character

Writing Character Flaws

Inspired by the Pendragon Variety Podcast relaunch episode—in which the Pendragon ladies vamp on the topic: “Character Flaws – Balancing Your Character’s Awesome”—I decided to expound on… uh… character flaws. First things first: We’re all told that our characters should have “flaws.” But what are these mythical creatures? What makes a flaw? any imperfection in […]

What Is a #CharacterStory (and the 2 Laws of Character Action)

I found this photo on Flickr. Entitled “The Problem with Character-Driven Stories,” the photo had an amusing story to go along with it. As the story goes, there was a writer who was auditioning characters for her next novel. Characters lined up all the way out the writer’s waiting room and around the corner. And […]

Character Needs: The Need for Autonomy

Finishing out these posts on character needs, extracted from Character Fiction 101: How to Write Fictional Characters and Character Stories. Today, a basic need that provides motivation for many powerful stories, the need for autonomy. Each of us needs to feel in control over his own life and his own choices, a measure of independence […]

How to Write Those Darn Character Arcs

I’ll fess up and say I’ve avoided teaching about character, because, well, it’s complicated. And everyone has their own process. So I have to ask myself: How do I write character? Because I do write it. But how? What’s my internal process? Let’s start with the main character. The process is basically the same for […]

How To Write Felt Need

One thing I try to figure out before starting a new book is my main character’s felt need. What do I mean by felt need? Some people might call it the character’s motivation, but I think it goes deeper than that. For instance, a character may be motivated to do his father’s bidding because if […]

Character Needs: The Need for Community

Another post on character needs, extracted from Character Fiction 101: How to Write Fictional Characters and Character Stories. Today, a need that has been on my heart of late, the need for community. Feeling part of a wider community, beyond one’s immediate family, involves shared perceptions and identity with others and connections to them, a […]

Character Needs: The Need for Intimacy

The next post on character needs, extracted from Character Fiction 101: How to Write Fictional Characters and Character Stories. Today, the need for intimacy. We all need emotional and physical closeness to at least one other person. This is the person who sees us as we really are, naked and undignified, and whom we see […]

Character Needs: Physical Needs

The next post in my series of character needs from Character Fiction 101, the most basic of all: physical needs. Physical needs include air, water, food, and sleep, and the other things our biologies need to survive. (The other 10 categories deal with emotional needs.) A character meets her physical needs by breathing, eating and […]

Character Needs: The Need for Security

Another post on character needs, extracted from Character Fiction 101: How to Write Fictional Characters and Character Stories. Today, the need for security, which played a significant role in the life of the character “Eddie” in From the Ashes of Courage. Security includes our need for shelter, cleanliness, protection, and safety, and the like. From […]

Writing Likable Characters

Says children’s-book author Elise Broach in a recent blog post about likable characters, “Nothing in a story keeps readers as enthralled as a character who has won their hearts.” You’ll get no argument from me on that count! Elise talks about putting your character in a jam to inspire sympathy. Always a good idea, because […]