…Authors, how do yeez write the ‘touchy-feely’ characterisations?…

…in the clip above, Master Phil Collins claims we have no right to ask him how he feels… when we scribblers have committed our main players to the pages, it’s reasonable for readers to ask of them how they’re feeling… disagree?… yer own choice to disagree, of course, but how much better it is, I think, that yer principal characters have more than the standard, cliche-ed, chiselled looks for the heroes… for the heroines, flowing tresses… while not omitting the evil-browed countenances of yer villains… it’s part of character development… that tricky bit of revealing tiny shades and layers of yer proponents to yer readership… very few human beings are totally robotic mock-ups of the real thing… and so should it be with the people in yer masterpieces… my first novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY introduced my tough guy, Jack Calder… a product of the hard Docklands in Govan, Glasgow… six-feet-two, blue-eyed, blonde-haired Scotsman… fashioned loosely, of course on myself, a-hem… as part of the natural flow in the narrative, he has a few ‘wobbly’ interludes, revealing an unexpected vulnerability… and behold and lo, many reviewers commented on how much these passages had given depth and credibility to my man there… lesson learned for this ol’ Jurassic… it’s okay to be human… crime thriller action heroes don’t all have to be like Rambo… roll that idiom into the other characters, and hey presto, the book starts to ‘live’ in my view… when I, as a reader, can ‘relate’ to the vagaries of emotion the Author imbues in his characters, he/she has won me over… no argument… Billy Shakespeare didn’t fare too badly as a quill-scraper, and it’s worth having a wee peek at what he has Shylock say,’… If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?’… and therein, dear Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, lies the open secret… I, and most of the rest of yeez, write about human beings, sometimes in inhuman circumstances, and isn’t that reflective of much of real life?… get yer touchy-feely bits in… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “…Authors, how do yeez write the ‘touchy-feely’ characterisations?…

  1. Very important point, Seumas. One-dimensional characters who are only hard or tough or bad don’t make for very interesting reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! I hesitated about my male lead breaking down in floods of tears over his ghastly childhood, which up to then had only been hinted at. Then I realised it made him a much more “believable” bloke. Up to then he’d been the strong-jawed, brave laddie. Good point!

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  3. I’ve never had a problem making my characters show emotion. Frowns, shouting, crying, etc. Though it’s odd that some of them get different reactions for shedding tears. It’s like male heroes and the ‘tough’ female characters are forbidden from crying because it’s seen as weak. I mean, what does it say about him if a friend dies and the hero is just standing there with no tears or even a private outburst? Sounds a little damaged and cold to me.

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  4. I have an aversion to Hollywood type characters, always rich and well put together, unless I see them squirm, feel terror, or run for their lives. 🙂

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  5. All my protagonists are broken in one way or another. Not only does it make them more sympathetic to the reader, it is in overcoming their weaknesses that makes them strong…and even my baddies often have a bit of a soft side somewhere. Keeping our characters human is what brings our fictions alive.

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  6. SD Gates

    When I began my foray into writing it was fascinating to me how the characters took on a life of their own, I am not sure how it even happened. But my favorite character was the silly, spunky 4 year old whom I absolutely adore, and then my 10 year old who turned out to be the wisest because of her years of TV and video games. Writing and creating characters out of thin air, and giving birth to them in your mind is really an amazing process. Great post!!!

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  7. Characters are as important as plot and one dimensional characters are rather…one dimensional! And my tall, redheaded, green-eyed heroines are all me, naturally. I wish.

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  8. Never thought of them as “touchy feely” before, but we writers must breathe life into our characters. They’re real to each story we write.

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  9. One of my favorite characters was John Wayne’s “Rooster” character. As I remember, he endied up wiith an Oscar for that role.I never read the book. I think the more you make them come alive, the more fun it is. The hero should be likable in some way though or he’s not the hero. The same goes for the heroine. 🙂

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