Search Results for: protagonist

How to Describe Your Characters

How to Describe Your Characters – and How Not to

This week’s video discusses how to describe your characters, including how much description you should include and where to include it. Video Transcript: Perhaps the largest limitation of the written word is that it offers no visual picture. Unlike the viewer of a movie, a reader is entirely dependent upon the author’s descriptive skills for […]

5 Elements of a Resonant Closing Line

As important as the opening line may be to convincing someone to read your book, the closing line is the one that determines how well your story works—and whether or not your reader will find your story a satisfying experience. Last month, we talked about the 5 Elements of a Riveting First Line, and today […]

5 Fun and Easy Ways to Lengthen Word Count

We see a lot of hype these days about books that are too lengthy for agents or editors to consider. But what about books in which we need to lengthen word count? In comparison to giving your overweight manuscript liposuction, fattening up an anorexic story often feels like trying to create something out of nothing. There […]

Reading With Attention

Reading for Plot Structure Whatever book you’re reading right this very minute, take a quick second to look in the back and see how many pages it has. Rounded, I mean. Find a scrap of paper or a used envelope and jot this down at the bottom: total number of pages. Now divide that into: […]

Benefits of Outlining Your Novel

Welcome to the last installment in our series of video/audio trailers, offering a sneak peek into the first chapter of Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. Be sure to sign up for the last of our mini prize giveaways, before next week’s Grand Prize, worth over $400. Leave a comment to register for […]

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 […]