Character / 6 posts found

8 Tips To Make an Unlikable Character Likable

Characters that readers root for are the backbone of every story. Striking a balance between likable and unlikable is essential, and the best characters are multi-layered. We humans are complex beings, so adding layers of complexity is vital to get the best out of your characters and make them intriguing for readers. (For Better or Worse: Writing About Influence in Fiction) When writing or when creating the background of your characters, ask yourself, “What drives them? Why do they act the way they do? What’s their ultimate goal?” Look at their positive character traits, but also their faults too. The […]

3 Tips on How to Spark Romance in a Character Who Is Content With Being Single

In the 1998 Nora Ephron romantic comedy classic You’ve Got Mail, Joe Fox (played by Tom Hanks in the heyday of a cinematic era I like to call “this is Tom Hanks’s world and we’re just living in it”) is in the throes of a big-box retailer vs. independent bookseller battle with Meg Ryan’s Kathleen Kelly when his words are taken wildly out of context on the local news. “I sell cheap books. I do. So sue me.” Despite Joe’s insistence that the rest of his comments were “eloquent” and if reported in full would have reflected positively on his […]

Writing Real Relationships: 4 Strategies Starting With What You Know

Sure, your characters exist next to each other on the page, but crafting relationships that feel real can be a different story. But the goal is to focus on your story, so what’s a writer to do? (Bring Your Secret Skillsets to the Page) As with so much in storytelling, you already have the depths inside you to write relationships well. Have you had a family? Friends? Neighbors? Those you didn’t understand or didn’t get along with? Those who you admired? Excellent. You’re officially ready to capture authenticity, no matter whether you’re writing fact or fiction. The bonds that tie […]

For Better or Worse: Writing About Influence in Fiction

Some of my favorite stories are stories about influence: the way people can change one another. Lord Henry Wotton—a decadent aesthete—corrupting the innocent titular character of Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The sophisticated and thoroughly European Madame Merle taking naive American Isabel Archer under her wing in Henry James’ 1881 Portrait of a Lady. In each case, the story of a relationship between two people—one charismatic, one vulnerable—makes it possible to simultaneously explore personal dynamics and wider questions of morality and ideology, how “dangerous” human beings and “dangerous” ideas alike can transform us, or destroy us. […]

Writing Inspirational Novels With Flawed Characters

So, what happens when readers run into flawed characters in inspirational fiction? Do they put the book down and call it blasphemy? I hope not, because I have made a career of telling inspirational stories with thieves, liars, even killers. Oh my. (20 Ways to Write Characters Better.) A Netgalley reviewer recently wrote these words when reviewing my novel, Something Good, “After reading the first 50 pages of Something Good I had to recheck the synopsis to see if I requested the right book. It surprised me that this is in fact a Christian fiction book.” Not only did the […]

5 Reasons for Characters to Hide and Then Confront Their Past

Everyone is hiding something. A friend of mine recently told me about this incredibly scandalous thing that had happened in her childhood. We’ve been friends for a year. Before she revealed this information, I didn’t fully understand why she’d made the choices she’d made in her life, but afterwards, I did. Many of these choices were a reaction to the scandalous thing that had happened in her past. (Swan Huntley: On the Chaos in Decluttering) The heroine of my new novel, Getting Clean with Stevie Green, is a reflection of this real-life example of a person hiding and then revealing […]
error: Content is protected !!