Character and Conversation Ideas

      While deciding on main characters is important, developing  a story takes using imagination and often some writing tricks. One is secondary characters. They arise from need for possible suspects, imparting information, or as diversions. Adding them through conversation is often the smoothest transition to those goals. Similar to Robin Williams’ Mrs Doubtfire, “I need a face”, I find I need a character. his or her name and a personality to fit it, to be introduced in text. Being very careful not to use names of people I know, which include preconceived notions, I decide on an appropriate name and then build the characteristics from there. 

 Readers sometimes skip over boring sentences.

      The key to the murder victim’s apartment was in Stella’s purse.    

 There’s nothing wrong with the sentence itself, but using conversation promotes interest and gives further information.

     James asked, “Stella, you did a nice job assessing the crime scene, do you have the search warrant for the victim’s other apartment?”

     “Thanks, boss, I do. I also have my key to it in the purse.”

     “That’s great, now we don’t have to break down the door, though how do you have that?”

     “The guy and I had a relationship once and I never returned it.”

Dialogue information that Stella is an officer, once romantically involved with the victim and is now a possible suspect gives new insight the first example did not. There’s also information involving James’ character too. 

It may take time to develop characters but using conversation is a good way to accomplish it 


JB Clemmens

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