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Writing a novel means developing realistic and 3-dimentional characters.  I begin by developing a backstory for each major character. What kind of home was he born into? What happened to him a child? A teenager? An adult before the story opens?  His lifestyle, education, occuasion, interests, successses, failures, secrets. Once I gather this inforation, I dig   deep into […]


Many studies have been made throughout history to determine how temperaments determine personality, the actions and attitudes of people. Naturally these are not all perfect. Occasionally someone is a blend of two categories, but for your novel’s characters, this can be an interesting tool to use in your creative process. This post covers a definition […]

Examining Tone To Enhance Your Writing – Part 2

In Part 1 Understanding Tone In Fiction, the meaning of tone was defined and how it is important to your fiction. The post made it clear that authors want to work on this quality in their writing which helps to grab readers into the story and make them want to read more of the author’s […]


All writers know that after creating believable characters, the main character’s GMC is what makes the story—goals, motivation and conflict. Many blogs and workshops are written about the impact of conflict, and others revolve around creating challenging goals, but little is stressed about motivation. But think about it. What grabs readers and holds them in […]

Tiptoeing Around Description

The days of literary fiction are gone forever. Though some still write literary fiction with the long rambling descriptions and mental probing of life and times, the reality is popular fiction that sells forces authors to do a dance with description so that it brings the story to life but is purposeful. This is a […]


The question which came first the chicken or the egg is difficult to answer in the stream of creation, but as difficult is the question which comes first story or character. It doesn’t really matter. What we need to know is that a novel cannot be written without both—story and character, and one thing we […]

Using Motifs To Show Character Change

 A nostalgic moment or glowing memory from your life can become a motif or theme woven intricately through your novel, adding charm and continuity. A dictionary’s definition of motif is a recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work. It’s using an item or idea throughout a novel to emphasize an emotion or lesson […]

Characterization – Making It Better

 Many posts on characterization are available on this Writing Fiction blog, but authors can never learn enough. It’s the characters who bring your story to life and draw readers into their journey. The deeper the characterization, the more the readers’ interest and concern will be invested. Your goal as an author is to lure readers […]

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 […]