Saturday, 29 August 2015

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Friday 4th September the workshop is the final in the series “Plot & Development” is called “Writing the Character Outline”. The class will look at how outlining can bring out ‘voice’. The main topics will be 1. Character Arc,  2. Main Traits and 3. Details of your character(s).  1pm-3pm, Upstairs, Room 3 at Fremantle Arts Centre.  OOTA Member $20 - Non OOTA $25

Developing Characters by Lawrence Block

The chief reason for almost any reader to go on turning the pages of almost any novel is to find out what happens next. The reason the reader cares what happens next is because of the author’s skill at characterization. When the characters in a novel are sufficiently well drawn, and when they’ve been so constructed as to engage the reader’s capacities for sympathy and identification, he wants to see how their lives turn out and is deeply concerned that they turn out well.
   Some novels depend more on characterization than do others. In the novel of ideas, the characters often exist as mouthpieces for various philosophical positions; while the writer may have taken the trouble to describe them and give them diverse individual attributes, they often have little real life outside of their specific argumentative role in the novel.
   Some whodunits rely on the clever intricacy of their plotting to hold the reader’s attention, stinting on characterization in the process…..Agatha Christie supplied her Hercule Poirot with a variety of attitudes and pet expressions, but I’ve never found that the little Belgian added up to anything more than the sum of these quirks and phrases. He serves admirably as a vehicle for the solution of brilliant mystery puzzles but does not interest me much as a character….And while one of Ms. Christie’s Poirot mysteries will always do to fill an idle hour, I’m a passionate fan of her Jane Marple stories, not because their plots are appreciably different from the Poirots but because Marple herself is such a fascinating character, warm and human and alive.

References: Lawrence Block "On Writing" and Gabrielle Lessa - Article "How Outlining can bring out Voice".


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    Writing at the Centre is an independent writing class conducted each Friday at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Print Room, upstairs in the main building.


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