• Craft,  Creativity

    Top Ten Things You Don’t Want When Naming Characters by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelists

    Sometimes naming characters is the fun part of writing. And then sometimes you feel like if you don’t get it just right, then your entire world will fall apart. It doesn’t help that there’s only twenty bajillion names to choose from. Sometimes it’s easier to figure out what you don’t want rather than what you do. 1. You don’t want repetitive sounds. If there’s a fault to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is this: I have to think twice when I mention Sauron to make sure I’m not mixing him up with Saraman. Tolkien can get away with it, I suppose, but the average writer shouldn’t. When choosing your…

  • #Top10Tuesday

    #Top10Tuesday Top 20 Things To Give Your Characters That Will Make Them More Vivid

    Forget about hair color and broad shoulders and kissable lips.The best stories have characters  that are complex,  well drawn and have such interesting inner and outer struggles that readers can’t help but be fascinated by them.   There are hundreds of ways to develop character, from figuring out their favorite ice cream flavors to starting with an archetype and building on it. This is just one little list to set you thinking.  If you only manage a couple of these, your characters will be more vivid, more interesting and strong enough to carry a reader through your story.   1. Give them a secret that you won’t reveal to the…

  • Craft

    Fall in Love with Your Characters (So The Reader Will Too) — A Guest Post By Jessica White

    One of my favorite parts of writing is creating characters.  As a reader nothing makes me fall into a story faster than falling in love with a character.  It’s like meeting a new neighbor or making a new friend.  Even the antagonists are interesting to meet from the safety of my mind.   I love watching them grow in depth and complexity, learning their quirks, hobbies, backstories, and what makes them tick.  You can tell the exact same plot line from a million points of view, and each time it will be a different story, because each character will make different decisions. For many writers a character begins a bit…

  • Creativity,  Inspiration

    Why Awkward Family Photos Is My Favorite Source For Character Inspiration

    If you are a fiction writer and you don’t have Awkward Family Photos bookmarked, you are really missing out. I know these people. I have seen these photos in people’s homes. I can write about them. The conflict is easy to find. If you find conflict, you have a story. Write for 10 minutes about the stories that you can imagine behind the photos. People really are weird. Your characters needs to be unusual, unpredictable, three dimensional and rich. You won’t find better inspiration than from this site. Perfection is boring. Gritty, embarrassing, awkward people are much more interesting. My theory is that readers like to read about characters they…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Craft,  Work-In-Progress

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Questions To Ask Your Beta Readers

    Beta readers are the best! They are an author’s second readers. I’m guessing, and don’t hold me to it, that the alpha reader is the author himself. God knows YOU’VE read your book enough, right? Good writers use beta readers’ opinions to iron out the story’s wrinkles, find out what’s missing and see what the writer doesn’t see. You can use beta readers early in your writing journey, say, after the first draft. Or you can wait several drafts into it and then let trusted people read it.  Either way, you may find it helpful to give them specific questions to answer about your manuscript. Today’s Top 10 Tuesday is this! #Top10Tuesday…