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Category Archives: Characters

Finding the Ideas

By Katherine Reay I’m at the beginning of a new story. I handed in my latest manuscript last week and, while I wait for the first round of edits, “the little grey cells” are busy seeking new characters, new emotions … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Brainstorming, Characters, Friends of ACFW, tips, writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

The Purpose of Fictional Sidekicks

By Lisa Jordan Lone Ranger & Tonto. LaVerne & Shirley. Lucy & Ethel. Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson. Batman & Robin. Shaggy & Scooby. Frodo & Samwise. Lorelei & Sookie. These names may sound familiar, but what do they have … Continue reading

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Bringing Characters to Life

By Henry McLaughlin A story without people is not a story. I’m not sure what it is but it’s not a story. You can have a great plot and beautiful settings, but if your characters are not alive, you just … Continue reading

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Not All Characters Are Created Equal

By Winnie Griggs The stories you write undoubtedly have casts of varying numbers, descriptions and personalities. And while every character in your manuscript works together to tell your story, they each perform a different function depending on the roles you … Continue reading

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The Art of Fighting and Making Up with Fake People

By Melissa Tagg Several weeks ago I turned in the rewrites on my third book. If I were to describe the process of writing From the Start, um, I might slip into slight melodramatic territory. Or I’d straight up tell … Continue reading

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Listening to the Story

By Jane Kirkpatrick Some years ago I wrote a novel based on the life of a Native American woman. I’d worked for many years on an Indian reservation and had many native friends who helped me capture the essence of … Continue reading

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Playing it Safe

Playing it Safe By Katherine Reay Working on my third manuscript seems to be an exercise in conquering fear. Someone told me that my second would be the most difficult, but now that it’s behind me – and it will … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Books, Characters, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, Plots, tips, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Top Ten Things I Learned about Business Success from Binging on Real Housewives

by Traci Tyne Hilton When I have a hard time getting words on the page, I don’t make the wisest decisions. That said, I’ve watched a lot of the Real Housewives of Everywhere this summer. And you know what? I’ve … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, writing | 6 Comments

Who Knows What When

by Cathy Gohlke Access to information affects the motivations, actions, and consequences borne by every character we create. This truth came boldly home to me while writing Saving Amelie, a story set in Nazi Germany during 1939 and 1940. In … Continue reading

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Hero or Villain?

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA I have a friend who writes cozy mysteries. Her favorite quip when she gets annoyed with someone is to say, “Be careful. I may put you in my next novel.” My friend’s comment provokes some … Continue reading

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Keeping Your Hero Honest

by Rebecca DeMarino In writing fiction, you need a strong MC and if you are writing romance you will need two, and one of them better be a hero. Readers of romance want their heroes to not only be strong, … Continue reading

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Suspension of Disbelief: A Writer’s Goal

By Ane Mulligan Jim Rubart wrote a good piece for Novel Rocket about how authors write. He said: “I continue to read traditionally published books where I think the novelist is wasting words and keeping the reader from going deeper … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, POV, tips | 1 Comment

The Power of Opposites

by Allie Pleiter The best romances usually pair two people who don’t seem suited for each other. Engaged readers figure out that a hero and heroine are surprisingly perfect for each other-long before the characters do if I’ve done my … Continue reading

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Facts in Fiction

by Lynn Hobbs Remember the wildfires of Texas during 2011? I lived through them as did many of my friends. When the fires came within two miles of my home, I had to evacuate. Later, after fire lanes were dug … Continue reading

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Resurrecting Beauty

by Christine Sunderland I have long been fascinated with the relationship between beauty, truth, and goodness. One of the joys of being a novelist is that I can create characters who share my fascinations. So in my recently published novel, … Continue reading

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Posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, tips, writing | 1 Comment