Creating believable and interesting characters is one of the most challenging tasks a fiction writer has to undertake.

  • Help Your Readers SEE Your Characters
    When you go to see a movie, you instantly know what characters look like; one glance at the screen lets you absorb dozens of small details. Obviously, writers have a much harder task...
  • Beware Monotonous Interior Monologue
    A monologue is a long speech by one person. It can be dramatic, or it can bore the pants off listeners (or readers, if it's a character holding forth). The content has to be pretty dramatic for a monologue to work well.
  • How to Filter Description Through Your Characters
    Don't get bogged down in unnecessary description in your stories - it just sends readers to sleep! Here's how you can filter only what is necessary through the eyes of your characters, and keep the pace moving.
  • Getting to Know Your Characters
    Interesting characters that readers care about are the most important 'ingredients' in your novel. Here are five tips on creating characters that both you and your readers will enjoy getting to know.
  • Dig Deeper to Reveal Character
    Often when we sit down at the keyboard we're on autopilot... and that's when we find cliched words and situations flowing from our brains to the keyboard. Stop. Think. Dig a little deeper... and you'll be able to present your characters in much more depth.
  • 8 Tips on Creating Vivid Memorable Characters
    If you're having trouble with bringing your characters to life, run through these 8 handy tips on fleshing out your story people.
  • What Comes First - Characters or Plot?
    When you're writing a novel, what comes first - characters or plot? To create a page-turner, readers need to care about your characters - and character motivation is all-important.
  • Character Motivation - Always Ask Why
    Too many characters are forced into ridiculous situations by a careless author. Potentially good plots have been twisted completely out of shape - because the writer finds it easier to force characters to do dumb things than to sit down and come up with a stronger plot.
  • Effective Character Description Part 1
    We all like to make our characters as three-dimensional as possible, so that the reader sees them as real people. We strive to show what they look like, how they feel, and how they react...
  • Effective Character Description Part 2
    When you're looking out at the world through the eyes of the scene's viewpoint character, how do you show the reader what your character is like?
  • How Much Does Your Character Notice
    One thing that gives away an inexperienced writer is overuse of tags such as 'she noticed' or 'he saw'. WHY is this a problem? Because instead of allowing the reader to walk in sync with the character, and experience events through the character's thoughts, feelings and emotions, the writer is REPORTING what is happening.
  • Unlikeable Characters
    What's the one thing that is most likely to make a reader discard a book without finishing it? An unlikeable character. This was brought home to me forcibly last week...
  • Make Your Main Character Likeable
    Let's make it clear from the start that I'm not saying that ALL your characters should be likeable. Of course not. We all need characters that we love to hate! But when it comes to the main character - think carefully before you present this person to your readers.
  • Characters With Personality
    Eighty per cent of the time, our enjoyment of a novel is based on our involvement with a character that draws us into the story. In fact, characters are so important to the success of a novel that I am sometimes amazed by the lack of thought writers give to (a) character creation and (b) the way they introduce those characters.
  • What Does Your Character Want?
    "What does your character want?" It seems like a simple question - yet it is one that can cause untold problems for some writers. They fuss and fiddle about with all manner of MINOR things that the character wants, and totally miss the big one!
  • Filter Description Through Characters
    Beef up the description of the setting, characters, and actions by filtering it through your viewpoint character - what a difference!
  • Dressing Your Characters
    Readers can learn a lot about a character not only by WHAT your characters wear, but HOW they wear it. You can also guide readers to make assumptions about your characters by the way they look after their clothes. Now let's talk about how to go about dressing your characters...
  • Characters Who Are Mary-Sues
    Is your character a "Mary Sue"? Until recently, when someone wrote to me about it, I had never come across this term before. What on earth, I wondered, was a "Mary Sue"? Naturally, I Googled it, and landed on the Wikipedia page where I discovered that this is actually a wonderfully useful term!


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The Busy Writer's One-Hour Character

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