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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Words to Write By: WriteOnCon Tidbits, Characters by Donna Cooner

Did I ever mention how much I learned at WriteOnCon? A TON. I like my query (for now) and I learned some revision techniques that are changing my life. So. Serious.

Today, I impart another small tidbit of wisdom.

On Characters, from Donna Cooner's post, which you can read in its entirety, here.

QBCD. It meant Quick Brief Character Description (QBCD) and it was one of the most important lessons learned from the years I studied with Professor Kulkarni. Every time a character entered a scene it was an opportunity to make him/her memorable to the reader. Not just the main character, but everyone—the checkout woman, the pilot, the teacher, the policeman—everyone.
I am SO terrible at this. At descriptions in general. I figure everyone can read my mind, not just my husband. (Oh. Wait.)

I saw a quote one twitter or somewhere the other day that said no matter how memorable the plot is, it won't matter if a reader can't care about the characters. Get in there and make them matter.


  1. I enjoyed WriteOnCon too, especially the video bits.

    I think I do okay with character descriptions (gotta give 'em a hook and an eye-patch like Save The Cat! suggests). My problem is getting wordy with the world description.

    1. I think that the QBCD can also be QBWD. I just read something this morning about doing historical fiction, but I think the concept can apply to all fiction -- remembering that your character lives in this world every day, so does it make sense for him/her to have an inner-monologue about the every day things? It compared it to a Shakespearean speech. http://lkhill.blogspot.com/2012/09/historical-fiction-not-what-i-expected.html
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Unrelated to the post - your poll is huge! I just realized how many LDS novels there are that I haven't read or even heard of. I guess I have some stuff to add to the TBR list.


About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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