Six impossible things

Posts Tagged characters

When it’s stupid…

As some of you already know, I’ve been listening to a series of lectures on literature and theory and basically all the college-level English stuff I didn’t take in college. One of the recent lectures examined two books that, in the words of the lecturer, each began […]

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Worksheets

So for some reason or other I was poking around on the web last week and I ran across somebody’s “character worksheet” – basically a fill-in-the-blanks page that started with “name” “age” and “physical description” and then had half a dozen things like “career goals” and “religion” […]

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No battle plan…

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” – Helmuth von Moltke “A writer should always reserve the right to have a better idea.” – Lois McMaster Bujold Prewriting notes – whether they’re about plot, background, or characters – are the writer’s battle plan, and therefore exceedingly […]

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Plot AND Characters

Plot and characters go together like green eggs and ham; one without the other just isn’t as interesting. Yet a lot of writers consistently have trouble making them work together. Either they’re so focused on their characters that they forget to make the plot work, or they’re […]

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Character motivation

I’ve been getting a lot of good questions lately, and I really appreciate it. However, even though Gene’s question about editing and meddling came first, I’m going to save it for next week, on the grounds that it’s about the business end, and I’ve been talking a […]

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Body language

Body language is one of those things that has to some extent become a code. “He shrugged” “She sighed” “I smiled” and so on have become almost like punctuation – nearly meaningless things inserted into a paragraph or a line of dialog to let the reader know […]

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Election year writing

It’s election year in the U.S. and there’s almost no getting away from it anywhere. One of the things I hear over and over is people complaining about the polarization, how nasty the ads are, and so on. All the drama is, of course, a gold mine of […]

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Characters, Plot, and Process

Writing processes are interesting things, not least because there are so many different kinds. Mine is particularly odd, in that I am neither a sit-down-and-wing-it writer, nor am I a plan-in-advance-and-stick-to-the-plan writer. I’m smack in the middle of the range, a plan-in-advance-and-then-periodically-throw-away-the-plan writer. The reason why I […]

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Old ways of looking at viewpoint

One of the really interesting things about older how-to-write books is their take on viewpoint. Several don’t mention it at all; others give it barely a passing glance. When they do talk about it, it’s from a completely different angle from that taken by modern how-to-write authors. […]

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Daily Life

First off, I am pleased to say that the three Kate and Cecy books will be going live as e-books on May 22. Stephanie Burgis did a lovely blog post on them. Which means that all of the backlist except the Enchanted Forest books are now available […]

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