* “don’t do” in Stein on Writing by Sol Stein

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 23, 2009

  • avoid anything that distracts from the reader’s experience even momentarily
  • don’t over-characterize a minor character, making the reader think he is more important than he is; select one memorable characteristic that distinguishes this character from the rest of humanity and let it go at that
  • don’t present characters who are either all good or all bad. It’s not believeable. show the contrasts. for example … suggest a character’s vulnerability before that character exercises power, or show a character’s strength before that character is hurt physically or emotionally

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