Heightening Larger-Than-Life Qualities

Heightening Larger-Than-Life Qualities

A Lesson by Hingabe

Let's add some punch to those awesome characters of yours...


Sharpening those larger-than-life qualities throughout your story.  Take your point of view character beyond what is usual.  It only takes being alert.  For instance, it is not uncommon in novels to find a character remembering a lost love one, such as a wife who has died.  Nothing special is in that.  It doesn't require big treatment, but it adds opportunity.  Play against the prevailing mood of a scene.  A larger-than-life protagonist talks, acts, and reasons, independently.  Let the hero's speech, actions, and thoughts follow their own course, regardless of what is going on.  Surprise us.  That sounds hard, but it really is only a technique. 

-- At random in the middle of your manuscript, pick anything at all that your protagonist thinks, says, or does.  Heighten it.  Make it bigger, funnier, more shocking, more vulgar, more out of bounds, more over the top, more violent, more insightful, more wildly romantic, more active, more anything.

-- Take that same action, thought, or line of dialogue, and make it smaller.  Tone it down; understate it; make it quieter; more internal, personal, more ironic, more offhand, less impassioned, barely noticeable.  

-- Select twenty-four more points in the story where you can heighten or diminish something that your protagonist does, says, or thinks. 

Larger-than-life characters powerfully attract us.  Why?  They are surprising, vital, and alive.  They don't let life slip by.  Every moment counts.  Every day has a meaning.  TURN UP THE VOLUME!!!

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Added on April 4, 2010
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Charlotte, NC

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I've always found away to excite myself with writing, and it's always been my safe-haven. I love to play lacrosse, and swimming I've always been goo..