Lessons Learned (from a master)

Sebastian Faulks made his name as a writer with his brilliant France trilogy. Birdsong is the one that gets all the plaudits but I have to admit I enjoyed The Girl at the Lion D’Or more – I really felt for Anne as she struggled to make a living and deal with her emotions during her affair with Charles Hartmann.

In Character Based Writing: Lessons Learned From Sebastian Faulks, Joanna Penn looks at one of his more recent novels, A Week in December, and highlights eight lessons she has learned from it. The headings are,

  1. Use extreme detail
  2. Plot is character arc
  3. Use dialogue to break up narrative
  4. Use external events to react to
  5. Research the character
  6. Make them believable and real
  7. Setting as a character
  8. Linking the stories of characters

The headings are accompanied by examples from A Week in December that bring what Penn is saying alive.

By the way, be sure to read to the end of the post as she adds some bonus points from another author, Holly Lisle.

Read Joane Penn’s blog post here

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