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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Characters | 14 comments

Why a Large Cast of Characters Might Be Killing Your Story

Why a Large Cast of Characters Might Be Killing Your Story

 

Characterstorming can be one of the most enjoyable parts of pre-writing. We writers tend to have a little bit of a God complex lurking in our psyche, and this is where its ugly head emerges.

If you’re writing a character-heavy genre such as a heist novel or epic fantasy, you may find yourself getting a little carried away, breathing fictional life into person after person, until finally you look up and find yourself surrounded by a main cast big enough to start a flashmob in the Dubai Mall. 

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Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Characters | 31 comments

Why Tortured Characters Are Cliché (And How To Write One That Isn’t)

Why Tortured Characters Are Cliché (And How To Write One That Isn’t)

 

He is a dark, tortured creature, hounded constantly by the demons of his past. And ah, what a past. Such things happened to him as would make your very toenails shiver, but he himself has done much worse. His guilt will never let him rest.

Golly gee, you say, that sounds mysterious and exciting. What happened to this guy? Why is he so tortured? Why so much guilt?

Well, you’ll just have to wait for book five, when the secrets of his past will finally be revealed. Stick around, kid–it’s gonna be good. Have I mentioned the inner demons yet? HE HAS THOSE. 

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Characters | 18 comments

What Is an Emotional Arc? (And Why You Should Be Thinking About It In Your Story)

What Is an Emotional Arc? (And Why You Should Be Thinking About It In Your Story)

 

Imagine that in the course of reading a friend’s novel, you come across something like this:

 

The last armies of the Finger People vanished into the horizon, leaving corpses of the townspeople strewn across the fields like crushed flowers. Gerald hugged Rover’s still form to his chest, as if somehow the warmth from his own body could revive the little dog.

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