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Category Archives: Character

Liveblogging Thursday: Character Storylines

Well, here I am, on Step Five of the Snowflake Method. Can I just say, I am loving it? Here’s the thing about the Snowflake Method: it breaks your novel up into discrete chunks you can deal with. Trust me when I say that you cannot hold the plot of your entire novel in your [...]

My Cute Little Problem

Adorable, isn’t she? This picture represents Koko Doyle, one of the four major characters in my book.  She’s a half-Japanese, half-Irish kid, newly orphaned when the book starts.  To say that she is out of place in 1929 Chicago would be putting it mildly.  She is emotionally mature but socially awkward, stoic but very loving. [...]

Me, Myself, and Kitty

As I’m editing my book, there are a lot of tasks on my plate: smoothing plot, seeding suspicions. But one of the most important things I’m doing is crystallizing the character of my protagonist, Kitty. It’s a lot of work. When I started out I had a vague idea of who she was: sort of [...]

I Know You!

I wanted to expand a bit on my “Character is about constancy” statement from a few weeks back–mainly because it flies in the face of all conventional storytelling wisdom. My writing group is always talking about character change: “What changes for this character?” “Yes, but how is he changed by these events?” “I’m not seeing [...]

OMG Star Trek OMG

What can I say about the new Star Trek movie? I mean, what CAN I say about the new Star Trek movie? Because the last thing I would want to say is anything that might spoil it for anyone. So I will simply try out a new maxim I’ve been floating around in my head [...]

Character of the Day

It’s time for another character from the Deck of Many Things. Virtue: Crafty Flaw: Insipid Dude, what is the deal here? Last time I pulled Skilled/Incompetent? And this time it’s Crafty/Insipid? Not to be deterred, I soldier on. Jamie Lynn Jameson Sixteen-year-old blonde bombshell and pageant queen. Loves kittens, curling irons, and unicorn stickers. Extremely [...]

My Top Villains

I do so love a good villain. Who doesn’t? In some stories, they’re more captivating than the hero. But how do you go about making a villain great? I was recently reading a post on Murderati that suggested I begin by just listing my favorite villains, then looking to see what they had in common. [...]

The Deck of Many Things

A while ago I talked about my method for creating characters: (1) Choose two Defining Characteristics, (2) Select a Major Mannerism that exemplifies both of them, and (3) Some other stuff. I don’t have a pressing need for any new characters right now, but one likes to keep one’s hand in. Which is why I’ve [...]

My Character Formula

Characters are arguably the most important part of writing, especially for someone who’s hoping to be a series author. So, naturally, I do a lot of thinking (and analyzing and obsessing) about them. I think I’ve finally arrived at my Grand Unifying Theory of Character. Step One: Two Defining Characteristics. They don’t have to go [...]

Character Virutes: Capability and "The Good-Guyness"

Yesterday I talked about character flaws. Today I’ll talk about character virtues. While a character can have any number of virtues, there are a few that are nearly universally essential. These break down into two categories: Capability and Good-Guyness. Capability If your character is capable, he can get things done. The main virtues in this [...]