Cinnamon Bear wrote:
I would like to learn more about how I can breathe more life into the characters in my Challenge entries and still stay within the 750 words.
Well--in addition to the things I said above, there's always the advice that I keep returning to: word choice, word choice, word choice.
For example--which of these tells you about my granddaughter in a more interesting way?Piper is always active, and she tends to get into trouble.
Piper is a mischievous imp.
The first one has eleven words, and the second has five--yet the second has more interesting
words, and paints the same picture of Piper.
Similarly:Ben looked in the mirror. He was surprised to see that his hair seemed to be receding farther up his forehead. When Jan walked by the open bathroom door, he felt subconscious about his increasing baldness.
The mirror didn't lie. Ben stared mournfully. When Jan walked by, he flushed deeply and put a hand to his smooth forehead. Maybe she'll think I'm still handsome. Like Jean-Luc Picard.
That's 36 words versus 30 words: not a significant saving, but when you only have 750 words, every one counts. And there's more
information about Ben in the second one: The first one just reports his actions and tells you how he feels, while the second shows his instinctual reaction to try to cover the bald spot when Jan walks by, and then indicates that he hopes it won't bother her (he loves her, wants to impress her). It also tells you that he's a fan of Star Trek, which might lead you to infer some other things about Ben's personality.
The lesson on tight writing here might help:viewtopic.php?f=67&t=37453
Did that answer your question? If not, let me know and I'll try again.
p.s. If you do an author search on the FaithWriters' home page, you can read the works of some of the "super-Masters" who are not writing here anymore, but were masters of characterization. Read Ann Grover, Lisa Mikitarian, Chely Roach--they might give you some ideas of how to do this in ultra-short fiction.