Six impossible things

Posts Tagged characterization

Do Characters Really Need to be Flawed?

I spent last weekend mainly at Minicon 52 in Minneapolis, and generally had a wonderful time. There were a few eye-rolling moments (they’re still arguing about that? Really?) and lots of science geeking about recent discoveries (seven Earth-sized exoplanets in the Goldilocks zone of the TRAPPIST-1 system…which […]

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Killing off characters

Like most readers, I really hate it when my favorite character dies, whether it’s in mid-story or right at the end (though the longer the character has been around, the more I’m invested and the more I hate losing them). But there are some stories that I […]

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Characters and change

One of the current fundamental tenets for writing fiction is that in order to be a “good book,” the central character in the story has to change as a result of the events in it. If one attempts to question this “requirement,” one is informed that if […]

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The Villain Continuum

Every person in the world has their own perspective, and most of them are different from yours. It follows that if you want to do realistic characters, many (if not most) of them will have perspectives that differ from yours. Which means that in order to make […]

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Who sees?

Picking a viewpoint character seems to be one of those things that writers either have no trouble with at all, or else struggle with for weeks and/or multiple drafts. It seems to be a particular problem for people who are writing multiple-viewpoint structures, where there are several […]

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Getting Them Across

Characters are fundamental to nearly all stories. Whatever happens, happens to somebody or is made to happen by somebody, or both. Even when the characters in a story are not human, as in Watership Down, they tend to be anthropomophized. Most readers remember appealing and interesting characters […]

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What They (Don’t) Want

When I was in high school, one of the rituals that came along during senior year was called something like Career Inventory Day, when you spent the morning taking a battery of tests that was supposed to tell you what career you were most likely to be […]

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Fixing Chapter One: Character

Here is where we start going through the three “boring first chapter” problems and ways to fix them…and a few ways not to fix them. First up is the most basic and obvious problem: “The reader doesn’t care about the hero(ine) yet.” This is kind of a […]

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Different folks

One of the first challenges a new writer faces is that of showing characters who are different from the writer in a convincing and realistic manner. Everybody knows this if they think about writing at all; most beginner-advice books talk about it. And most make one of […]

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