Do Your Characters Want to Steal the Show?

Invite the characters of your present work into a room and ask them who the most important person in your novel is.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

If all their hands shot up at once, if some bounced off their seats, if you heard someone shout, “It’s me! It’s me!” You’re on the right track with character development.

I knew I was in trouble the first time I tried this. One viewpoint character tentatively raised her hand. The other two looked around, shrugged, and half-heartedly nodded assent. The rest of the characters grumbled about why I wasted their time calling a meeting. For a moment, my novel teetered on the brink of plot without substance. Then from way in the back, came a spark of hope. One little boy from a distant chapter—whose only job was to get the main characters from point P to point Q—sprang onto his chair, with hand bobbing up and down, he hopped and bellowed, “Pick me! Pick me!”

So, how do you get all your characters to show that kind of enthusiasm?

That question drove me to buy a book—okay, several books—and go on a character study binge. Within a few months, the cast of my novel breathed distinct, vibrant personalities. And I discovered quite a lot about my own temperament in the process.

In this unique book, Brandilyn Collins shares seven secrets used by method actors to steal the show. For each of the actor’s techniques, she provides a practical adaptation for writers, and plenty of examples from classic and contemporary fiction.

Following the lessons in her book will not only grow your writing as a novelist, it will bring life to your non-fiction work as well.

Raise the curtains on this amazing book when you’re ready for your characters to take on a life of their own?

About Elizabeth Thompson 44 Articles
Elizabeth M. Thompson writes contemporary nonfiction, articles and devotionals using her experiences as a Bible teacher, wife, mother and grief navigator. She also enjoys speaking at writer’s conferences and women’s ministry events. Although her background includes marketing and education, writing has always been a driving force in her life. She is currently pursuing publication for her one-year grief devotional book, When the Waves Crash. Her most rewarding adventures to date include her marriage to Michael, parenting her three children, and serving Christian writers through Inspire. Her publication credits include articles published by Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian, and contributions to Whispering in God’s Ear (Waterbrook 2005) and Inspire Promise (Inspire Press 2014).