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John Ford on Creating Vivid Characters With Minimum Effort

John Ford on Creating Marvelous Characters With Minimum Effort

This week’s video shows how a little subtext can make vivid characters out of your entire cast. Video Transcript: A few weeks ago, we talked about how we do not want ciphers in our stories. We want fully fleshed-out, rounded, dimensional characters—people who feel real enough that maybe we could see them in the coffee […]

The Impact Character Why Every Character Arc Needs One

The Impact Character: Why Every Character Arc Needs One

When we think of necessary characters, we tend to come up with obvious choices such as the protagonist, the antagonist, and maybe the mentor, love interest, and sidekick. “Impact character” probably isn’t at the top of your list. But it should be. Because you can’t create a character arc without one. “Impact character” is the […]

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Free Scrivener Webinar: Learn How to Use Scrivener to Superpower Your Writing

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you may have heard my excited geek squeaks about my recent discovery of the über-amazing, just-for-writers word processor Scrivener. I have absolutely fallen in love with this incredible program, and I’m thrilled to be able to bring all of you an exceptional opportunity. Joseph Michael, the World’s […]

Populating a Series With Characters Who Never Get Old

Evergreen Characters: Populating a Series With Characters Who Never Get Old

Pippi Longstocking. Katniss Everdeen. Meg Murry. Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper. Despereaux. Ed Kennedy. These characters live in our hearts and minds, and will never grow old. They are like old friends whom, when we cross their paths again, we’ll pick up right where we left off and have a nice chat. These aren’t characters, we […]

Want a Tight Story? Streamline Your Symbolism

Write a Tight Story: Streamline Your Symbolism

This week’s video offers a surprisingly simple tip for how to write a tight story that features both varied and rich themes. Video Transcript: Theme can be a bit of a tricky thing to understand how to pull off in a story. The main theme will always be central to the protagonist’s character arc. It […]

Can Your Characters Arc Be a Subplot

Can a Character’s Arc Be a Subplot?

You’ve written an amazing story. Your premise is high concept. Your plot structure is brilliant. The whole thing is killer. But the main character’s arc seems to be, well, lacking. It’s there all right. It just doesn’t get much screentime. It’s more of a, ahem, subplot. Is that even possible? Is it workable? Or is […]

3 Reasons You Should Consider Writing a Novella Right Now

3 Reasons You Should Consider Writing a Novella Right Now

When I first took to creative writing, all I ever heard about writing a novella was how I shouldn’t. Houses won’t publish them. Agents don’t represent them. All of this caused me to think it was because readers won’t read them. I know the first two are correct. The third point? Not so much. Publishers […]

Characters or Ciphers Which Are You Casting in Your Story

Characters or Ciphers? Which Are You Casting in Your Story?

This week’s video talks about why your characters may be as one-dimensional as those in The Monuments Men and offers an easy tip for adding dimension. Video Transcript: Just because you have a character in your story doing something does not mean he’s a character. It’s not enough to give a character a name, give […]

How to Figure Out What Your Character's Arc Should Be

How to Figure Out WHAT Your Character’s Arc Should Be

Over the last six months and three series, you’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how to structure your character’s arc–whether it’s positive, flat, or negative. But what you may still be wondering is how to figure out which arc you should choose for your character. Choosing your character’s arc is every bit as important a […]

The Crash: Braving Your Second Draft

The Crash: Braving Your Second Draft

Tell me if you’ve been here before. It’s May, with finals lurking around every corner, and you’re stuck in your room barreling through the paper on which your entire future depends. Or at least that’s how it feels right now. You’ve worked on it all day, and all night, and also all of the previous […]