It’s a Writer’s Life–page four

CHARACTERIZATION AND PLUMBING TOOLS

 The job of a writer creating a character for a book is not the same as the job of a plumber roughing-     in plumbing for a new structure, but both jobs require not only expertise in the respective fields but some tools of the trade.
     After I choose the name for my main character, I follow a list to develop him or her into the person who will hopefully make my story memorable. He should be described physically as well as emotionally. The reader wants to know what the character’s thoughts are, what type of work he does,  his opinions, and most of all the reader wants to see him in action. How does the character meet each challenge? Does he cower from a fight or meet it head-on? Does his speech fit his character? If he looks like a redneck, and he talks like a redneck, he might be a redneck. Depends on the writer’s skill with words.
    The nickname for one of my minor characters is Spitter. He’s a loveable fellow who belongs to the town as surely as the creek flows westward.
    As for a plumber, there are three stages to his work: the rough-in, the top-out, and the trim-out. 
   And for a writer, there are three stages to his work also: the rough draft, the revised copy and the published work.

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