Category Archives: Character Traits

No Shortcuts, Please: Myths and Misconceptions of Villains & Mental Health

I love the internet–I get to meet all sorts of wonderful people. Today I’m happy to welcome Sacha Black, who knows a heck of a lot about the baddie in your story…someone more important than some writers may realize. This … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Guest Post, Show Don't Tell, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 23 Comments

Does Your Character Description Create A Powerful Image?

Your job as a storyteller is to create IMAGES. This is true not just for screenwriters, but for anyone presenting a story to a reader or an audience. Whenever we read a novel or hear a speech or see a … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Motivation, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 2 Comments

5 Things Psychology Can Teach Writers

From our books, most of you know Becca and I love psychology. This is largely because the most captivating fiction pieces are those that closely mirror the real world, especially when it comes to characters. Knowing who a character is … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Empathy, Fear, Guest Post, Motivation, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 18 Comments

Happy Holidays: Our Most Popular 2016 Posts For Writers

It’s that time of year where Becca and I sneak off to the liquor cabinet for some adult beverages to drink some rich hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire so we can enjoy some family togetherness and reflect … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, Experiments, Fear, Mood and Atmosphere, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Setting, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Story Structure, Subtext, Symbolism, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

How Character Attributes and Flaws Work Within Character Arc

Like real people, characters have mixed personalities that contain both positive traits (attributes) and negative traits (flaws). Flaws are especially interesting as they develop  when a person has experienced a painful life lesson: the world, and the people in it, … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Experiments, Motivation, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 5 Comments

Struggle With Show, Don’t Tell? Try This Ultimate Description Toolkit

Today I’m sharing some amazing tools as part of Verbaleyze’s  My Writing Toolkit event, in hopes you might find some new weapons in the battle for strong, compelling description. For those not familiar with VerbalEyze, they are a 501(c)3 nonprofit … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, High Stakes, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Revision and Editing, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 7 Comments

Deepen The Protagonist to Readers By Challenging His or Her Moral Beliefs

When we sit down to brainstorm a character, we think about possible qualities, flaws, quirks, habits, likes and dislikes that they might have. Then to dig deeper, we assemble their backstory, plotting out who influenced them, what experiences shaped them … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Emotion, Fear, Motivation, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Tension, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 7 Comments

35 Posts To Help Writers Elevate Their Craft And Marketing Skills

A friend of mine asked me for a list of posts that I would like shared online (how nice, right?) and it prompted me to visit my website stats to see what posts were the most popular with those who … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Marketing, One Stop For Writers, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Promotion, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 13 Comments

The Subtle Knife: Writing Characters Readers Trust But Shouldn’t

I don’t know about you, but I love reading books where the author encourages me to draw conclusions that are wrong. Case in point–untrustworthy characters who I trust anyway. Like all writers, I am ultra aware of character cues and … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Experiments, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Subtext, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 21 Comments

Planning a Novel: Character Arc In A Nutshell

So, you’re ready to sit down and plan a new book. Are you excited? I hope so. You’re about to create a new reality! Can you imagine it, that fresh page that’s full of potential? Your main character is going … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, Fear, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Plotting, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 21 Comments