Category: Characters

The Hero’s Emotional MidPoint

Category: Characters, Writing Craft, Story Structure

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This week I’m honing the middle of my WIP, so it’s time to dust off the Archives and refresh my knowledge on The Hero’s Emotional MidPoint. What’s that? Click here to find out.


2 Parts of Character Need: Psychological + Moral

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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I’ve been reading writing craft books for almost two decades, and it’s gotten to the point where most of them don’t tell me anything I don’t already know. But recently I had a creative crisis that prompted me to look hard for new information, and I came across THE ANATOMY OF STORY by John Truby. I highly recommend you check it out. I’m not going to regurgitate the book’s content; I’m simply going to highlight a small tidbit I found in Chapter 3 that has completely changed how I approach developing the hero’s character arc…

Click here to read the full article on WriteOnSisters.com


Character Development: The Reaction Chart

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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Creating characters to populate your novel or screenplay is a lot of fun. You get to devise different backgrounds and opinions and alliances and secrets and all kinds of interesting stuff that brings the cast to life. But you can have the most detailed character sketches and richly drawn cast ever, and your story could still fall flat. How? It all comes down to how your characters react

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


Character Development: The Interaction Chart

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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Last week I shared Ten Questions To Ask Your Characters to make sure the supporting cast is as well-rounded as the protagonist. But that’s just step one to developing a novel’s cast. Now that we know who everyone is, what they want, and what their role is in the story, it’s time to figure out how they interact with each other…

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com.


Top Ten Things Writers Should Ask Their Characters

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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A week before NaNoWriMo began, I realized I didn’t know my supporting characters. Whoops! I had spent so much time figuring out my plot based on my heroine’s goal that I had neglected all the other characters, of which there are many because I’m writing a horror and a body count is required! But I didn’t have time to do full character sketches for all of them. So I came up with ten questions to ask my characters that cuts to the essence of their very souls — in ten minutes or less.

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


The Key to Writing 3-Dimensional Characters

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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The most common advice I’ve heard for writing three-dimensional characters is to delve into their backstory, develop their personality profiles, and get to know them as if they are alive and kicking right beside you. Common wisdom seems to support that if the author knows their characters inside and out, then said characters will be three-dimensional on the page.

But it’s not always that easy…

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


Prime Inner Conflict (aka Conflicting Wants)

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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Earlier this year I wrote a post about Internal Conflict based on a character’s flaws, fears and morality. Like External Conflict, Internal Conflict can be numerous and varied. The only rule is it all must get in the way of the hero achieving his/her goal. If it doesn’t, you don’t have conflict, just baggage.

Then there is what I call the Prime Inner Conflict. This is a want or desire that doesn’t just conflict with the protagonist’s goal, it competes with it. And last month I found out just how integral this is to a story…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


How To Create An Antagonist

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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Today on WriteOnSisters we have another edition of “Heather encounters a story problem and finds a way to solve it.” I’ve admitted before that my ideas come from situations not character, hence my posts about How To Choose A Main Character and Creating Character Arc From Plot, so it serves to reason that if I don’t have a protagonist in mind when the idea forms, I don’t have an antagonist either. So how do I create an antagonist? I’ll tell you…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


A-Z Writing Tips: C is for Character Change

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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Last year, on a complete whim, the WriteOnSisters signed up for the “Blogging From A to Z Challenge.” Not only did we survive the month and post every day (except Sundays, as per the challenge rules), we made friends with other bloggers and found some great blogs to follow. That’s not to say it was easy. A post a day is a lot of work, so we decided for 2015 we needed a strategy (click here to read it) and a theme to focus our posts, which is…

3, 2, 1… BLASTOFF to Stellar Writing!

