Browsing Tag

writing complex characters

Toxic People: Why So Many Writers Just Can’t Say No

You don’t make friends with people so much as you try to swallow them whole, and then regurgitate them back out onto paper.
—The Writer’s Husband

I’m the writer, and the quote above is from my husband. It might sound funny now, but at the time I was really offended that he would say such a thing. I wasn’t some smarmy writer worming my way into inner circles, drinking in people and conversations only to skewer them later in my fiction…was I?

But I had to admit, he had a point. Continue Reading

The One Mistake Writers Make that Can Ruin their Characters

Some writers call it a burst of inspiration. Some writers call it “being in the zone.” It’s that magical shift that happens when your characters start speaking and acting with their own free will. That point of no return when they run off on their own wild ride and you really have no choice but to follow along.

If this is what we all want from our characters, then why does it seem like it’s so hard to get there? Continue Reading

Security, Sex, and Power: 3 Keys to Unlocking Character

Do you really know what motivates your characters? I mean beyond trying to solve the mystery of the plot you’ve woven around them, or being reunited with the person you’ve torn from them in the interest of suspense. What is the constant energetic force in your character’s life that drives him or her to do the things they do? Continue Reading

Compassion and Character Study

SAMSUNG

Every writer knows that bad writing usually includes one-dimensional characters. Readers aren’t satisfied by a story in which the heroes are sugary sweet and the villains seem motivated only by pure evil. Not only is it difficult to get emotionally attached to characters with superficial personalities, but their actions don’t add much to the story. We already know what they’re going to do before they do it, and why. Because they’re good. Or because they’re evil. Case closed. Continue Reading