Instead of just having a room and a desk, the room and the desk can help illustrate our main character.
He sat down at his desk piled high with assignments. His leg hit the keyboard tray which had just lost another screw. He ripped it off, cracking the plastic.
As opposed to.
He caressed the hand-turned legs of the 19th century mahogany desk, then pulled out the polish and rag from the bottom drawer, wiping over every crevice with care. Checking to make sure the blotter was properly placed, he set his stationary and pen on top. Dear Alice, he began to write.
In each instance, the reader learns a lot about the character and what type of person he is, what his habits are, etc... The same can be done with objects and worlds and clothing. They shouldn’t just sit there doing nothing when they could be doing a whole lot of something.
And I may see a tree that looks like a drooping old man. But is that what my character would see? How would my character describe it?
I took a workshop a few years ago with Elizabeth Lyon and she suggested creating a lexicon for every character to help us create descriptions and sentences filtered through our characters’ sensibilities instead of our own. It’s something I had done most of the time anyway, but it really helped me take characterization to the next level. Our jobs and hobbies give us all a unique vocabulary by which we view the world. By creating a lexicon, we can more clearly paint that view through our character’s thoughts by using words they would use.
What’s your favorite way of creating richer, character-driven prose?
After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.
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About the author:
M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spends her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and atWistfulNebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.