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stick characters

Monday Focus: No stick characters allowed!

Don’t worry. This memoir-writing task does not call for drawing skills as you eschew creating memoir stick characters.

The term “stick character” refers to a drawing of a person by someone with no talent who draws lines for arms and legs. Stick Characters don’t entice the reader much and they don’t do justice to your people. You will do better without stick characters burdening your memoir. Develop your characters fully. Your characters are, after all, the people in your life. They are/were complex in life and ought to be complex in writing. Write them into your text clearly and forcefully. If you need help, there are many sources available for coaching and editing.

You can make your people (characters) more “real” by

  •     including both positives and negatives about them.
  •     letting your reader “hear” your people speak in dialog.
  •     using all five senses to describe your people.
  •     not being afraid to present contradictory views (from other characters).

 Review something you wrote recently and look for details you failed to include about that person. Perhaps you will choose to include something they did or how they walked or what they once said to you. In this way, page after page, you will make your characters more multi-dimensional.

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