Category Archives: Monday Tool Day

A Particular Character Detail: Choosing Names

As Nancy Kress says, “Characters have to be called something. And since they do, you  may as well . . . make your names contribute to world building, characterization, and plot development.”  To that end, here’s what the craft masters have to say about choosing character names. Continue reading

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Character Details: How to Choose

Whether you know everything about your characters before you start writing or nothing about them, you can’t include every single detail in your manuscript. (Well, you can, but you probably shouldn’t.)

As Nancy Kress says, you’ll want to “choose artfully.” You’ll want to home in on the particular details your readers are looking for.  Which details are those, you ask?  Read on . . .
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Characterization: What is it?

We’ve been looking at character: introducing the character, forging the reader-character bond, creating contradictions . . .  All good stuff. But let’s back up a bit.  There’s a word that gets thrown around a lot about character, and, I’ll admit, sometimes I feel like maybe I don’t actually know what it means. Continue reading

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Character Introductions: Characterizing from the get-go

A character’s first appearance in a story is a big opportunity to characterize.  Here are several ways to fulfill its potential. Continue reading

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Character Tags: What are they?

Tags, markers, labels, traits. The craft masters have a lot of words for the details that help readers identify and distinguish the characters in a story.

Here are 6 character aspects that you can mine for tags and 5 ways to put those tags to work. Continue reading

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The Character Identification Bond: 9 Ways to Create It

As Steven James says, “If readers don’t care about your protagonist, they won’t care about your story.”

This readers caring about your protagonist business is known as the reader-character bond, character likability, and character identification. If you want your readers to care about your story enough to finish it, then you’ve got to know how to forge this bond. Here are 9 ways to do so. Tweet this Continue reading

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Three-Dimensional Characters: 3 Ways to Create One

We know them when we see them.  We all want to create them.  But what exactly distinguishes a three-dimensional character from that other kind?  What exactly does “three-dimensional” mean and how do we render it on a two-dimensional page?   Continue reading

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Structure of Plot: The Outer Journey

The outer journey is also known as plot, structure, narrative structure, and ‘what happens.’

PLOT: WHAT IS IT? Continue reading

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Character Change: The Inner Journey, Part 2 — A Master Outline

We’re looking at the Inner Journey this week (Part 1 here), and today we’re looking at the structure of the character arc over the course of a story. Continue reading

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Character Change: The Inner Journey, Part 1

Other names for the character’s inner journey include character arc, character change, character transformation, ritual pain, and range of change.

CHARACTER ARC: WHAT IS IT? Continue reading

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