Frienemies or Enemies?

There’s an important distinction between the friendly enemy and the secret enemy. The friendly enemy is the character who should be a protagonist’s enemy but might come out to bat for them while the secret enemy is the friend who should but won’t. There’s also the grey area where a character who began as a … Continue reading Frienemies or Enemies?


A Friend in Reflection

Just like we have villains who are a reflection of the protagonist they can have friends who are too. In the Sherlock Holmes stories Holmes leans towards cold calculation while Watson is warm and friendly (it’s important to note that Holmes does feel empathy he’s just different from Watson). In the previous article we mentioned … Continue reading A Friend in Reflection

The Trusty Sidekick

The most famous of the fictional friendships is The Trusty Sidekick: Holmes and Watson, Sam and Frodo, Batman and Robin, and the list goes on. The trusty sidekick serves many purposes in fiction, they can ask questions on behalf of the reader, offer the lead character support they couldn’t do without, they can fight side-by-side … Continue reading The Trusty Sidekick

Fictional Friendships

Odds are our characters are going to have friends. They might not begin with friends, they might have lifelong friendships, they might meet their new best friend on page one, or their relationship might become friends through the course of the novel. It’s quite difficult in stories to write characters without something that passes for … Continue reading Fictional Friendships

Focusing on Friendships

This week we're making we're looking at fictional friendships the different types and the literary purposes they can serve. Tuesday - Fictional Friendships, An overview of why our characters need some kind of 'friend' Wednesday - The Trusty Sidekick, Our trusty sidekick isn't there just to make the protagonist look good. Thursday - The Friend in … Continue reading Focusing on Friendships

The Damsel-in-Distress

The most obvious example of the plot puppet is the damsel-in-distress. They are usually a woman who exists for the hero to rescue and often to fall in love with him. This doesn’t mean we can’t have a woman who is rescued by and falls in love with the hero, but the damsel-in-distress is often … Continue reading The Damsel-in-Distress

Breaking Away From Character

As well as turning the characters into plot puppets there’s a risk of turning them into puppets to make a point. One of the main risks of this is putting a point in the mouth of a character who would never make that point. This is risky because we build these characters up and readers … Continue reading Breaking Away From Character

Everything Happens For a Reason

We’ve established that characters need to have a logical reason for their actions beyond the necessity of the plot but we still need to have a plot. Whatever kind of story we write it’s a combination of character and plot, sometimes the characters drive the plot and sometimes the plot drives the characters. Characters might … Continue reading Everything Happens For a Reason

Falling Prey to the Plot Puppet

Our story has a plot, even if we keep it simple such as two people meeting and falling in love. Problems arise when out characters conspicuously do things purely for plot purposes rather than for ones that fit the characters. The most obvious one is the damsel-in-distress whose only purpose in the story is to … Continue reading Falling Prey to the Plot Puppet

Attack of The Plot Puppet

This week we're making our characters stand on their own two feet and cutting the strings of plot convenience. Tuesday - Falling Prey to the Plot Puppet, When characters become puppets not people. Wednesday - Everything Happens for a Reason, Everything characters do relates to plot but that doesn't mean it has to show. Thursday - … Continue reading Attack of The Plot Puppet