logo logo Menu Bar

Writer's Library
The Craft of Writing › Characters


Body Language Basics

In any story, half of the information given to the reader is never spoken out loud.  It's body language, and body language can tell your reader what your character is doing and how they feel about it. Smiling for example.  There are many kinds of smiles and each one tells something different about what the

Read More →

Breathing Life into Characters

Giving life to a character is one of the most rewarding parts of being a writer. It is also one of the most difficult. Too many times in fiction we witness the "cardboard" or one-dimensional character. Real characters, those we can visualize and root for and love, aren't created with the snap of a finger.

Read More →

Creating A Character Wall

Article posted by Nina Davies with the permission of Cheryl Kaye Tardif. For any great novelist, defining your cast of intriguing characters is the key to the success of your story. So how do you maintain the image of your characters -- both their physical attributes and their personality? It's easy! Build a Character Wall,

Read More →

Crowd Control

There are occasions when a crowd is desirable. Rock concerts, parades, football games. But not even the Astrodome has an infinite seating capacity, and a novel or story is a lot more limited than the Astrodome. How many characters can you have in a story? A novel? A single scene? How many can, or should,

Read More →

Emotional Depth 2: Bring Your Characters To Life

Today we're dealing with working at knowing your characters, so the emotional depth comes, not just from you, (though that's vital) but also from within them. And if this sounds nuts, it isn't: if you want your book to live, so must your characters! When you learn your characters, they start to "speak" to you,

Read More →

Four Methods For Interviewing Characters

If you're having a hard time getting to know your characters, you might want to try putting on your Oprah Winfrey hat and interviewing them. Sitting down at the typewriter for a chat with your hero or heroine is a great way to get to know them. Just pretend you're the hero and type, "Hi,

Read More →

Helpful Hints On Characterization

Perfection Does Not Exist No one is perfect, and that goes for the characters in our stories. The hero can have a heart of gold, eyes as blue as the sky, hair as black as sin, and a smile that can make the sun look like it is low on voltage. But come on now,

Read More →

How The Four Elements Are Related

Plot, Style, Character Development, and Length are always related. Any good novel has exactly the right balance of each, one that is appropriate to the genre and story. Also, it's important to note that genres tend to "weight" those four factors differently. In literary fiction, the weighting generally goes something like this: Most important factor:

Read More →

In Search Of The Modern Warrior Hero

The William Wallace battle cry of "Freedom" in BRAVEHEART launches my every romantic sense onto full-scale alert. What a hero! Images of medieval knights in armor and soldiers astride destriers fill best-selling romance novels. Why? Readers still believe in the early ideal of battlefield heroism, seeking reassurance of its continued presence in the modern day

Read More →