Tag Archives: Character

Ideas are everywhere

What do the following have in common?

[jcolumns model="4" halign="center"] [pb_slideshow group="1"] [jcol/] [/jcolumns] A rustic stone church in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Mt. Etna, the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento, the old merry-go-round in Oak Bluffs, the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle, and the Palantine Chapel in Palermo. All of these are sources of inspiration for my next novel, the sequel to The Children of Darkness. I've always believed that the difference between the creative and non-creative person is not the

Why genres exist?

Did you ever stand in an art gallery, look at a painting and think,” it’s a girl squatting beside a bird’s nest.” Then the guy next to you says, “It’s a man walking a dog.” The two of you step closer to see who’s right, and the illusion dissolves into brushstrokes. Books are like that. Why should a bunch of letters crawling across a page evoke so much emotion? “I loved that

The plot thickens – how to start a story

Many writers have an image in their mind of how to begin a plot. First, you come up with one or more compelling characters who want something badly. Then you make it hard for them to get it. Over time, I’ve heard others talk about how they like to envision the situation that starts their story. One said he sends his characters up a tree and throws rocks at them until they

Details, details…A cool cup of steaming tea

Writers are always taught to show, not tell. A good example of this is at the beginning of The Night Circus, the wonderful debut novel by Erin Morgenstern. Early in the book, Prospero the Enchanter is called into his theater manager’s office, because a five-year old girl has been left for him, brought in by a lawyer along with her mother’s suicide note. Other than being told

Pixels, words and the eye of the beholder

Recently, my wife was helping me by doctoring an image of a young girl in Photoshop. She zoomed in on the image until all we could see were blurred patches of color. Then she lightened the color of three pixels. At that instant, the image was unrecognizable. But when she zoomed back out and we compared the new version with the original, the expression on the girl’s face had changed entirely.

What makes a memorable character

So many of the books on writing focus on one area: dialog, style, character, setting or plot. That’s why I’m so fond of the book, Story, by Robert McKee. It analyzes what makes a good story, well told. One of its most important premises is that plot and character are inseparable from one another. And what makes a story memorable is a memorable character. What does that mean? Likeable, attractive, heroic?

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