Category Archives: Characters

Who’s the real villain?

As a legend Robin Hood represents the kind of principled nonconformist on which many heroes are based. We love to read about people who confront government wrong-doing even in a criminal manner as he did. But, if a similar character … Continue reading

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The most memorable kind of hero

Is this true that a memorable hero of incredible wisdom and strength can only show full worth when pitted against an incredibly powerful villain?.  The similarities between villains and heroes are often noted in fiction. So how does an author … Continue reading

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When do the ghosts show up?

According to my friends I read depressing books, such as Cry the Beloved Country and Crime and Punishment, and actually enjoy them. What kind of books do I avoid reading because I find them depressing while others seem to relish … Continue reading

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The sports hero’s journey

When advised to base stories on the hero’s journey, I realized that the “monomyth model” constructed plots based on a large sampling of Greek mythology. I’ve always had a suspicion that these myths were based on real people. The characters … Continue reading

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Emotionally intelligent characters?

Readers may seek out stories with a hero with greater than average athletic ability and high intelligence because they are drawn to the larger than life character who is strong or ingenious. However, when a reader asks for a character … Continue reading

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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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