We’re going to prime your writing to take off! Each post consists of:

  • 3 quick tips on one aspect of writing (i.e. conflict, stakes, narrators, etc.)
  • 2 examples of good technique
  • 1 resource for more in-depth help

And now, here is my first post of the #AtoZChallenge… C is for Character Change

 


Choosing the Right Character Arc

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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Two weeks ago I blogged about How to Create a Character Arc from Plot, followed my own advice, and came up with… multiple character arcs for my heroine. Yep. At least four or five, and I’m not sure which one is the right one for the story. What’s an I-have-too-many-ideas writer to do? Well, here are four different approaches: Pick, Plot, Pitch and Personal…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


How to Create a Character Arc from Plot

Category: Characters, Story Structure, Writing Craft

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There are lots of things that make a story good. In fact, I’m constantly overwhelmed trying to keep track of them all. But what elevates most stories above the rest is a satisfying character arc. What is this? Well, at the most basic level it is a story where the character changes. If your character doesn’t change, you don’t have an arc. And you must have an arc! Not sure you buy that? Read this post where I explain how stories that lack character change fall flat because they don’t connect with readers.

Since character arc is so important, some might think that every writer would start a story with the hero’s change in mind. That would be smart. I wish I wrote that way. Alas, my ideas are born out of situation, not character. I always think of the plot first. This means I have to create a protagonist for the plot to change…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


Reading for Writers 101: Character Motivation

Category: Characters, Writing Craft, Reading for Writers 101

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I read a lot. And since I’m a writer, reading isn’t just entertainment, it’s instructional. I learn from every book, whether good, bad or middling. That’s what inspired “Reading For Writers 101.”

Today’s lesson: Character Motivation.

Have you ever read a book where the hero does something that seems forced, out-of-character or unbelievable? I have. Lots. And the thing that drives me crazy about this is that it’s such an easy fix! Why? Because fiction writers can literally make up reasons for anything! When a character’s actions are unmotivated, it’s because the writer didn’t create, set up or communicate those motivations. Here are a couple examples and solutions…

Click here to read the whole post on Writeonsisters.com


How To Choose A Main Character

Category: Characters, Writing Craft

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In a novel, the main character must go through a life-changing event that transforms them by end of the book. (For more read What Is Character Change and How to Create Character Change.) With that in mind, it should be easy to know who is my protagonist, right? Just build the novel around whoever has the biggest change to make! Except in my current WIP I’m not sure who that is. Both potential heroines will change by the end, but who should lead the story?

Click here to read the full post at Writeonsisters.com


The Hero’s Emotional Midpoint

Category: Characters, Writing Craft, Story Structure

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A few weeks ago I wrote about Mapping the Mushy Middle of a story. This is a plot-centric approach to figuring out one’s story. However, story is a two-sided coin made up of plot and character. For every plot point there’s a corresponding character arc moment. So I blogged 3 Steps to Creating Character Change where I discuss the hero’s flaw as it presents itself in Act I, causes trouble for the hero in Act II, and is eventually overcome in Act III.

Yet even after figuring all that out, I still have trouble wrapping up my stories with a satisfying character transformation. In a story’s finale, not only is the plot resolved and the character flaw overcome, the hero must be changed. And I’ve found that overcoming a flaw isn’t always enough to change the hero.

So how do I get over this writing hump? Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com and find out.


Reading For Writers 101: Character Change, Pt2

Category: Characters, Writing Craft, Reading for Writers 101

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Last week’s lesson was about how Character Change makes a story more satisfying, and I evoked the good name of James Bond to make my point. Audiences and readers, now more than ever, want characters who grow and evolve. But figuring out your character’s change is just one step; you also need to develop how that change occurs.

Today’s lesson: Character Change can’t come out of nowhere!

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


Reading For Writers 101: Character Change, pt 1

Category: Characters, Writing Craft, Reading for Writers 101

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I read a lot. And since I’m a writer, reading isn’t just entertainment, it’s instructional. I learn from every book, whether good, bad or middling. That’s what inspired “Reading For Writers 101.”

Today’s lesson: Why character change makes a story worth reading.

Months ago I read a book where, frankly, the main character was a precocious, spoiled brat. I hated her but continued reading because I expected her to change – encounter some hard knocks, setbacks and meaningful life experiences that would transform her in the end. After all, a story’s purpose is to dramatize a life-changing moment. Whatever happens it should affect the characters for the rest of their totally-made-up-but-true-to-the-reader lives!

So when this character remained a brat to the very last page, I was super disappointed. But why?

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com