• Character Development

    7 Defense Mechanisms You Could Give To Your Character

    You’ve picked out your character’s eye color, hair color, and favorite ice cream. You have even chosen their personality type, their deep dark secret, and deepest fear. You certainly haven’t ignored their greatest desire and figured out how their objective in the story works with, or against, this desire. So have you thought about adding a few defense mechanisms? A defense mechanism is a way that we handle stress. Defense mechanisms are often involuntary and can be seen as a form of self-deception. Your main character needs one or two because he shouldn’t be perfect. They should have a reason that they react to certain situations certain ways. They also…

  • Beautiful Words,  Character Development,  Craft

    Eight Ways You May Be Bungling Your Dialogue In Your Novel

      “I’m not bungling my dialogue,” you say to yourself. But you’ve had a few complaints from your beta readers about how they don’t like the characters. You’ve been told the story feels dead. While your plot is tight and your pacing is perfect, the characters themselves feel off. The trouble could be your dialogue. Dialogue is the soul of the characters. Dialogue is what brings the story to life for your reader. Are you bungling it? You may be bungling you dialogue if . . . ¬†You’ve forgotten about the influence of setting. Your story’s setting may play a role in the way that your characters speak. But too…

  • Character Development,  Craft,  Uncategorized

    Eighteen Ways To Write An Emotionally Abusive Villain

        Let’s say you want to write a villain who doesn’t wear black, doesn’t have a weapon and doesn’t do all the things that typical baddies do.You want an emotionally abusive villain. Emotionally abusive villains are scarier than the Darth Vader types, in my humble opinion. They can play with a person’s mind, trick them into thinking that they are safe, twist their reality and torture their soul. In real life and in real literature ¬†emotionally abusive villains have been responsible for all kinds of evil. Often emotional abusers are subtle. They don’t go for the obvious name calling. Instead they want to be see as following the letter…

  • Character Development,  Craft,  Inspiration,  Uncategorized

    5 Super Powers & 5 Sources of Kryptonite for Abused Characters

      Super powers always come from somewhere. Does your main character have super powers? If your main character has a history of abuse then you may have a super hero on your hands. This isn’t just the stuff of Marvel Comics. In real life, victims of abuse — at least those that have sought therapy, identified all facets of their past, and dealt with their pain — often display super powers that ordinary mortals don’t. These superpowers came from years of practice. They’re survival skills turned up to eleven. If you have a character whose past is particularly tragic, consider using some of these characteristics to portray them. Keep in…