Sunday, March 12, 2006

lesson four: characters

Lesson Four: Characters

Lesson four is about understanding the importance of characters. Readers want to see a clear action in verbs but also want to see a strong character as their subjects. It is best to make the subkects specific and concrete. In order to find and relocate chracters you have to skim the first seven or eight words, find the main characters, find actions involving the character and then make them verbs and the characters their subjects. Readers are said to have the biggest problem with sentences that lack characters all togehter. The reason that this is done sometimes is because the writer knows what he is trying to say but the reader does not follow it. The lesson also talked about characters that are not so concrete. The problem with writing about abstractions as characters is that the wording often becomes dense and uncleare since you write about more abstractions on these abstractions that are acting as characters. Writing in the active voice, rather than the passive voice is generally a good thing to do. There are exceptions but generally passive sentences feel flat, yet some critics argue that passive is the best way to go. Choosing can be hard but having your readers know who is responsible for the action when in most cases we use passive form. The example is given "the president was rumored to have considered resigning." Asking which kind of verb would help readers move more smoothly among sentences, and which would give readers a more consistent and appropriate point of fview are also important in choosing. Writers often choose to write passively because they don't want to use the first person, therefore they generalize. An understanding of three things is necessary if the style seems complex. "It may be necessary to express complet ideas precisely, it may needlessly complicate simple ideas, and it may needlessly complicate already complex ideas".

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