Characters: First Comes Like

Working with a character as a writer requires a deep knowledge of them, how they came to be, and awareness of both the personality quirks and experiences that affect the decisions they’ll make in the story. In the process,...

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Character: Physical Description

When describing someone in normal conversation, the first thing people point out is what they look like. Certain identifying features make it helpful, like hair or eye color, body type, height, even the clothes they wear. This is one...

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Start with Action

Introducing the main character (MC) of a story is daunting. Most writers of novels have already spent so much time in development of their character that they love them dearly, know them inside and out, and want the reader...

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Write Holidays with History

Celebrations and holidays are often only as strong as how long they've been observed. New holidays, like Muffin Day, are copyrighted almost every day. It can be fun to observe “national potato week” one year because it's kitschy and...

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Writing Ceremonies in Fiction

Winter is the time of year to talk celebrations! Though these abundant winter holidays get a lot of the glory, there are celebrations all year round. For whatever reason, some of these celebrations have been around for centuries, some...

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Cooking in Fiction

The culture of food lovers is unique and beautiful, full of traditional skills, cutting-edge innovations, and members of all levels of experience. It’s a great thing to give a character a passion, especially when fiction is character-driven. This can...

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Using Scarcity and Abundance

Continuing with the discussion of food in fiction, this element is one that can contribute some feelings of concrete realism into even the most unbelievable fantasy worlds. Tapping into the realism of food and supplying nourishment can go a...

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Better Fiction through Food

Do the characters in this story ever eat? If so, why do they eat what they do? Some of the visceral aspects of life, such as the necessity of eating, are the simplest and most effective ways to show...

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Senses and Strong Description

"Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert." William Osler Via: BrainyQuote   The tools of observation are our senses. We...

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