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  • Writer's pictureDan

Writing Recommendation #9: Visible Aspects of Characterization


Today I thought I’d write about yet another informative chapter out of Elizabeth Lyon’s fantastic book Manuscript Makeover. This is a must-read for anyone, especially fiction writers, consumed by the throes of editing.

In Chapter 13, Ms. Lyon discusses what she calls the visible aspects of characterization. This includes everything from appearance and mannerisms to biases and sense of humor. I do a pretty good job at giving a number of my secondary characters these attributes, but I've struggled with my protagonists. I think these visible aspects of characterization are essential to solidify a character in the reader’s mind. For example, a supporter of the current president might walk around wearing a Make America Great Again baseball cap. Someone who doesn’t support the president might quote the Steele Dossier at every opportunity. Either way, I think you'd have a character that makes an impression on readers.


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