Category Archives: Characters

Raise the Stakes By Making It Personal

Compelling novels have many different ingredients that make them fascinating to read, but one standard components is a healthy, continual dose of ACTION. The protagonist is always doing something: weighing alternatives, choosing options, making decisions and then acting on them, … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Fear, High Stakes, One Stop For Writers, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

Want Memorable Characters? Focus on the Little Things

I love building characters. In fact, “building” is apt, because for me, they come a piece at a time. A brick or two might lock into place as I wrestle with that hateful night demon, Insomnia. Another may manifest with … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Reader Interest, Show Don't Tell, Software and Services, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 21 Comments

Characters As Mirrors

I’ve been thinking lately about something that Angela and I touch on in all of our books: The Mirror of Real Life. It’s this idea that something in our stories is like a mirror for readers that reflects back to … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Wound, Characters, Motivation | 9 Comments

Overcoming an Emotional Wound (Character Arc Help)

Of all the pieces of backstory we should understand as authors, none are more important than our protagonist’s Emotional Wound. A powerful statement, but here’s why. Think about your own life for a moment. The experiences you had in your … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Endings, Fear, Motivation, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

What Does Your Protagonist Want BEFORE the Story Starts?

Imagine getting up in the morning and not wanting anything (not even coffee). No, seriously, try. Imagine having no agenda. Sure, that may sound great for a bit – especially given that crazy-busy seems to be the new normal. But … Continue reading

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

How To Write Characters With PTSD

So excited to have Lisa Hall-Wilson here today to share some insight on how to write PTSD realistically… Hey hey! *mittened fist-bump* 😊 Thanks so much for having me! Writers are always looking for ways to add authenticity to their … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Show Don't Tell | 16 Comments

Three Powerful Techniques To Harness A Reader’s Curiosity

Psychology has spent over a century studying human behavior; our emotions, thoughts, needs and wants, what draws us in and what pushes us away. This means psychology can teach us a lot about our stories, our characters, and how to … Continue reading

Posted in Empathy, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

10 Methods to Make Your Character Likeable

A key point of writing a successful story is to have likeable characters. This is usually a must for the protagonist, but the cast overall should have a number of likeable characters. Here are 10 methods to accomplish that. 1) … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Empathy, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Diversifying Your Characters’ Voices

“Voice” is one of the things we authors agonize over—finding the character’s unique and authentic way of speaking. It’s especially critical to get this right when we’re writing in multiple viewpoints, so each character sounds like him or herself and … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Voice | 10 Comments

The Resource Mother Lode: How to Write Emotional Wounds

Hi everyone! I thought with the release of  The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma, I’d do a round up of posts on emotional wounds to help with this super-challenging area. Today I am over at Jane … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments