As writers, we do everything we can to make readers invested in our characters in some way. An invested reader is a happy reader, right?
Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at the other side of character development.
I’ve written many times about how much I love subtext, the stuff that happens between the lines. Subtext lurks in many aspects of our stories and helps immerse readers and add realism and tension. In addition, subtext can help us build layered characters.
Conflict is one of those words we all think we understand, but the writing-world meaning doesn’t have the same connotation as the non-writing meaning. Yet it’s only after understanding conflict that we’ll see the difference between antagonists and villains in storytelling.
We all have emotions, so we all think we know how to write them. However, sometimes the best writing comes from exposing an emotional truth that we’re hiding from ourselves. So the better we understand emotions, the better our stories will resonate with our readers.
The real world is filled with diversity, and our stories should be the same way. There’s no “one right way” to portray diverse characters, but there are wrong ways to portray diversity. However, there are steps we can take to minimize—as much as possible—the potential of “getting it wrong.”
How are villains, character likability, subtext, and point-of-view all related? In many stories, our antagonist is a non-POV character, and for non-POV characters, my previous tips about likability will be limited to subtext. So even though we might not be trying to make our villain likable, we might struggle to make them layered.
Ever heard “write the same but different”? Usually agents want something similar enough to other stories that they know they can sell the book but different enough to not feel like a retread. Whether we’re writing queries for traditional publishing or back-cover blurbs for self-publishing, if we can identify how our story is unique, we can better sell our story.
One way slow writers can succeed is to create more income streams for each book, such as releasing an audio version. But we might not have experience with audio publishing. Luckily, today’s post is by a narrator for Amazon’s ACX service who will tell us how to get started with ACX, especially how to audition and work with a narrator.
I talked last time about the strengths of an alpha heroine. Does that mean betas are the opposite and therefore weak? Nope, I would never say that betas are weak, so what traits do beta characters have? What would a character without strengths look like?
I struggle constantly with keeping my heroines likable. Especially because I want my heroines to be on equal footing—power-wise—with the hero. In other words, I want alpha heroines to go with my alpha heroes. So let’s take a look at how heroines might be alpha characters.