First up Elana Johnson has the Compelling characters experiment
and Second is Southern Cities Mystery Birthday blogfest
I don't think these are too long, so hopefully you can manage through both- Let me know how it turns out!
The topic I am to discuss is: Writing Compelling Characters
First lets look at the details,
Voice Means everything not only to the writer, but also to the reader, and importantly to the character. If the said MC does not have a believable voice, then we wont rely on that Character for trust. And thus stop reading or give a bad review.
Do you trust your character?
Next how does the character react? If the MC does the exact opposite of what a reader "thinks" the MC should, then its less interesting. ****Unless there is a specific reason the reader can relate to on why the MC is doing things this way.
Which leads me into...
Does the MC relate to the reader on a personal level? If the MC can relate on a personal level to the readers, then we as readers are more compelled to "feel" for the character- either disgust or rooting for, or humiliation, comedy, any number of things as long as it reaches that readers emotional level.
Basically what it boils down to, is your character reacting in a human way? If not does the MC at least touch an emotion a reader can relate to?
Throw everything at your character until you can get the desired response and you will find what compels that character will be what compels the reader to read about the MC.
Now take what I have just said and apply it to my Birthday blogfest entry. We learn not only by seeing our own mistakes, but viewing it in others as well- so what are my character mistakes?
Birthday blogfest entry-
Elisa watched in amusement as bright green flip-flops flung a crossed the crowded room. Another feisty night at the bar was all it took to bring her stress level under control and let loose some of the irritation from the previous week. She thought of Randal’s fat face as the flying flops hit their mark in the white and brown banister across the table. At least twelve people had come to join in the Birthday festivities of the night. Among them was Sara, the owner of the green winged flops.
“I can’t believe you hit it!” Chris exclaimed over the loud drumming music.
“Ha! Two shots down buddy!” Sara replied with a smile that lit her entire face and brought a spark to her blue eyes. Elisa watched Chris down two of the thirteen shots of Vodka sitting a crossed from them. His shaven face scrunched up as if he found a sour lemon and his adams-apple dropped the liquid down his throat. A familiar song hit the speakers and Elisa rose to the beat.
“Come on girls, its time to get our heels moving!” Elisa called out as she drug Sara and two others from the square tables shoved together. Her black leather boots slicked through the rugged carpet as drinks sloshed over rims in the mass of people charging to the dance floor.
Elisa swayed her hips and stomped her feet to the drums. She released her pent up frustration into the rhythm of the music. Each sway knocked out one sentence in Randal’s arsenal of vocabulary. Shots passed through the crowd, she downed a Jack Daniels then they all headed back to their corner tables.
“Elisa, watch out!” Elisa turned and slammed right into a tall burly man and drinks spilt down the front of her black blouse.
“Shit!” Elisa retorted to the spills as she looked down at her shirt reeking of beer. It never failed, beer always managed to be spilt at some point, this time it just happened to land on her.
“I’m sorry; you’re so short I didn’t see you coming through.” A gruff voice said to her right. Elisa looked up and hid her anger from his sight. Just her luck he would have to be cute, or maybe that was the alcohol talking? Either way, it’s only a bit of spilt beer she convinced herself.
“No worries man.” Elisa replied, blew him a kiss, and swayed the few steps back to the tables.
“He’s still staring…” Sara whispered in Elisa’s ear.
“Let him stare, if he wants me he knows where to find me, then I’ll give him what he deserves.” Elisa replied giving her friend a sweet smile that left complete doubt to the sweet part on any observing bystander.