writing

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 […]

Gotta Write Who You Are

In How To Write Page-Turning Scenes, Holly Lisle tells the story of a writer who lived SF. He decided to write a fantasy-comedy, just because he thought he could sell it. And sell it he did. And then he sold another one, and then again and again and again… ten titles. Except it made him […]

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 […]

A Kindred Spirit on Your Writing Journey

I’ve been writing fiction—or at least trying to—for about a decade now (plus or minus a couple years, depending on how you count it). After that span of time, most of what I now read, it touches me so profoundly that I have to put a fist through a wall just so I don’t lose […]

#CharacterStory Prompts 2011/04/11

I want to post a list of character-story prompts each Monday, culled from various ideation sources. These prompts are raw ideas, and I’d like to write a story inspired by one or more of these prompts, posting the story on my story blog for #FridayFlash. This really just a variation of the process I usually […]

Yay! Juvie Fantasies and Major Online Writing Course

As of May 1st, prices are going up on Holly Lisle’s online career-survival course for novelists. Update: I’m just going through the first couple of walkthroughs Holly has so far added to How to Think Sideways. And all I can say is, “Wow!” Two important announcements that Holly Lisle posted on her blog last week: […]