Search Results for: protagonist

character thoughts

5 Ways to Write Character Thoughts Worth More Than a Penny

One of the key benefits of written fiction is also one of the most difficult techniques to master: the characters’ inner narrative. The inner narrative of the characters—their thoughts put on paper—is the essence of fiction. Mastery of that essence equals mastery, in large part, of the art form of fiction itself. No wonder it’s […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes: Poor Cause and Effect

As creators of story worlds, authors are privileged with a certain amount of inside information. We almost always know what’s going to happen to the characters before an event actually occurs. We understand cause and effect intuitively. The readers and the main character might not have seen that left hook coming from the antagonist, but […]

character emotion

How to Make Readers Feel Your Characters’ Emotions

I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that your story forces your character to experience some pretty deep emotions. They might fall in love, or undergo the agony of a family member’s death, or even be wracked by guilt. Whatever the case, how do you go about portraying those emotions so powerfully […]

walk-on character

Making the Most of Walk-On Characters

Walk-on characters are often the neglected heroes of fiction. If the protagonist didn’t have other people with whom to interact, most stories would quickly fall apart. So, whenever the need arises, we stick in a taxi driver or a receptionist or a bum on the corner. Often, these unnamed characters fulfill the needs of the […]

how to enliven your adjectives

How to Bring Adjectives to Life

As a writer, you’re always being told you’re not supposed to pile on the adjectives to describe something. But how else can you share with readers the nuanced vision you see in your own mind’s eye? David Guterson’s lyrical study of life and death in East of the Mountains offers a surprisingly simple and effective […]

Why Writers Must Resist the Urge to Explain

Because it’s so important readers get what you’re trying to say in your stories, it can be tempting to explain things point blank at every juncture. Avoiding confusion is vital. However, when you fail to master subtlety, you not only rob your stories of added power and depth, you also risk frustrating readers with patronizing […]

The Best Way to Make Use of Your Story’s Normal World

Writers can’t afford to waste readers’ time or test their patience by meandering about in their opening scenes. At first glance, this would seem to mean you have to get right to the point of the story. You might feel compelled to open your story right at the moment when your character’s world is changed […]

Keep Unlikable Characters From Alienating Readers

Keep Unlikable Characters From Alienating Readers

Because a strong character arc often requires a deep change of personality in the main character, writers are sometimes forced to begin their stories from the rather compromising basis of a main character who is less than likable. In some instances—redemption stories and their ilk, in particular—the main character starts out being a real jerk. […]

why writers can not afford to judge their characters

Why Writers Can’t Afford to Judge Their Characters

Every once in a while, a reader will ask which of my characters is my favorite. Usually, I come up with an answer based on the whim of the moment. But really, no matter what I say, it’s a lie. I don’t have a favorite character. As an author, I can’t afford to. If you’re […]

Is Backstory Sinking Your Book?

Backstory is often misunderstood, mostly because it has gained something of a bad reputation through misuse. It’s important you neither underestimate this crucial storytelling technique, nor allow it to overwhelm your main story. Backstory, as its name implies, is intended to stay in back of the main story. It’s never the point of the story, […]