Category: Characters

  • Do You Use Swear Words in Your Fiction?

    Do You Use Swear Words in Your Fiction?

    Do you use swear words, cuss words, or bad words when you write fiction? If you’re writing picture books, no. But as your audience gets older and older, they start to creep into fiction. Guidelines for Using Swear Words in Fiction There are a couple schools of thought about using swear words in your fiction. […]

  • Why Does Your Character Do That: A New Look at BackStory

    I’ve written about backstory, flashbacks and dealing with what happens before the story starts several times before. This fall, however I’m taking a new look at backstory. Lisa Cron in Story Genius gives the backstory a whole new life. In particular, Cron asks WHY a character is doing something and then looks to something in […]

  • Why People Forget Your Character – And How to Prevent It

    Why People Forget Your Character – And How to Prevent It

    Interesting characters to populate your novel are crucial to your story’s success. And yet, too many times I find myself struggling to remember details of a character in a novel I read last year. Give your characters longevity and notoriety with these techniques. Don’t let more than 40 pages go by without mentioning a character. […]

  • Main Character: Who is Your Protagonist?

    Main Character: Who is Your Protagonist?

    A basic question for every story is this: Who is the main character? Today, many novels alternate POV characters, especially in first person. Or, the novel has an assemblage of characters. This rarely works because the reader needs to have some home base from which to view the story. The choice of a main character […]

  • Dialogue: 4 Ways it Goes Wrong

    Dialogue is an essential part of fiction, the way an author shows a character through what s/he says. And it’s so easy to get it wrong. Here are some ways dialogue goes wrong and what to do about it. Trivial. When character talk to each other, the reader doesn’t need to listen to the trivial, […]

  • Character Thoughts: Direct and Indirect Interior Monologues

    The infamous Show-Don’t-Tell mantra fails to take into account the importance of character thoughts. If you purely do action, dialogue and description, you have few tools to let the reader know the character’s inner life. Instead, you need to include thoughts at some point. Direct Interior Monologue When a character is thinking about something you […]