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How to Make a Killer Character Sheet

How to Make a Killer Character Sheet

HOW TO MAKE A KILLER CHARACTER SHEETI’m very visually oriented, if you haven’t guessed from the graphics series that appears periodically on this blog. I brainstorm and process stories best through tactile exercises. This is one reason my character sheets are a little bit ridiculous, but also very thorough. My friend and partner in crime, Annie, is much the same way — and at any given time you should assume that these blog entries were created by our hive mind because we steal each others’ stuff constantly.

Anyway. Today I’m going to walk you through making…Continue Reading

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100 Questions for Character Couples

100 Questions for Character Couples

My sister, the writer/illustrator for The Silver Eye, put together a list of questions to ask her character couples. I’ve tidied them up, added a few of my own, and present them now for your brainstorming usage!

Character chemistry is one of the most important elements in a story. These questions can help you flesh out your couple’s/couples’ relationship(s), find some hidden details to use in your tale, and discover more about your characters in the process. Though the list is written in the past tense, I’ve found it really helpful for planning upcoming scenes and matchmaking possibilities.

Enjoy!

Basic Information

  1. What real couples could they be compared to and why?
  2. What fictional couples could they be compared to and why?
  3. What…Continue Reading
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When Everything You Write Sucks

When Everything You Write Sucks

There comes a point in every writer’s journey where every idea, every sentence, every word seems to suck. When writing is no longer sunny meadow frolicking, but the Cliffs of Insanity.

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The first thing to do is remind yourself: Every writer ever in the history of the world has been where you are. Everyone has hated their writing at some point. Or multiple points. Or pretty much all the points.

So. Keep that in mind. Give yourself permission to suck. That’s what it’s all about.

But if you are desperate for new ways to move forward, there are some methods you can employ to get back in the grove. Below…Continue Reading

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10 Writing Resources: Characters

10 Writing Resources: Characters

10 Writing Resources- CharactersFrom the basics to the very in-depth, these are some of the resources I go to when I’m developing new characters. Have a look at my favorites, and add your own in the comments!

1. 25 Things About Creating Characters

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As a writer, creating characters is probably the most important thing you do. Get it wrong, and the story will be wrong no matter how well plotted.

2. Lessons From James Scott Bell: Characters That Jump Off The Page

write-from-the-middle-205x300Continue Reading

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How to Brainstorm with Word Art

How to Brainstorm with Word Art

I recently finished my first draft of Illuminate, which was very exciting! Don’t get me wrong—there is still a ton that needs to happen before it goes to agents in the spring. But there’s a thing that happens when you finish your draft: You have to start thinking about the next story.

The way I write is by focusing my creative energies on one story at a time (“time” can be exclusive, or “per day” if I am drafting and revising two different projects). This means I don’t usually have a pocketful of future-stories I’m eagerly waiting to work on.

As a result, whenever I finish a project, my confidence plummets. What if that was the best book I’ll ever write? What if…Continue Reading

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3 Tips for Designing a Flag

3 Tips for Designing a Flag

Tips for Designing a FlagWhen you dive into worldbuilding, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of landscape and custom and fashion. But don’t forget to build details like your, country’s flag’s colors or design!

Designing a flag can help you discover something new about your country’s history and myths. Just have a look at some of our real-life flags and all the history, stereotypes, and attitudes associated with them. (The Union Jack and the imperialism ingrained in its very design. The American flag, the very image of which seems to conjure eagles and liberty (or rednecks). Canada’s red…Continue Reading

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5 Creative Activities for Your Novel Journal

5 Creative Activities for Your Novel Journal

CREATIVE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR NOVEL JOURNALI’ve finished my WIP’s first journal, and I have to say: I’m in love. Before this journal, I never knew the wonders of graph paper and all the creativity you can unleash on it.

Having a journal can be a great way to keep notes, brainstorm off the computer, do research, or just relieve stress. My journal was stuffed with the usual sort of thing (character arcs and bios, scene ideas, name research, etc.), but I also branched out and tried to find unusual or more creative ways to explore my story.

Below are my…Continue Reading

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