle what they want the most in front of them and never let them have it.
* Main characters must interact with every sub-character; don’t waste characters. For every minor character in your book, the MC has attitude, history, intention
* Your #1 Goal as a writer: always give the reader what he wants or something better!