David Corbett offers a case study of the concept of pathos, a moral argument in which an everyman employs immoral means to pursue something he considers invaluable in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful person or system.
The Incredibles 2, the sequel to Pixar's iconic superhero film, offers writers the oportunity to enhance our understanding of effective character development. Here are a few lessons from the movie that you can apply in your fiction.
In crafting fiction across genres, a perfect love interest is a tempting trap—and a trope. Writing flawed characters, even when your character is head over heels in love with them, is a must. Here's how to make the object of your character's affection believable and lovable while avoiding clichés.
When developing characters, we must learn everything we can about the external world in which they live, and what circumstances, just or unjust, are wrought upon them. Equally, or more so, we have to know how they react, or fail to, in conjunction with events.
Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One has earned some harsh criticism. So how did it sell so well and earn so much attention, despite the polarizing reviews? Can writers duplicate that kind of success with their own work?
Author, playwright and screenwriter Wendy Whitbeck delves into the unique underwater characters of the box-office hit Finding Nemo to explore how combining this particular mix of characters melded to create a totally memorable movie with strong character development.
Accurately portraying the complexities of different religions is no easy task. Here are a few debunked myths to keep your characters from becoming caricatures.
Books with multiple points of view can yank readers out of the story or make readers feel detached from the main character. Here’s what you can do to keep readers turning the pages.
Whether the relationship is healthy, codependent or even antagonistic, established relationships have a few unique things in common.
Today’s female reader is pressed for time, demanding as hell, and both scared and excited about the future. If you want to craft a dynamic literary heroine, you must speak to that.
When a story isn't working, you may be able to save your character by stripping away everything else and rebuilding using sturdier, more developed bricks.
Are you stuck writing the middle of your novel? These tips from Gabriela Pereira's DIY MFA will help you add meat to those core bones of your narrative.
In order to write a complex, realistic hero you should get to know one. Luckily, they are all around us.
Stranger Things' roaring success was the result of its blend of nostalgia, unexpected storytelling elements, an immersive plot—as well as other aspects that writers can emulate in their own writing to craft compelling tales.
In order to help readers imagine life in a different era or from different cultural perspectives, writers of historical fiction must do in-depth research and ask detailed questions.
How comfortable should you be writing from perspectives outside of your culture, gender, sexuality, race, class or other background that isn’t yours?
One of the most common challenges writers face in the character development process is conveying their personalities (even those of side characters) in a naturally complex and believable way. Here, Joan Dempsey dives into the heart of a critical element that can help you flesh out—no pun intended—your characters and enrich...
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.)...
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 emotion....
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...
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...
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...
If you want to write a successful story, you’ll need to know who your characters are including their personalities, goals, and desires. To help you better understand your characters, read Eric Maisel’s book, What Would Your Character Do? Inside you’ll find 30 situations into which you can drop your characters to...
Creating a cast of characters that fit the story you're trying to tell is essential. Buy the Bring Your Characters to Life Premium Collection and learn how to create, name, and develop your characters.