Depicting characters — especially supporting cast members — means finding the elements that will tell the most about these people in the least number of words. Do this effectively, and you’ll not only have a living, breathing, interesting person on the page — you’ll have hooked your reader, too.
Many sources on writing that address character will focus on developing a character study — write 36 pages of character descriptions or you “don’t know your character.” Write down their innermost secrets and the truth they’ve been hiding since childhood.
That’s all fine. Do that if it fits your project and/or works for you.
But eventually there’s another step, so crucial that it will feel like stepping off a cliff from the 36-page character study: Boiling that preparation down to what actually appears in your story.
This post is going to look at writerly devices for describing characters and doing it economically so that your reader feels they are in the…
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