Tag Archives: character

How Writing Fanfiction Can Make You a Better Writer

A lot of people have talked about the benefits of fanfiction—the lack of gatekeepers to allow beginning writers to dive right in, the built-in audience for support and motivation, the potential for growth and feedback—and all of these are absolutely … Continue reading

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Developing Ideas: One Path from Idea to Draft

You start with an idea, a glimmer in your eye, a shimmer in the void, a vague sense of maybe… It may be a single image, a lone character, an interesting what if? You poke and prod, squint and twist, … Continue reading

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Showing vs. Telling Character Traits: the Mary Sue Factor

“Show, don’t tell” is one of the tried and true cliches of writing advice (along with “Write what you know”). Both of these tidbits have a basis in sound advice, and both of them can regularly be ignored for the … Continue reading

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Protagonists and Their Authors

There’s a snide little comment that pops up in reviews and online criticism of novels now and again, about how the protagonist is “just a self-insert for the author.” It’s meant as a flaw, even grounds for dismissal. I remember … Continue reading

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Couple Development Worksheet

Once all factors have been determined and calibrated, what should result is a couple that interests you and the answer to the question: Why can they not be together and happy/safe/committed? The story that you write will answer the question: … Continue reading

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Building a Character from Scratch

As you develop your idea into a story, you might need to work through vague plot elements and story structure, and in doing so, you’ll fill the roles required with vague “placeholder” characters. At some point, you’ll look at your … Continue reading

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Building the Generic Hero Motivation

A story is a character who wants something. It really can be that simple… or that difficult. Depending on the genre, structure, and skill of the author, a character’s motivation must be clear (as in having a definitive end point … Continue reading

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