O'Reilly logo

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter Sixteen

Status

What No One Is Teaching You About Characterization

Steven James

One of the most effective ways of creating unforgettable characters is something most writers have never even heard of.

Managing status.

I first learned about status years ago while studying physical comedy, mime, and improvisation. I remember listening to acting instructor Keith Johnstone (author of Impro and Impro for Storytellers) explain how dominance and submission affect actors on stage and how stillness raises status. As he spoke, I kept thinking of how essential it is for writers to capture the same characterizations on the page.

Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for ways to fine-tune the status of my characters. Here are four essential principles ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required