Writing Exercise~Flesh to Bone

A story that brands itself into a reader’s memory is one rich in body. The plot is bone, setting is muscle. The characters are the flesh of the story or novel.  Let us create the tissue strong enough to cover every inch of frame:

Describe their appearance~ age, height, ethnicity, complexion, eye color, hair style, body type, birth marks or tattoos.

Body Language~ How do they walk, stand, movement when anxious?

Past~ What were their childhoods like? Where did they grow up? What was their first experience in love like? How did they recover? What were the scars left behind? (While you may not use all the details of their past, knowing where they come from is essential to creating the skin).

Greatest Desire~ What do they want ? Love, lust, power are universal needs. However, the needs mean nothing without context. Tell us not only what they want/need but also why.

Add a Layer of Darkness~ What pisses them off? What do they despise? What do they fear? How do they react when angry?

Redeeming Qualities~  Remember, even Satan started off as an angel. Your villains could use a dash of light. Sharing a (minor) positive moment or quality about the monster makes it more realistic. Showing the reader the qualities that make your heroes likable is required for a connection.

Now we have laid out the ingredients necessary. It is time to blend body language, past experience, desire, darkness and redeeming qualities together to create skin.

 

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