Writing Tip: Character Introductions

One of the things that has fascinated me on my winding road as a writer is how much I don't know about the craft. Although I've spent decades consuming stories and almost as long making them in one form or another, I've only seriously gotten into the craft over the last couple of years. As with all things the more you do something the better (hopefully) you become but even if you have a kernel of talent, sometimes there's no substitute for some good old fashioned training.

I'm currently neck deep in another project at the moment and as my writing partner and I were working on the screenplay we got some great advice. We were working on a scene where a secondary character made his first appearance and while it was a good scene, something was lacking. Our mentor advised us to make every introductory scene for a character memorable. He said to think of writing the character's introduction so that the actor playing him or her would really enjoy the scene. 

It was great advice and it brought me back to my comic book days. Panels with interesting angles or dynamic splash pages are often used to introduce characters. The same technique can be used in screenplays or manuscripts to make every character memorable in their own way. 

Nothing beats a first impression and thinking about that when you're crafting a character's introductory scene can really elevate your writing.


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