Tags: Writing CharacterizationCharacterization
When writing a scene that involves a great deal of dialogue, it can be beneficial to give the characters something to do. Two people chatting at a kitchen table is boring; two people chatting while is trying to keep dinner for boring is interesting. The adjacent activities add conflict as well as possibly creating tension. For example, something as simple as a timer that is about to go off can create anticipation in the reader's mind. The timer suddenly ringing, then, can punctuate the scene in a meaningful way.
- Ideally these activities will reinforce something about the character. See Setting complements characterizationSetting complements characterization
Tags: [[Writing]] [[Characterization]] [[Setting]]
The landscape a character inhabits can provide a glimpse into their character. Rich, specific detail about their surroundings and their setting m... and Keep characters focusedKeep characters focused
Tags: [[Writing]] [[Characterization]]
Each character in fiction should be crafted with a limited number of key traits that are revealed through conflict in the story. Characters need focus: burde....
Elizabeth George calls these activities "talking head avoidance devices" or THADs. THADs, she says, serve many purposes:
- They can reveal something about the non-viewpoint character (who is often the one engaging in the activity) while creating opportunities for the POV character to react and assess them
- It adds depth to the character by revealing their hobbies, preoccupations, and passions
- It can help reveal characters' emotional state (see Show don't tell)
- It can increase tension through the activity itself
- It can foreshadow, set the tone, or underscore the theme of the novel or story