Category Archives: Characters

How to Add Meaningful Subplots to Your Novel

Many people are familiar with subplots. They are those side stories that give a novel’s plot depth. A subplot may involve the main character or minor characters, but they enrich the story if done well. Subplots are everywhere. We see … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

Keep It Fresh: 10 Ways To Show Your Character’s Emotions

Years ago, Becca and I grumbled about how our characters always expressed emotion the same way. My big thing? Frowning. Did my characters EVER know how to frown. They were savage at it. Becca’s characters? Smilers, all of them. SO … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Experiments, One Stop For Writers, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

A Question of When: Indicating Time Passage in Our Stories

Today, we’re going to discuss a question a WHW reader previously submitted to the Resident Writing Coaches. Nancy C. asked: “I would like to know more about how to show the passing of time between scenes (other than dates or … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Guest Post, Pacing, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 23 Comments

Let Your Characters Live and Breathe

In my collection of writing books is a 1919 title, A Manual of the Art of Fiction, by one Clayton Meeker Hamilton, a professor at Columbia University. It’s a bit academic, but I’ve found some gems in it. Among them … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 19 Comments

What American Horror Story Taught Me About Anti-Heroes

Every time I search Netflix, Hulu, or primetime TV for a new show to watch, I’m convinced that anti-heroes are taking over the world. Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, the Sopranos, Nurse Jackie, Dexter—all popular shows with a less-than-traditional protagonist. The anti-hero … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Characters | 21 Comments

Three More Lesser Known Archetypes

Back in January, Jonathan Vars was here to talk about some lesser-known archetypes and how utilizing them can bring a sense of freshness to our stories. Because of the positive feedback on that post, he’s back with three MORE archetypes you might not … Continue reading

Posted in Characters | 11 Comments

Complex Characters and the Power of Contradiction

You’ve likely seen countless posts and resources related to creating great characters, but almost all of them seem to be lacking in one aspect I’ve found to be perhaps the most powerful: giving your characters contradictions. Some might read this and … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

Angela’s Fantastic Finds for Writers

People who follow me in social spaces know I curate A LOT of content–enough to supply 3 twitter accounts, 3 facebook pages, one personal FB profile and then of course a massive database on Pinterest. And…I find a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Agents, Basic Human Needs, Characters, Critiquing & Critiques, Marketing, One Stop For Writers, Social Networking, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 34 Comments

Planning the Perfect Love Triangle

It’s spring. The sap is rising. Let us talk of love triangles. These are potent story devices, even if the triangle isn’t the story’s main concern. When I work with authors, one of the most common issues is underdeveloped plot situations, … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Romance, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Want to Write Romance? Layer Your Scenes for Success

When I began considering writing a romance novel, I asked some of my romance author friends about structure. I had no idea that romance novels, across the board, followed a basic structure that differed in many ways from traditional novel … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Romance, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 15 Comments