Category Archives: Characters

Contrasting and Condensing Characters: Two Sides to One Coin

Good characterization is an enigma: it happens in the minutia, with the details we choose for our cast members, but it also happens on the macro level, with how we put those details together. I’d like to share two techniques … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 6 Comments

Saggy Middle? Use Conflict to Nip and Tuck It

When I get a new story idea, I fly into the start of it with as much gusto as a kid in a candy store. I’m filled with the buzz of ‘newness’ and the anticipation of where the story might … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Editing Tips, Middles, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Villains, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Story Structure in a Flash

Story structure can sometimes be difficult to wrap our minds around; there are so many different structures, all with different terminology and slightly different meanings. But today I’m going to hopefully simplify things by covering how I view story structure—in … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Endings, Openings, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Villains, Writing Craft | 3 Comments

Picking the Right Setting Details

Settings are very important to me. Most of my love affairs with books and movies tie directly into where the characters lived, laughed, and suffered: Green Gables, Toad Hall, the Nostromo, Braveheart‘s Scotland. So when it comes to choosing or creating … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Mood and Atmosphere, Setting, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 4 Comments

Plot, Inner Change, Evocative Writing—What Really Rivets Readers?

Here’s a counterintuitive fact: Writers spend way too much time obsessing about “the writing.” They sweat over the words, the technique, the language, the flow, the use of metaphor, and hey, are there enough sensory details?  Fact: In and of … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Empathy, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft | 19 Comments

5 Character Tools You Absolutely Need to Know

Angela here, happy to welcome Savannah Cordova from Reedsy back to the blog, who has done some sleuthing to find some interesting tools that might help you with your characters, everything from those that help you play around with ideas … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Arc, Character Traits, Characters, Experiments, Guest Post, Stereotypes, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 9 Comments

Struggling with Writing Flashbacks? Try Using the P.A.S.T. Method 

Hi everyone! Today we have a past Resident Writing Coach visiting us: Sara Letourneau, editor and owner of Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services. She’s sharing some terrific insight on flashbacks, so please read on! Flashbacks can be … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Characters, Flashbacks, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 11 Comments

Layering Character for Believable Fiction

Layering: the deepest, richest, most compelling aspect of character  We hear a lot of talk about “layering” as a storytelling device. The more layers a character has, the more complex and individual they are, allowing authors to sidestep cliché and create … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Three Ways Writers Tell, Not Show (And How You Can Fix Them)

One of my favorite writing coaches is here with us to dish some helpful advice on Show and Tell. Please welcome Janice Hardy and read on… Show, don’t tell, is drilled into every writer’s head, and most of us have … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Arc, Characters, Description, Emotion, Guest Post, Revision and Editing, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 22 Comments

Does Every Lead Character Need An Arc?

At a Bouchercon some years ago, Lee Child was part of a panel on characters in thrillers. An audience member asked him a question about character change. “Every character has to have an arc, right?” “Why?” Child said. “There doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Endings, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 14 Comments