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Writers: One Big Happy Family

Paper Figures Holding Hands

First, let me say: No, I don’t mean this blog title sarcastically.  I really have made some great friends in the writing sphere.  Some of them are further along in the process than I am (agented, or even published), but I honestly wish only the best for them.  Even my less-than-stellar contest scores didn’t lead […]

November 16, 2010

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Strong Character Wrap-up & Veteran’s Day

Puzzle with One Red Piece

Okay, what have we learned from the big series on creating strong characters?  To feel realistic, characters need to have goals, a delusional self-image, multiple personalities, flaws, and a reason for their actions.  Hmm…  All that makes them sound a touch crazy, doesn’t it?  (Not as crazy as I am, but getting closer.) What does […]

November 11, 2010

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How to Create a Strong Character: Let Them Live

Checkerboard Black Hole

Congratulations!  We made it to the end of the checklist for creating strong characters.  We’ve given our characters goals, delusions, lies, and flaws.  Only one thing left could go wrong… Do They Die Before the End of the Story? The flowchart specified that a character had to survive to the third act.  Why the third […]

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November 9, 2010

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How to Create a Strong Character: Give Them Flaws

Cracked Statue

We’re almost through with the list of how to create strong characters.  So far, we’ve ensured they had goals and contrasted their self-image and persona.  Next up… Do They Have Flaws? To feel lifelike, our characters must have flaws like real people.  Without flaws, our characters risk making our whole story seem unbelievable.  Look at […]

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November 4, 2010

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How to Create a Strong Character: Use Masks

Question Mark in Doorway

We’re working our way through the list of how to create strong characters.  So far, we’ve ensured they had goals and analyzed how their self-image differs from reality.  And related to that contrast we talked about last time… Do They Merely Represent an Idea? Characters are often most cardboard-like when they exist only for some […]

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November 2, 2010

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How to Create a Strong Character: Contrast Their Self-Image

Impossible 3D Cube

We’re going to continue talking about how to implement the list to make sure we’re creating strong characters.  Last time, we made sure that our characters had goals.  Next up… Are They Three-Dimensional? There are plenty of ideas out there about how to make your characters seem real, but I’m going to get my geek […]

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October 28, 2010

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How to Create a Strong Character: Give Them Goals

Atlas Holding the Globe

Last time, we looked at a simple list for What Makes a Female Character Strong based on The Female Character Flowchart.  But if that list is so simple, why does it seem so difficult to create a strong character?  Why do so many fail and fall into stereotypes? Maybe because the list is made up […]

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October 26, 2010

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What Makes a Female Character Strong?

Hulk

There’s a graphic making the Twitter rounds called The Female Character Flowchart.  It walks through the different female stereotypes—from The Trophy and Damsel In Distress to The Shrew and Ugly Duckling—and it’s interesting reading.  The chart’s goal is to avoid those stereotypes to create a “Strong Female Character”. Some writers have started panicking over this […]

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October 21, 2010

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The Joy of…Drafting

Osprey's Flight

Most of my past year has been spent editing and revising, but for the past two days, I’ve been able to write fresh stuff for a shiny new project.  Oh, drafting, how I love thee. Really, is there anything more freeing than starting with a newborn idea and exploring?  Every scene, every line, every character’s […]

October 19, 2010

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When Is Faking It Okay?

Question Mark

After disclosing in my last post that my Muse is a perv, he’s been rather quiet.  So apparently he’s also shy.  Or the strong and silent type.  But that means I have no inspiration for today’s blog post.  That’s okay—I’ll fake it. Yes, yes, I know, I railed on faking story tension in another post.  […]

October 14, 2010

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