Tag Archives: character

The Curse of Backstory

Of all the story-writing sins committed by beginning writers, by far the worst consists of dumping a trailer-load of backstory on the unsuspecting reader. Fortunately, this error becomes clear almost immediately, at least to the reader. As an editor, this practice … Continue reading

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Characters with… character. Part 3 of 3

We’re moving into the final lap of this character creation exercise. In case you missed the first two parts you can find them here and here. If you’ve been scribbling stuff down about your character, then this process will have … Continue reading

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Characters with… character. part 2 of 3

Last time (click here if you missed it) we covered character loglines, the character’s problem, and his or her initial plan to solve it. But there’s much more to character building. Read on. Next up is Conflict–the great provider. All that wonderful, … Continue reading

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Characters with… character. part 1 of 3

For most readers, novels are judged by the degree to which readers care for the players in the story. Character-driven stories haven’t just evolved; they’re as old as storytelling itself. And yet, far too many novice novelists concentrate more on plots than … Continue reading

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Where Should A Story Start?

A story starts at the beginning, right? <cue uproarious laughter> Well, yeah, it should. The problem is, most neophyte novelists think they have to supply a dump truck load of information about their character and his or her situation before … Continue reading

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Do your characters act like people?

Wait–You mean my human characters? It may seem like a stupid question, but it’s not. In the process of working our way out of caves and into cars, we have developed certain patterns of behavior which are common to all … Continue reading

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You’re stuck? Too bad. How to write a novel–part 34

Where did it all go wrong? Your story was cooking along nicely right up until– Hm. Somehow, somewhere along the way, something happened–either to the plot or your enthusiasm. Maybe both. Or maybe it was something else, some wrong turn, loose end, or … Continue reading

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