Six impossible things

Posts Tagged characters

Heroes and Villains

One of the bits of writing wisdom that crops up quite often is that writers find villains more fun to write than heroes. The usual reason given for this is that villains have flaws and are therefore more complex and interesting characters than your typical hero. This […]

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Making Stuff Up: Setting to Plot or Characters

Starting with a setting, rather than with a plot or characters, is a lot more common than many non-writers think. This is because “setting” as used by writers encompasses a whole lot more than simply the physical environment. Yes, you will occasionally hear a writer say “I […]

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Making stuff up: Characters to plot

Every writer I know has a lot of trouble with some part of the making-up process. The most common difficulties seem to be with plot, or with characters…and quite often, the people who find making up characters “the easy part” have horrible difficulties with plot, and vice […]

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Making stuff up: plot to characters

The plot-centered story is popularly assumed to be the territory of the action-adventure story. This is because action-adventure pretty much requires a strong plot. But we’re talking about process here, and the way writers make stuff up, and that means that the kind of story is irrelevant. […]

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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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The Characters’ stories

Every character in every book has their own story, and each character is the hero of his or her own story. This piece of writing wisdom has been around for at least as long as the novel has, but too often, writers don’t think about the implications […]

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Recruiting Extras

I keep running into the problem of “the main characters seem to be the only people in the setting.” Might I beg a post on how to do crowd scenes (or scenes in general) where there are lots of people in the background? –Question from Deep Lurker […]

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Crowd control

There are two basic problems with controlling a mob of characters: juggling all their individual stories throughout a book, and juggling their conversations when all of them are in the same place and trying to talk at the same time. The simplest solution to both problems is, […]

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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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