L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

A fifth of readers report characters from novels cropping up in their daily lives, hearing their voices even after putting books aside. Richard Lea It’s a cliche to claim that a novel can change your life, but a recent study suggests almost a fifth of readers report that fiction seeps into their daily existence. Researchers …

Continue reading

No matter what sort of character name you’re pursuing, heed common sense and follow these seven tips to make sure you pick the best names possible for your story. Elizabeth Sims Choosing a character name for your novel is as pressure-filled as picking a name for a baby. It has to suit the character’s personality, …

Continue reading

David Corbett offers a case study of the concept of pathos, a moral argument in which an everyman employs immoral means to pursue something he considers invaluable in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful person or system. David Corbett The “bad vs. worse” set-up discussed in the article “No More Mr. Nice Guys” in the …

Continue reading

Via WritersWrite A Mary Sue character is an overly perfect character and/or a character that is clearly a glorified projection of the author herself. The are male versions of Mary Sue. They are known as Gary Stu or Marty Stu. A Mary Sue character is usually an undesirable character. Even your heroes need flaws. An …

Continue reading

So where is the dividing line between major and minor characters? There isn’t one. The different levels shade into each other, and as you master the techniques appropriate to each level, you’ll be able to create each character at exactly the level of importance the story requires. Here’s how to master the techniques. Orson Scott …

Continue reading

Unreliable narrators have been admired by readers and writers alike since Holden Caulfield set the gold standard—and they’re more popular than ever in today’s bestsellers. Here are 8 reliable ways to make your characters just unreliable enough to keep readers guessing. Deb Caletti The unreliable narrator … Ah, don’t you love that unsettling, page-turning, blockbuster-making …

Continue reading

You simply cannot write a good novel without knowing your characters inside and out. Here are the top 10 questions you need to be able to answer about each of your characters. Brenda Janowitz You simply cannot write a good novel without knowing your characters inside and out. Here are the top 10 questions you …

Continue reading

11 secrets to keep in mind as you breathe life into your characters through effective character description, including physical and emotional description. Rebecca McClanahan 11 secrets to keep in mind as you breathe life into your characters through effective character description, including physical and emotional description. The characters in our stories, songs, poems, and essays …

Continue reading

Via WriterMag I wish I’d known a writer can fix anything but a blank page. I wish I’d known the best writing comes from the gut and not from the head. I wish I’d known that, to find your voice, you have to write every day, read every day, and get out of your comfort …

Continue reading