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In November issue... Character Tags in Fiction - by Bruce L. Cook


Bruce L. Cook

Character Tags in Fiction

Novel writers - Do your readers remember your characters? .... (continued below)
Charcater Tags in Fiction
by Bruce L. Cook

When writing a novel, ask - do your readers remember your characters?

Think of this question. A reader sets your partly-read book aside and returns a few days or weeks later. Will the reader remember the characters?

Or, in the case of an audio book, has the reader paid close enough attention to know exactly what has been happening, or even who the characters are?

To remedy this problem, try character tags. First, each character needs at least one, or better many, unique characteristics.

It may be a red backpack, a curled moustache, a pink bandana, whatever! That will help, but it's even more important if the main characteristic relates to the character's role in the story.

As an example, imagine a character called Max. Just the name may imply an ethnic background, and further there is an expectation that Max somehow "too the max" or over the top.

Other than an unforgettable name, think of characteristics matching the character's role in the story. Examples might be narrow or dirty eyes, scarred forehead, tight lips, a blue purse, etc. Then, as a tag for memory, mention the unique characteristics each time the character appears.

Tag your characters. Thia can be a useful technique in connecting with your readers.


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Publishing New Writers,

December, 2021 (vol. 22, no.12)


Dr. Bruce L. Cook
1407 Getzelman Drive
Elgin, IL 60123

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