Category Archives: Characters

Uncontrollable Characters

Some authors claim that characters live in the their head, sometimes ignore their directives and even argue with what the author has planned for them to do. The difficulty with capturing real characters is the finite number of words in … Continue reading

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Writing Dislikeable Characters

Recently I was following a thread of writers discussing how to find names that make characters memorable. Honestly, I believe that writers should be looking at the reverse situation. It is the skillful creation of a character whose strengths and … Continue reading

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What limits should side characters have?

Most people are at least vaguely familiar with Anna Karenina if they know anything about Russian literature. Perhaps they have seen one of the movies made from this famous novel. I even discussed this book with a student who had … Continue reading

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How likeable does a character have to be?

We often hear it is absolutely necessary for your protagonist to be likable. I take this advice not just with a grain of salt but with a huge chunk of sodium chloride. One of my very dislikable characters (according to … Continue reading

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Researching memorable characters

What makes a character memorable? There is no one clear cut answer and even much debate over which ones have that quality.  I have researched a number of lists, particularly for characters from novels written in the 20th century. After … Continue reading

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Obnoxious characters

Creating villains is much like creating protagonists. They are people with depth and a history. A villain follows discernible motives just like the hero does. Only at some point in their life, villains take an ethical shortcut to get ahead. … Continue reading

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Want a good tip?

Have you ever chatted with a person and mentioned publishing some work only to be barraged with requests for writing tips? Although we would long to be full of wisdom, providing that kind of information is not easy. Sometimes it … Continue reading

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A more likeable villain than hero?

One of the more popular trends in entertainment for young adults are superhero movies. The audience for these films is often people who are no longer young adults. In fact, some have not been in that category for decades. They … Continue reading

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How well do you know your characters?

Why is it difficult to write complex and interesting characters? Because I must resist the temptation to simply tell about them. I cannot get upset by readers who expect to jump into immediate action and learn all about the character … Continue reading

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Mature content

As a grade school child, I read a book called Black Beauty. It was actually written for adults. In the first chapter the son and only heir to the family dies of a broken neck in the foolish sport of … Continue reading

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