Backstory isn’t Character

(IMPORTANT NOTE: I will be differentiating character, as in a person, and character, as in aspects of a person, by capitalizing the former and leaving the latter lowercase. So from here on out in this post, Character refers to people, and character refers to qualities of a Character.) Happy New Year, everyone! I thought I’d…

Letting Your Characters be Who They Are (A Deeper Look Into Point of View)

Point of view is one of those tricky subjects we often struggle with as writers.  I know I’ve been trying to get a solid understanding on this since I started seriously writing back in late 2007.  Just the other day while I was reading one of my children’s newsletters from school, I came across something that gave me…

Writing a Series

A lot of authors write series. Some make all their money writing long series rather than stand-alone novels. A few are even paid by their publishing companies to keep writing series even after the story has gotten old and there are no new ideas or places for the characters to go (*cough* *cough* James Patterson…

Creating Character Names

What’s in a name? Contrary to what William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo & Juliet, a name can say a lot about you. Certain names have certain associations or ideas linked to them. A character’s name can excite, terrify, or bore a reader (can you imagine Harry Potter or Sherlock Holmes sounding interesting if their names…

Creating A Great Antagonist

The antagonist or antagonists of a story are often the central driving force to the story or what causes the central driving force to come into being. That being said, a lot of thought has to go into creating an antagonist, especially the central antagonist. In fact, for horror novelists such as myself, it’s often…

The Components For Successful Sequels

It’s no understatement to say that Western art and culture is obsessed with sequels these days. Every blockbuster must have at least one or two continuations of their stories, artists of all stripes are naming their albums with the suffix “2.0” or “Part III”, and even literature’s greats are producing series of at least three…

Using Story Excerpts And Character Interviews for Your Blog

One thing I love doing are character interviews, especially when the characters have an attitude.  I like to give an excerpt from a book I’m writing and then ask the characters to chime in on what they think of it.  Sometimes, they give me grief over some angle in the story.  Sometimes they give me…

What Do Your Characters Risk? Creating Characters

I’m going to apologize now that I’ve been so late posting this. I wanted to have it up on Monday with the follow up articles posted every other day, but with life coming at me hard this weekend, it didn’t happen. Now all the articles will be one after the other. ________________ For me creating…

Reality vs Annoying

Though I tend towards speculative fiction, I’m a big stickler for what I call “reality” – Characters should react realistically to situations. If confronted with a vampire will you instantly believe in them? No. If someone says “I’m a werewolf”, do you buy it? (Hint: the latter has happened to me. My first thought was “this guy is a…