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Category Archives: Characters

Using Psychology to Create Deep Characters

A PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH TO DEVELOPING GRIP-YOUR-HEART CHARACTERS By J.A. Marx How do we write a poignant story that’s realistic, emotionally satisfying yet not watered down? After you’ve given your character a personality, a vocation, a purpose for living, and a … Continue reading

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Continue the Journey

By Henry McLaughlin Continue the Journey has been my tag line since I first became serious about writing and printed my first business cards. Obviously it stems from my debut novel, Journey to Riverbend. But there’s more to it than … Continue reading

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Imaginary Friends

By Darlene L. Turner Ever have an imaginary friend when you were a child? If you’re a writer, I’m guessing you probably did. Confession time . . . I had one too. Pee Wee lived in our bathroom, and we … Continue reading

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Chasing Inspiration

By Kariss Lynch In an information age, inspiration is often muted, masked, and downright frustrating to identify. It can be even more difficult to figure out where to start when beginning your writing career or beginning a new writing project. … Continue reading

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Three Ways to Distance Your Reader From Your Novel

by Becky Wade #1: Give your character an unsympathetic goal. In one of my early manuscripts, my heroine’s story goal was to become an outlaw. Yep. I gave her all kinds of backstory to support this goal. She was an … Continue reading

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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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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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