Standing Out in a Crowd

One of the challenges of writing characters is when there are groups of characters, particularly large groups like parties. The challenge of large groups is often the urge to describe as many people as possible to show the reader that we’re in a large group. However, sometimes when we’re describing a large group the less … Continue reading Standing Out in a Crowd


Sticky Side-Characters

One of the trickiest parts of description can be side-characters, in this article we’ll use side-characters to refer to any character who isn’t part of the main cast. What makes it so tricky is finding the balance in how much description is required, especially if the character isn’t going to reappear. As mentioned in the … Continue reading Sticky Side-Characters

Description Through Interaction

As mentioned in the previous article if we want to describe a character then it can help to break up the description, particularly if we want a sense of speed to our prose. One of the ways we can do this is through interaction; how they interact with others/the setting, how others interact with them … Continue reading Description Through Interaction

To Describe or Not to Describe

Some of the most iconic characters in literature have no description of what they look like. Mr Darcy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is an example, we know he’s aloof and how he behaves but Austen never tells us what he looks like. Darcy seems to have ended up in the tall, dark … Continue reading To Describe or Not to Describe

Creating Characters

This week we're looking at character description: How much, when, and what do with do with big groups of characters? Monday - To Describe or Not to Describe, Looking at different degrees of description and avoiding info dumps. Tuesday - Description Through Interaction, Considering ways to break up description by using interaction. Wednesday - Sticky Side-Characters, How much description do we … Continue reading Creating Characters

Crumpled Paper

Lot and Josef find more reasons to argue. Nine Shillings and Victorian Mistress are also available on Wattpad. London – 1843 ‘The terrifying… um… terror,’ the newspaper boy on the corner shouted. ‘Frightful… frights. The epidemic of death!’ I stopped beside him, he couldn’t have been more than ten but he was already as tall as me. ‘You’re … Continue reading Crumpled Paper

Resting The Reader

A mentioned in previous articles whether our stories are character driven or plot driven we need moments in the story where we let the reader process events. The problem with pace is finding the balance between too fast and too slow, this is further complicated by the fact that different stories have different paces. We … Continue reading Resting The Reader

Slowing With Showing

As we discussed in the previous article despite some assumptions that telling is bad and showing is better, it’s not that simple. In the previous article we discussed how telling can be used to increase the pace where it is often assumed to slow it. We can also slow the pace of a story through … Continue reading Slowing With Showing

Speed Through Sentences

As I mentioned in the previous article sentences can change the pace of prose depending on how long or short they are. Once again I’ll mention that the general rule is that the longer a sentence is the slower it reads and the shorter it is the faster it reads. This isn’t always true, a … Continue reading Speed Through Sentences