Search Results for: protagonist

Why Your Hero Absolutely Must Pet the Dog

Some characters are born with “lovable” written all over their cute little faces. But some just pop out ugly—and mean—and generally rough around the edges. Most of my protagonists are people who have made major mistakes in their lives (we’re talking killing people, selling out to the dark side, and, in one case, putting sugar […]

Captain America's 10-Step Guide to a Likable Hero

Captain America’s 10-Step Guide to the Likable Hero

Make me like your character, and I will follow him to the center of the earth, I will fight with him in the trenches, I will slog through bogs, brave tsunamis, and face down volcanoes for him. If I like your character, I won’t just read your book, I’ll ache when it’s over, buy it […]

The Benefits of a Clueless Character

This week’s video discusses the pros of a clueless character who doesn’t know anymore about what’s going on than your reader does. Video Transcription: Often, authors enjoy writing about characters who are larger than life. We write about the kind of people we wish we could be: strong, beautiful, smart—particularly smart. We like our characters […]

Character and Plot – One and The Same Thing?

Plot is character, and character is plot, because as soon as a character takes a meaningful action, his action is driving your plot (whether you like it or not). Conversely, as soon as an event happens which elicits a meaningful reaction from your character, then his true character begins developing in the eyes of the […]

Keep Slow Scenes Moving With Tension and Foreboding

This week’s video shows how Patrick Rothfuss cleverly made even slow scenes in The Name of the Wind interesting by prompting reader anticipation with foreboding and foreshadowing. Video Transcription: Not every scene in our stories can be set at a fever pitch of excitement. Just like our own lives, the lives of our characters need […]

Drama vs. Melodrama: Can You Tell the Difference?

This week’s video cautions against stepping over the boundary between realistic conflict and tension into the dreaded realm of drama vs. melodrama. Video Transcription: To be interesting—to be a story—our novels have to possess an important component. This element is so inherent to the fictional arc that it’s actually the official title of performance plays: […]

From Good Writers to Great Authors

This post is by Sam Brodbeck. To the naked eye, there is not much that separates good writing from bad writing. All the same words appear—in fact, bad writing quite often contains longer and more complicated words. Of course, the difference between a well-written piece and a poorly written one becomes very clear, not in […]

Introduce Important POVs as Soon as Possible

This week’s video explains why introducing POV characters early in the book is important to your reader’s happiness. Video Transcription: By the time readers have read through the first couple chapters in your book, they’ve made an emotional and intellectual investment in your main characters. If they’ve read this far and plan to continue reading, […]

The Kung Fu Panda Guide to Writing Action Scenes

You don’t have to love kung fuuuuuuu to enjoy a good action scene, but you do need to understand the basics of this integral type of scene if you’re going to blind readers from overexposure to your action awesomeness. Fight scenes, chase scenes, and other action extravaganzas appear in stories of every genre, so consider […]

Does Your Story Maintain Consistency in the Details?

This week’s video discusses some of the more notorious inconsistencies in Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic Wives & Daughters as a warning for authors to check their facts. Video Transcription: Most authors are aware of how important it is to avoid plot holes and inconsistencies. But sometimes it’s the little details, more than the large ones, that […]