Episode #73 – EAE Bite #43 – “How Do They Think and Feel?”

In episode seventy-three of the Life Writers Vlog, we explore how to characterize people in stories and make them more than just a name on a page.

Bite #43 in my book, Eating an Elephant: Write Your Life One Bite at a Time, suggests answering key questions to gain insight into how you might characterize someone. This will help you know more about what they think and how they feel.

But, when writing about the person, don’t just state what they think or feel because you can’t get inside his/her heart and mind.

If you want readers to grasp someone’s thoughts and feelings, showcase their actions. What do they do?

Provide concrete examples, like what I told you about my mom’s fear of storms and the actions she took that revealed her fear.

How do you bring your characters to life? Share in the comments section below!

But always remember, the only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all!

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4 months ago

To navigate on Etya’s sharing. I can say my mother had no fears. An example, among many others, of her free spirit is when in her sixties , still strugling to make ends meet. (Although she would never lose sleep over the lack of money). She picked a city in Florida that appealed to her after being there with her mother once many years before. No reservations, she took a bus from Montreal Canada, got to a motel and asked for a room. They had none available. Not before two days. Talking with the owner she asked her to sleep… Read more »

Kit Dwyer
3 months ago

Thierry, that was lovely to read. I could feel your mother’s determined spirit and bravery in that scene. Thanks for sharing a great example of this technique.

Etya Krichmar
4 months ago

Here is my example of describing Mama’s fear of authority. I inherit the fear of authorities from Mama. As a little girl, she took me everywhere she went. Each time we entered a government office, Mama, a petite woman, shrunk. Her beautiful green eyes clouded with fear, and she became reticent and polite when approaching a bureaucrat sitting behind the desk. When I eventually had to visit one of these places later in my life, fear also consumed me.

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