Showing posts from March, 2017

5 Must-Have Ingredients for Writing Memorable Characters

Image courtesy of When I run into a friend after a long absence, I feel a joy of reunion. We hug, we chatter about what's gone on in our lives, and we attempt to settle into a new normal of existing together. This past week, I experienced this while traveling for work. I've spent many years with my "training project" family, and I loved catching up with the ones I've known for years. Creating Beloved Characters The same emotions happen when I revisit a great character or characters in a book. My Kindle decided to move a book I'd purchased sometime ago to the top of my Most Recent list. I'm not sure why, but since I was traveling, I decided to read it. It's been a few years since I've read anything in this series, but immediately I felt the same joy of reunion with these characters. I love them! Why? To answer that, we need to consider what makes a great character, or more precisely, what makes us love a character. I'l

How Should a Writer Respond to Feedback?

So, you've attended a critique group and need to know what to do with the feedback. First, and foremost, keep writing. Don't spend every meeting rehashing the same pages. What Do You Do With the Feedback? As you keep writing remember the following: You don't have to change everything the group suggests. The work is yours. You've joined a group for feedback, but sometimes it's worthwhile to take that feedback with a grain of salt. Not everyone will agree on what works and what doesn't. If everyone, or most everyone, tells you something, it's probably worth considering. Also, notice who gave you the information. I've gotten great feedback from less experieinced writers, but when the feedback gives me pause, I do consider the background and genre experience of the person providing the feedback. If you choose to ignore certain feedback, make sure it's based on something you can explain. For instance, it's goes against the personality of

Essential Guidelines For Writing Critique Groups

A few of our members grabbing a bite after the meeting. A critique group can be a wonderful resource for your writing, whether you're new to writing or with a few publications under your belt. Feedback, to some degree, is subjective, so it's important for the critiquers to know what they're looking for and what they should say to the writer. Critique Guidelines When we meet for our bi-monthly meetings, we have time for nine people to read their work and hear feedback from the group. Prompt and appropriate information is imperative due to our time constraints. That's why it's important to focus on the writing first. So what are the guidelines we use? Point out something you liked.   At a conference several years ago, an editor told me if we can't say something positive about someone's work, then we don't have the right to criticize it. Not everyone agrees with that notion, but it's true a writer is more apt to listen to someone who first po

Do Your Characters Like Your Protagonist?

Image courtesy of Does your protagonist get along with everyone? I hope not! How boring. "No matter what you do, some people won't like you." During a conference this weekend, I made the above statement. Everyone at my table agreed, but then one person said, "But I want them to like me. I'm a likeable person." What's Not to Like? This led to a short discussion on why someone might not like a person: You remind them of someone they don't like You believe differently than them They like different things than you You have something they want and can't have You force them to do something they don't like Let's face it, if we all liked the same things--or people--there wouldn't be so many flavors of ice cream. How boring! Yes, we want to be liked, and we want out readers to like our protagonist (usually a good thing), but we miss out on great conflict opportunities when the protagonist is loved by all of