Purple Prose + tension

Adding Dimension

©Stina Lindenblatt

Dimension. It’s what we seek when creating characters. It can also add interest to your photos.

In the above picture, I turned off the flash and allowed the lighting from the side to form the shadows and add highlights. The photo was taken at the Exploratorium in San Francisco (my nine year old created the design on one of the science exhibits).

When shaping your characters, come up with both positive and negative traits. The protagonist will have more positive than negative traits, and the opposite will be true for the antagonist(s). Some positive traits may become negative in certain circumstance (and vice versa).

Also, give your characters two conflicting desires (wants). By doing this, you will heighten the emotion in your story and add conflict and tension. The “desire” the character decides to pursue at a given time will depend on your character’s motivation and who she is. For example, in The Hunger Games*, Katniss doesn’t want to be picked as a tribune for the games. If she is, the odds of her returning home alive aren’t good. Her other desire is to keep her little sister safe. So when her sister’s name is randomly selected to be a tribune, Katniss’s two desires are put at odds. Her desire to keep her sister safe outweighs her desire not to be a tribune, and she volunteers to take her sister’s place in the games.

Have you used any of these techniques to add dimension to your characters or photos?

*The link will take you to The Hunger Games movie trailer.

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Adding Dimension + tension