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Using A Characterization Worksheet

An author must keep track of everything significant about the major characters, both for accuracy in the novel and also for the time comes to provide information for the cover art.  I’ve found this worksheet to be invaluable, and I always include copies when I teach writing fiction around the country.  It fills one sheet and […]

The Character’s Core

Characterization takes work to make them believable and three-dimensional.  Many techniques are available to help an author dig deep into a character’s mind and heart and then share the findings with the reader through a story that grabs the readers and holds them. A guest post by novelist C.S. Larkin on the Story Fix blog covered some […]

Sympathetic Characters

Years ago following a rejection, an author wrote to me and asked what it meant if an editor said she didn’t find her main character entirely sympathetic. While you may disagree with the editor, thinking no character needs to be “entirely” sympathetic, let’s think about this. I’ve written about villains and the need to make […]

Moral Premise:Harnessing Virtue and Vice – Dr. Stanley D. Williams

I had the great pleasure of taking a course from Dr. Stanley D. Williams who is noted in the field of story and script consulting for film. His book The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue and Vice is a guide for writers of all fiction in any format. This book is a guide for every character arc and […]

The Sagging Character

I’ve written blogs and taught workshops on “the sagging middle” which refers to the loss of momentum in the middle of your novel. The long stretch between the beginning and ending can sometimes become lackluster and boring to a reader when it’s not providing enough to drive the story forward. But plots aren’t the only thing […]

Ideas for Real Life Characters

Writers Digest had an excellent article on characterization in January 2011 written by David Corbett. A small part of that article was subtitled Real-Life Characters, and it offered a list of possible characters you might find in your own life. The author suggested you create a list of interesting people and provide details, physical appearance, […]

Grabbing Readers And Hanging On

Authors use all kinds of phrase that means the same thing. Grab the reader, hook the reader, create a page-turner, or write a keeper. Obviously all of these phrase mean an author wants to engage readers to the point that they can’t put down the book and once it’s finished, they can’t let it go. […]

Building a 3-Dimensional Hero Using Core Personalities – Part II

After digesting the personalities of the four core types from Terrance Real’s book How Can I Get Through To You, you can see the opportunities to build some interesting characters and create dynamic conflicts. Consider plotting a thriller where two elitists are on opposing forces or plotting a romance with the one character being a […]

Part I – Building a 3-Dimensional Hero Using Core Personalities

Whether you write suspense, romance, or adventure, any genre needs 3-D characters. Author Mark Mynheir presented a workshop many months ago on characterization and suggested the use of the Myers Briggs personality test to help create dynamic characters by using the basic core personalities and then wrapping a backstory history around him. Here is a […]

Conflicts, hooks, characterization in a novel?

Another new author asked a very complex question about conflicts and hooks when the novel isn’t a suspense.. Most of you know the importance of conflicts and hooks in any kind of novel, but here was my response to her question—both an explanation and advice. Gail said:Your questions are so complex I’d have to write workshops for […]