The Novelist’s New Clothes?

They say that novelists write millions of manuscripts each year. I’m not sure what the exact number is. But I might believe any number between 1,000,000 and 25,000,000. Of these millions, less than 100,000 will make it to print. That’s when the real fun starts. Of those, only a fraction will end up on the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Character Needs: The Need for Attention

I’m posting a series on character needs, extracted from Character Fiction 101: How to Write Fictional Characters and Character Stories. I’m starting with the need for attention, which inspired my story, “The Friendship Dress,” posted at Danielle La Paglia’s blog. We all need both to give and to receive attention. We all want to feel […]

10 Basic Character Needs

They say that effective story characters have problems, because problems mean conflict, and conflict makes for an interesting story. True enough. (See Wednesday’s post for a better explanation.) But what they don’t usually tell you is that all problems come from character needs. Or more precisely, from characters not getting their needs met. Like us, […]

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 […]

PersonalityPage, Character Traits for Writers

I frequently use PersonalityPage.com to assemble personality traits for characterization. The site is not organized for writers. In fact, the site navigation is poorly designed and pretty difficult to figure out. I had to poke around the site a bit to find the best pages there for characterization and how to use them. But having […]