|Photo by Gayle Krause|
On Secondary Characters
Your assignment: Create a list of all your characters and assign a value to them.
- Who are they?
- What’s their purpose?
- Where do they come from?
- When did they exist?
- What’s their history?
- What do we know about them?
- Why does she or he speak that way?
- Should she be eliminated or developed?
- Is this character consistent with purpose and theme of the book?
An example from Half-Truths
Maggie, Kate's younger sister comes into the library after exploring her grandmother's attic. She and her brother are excited to find their great-grandfather's civil war uniform. While she is chattering about what they found, Kate looks at their great-grandfather's portrait which hangs over the fireplace.
Maggie follows my gaze. "That's it! That's what we found. Wait 'til I tell Frankie. He's going to be flabberdoozled!"
"Flabberdoozled?" Grandaddy repeats. He bites his bottom lip to keep from laughing.
Maggie looks at him with impatience. "You know, Grandaddy! Flabbergasted plus bamboozled. Flabberdoozled!"
Transitional Scenes: Half the Fun is Getting There
- Why is this scene in here?
- How is it constructed?
- Is it consistent with the story, plot and pacing?
- Can it, or should it be eliminated?
- Where is the story line going? Does this scene take my story forward?
- Is the scene consistent with my purpose and theme?
|Scene A: The Barn|
When you look at a transitional scene you have four options:
- Leave it the way it is.
- Eliminate it entirely and cut to the chase.
- Expand it, develop it, and integrate it even more.
- Judiciously trim it; let the left out parts speak volumes.
Your assignment: Write a transitional scene. Slow down, pay attention to details, and make the scene worthwhile.
It's getting dark and I hurry along the street. I've got to get back before my grandparents come home from the club. Even Grandaddy wouldn't be too happy with me walking around a colored neighborhood by myself at night.
I walk past a white brick mansion high on a hill. Small lights line the long driveway casting a warm glow on the spacious lawn. This isn't at all like Titusville, but I feel like I belong here more than I do in Lillian's neighborhood. It's strange. I never thought I'd feel like I belonged in Myers Park.
|Photo by Jolene Ballard Gutierrez|