Category Archives: Character Traits

The Importance of Grounding Characters in the Reader’s World

We all know how important it is to build fully-fleshed characters by digging at their core. Exposing their attributes, flaws, morals, emotional wounds and fears that revolve around their basic human needs will influence their goals and desires within the … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Empathy, Fear, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

What’s So Good About Talents and Skills?

As many of you know, Angela and I are have a Talents and Skills Thesaurus that includes many different aptitudes that a character might have. We started this thesaurus because we wanted to offer writers more options than the usual … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Personality Traits: Building a Balanced Character

If writing the Positive Trait & Negative Trait Thesaurus books have taught me anything, it is that compelling characters are neither good nor bad, perfect or fundamentally flawed. Instead, they are all of these things. Each has a set of … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Empathy, Fear, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft | 20 Comments

How Morals and Basic Needs Influence a Character’s Strengths

You ever have one of those mornings where you’re just feeling…bleh? Life wasn’t exactly ticking along like clockwork and I was struggling with self-doubt. Then I clicked open my inbox and read the most wonderful message from a reader praising our Trait … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Uncategorized | 30 Comments

Hidden Emotions: How To Tell Readers What Characters Don’t Want To Show

One of the struggles that comes with writing is when a character feels  vulnerable  and so tries to hide their emotions as a result.  Fear of emotional pain, a lack of trust in others, instinct, or protecting one’s reputation are … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Fear, Uncategorized | 38 Comments

What Killed It For Me #4: Clichéd Characters

It’s hard to come up with characters who are believable yet don’t sound like every other character out there. It’s especially easy to fall into this trap with certain archetypes, like witty sidekicks or wise old mentors. Unfortunately, a recent … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Uncategorized, What Killed it For Me | 34 Comments

Introverts, Incredible Reviewers & Flawed Heroes

I know it’s only Tuesday, but what a crazy week! My kids are off school for exams, so I’m taking them to see the dentist, doctor and to get their eyes tested, plus I’m trying to finish all the necessary … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Moral Villains

I’ve got what I think will be a treat for you today. I’m at Katie Weiland’s Wordplay today, talking about villains. And not just your run-of-the-mill villain. Today I’m talking about some of the most interesting and frightening bad guys: the moral … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Villains | 3 Comments

The Four Types of Character Flaws

As writers, we know our characters should have positive and negative attributes because in real life, each individual is a mix of both. Flaws are especially important as in the character’s weaker moments, they dictate their thoughts, actions and behaviors, … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 27 Comments