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 […]

Story Hidden “In Plain Sight” (the TV show)

If 90% of everything is crap, that rule certainly applies to television. Most of what I see of current television series leaves me woefully unsatisfied, and even a little pissed off. Then, this past weekend, my parents introduced me to In Plain Sight, a show that a friend of mine called “a mid-grade crime procedural.” […]

How to Turn Character Ideas into Characters

They say ideas are a dime a dozen, even character ideas. Many experienced authors don’t even think about it anymore; they don’t remember when they were just starting out, facing a blank page, without any idea how to make their characters full and interesting. Because when it comes right down to it, if you want […]

7 Flash-Fiction Turn-Ons (and 17 Turn-Offs)

PJ Kaiser suggested—probably because I’ve been doing weekly “#FridayFlash Favorites” posts—that I write about what catches my attention in a flash story, and what turns me off. I thought that was a pretty kewl idea, and I further decided to link to last week’s #FridayFlash stories (because they’re still fresh in my mind) in order […]

“Aha!” Moments and Character “Change”

I love character stories. In fact, I rarely enjoy a story unless it has a character-driven component. So I was naturally surprised that I so enjoyed Al Bruno’s latest #FridayFlash story. It’s not really a character story, per se. Or is it? I actually have a different take on that now, different than last week. […]

Writing Your Characters Using the APET Model

Some of the most profound fiction-writing insights come from psychology, because the characters in fiction are whom you sympathize with, pulling you into the story and making you part of the story experience, more than just an observer. So when you understand the psychology of your character, you automatically write better fiction. One of the […]

Internal and External Conflicts

Stories use two types of conflict: internal and external. Internal conflicts are resolved by something changing inside the character, whereas external conflicts are resolved in the world around outside the character. When these two work together, the result can be dazzling. And when they don’t, the result can be devastating.