Category: characters

How to write a novel: a beginner’s guide to the basics of storytelling.

First off, you have to know these two things: Your first draft of your first book will be terrible. All your favorite authors of all time wrote a terrible first draft of their first book too. Probably a terrible second and third draft, maybe…

Writing Diversity: Can You Force it?

Writing diversity isn’t “forced.” What’s forced in writing is continuously cherry pick the situations in which many groups have been deliberately forced outby the one group who prides themselves as being ‘the norm.’ Let me explain: While the world is very diverse, there are situations and areas where someone…

Character Creation

I’ve been running my characters through these questions so I thought I might as well share them. They are meant to be a fun but challenging look at how your characters are going to interact with each other and the plot. The examples and…

Redemption Arcs: the big debate

There’s a hot take circulating lately that “some villains don’t deserve to have a redemption arc.” But I don’t believe this. No villain deserves a redemption arc. But every villain could have one, if they tried, if they worked towards it, if they’re written well in both their understanding of their…

The Stuff In Between The Dialogue.

Though we don’t usually need a lot going on outside the dialogue itself, it often feels static or otherwise unnatural if you have a entire conversation with dialogue, a few tags, and nothing else. But we never want to add extra words for the…

Every scene furthers the plot.

Some writers confuse “you must further the plot with every scene” with “heavy plot handling must happen constantly.” (Which is a shame, because the latter is not only incorrect, but can make your character’s interactions stiff and boring.) It’s okay to let your characters…

Writing Relationships: Enemies to Lovers.

These types of relationships can be some of the most interesting and enjoyable, both to read and write, because they show us many sides of the same characters and the growth from a hatred to mixed feelings and finally to genuine love and acceptance…

Making your angst hurt: the power of lighthearted scenes. 

I’m incredibly disappointed with the trend in stories (especially ‘edgy’ YA novels) to bombard the reader with traumatic situations, angry characters, and relationship drama without ever first giving them a reason to root for a better future. As a reader… I might care that…

Writing Redemption Arcs.

What is a redemption arc? “Redemption: An act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake.” An act, implying action, which is created by choices, which just happens to be the basis of character development. Some writers confuse redemption arcs with things they are not, and…

Mary Sue Stories: Why your Mary Sue and Gary Stu should(n’t always) go.

Most of us are quite familiar with the term, but if you’ve heard it passed around without a proper definition, a Mary Sue is a (traditionally female) character who’s known for being flawless. She’s powerful, beautiful, intelligent, more skilled than her peers, gets herself out of every bad…