A look at why morally gray characters are so compelling, using the Lannisters of Westeros as my primary examples. Beware: Spoilers abound!
I'll read about them, but I won't take them up on dinner.
When does writing about The Other stop being an exercise in understanding and become something exploitative?
Sometimes, a house can read like a main character in itself.
Some tips on how to make your fictional relationship feel real.
Relatability in your characters will help your work strike a chord with readers. This article explores ways that you can make your heroes, villains, and other characters more relatable.
Ursula K. Le Guin is best known for her sci-fi and fantasy, but part of what makes her work so remarkable is the deeply realistic way it handles the nuanced intersections of character and culture.
Whenever a source of authority grows too powerful and begins to usurp the common people, Robin Hood-like characters start to appear in film and literature.
Tips on how to write a novel without plotting it out.
Every living person on the planet has experienced childhood, but the same can’t be said for old age. Older characters have more history, so creating such a person takes considerable imagination.
When writing about taboo subjects, be careful how you do it.
You want to make your characters realistic? Think of everybody as the protagonist.
Like going on a date, character exercises are part of the process of getting to know another person better (in this case, an imaginary person).
9 of the greatest cats in literature!
Great characters aren't just words: they're living, breathing people, as real as you or me. But where do they come from? How does one birth a character with depth and soul?
In: American Psycho, Character, Death, Jack Ketchum, John Steinbeck, Narrator, Plot, Storyville, Theme
Death in fiction — who, what, when, where and why.
Revered Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has announced his retirement, but not before years of contribution to the art of storytelling.
Some helpful tips for working your life into your fiction.
We can learn some valuable lessons about plotting, characters, and expectations from watching (or reading) 'Game of Thrones.'
In: Character, Craft, Dialogue, Jeff VanderMeer, Plot, Stephen King, Storyville, Structure, Theme, Voice
Three essential books on writing by Stephen King, Donald Maas and Jeff VanderMeer.
"Object love" is a painfully common writing disease that leads us to write two-dimensional women who are more object than person. This article explores how you can overcome the sickness.
From basic games to complex script analysis, actors have a thing or two to teach writers.
In: Character, Joyce Carol Oates, Literary Devices, Plot, POV, Research, Setting, Short Stories, Storyville, Structure
One of the most talked about, published and taught stories, I dissect "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates.
There’s a fine line that authors tread when writing from a child's perspective. A balance must be found between a voice that is unrealistically adult, and one that is too naive to be engaging.