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Make Characters Unique with Layering

Poster for Spider-Verse movie with text: Making Our Characters Unique

Somewhere along our learning curve as writers, we’re likely to come across the skill of layering. Layering can help us create unique characters, no matter how stereotypical or tropey they might be on the surface.

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January 10, 2019

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One Simple Trick to Avoid an Opening Page Infodump

No dumping sign with text: Warning: No Dumping on Page One

It’s hard to get our opening pages just right because we have to grab readers’ attention, introduce our characters and the story world, hint at a problem, etc. With everything we want to get across to the reader, we might dump too much information. How can we avoid info dumping or confusing readers at the beginning of our story?

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July 4, 2017

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The Most Important Question in Storytelling: “Why?”

Question mark on white background with text: Character Motivations: Give Me a "Why?"

A common problem—even in traditionally published books—is Missing Motivations. A character’s goal can feel irrelevant if readers don’t understand why they have that goal. Or a character might seem stupid or unlikable if readers don’t know why they’re acting a certain way.

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January 26, 2017

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Balancing Elements: How Can We Know the Right Amount?

Many rocks balanced on their ends with text: What's the Right Balance for Our Story?

I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.

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September 15, 2016

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