Considering Character Arcs Revisited

Circumstances change people and circumstances should change characters too. This doesn’t always have to be a huge shift such as going from selfish to selfless, it could be as seemingly small as getting a different perspective on life. Whatever it is when characters begin a story they are rarely exactly the same at the end […]

Motivating Characters Revisited

Like people characters need motivations, if a character has no motivation then they appear flat and unrealistic. We also have to remember that a character’s motivation might not be the one they are presenting to the world. A reoccurring one in literature is the person apparently motivated by love but secretly motivated by money or […]

Building a Backstory Revisited

As we’ve discussed before there are a lot of people out there who will tell you that you have to know everything about a character before you begin, especially their backstory. This isn’t true, for some people working out the characters in-depth first works very well but not for all writers. As I keep saying […]

Individualising the Individual Revisited

We discussed what a setting can say about a character and what their physical appearance can tell us about them but what else can we use to tell us about characters? There may be things about their sense of style or objects they have with them that can tell readers a little about their personality […]

Are You Still Speaking? Revisited

I keep coming back to the notion that what is unsaid is as important as what is said. This can be something that is implied through non-verbal communication, like fiddling, through what they avoid saying, or through a meaning beyond what the characters’ words. This can sound difficult, and it can be made to sound […]

A Phrasing All Their Own Revisited

People have different ways of phrasing things whether it’s colloquial, individual, or passed down a family. It could be a verbal tic, an unusual saying or unusual grammar, literally anything. Simply because these things aren’t conventional doesn’t mean we can’t give them to our characters, giving them these quirks makes them more real to readers. […]

Building Banter Revisited

We may think of ‘banter’ as intrinsically humorous and it can be but just because characters don’t have a funny relationship doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a back and forth. They could be characters that the read knows hate each other but they have to make the appearance of liking each other which creates a […]

Backing Up Backstory Revisited

When we talk about backstory it can be easy to assume that it is explicit along the lines of ‘When I were a lad…’ (a little colloquialism for you). However, backstory can implied through what a character says, how they say it, and what they don’t say. The final one might sound odd in an […]

Grammar in Speech Revisited

Speech doesn’t need to be grammatical because people don’t speak grammatically. The say things the wrong way round, use the wrong words, misuse phrases, punctuate places that defy ‘the rules’ and do all sorts of different things that you wouldn’t expect. There can be a point where arguably it’s possible to go too far, however, […]

Creating Their Own Downfall Revisited

It is often said that every action creates an equal and opposite reaction which can also be very true in fiction. However good our protagonist is or bad our antagonist is they can easily bring about their own downfall; this may be by angering the wrong person, setting a plan in motion that back fires […]