Characterization

Sunday, March 13, 2005

"Great storytelling begins with compelling characters...they have to have motivations and dreams that we recognize."

From Norm Wilner's review of THE INCREDIBLES in the Mar12-18 issue of Star Week magazine.

***

I started reading Steve Nile's Savage Membrane last night. He's a comic book writer--30 Days of Night (movie being released) and Criminal Macabre--and it looks like he's taken the protagonist of his Criminal Macabre comics, and will now be writing a series of mysteries starring the monster hunter. Ds is the heavy duty comic book reader around here, he's dyslexic and one of the earliest ways I found to encourage him to do something (read) that's a bit of a struggle for him, was to turn him on to comic books. So I pick up this novel for both of us. I like horror, and although the price was a bit steepish at $10, in this case, the slim book with large font and double spacing will be perfect for ds.

I'm really enjoying the story so far, and the thing that impressed me right away was the characterization. Erotic romance writer Angela Knight, who use to be a comic book writer (don't know if she still does it), talks about the advantages of getting trained in storytelling techniques in this subgenre. No wasted words, yet words and phrases have impact and immediacy. You capture characterization and emotion, quickly and succinctly. Because the graphics dominate in a comic, it may not be all that clear as you're reading the word bubbles, but in this book, that power of economy of phrasing shines brightly--in the character's voice, and particular word usage, the quick brush strokes of setting and glimpses of the past, and the dialogue interaction with other characters. The layers fall into place like gold leaf. The window dressing of a bit more description, ect., can be added, but what's there now is sufficient.
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3 comments:

Olga-Lita said...

Hi from a Fellow Bee!
That's great info, and I love your writing style. Vivid, imaginative, and flows easily like honey.

Nell Dixon said...

Hi,
Thought I'd pop over from the beez to say hello. Great site.
love Nell xx

Jaye said...

What a lovely surprise! Thanks for dropping by ladies. :-)

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