characters

What Is Your Character’s Cornerstone?

If you’re not watching the excellent HBO series Westworld, you should. Not only is the show a study in deft plotting and complex themes, but it’s a delicious, entertaining mystery that continues to surprise me week after week. (The season 1 finale is tonight at 9:00 EST, but it’s worth a binge-fest.)...

11 Secrets to Writing Effective Character Description

The following is an excerpt from Word Painting Revised Edition by Rebecca McClanahan, available now!   The characters in our stories, songs, poems, and essays embody our writing. They are our words made flesh. Sometimes they even speak for us, carrying much of the burden of plot, theme, mood, idea, and...

Writing the Unlikable Character (and Why You Should)

We talk a lot about the importance of writing characters that readers like or can relate to—and by “we” I mean anyone who feels strongly about books, regardless of profession. It’s nice to know when the good guy is good and when the bad guy is bad. That’s what you expect...

How to Find the Perfect Names for Your Characters

No matter what genre of fiction you write, be it horror like King or Lovecraft, crime like Patterson or Spillane, or more literary fare like Sontag, Roth, or Updike, there’s one very basic thing all fiction writers have in common—we love coming up with perfect place and character names, and we...

How to Find The Moment of Truth For Your Main Character

This excerpt is from Jeff Gerke’s book, Plot versus Character. To find the moment of truth for your main character, bring to mind your hero’s knot. You’ve got her “problem” already figured out. You’ve also chosen the alternative, the sunny land of promise she could get to if she lets go...

how to write mean characters | jessica morrell

Writing Strong Female Characters: Defining a Bitch

If you’re interested in breaking the mold with your character, there is no single criterion for a bitch. However, you might want to consider making several of her dominant traits negative or what society has typically not expected of females. For example, her traits might include being manipulating, selfish, cunning, power-seeking,...

premise in writing | writing a novel

Writing Scenes: Stepping Forward, Falling Back

Author of The Breakout Novelist, Donald Maass, discusses writing scenes in today’s tip of the day. He explains the importance of setting goals for each scene with an example from George R.R. Martin’s book, A Storm of Swords. Most instruction in writing scenes begins with this sound advice: Send your character...

Learn How To Motivate Your Characters

At some point or another, all writers will struggle with their story’s characters. If you are hitting a brick wall when it comes to developing your characters or simply need inspiration for creating them–read today’s tip of the day from Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. You’ll learn about characterization and how...

100% Wrong Ways to Choose Fictional Character Names

Today’s tip was taken from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes. Learn how to make your fiction book or novel stand out from the others. Since the world of publishing is so competitive these days, it’s important to do what you can to make your writing stand out from the crowd....