My Characters, My Patients: How Knowing Your Characters’ Health Helps You Write Their Stories
Author Karen Winn’s medical background offered her a deepened sense of empathy for the characters she wrote. Here, she discusses how knowing your characters' health helps to write their stories.
How To Go Beyond Blaming Mom for Everything (Or if You Do, at Least Make It Interesting)
Family relationships make for compelling stories with characters rich in nuance and personal history. Here, author Juliet Blackwell shares ways to explore the complexities of family in fiction.
3 Tips on How to Spark Romance in a Character Who Is Content With Being Single
Your characters can have their independence and their romantic endings, too. Here, author Bethany Turner shares 3 tips for sparking romance in a character who is content with being single.
8 Tips To Make an Unlikable Character Likable
Flaws in characters make them feel more real and authentic, but it’s important that their flaws don’t make readers root against them. Here, author Danielle Owen-Jones offers eight tips to help make an unlikable character likable.
Writing Real Relationships: 4 Strategies Starting With What You Know
Fleshing out character relationships can turn a good story into a great one. Here, Kris Spisak offers four strategies for writing real relationships between your characters.
For Better or Worse: Writing About Influence in Fiction
Influence and infatuation can make characters behave in surprising, and sometimes devastating, ways. Here, author Tara Isabella Burton discusses writing about influence in fiction.
5 Reasons for Characters to Hide and Then Confront Their Past
Everybody has secrets, so when do you reveal your character’s? Here, author Swan Huntley shares 5 reasons characters hide their past and when they should confront them.
Tapping Your Memories for Emotional Truths on the Page
Sharing even a fraction of our feelings with our characters will help our stories feel more authentic. Here, Kris Spisak explains how to tap into our memories to tell emotional truths on the page.
3 Things I Learned About Writing From Reading L.A. Weather by María Amparo Escandón
Every book you read can teach you something about writing. Here are 3 things I learned about writing from reading L.A. Weather.
Character Conflicts That Mirror a Larger Societal Conflict
When a character’s personal conflict reflects a larger societal issue is when character and plot come together. Author Beth Kirschner discusses how to create character conflict that can mirror a larger societal conflict.
3 Things to Learn About Writing From Reading The Comfort of Strangers
To add more suspense and a feeling of unease to your work in progress, a close read of Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers offers plenty to learn from.
Ways Animals Have Interacted With Writers Through the Centuries
Across the globe and spanning lifetimes, animals have always operated as more than simply animals within the stories they reside. Author Richard Girling discusses how animals have interacted with writers throughout the centuries.
Rhys Bowen: On Knowing Your Characters Inside and Out
New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen discusses how knowing her characters so well made for an easier writing process in her new book, God Rest Ye Royal Gentlemen.
Reframing Complicated Historical Characters in Fiction: How I Rewrote Wallis Simpson
Historical fiction is the blend of in-depth research and imagination. But what happens when your research doesn't match what you imagined of the real-life person? Author Wendy Holden discusses reframing complicated historical characters in fiction.
Writing Mistakes Writers Make: The Characterless Character
The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is writing a characterless character.
3 Reasons Your Characters Should Break the Rules to Do the Right (or Wrong) Thing
Let's face it: There are times when characters should follow the rules, but there are also times when characters should break them. Debut author Addison Armstrong shares three reasons your characters should break the rules to do the right (or wrong) thing.
How to Know When Your Manuscript Is Ready
In a craft and business as subjective as writing, there’s no clear finish line to let you know when you’ve arrived. Let editor Tiffany Yates Martin give you some tips for knowing when your manuscript is ready.
Character Differentiation Analysis: Fleshing Out What You’ve Started
When it comes to crafting characters, you can't be too careful. Let Kris Spisak guide you in your character development.