The Society of Southwestern Authors- February 22, 2015 Forum Hosts Archie J. Hoagland How to Make Characters Walk, Talk & Think

The Society of Southwestern Authors- February 22, 2015 Forum Hosts Archie J. Hoagland  How to Make Characters Walk, Talk & Think

Archie is deeply interested in characters. When writing a novel, the author creates
characters who perform for the reader–as actors in plays, motion pictures and
television shows do for their audiences. Actors of stage and film come in all sizes,
Archie J. Hoagland shapes and genders, as do characters in a book.
On a stage or in projected images upon a screen, the actors can be presented
exactly as their creator wishes them to be and gives the audience a huge free gift of
understanding not available to the readers of a novel. The desired image is placed into
their minds because they can see it. Without ever being told, they know a great deal
about the character. Another free gift to the audience is the tone of voice. It instantly
relays happiness, sadness, evil, etcetera. No less important is the freebie of expression.
Fear, horror, delight, sadness, love, hate, understanding, misunderstanding and all
manner of information is gleaned from the simple way the features are set.
Auditory sense is the wonderful ability to hear in your mind the voice and music
accompaniment, which can easily create sadness, happiness, terror or excitement.
That’s the reason why, in the early days of silent movies, the show was always
accompanied by live piano music. You may hear the lonesome moan of a midnight train,the bustling sounds of traffic or the cry of gulls over a windswept ocean beach.

Think of background scenery you see in a movie or TV.  If the scene is outdoors, you instantly know if you are in the mountains, at sea or on a busy city street.  The scene is instantly brought to the audience.

Three highly informative gifts are given to the audience of stage, motion picture and television shows.  They are sight, sound, and existing condition.  They accompany and influence some event or activity.  Sadly these gifts cannot be used by the author of a book.  In a novel, vision, audio, and condition must be produced by words.  It is the expertise of the author that creates a perception in the mind of the reader, of sight, sound, and the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event.

How is that accomplished?  Archie calls it “fleshing out”- think of it as putting flesh on bones.  The human skeleton is not unique, other than size, until the flesh and experience is added – then each of every one of us is unique.

Archie J. Hoagland is proud to have been raised a simple country boy and is proud of his time as combat veteran in the Navy, but he has worn several other hats.  As an author, he’s had two poetrycollections published … THE COLLECTION, a volume of over 500 pages, and a much shorter collection, SARTOR’S POETRY … plus his first crime mystery novel, THE MYSTERY OF SORROWS.  He is a member of The Society of Southwestern Authors and was a two-year facilitator of the Green Valley Writers’ Forum.  Archie is also a retired business owner, a 44-year member of the BPOE (Elks) and a sculptor working in terra cotta.  He is the father of six sons and has fourteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Forums are on 4th Sunday
(Granada & Saint Mary’s) 11 am–2 pm, every third Sunday
Please R.S.V.P. by WEDNESDAY before the Forum
546-9382 or
$25 w/registration–$30 at the door–includes lunch & speaker
(NO CREDIT CARDS–processing fees are too high)

Taken from THE WRITE WORD, the newsletter of The Society of Southwestern Authors  Feb-March 2015


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