February 19, 2018

No one passes through life unscathed. We are all wounded along the road, in countless large and small ways. Realistic characters have hidden wounds (or not-so hidden wounds) from the moment they appear on the page. Giving your characters a few painful memories does a lot of things for your story: it makes the characters seem…

February 12, 2018

Last week I was working on a difficult scene in which my protagonist is thrown into a new situation full of new characters. This is always challenging to execute, because I don’t want to overwhelm the reader with a slew of new names all at once. I have to decide which characters I will name…

November 15, 2013

Strong, well-developed characters are the key to great fiction. But how does one create them? If you google character building you’ll find a lot of great tips—questionnaires to fill out, interviews, etc. Prompts to help you determine a character’s background, disposition, and goals. All of this is good—you should do it. But usually this is…

July 1, 2013

“When characters are really alive, before their author, the latter does nothing but follow them in their action.” ~ Luigi Pirandello I made one great mistake in the writing of my first novel (and, of course, it was fixable and I learned from it so I suppose it wasn’t that great). I let my characters…

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