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advice for writers

How Do You Decide on Your Author Brand – Part Two

Girl with Shush Finger

Disclaimer: I love Maureen Johnson’s “I am not a brand” manifesto down to the last punctuation mark.  That’s not the approach to branding I’m talking about. An author’s brand isn’t about selling.  It’s about recognizing that what we say and how we act affects what others think of us.  It’s about then […]

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January 6, 2011

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How Do You Decide on Your Author Brand? – Part One

Venetian Mask

I’m being interviewed over at Rachel Firasek’s blog today.  Me!  I’m marking this day on the calendar for sure.  However, before sending you over there, I wanted to share with you some thoughts about this “branding” thing authors have to keep in mind now. Yesterday, Roni Loren (my friend from […]

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January 4, 2011

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What Do Readers Expect?

Sad girl

We’ve all been disappointed at some point during our lives.  As a child, I once discovered my Christmas presents early, hidden in my parents’ closet (it was by accident, I swear!).  My fingers ached to play with all those toys and I couldn’t wait for the big day. But when […]

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December 23, 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, […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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October 21, 2010

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