Archives for characters

Dialogue in a Nutshell

Dialogue. It sounds easy right. You get two or more characters together and you start them talking. Ah, but did you know there are rules to writing dialogue?Of course there are! But, don’t worry, I’ll try to make them easy to understand and follow. So, let’s get started. We all know that dialogue is plain and simple just easier and faster to read than narrative. It keeps the reader interested and moves the story along. That’s your first rule. Dialogue has to move the story along. As Dwight V. Swain says in The Things They Say article, “…ever and always dialogue must
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Character Building

Novels are often described as being either plot-driven or character-driven. This is something that may confuse the aspiring or new writer. Surely all plot-driven novels have characters, and character-driven novels have plots. Often I feel that this description is applied when the reviewer comes across a character that stands out (so the work is character-driven) or not (plot-driven). I think this is a somewhat short-sighted approach – I’ve yet to meet an author who doesn’t try to make their characters believable. So let’s take a look at why some succeed and others don’t. First off, despite all the effort that
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10 Techniques to Spark the Writing

From Gotham Writers’ Workshop Inc. and from an article in The Guardian comes writing advice from the Poet Laureate of the UK, Andrew Motion.   10 Techniques to Spark the Writing   1. Decide when in the day (or night) it bests suits you to write, and organise your life accordingly. 2. Think with your senses as well as your brain. 3. Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary. 4. Lock different characters/elements in a room and tell them to get on. 5. Remember there is no such thing as nonsense. 6. Bear in mind Wilde’s dictum that “only mediocrities develop” – and challenge it. 7.
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Bloody Hands

Every novelist should sit down at the keyboard with blood on their hands. To know what it feels like to have been wronged and to have wronged. To be guilty and innocent. A novelist must have truly lived her life–sucked the marrow, tended the wounds, lashed out in fear and anger, in order to write a story that speaks authentically at deeper levels; that explores human nature and the human condition in all its beauty and ugliness. A novelist must have experienced life–that visceral knowledge that comes only from having felt the range of emotions, discovered the myriad permutations of
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Crafting Believable Characters

Today I did my very first author interview podcast, and in preparation I did a couple of practice recordings using some of the questions my interviewer had prepped me with. I’ll post more on my podcast experience in my next post, but here I’ve focused on the art of crafting believable characters, which I thought might spark some inspiration and conversation on the subject. Please hit Play to unfreeze my face from the crazy expression it’s stuck in 🙂 Share your thoughts What do you think makes characters believable? Please share your thoughts below.
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