March 5, 2024


On a recent podcast episode 5 I explored  a little bit about how I introduced each individual main  characters in my work in progress  novel on the  first pages  and  beyond because in my work in progress  novel  I use multiple pov .

I’m by far an expert in this but  I do have experience writing my characters and experimenting. So what  I  advise in  this  post will only be mere  suggestions.

As a writer you can introduce a character  center stage by doing this:  

Introduce a character through action

In  my  work in progress novel, since I  have  a background in screenwriting I  always introduce my character  in  media res .  (I will do a separate post and go deeper  on that term  later)  Media res  is a Latin phrase that means “in the middle of things.” In writing, this is used to describe a story that begins right in the middle of the plot or action.  And  as a  screenwriter  I  was  always  taught  to start the  first  scene  and or action of a scene with characters  in motion.  Of course  you don’t have to do that. It’s by choice. But  by  introducing your character by action  it gives  the reader a sense of who that character  is. 

Limit physical appearance

I had to learn this the hard way especially when I  first learned the art of screenwriting.   In screenwriting you cannot put  a really  heavy  , hard  description of  your character that   only boggles  down the  page and  seeing  mostly white  space is usually better .    If any description  at all,  you only put  most of the time the  name , age and  whether their  female or male.   This   is mostly to help with casting  purposes .  But we are  writing  a novel right.  not a  screenplay .  So why  should we  limit  physical appearance in novel as  well?  The  answer is   rather clear and rather same  as  when writing a screenplay.  It  is better to focus  on describing  their  personality  and actions  . By  doing this  you allow the reader   to  fill  in the blanks and use  their  imagination.   

Aim  for a  memorable character trait 

This is a hard one and    I  also had to learn  this one well. But  I  did this with much experimentation  on my part.   Where  one of my villain  characters has a little ocd  problem and  carries around a white cloth to wipe away everything.

By using a character trait or mannerism in your own writing  you  can help the reader  gain more insight  on the character .

Introduce the main character as soon as possible

This is  a  given and somewhat needs no explanation  but I’ll  give it anyways . But it’s important to introduce the main  character right  away in order  for the reader to emotionally  connect  with your character and  invest  within the story  itself.

In my current work in progress even though I have a prologue .  My main character  is  heavily mentioned  in the prologue and  then on chapter 1  you see her right away.

Backstory when appropriate

Of  course  you  do  not want  to write an info dump.  But  how   do you introduce a  character   with their   backstory? Well no info dump. But   instead  write a backstory that  is relevant to the characters eventual  story arc that focuses   on  formative l events that will advance the plot.

Well  here it is folks. 5  unique  ways to introduce  your characters and place them center  stage .

If you liked this blog post and you want to  see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share  . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

 What do you do  to introduce your characters and  place them center stage ?  

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

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