So yesterday I talked about the skeleton of a novel and today I figured it would be quite relevant to discuss the FLESH. So, once you have the skeleton of your novel complete, next comes the flesh. That's the juicy part. That is the characterization, the detail, the subplot, the setting and of course the theme.
Let's start with characterization...This is the method used to develop your character. The first thing I do is I come up with the characters motto, idea and setting. What are these characters for? What will they do? To me, coming up with characters comes naturally. The second thing is the name. This is an important part. When picking a name, your character has to match it. It has to resonate with him/ her in order to resonate with the readers. Of course you might also add a few quirks and want to make the character's name memorable and unique. When the name is developed, think of appearance. How do they look? In order to paint a great picture of your character for the reader, you firstly need to know exactly how they look. Then you go to the meat of the character. They have to have personality, values, their personal goals and hates. That's the fun part!
Detail is what makes a novel a novel when it comes to finishing touches. Think of tiny things that create characters, or tiny sub plots that twist and turn. Think of the way she bites her lip, or the way he gazes at her. These tiny details in you novel will spice it up. Just make sure to keep the spice at a minimum. Not too little, and not overdone.
Subplot has a vast connection to the major plot/skeleton. These are the little twists and turns that add so much sparkle to the plot, to the skeleton. We could call it spice as well. After all, a lot of the flesh is in fact spice! Zing!
Setting means everything. I really cannot emphasize that enough. The setting determines the mood and the atmosphere and of course setting isn't something we want to over focus too much. I don't really want to know the way the snowflakes were shaped or how her lips were a mix of petal pink and mahogany. Don't over spice!
Theme. Extreme importance, despite its littleness. Theme will set your story. It will set that bubble of emotions that you want to prepare your readers for. Whether it be grief, love, joy or misery.
To top it off. Flesh is the spice we grow upon the skeleton to paint a beautiful picture.