When building characters, a lot of people like to create dossiers or put their characters through personality tests to get to know them better. While knowing your character’s favorite food, color, and song might be helpful, there are some deeper traits that are useful to uncover while planning or before revising our characters. My favorite … Continue reading Core Motivators: Building characters and ensembles
One of the most important things you will do for any story you write is make your character needy. No, I’m not saying your character should be poor. And they don’t have to be clingy or insecure and requiring attention 24-7. I mean your character has to have a need. Or a purpose or a … Continue reading Needy Characters
Characters in stories inhabit a spectrum of morality that inform their motives. On the one end are pure heroes, like Superman, Captain America, and Marge Gunderson in Fargo, who live by a strict moral code and who always do the right thing for the reasons. On the other end are pure villains, like Sauron, the … Continue reading The Antihero’s Journey
I recently asked friends on social media what they’d most like to know about writing—the most popular response had to do with writing a book. How do you start? What do you do when you’ve finished? Since we’re heading into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the beginning seems like a very good place to start. … Continue reading So You Want to Write a Novel?
I have been *slowly* working through the lessons of Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass. It wasn’t a difficult decision for me to take it because The American President is one of my favorite movies and The West Wing has yet to be beat out of its spot for best TV show (though Madam Secretary is currently a … Continue reading When Is Your Character Real?
I love a good bad guy. Always have, always will. For me, and for many other readers, the strength of a story lives or dies on the strength of the villain. After all, why bother rooting for a hero who doesn’t have to overcome anything? Where’s the fun in watching Frodo casually pop over to … Continue reading Introducing Evil: Crafting a Villain
In my post from last month, "How Far Is Too Far? How Much Is Too Much?" I talked about how authors of young adult books are including more profanity, sexual situations, drug use, and other controversial content in their novels. I was really curious to find out in greater detail what readers of all ages … Continue reading Survey Analysis: How Far Is Too Far? How Much Is Too Much?