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10 Travel-Themed Exercises for Character Chemistry

10 Travel-Themed Exercises for Character Chemistry

As you may have gathered, I travel. A lot. So I figured — why not take a look at my travel experiences and see what brought out the biggest differences among my companions? That way I can steal from our adventures and use it for character chemistry in my writing. (If you travel with me, there’s an 85% chance this will happen. That’s the risk you take being friends with a writer-person.)

Even when you’re traveling with great people, there are subtle conflicts and compromises along the way. If you’re less lucky, those little adjustments can become stewing rage or explosive…Continue Reading

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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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20 Prompts to Uncover Characters’ Hearts

20 Prompts to Uncover Characters’ Hearts

Characters! Those cheeky fellas. I love seeking out my characters’ hearts. Finding the deep-down stuff that really makes them tick, and then bringing it out in the story. Normally I’ll spend a lot of time brainstorming this in the early side of my drafting, but I also like to revisit the basics when I hit a roadblock and stall out. Often when I’m stuck, it’s because I have stopped listening to my characters.

Here are some questions that can help you explore your characters and gain new insights. I’ve written them addressed to your character directly, and recommend answering them in…Continue Reading

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50 Questions to Ask Your Antagonist

50 Questions to Ask Your Antagonist

Antagonists are tricky. Too little work, and the antagonist comes across flat. A flat antagonist is easy and boring, because he or she won’t push the protagonist hard enough. Plus there’s that practice of making fleshed out characters and having interesting three-dimensional people, blah blah.

We all know the saying: Every villain is his own hero. Though I wrote these questions and prompts with famous antagonists in mind, you could actually pose them to your protagonist or other characters (just switch out the protagonist-themed questions for antagonist-themed) and it will still work.

I’ve always found it most helpful to answer questionnaires in my character’s voice, so I have written this addressing…Continue Reading

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