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Category: Character

Wounded: Why Pain & Wounds are Vital for Fiction

Ah, the masks we wear. We all have them because it’s impossible to be fully human and devoid of cracks. We are all wounded. Yet, therein lies the conundrum for those who long to become writers. We’re all cracked, damaged, dinged yet simultaneously bombarded by countless conflicting messages. Media, culture, family, society are like a …

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Dismemberment–Taking Characters Apart in All the Wrong Ways

Today, it’s me, Cait! Join me as we venture into a common craft mistake committed by virtually every emerging writer—something I like to call ‘dismemberment.’ Because nothing says love like body parts strewn about. Sarcasm aside, dismemberment is a bad habit that can impact the flow of the story, collapse the fictive dream, and confuse …

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Stories That Make Us Stabby: Mary Sue & Why Readers Hate Her

It’s me, Cait Reynolds, and I’m going to be brutal here. You’ve been warned. But, honestly, I get a little stabby when I encounter a Mary Sue in a book. Mary Sues are death to fiction, yet they’re more common than head lice in Kindergarten (and about as desirable). For the sake of time today, …

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Bring on the BINGE! Creating Villains Audiences Can’t Get Enough Of

Many of us have been there. It’s late. We know we have “adulting” to do in the morning (which is in two hours). Our sensible self has been nagging us to get our @$$ to bed so long we smothered it with a pillow around midnight. Whether it’s a book, or Netflix or HBO or …

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Putting the Fan BACK in Fantasy—Getting Past Ye Same Olde Same Olde

I’m Kim Alexander back to talk about fantasy world-building. This time I’m looking at those writers who make every heroine in their stories a—wait for it—princess. This is different from Chosen One Syndrome, because when it comes down to it, every protagonist is a chosen one; you’ve chosen to write about them. In this installment, I’ll …

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