Six impossible things

Posts Tagged characters

Noon vs. Midnight

“You can’t tell stories about sunshine.” – Garrison Keillor Last Sunday, I was listening to “A Prairie Home Companion” as I frequently do of a Sunday morning, and the news from Lake Woebegone was about a group of men going out bass fishing on a day that […]

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Being mean

Lots of writers talk about being mean to their characters. Lots of critique groups tell writers to be meaner to their characters, to figure out what the worst possible thing is that can happen to that character, and then somehow make it happen. Of course, it has […]

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Plots without villains

More than once over the years, I’ve run into writers who complain about writing villains or who have trouble finding a “Big Bad” for their stories. Usually, they’ve somehow gotten the impression that every story has to have a villain of some sort, who has to be […]

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Some announcements and some characters

First, a couple of announcements. My e-publisher is having a summer sale, which includes Sorcery and Cecelia and a bunch of other things. It lasts until July 22nd. Second, I’m hoping that at some time in the next month or thereabouts, the new, improved, much cleaner and more […]

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Killing them softly…

“He was already dead when I got there” is a common claim in mystery novels, but all too often it’s also the answer when fans ask writers “Why did you kill off my favorite character?” And as with mystery novels, the claim is frequently disbelieved, especially when […]

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Plot points

The other day somebody asked me what a plot point was, and I had to stop and think about it. As usual, when I have to stop and think about anything writing-related, I end up doing a blog post to clarify my thinking. “Plot points” are one […]

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People who aren’t like you

Every writer ends up writing about someone who isn’t exactly like them sooner or later – and it’s nearly always sooner, given the number of characters in the average novel. The minor characters, walk-ons, and even the important secondary characters can usually be fudged, but the main […]

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A Stake Through the Heart

(No, this post is not about vampires.) The question “what’s at stake for the characters?” has been much on my mind lately, as it’s been at the root of some of the difficulties I’ve been having developing a plot for my current work-soon-to-be-in-process-I-hope. I have what I […]

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Dragons and Gender Bias…huh?

Back in the mid 1990s, shortly after Dealing with Dragons came out, I was asked to join a panel of folks to talk about dragons, and the topic I was handed to talk about was “Dragons and Gender Bias.” After blinking several times, I asked the moderator just […]

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…And When It Isn’t

I spent last time talking about a manuscript full of stupid mistakes that didn’t work. This time, I’m going to talk about some where it does. Because in real life, people forget critical information, give in to impulses that turn out to be a Really Bad Idea, […]

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