listening to characters

How to Use Layers to Show Intense Emotions

July 1, 2014 Writing Stuff
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A “numb” reaction isn’t unusual for dark or deep emotions. In fact, it’s probably fairly normal. But it makes writing the scene more difficult. How do we show numb and deep emotions at the same time? How can readers connect to an emotionless character?

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Do You Discuss Your Work in Progress?

June 19, 2014 Writing Stuff
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I’ve often thought about adding word count widgets to my site but quickly resist the notion. My internal debate sparked a question about how writers approach their works in progress. Do you know which side you fall on?

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One Step to Better Writing and More Diversity

June 5, 2014 Writing Stuff
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The push for diversity isn’t about valuing diversity over storytelling. Or about meeting a quota. Or making a statement. This is about being a better writer.

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The Danger of Political Correctness for Diverse Books

June 3, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Diverse books are important—not simply for the sake of diversity—but so that by sheer number of representations, any one type of character isn’t limited to a stereotype. The truth is that we are all diverse. No one stereotypical character will ever represent us, no matter our color, nationality, or background.

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What Drives You to Write?

May 22, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Writing can be a difficult career. Writers can be lonely, plagued by self-doubt, faced with rejections that feel personal and judgmental, and expected to be good at everything (creative and a sales/marketing person!). Yet we do it anyway. We must have our reasons…beyond sheer insanity, I mean.

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How Can We Show a Character’s Internal Journey?

May 15, 2014 Writing Stuff
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I’m a big fan of Michael Hauge’s approach to characters. His insights helped me figure out how to match a character’s internal journey to the external plot. This is often tricky, though, so let’s go deeper into how characters change.

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What’s the Perfect Job for Our Characters?

April 29, 2014 Writing Stuff
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If we write our story well, every aspect of the story will contribute to the overall picture and create an impression for the reader. There aren’t any unimportant details in a well-written story. And that means the careers for our characters shouldn’t be an afterthought either.

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What Makes a Romance Believable?

February 25, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Okay, so I’m a week-and-a-half late for Valentine’s Day and the topic of this post. I’ll “blame” the time I put into WANACon. *smile* We had a fantastic and successful WANACon though, with great sessions on many writing-related topics, so I’ll call it a worthwhile trade. I recently came across an interesting post at my […]

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How to Make Turning Points Drive Arcs and Themes

February 11, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Last week, we looked at turning points from the perspective of beat sheets—how to identify them and ensure they’re changing the direction of the story enough to deserve their name. But turning points affect the story in other ways too. Turning points aren’t just about plot twists. (In fact, plot twists come with a warning.) […]

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What Does “Happily Ever After” Mean to You?

December 26, 2013 Random Musings
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How were your holidays? Was Santa good to you? I’m still mostly offline, enjoying quality time with my family, so I’m rerunning this post from several years ago. My Christmas couldn’t have been any better, and I hope yours was everything you hoped for too. Of course, whether or not we’re disappointed often depends on what […]

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