Fiction Advice

Create Believable Characters — Using Method Writing

When I was eight years old, I saw a dark and eerie pencil sketch hanging in the study of a relative’s home:  A man holding a test tube with an apparition of a demon staring at him. This visual experience was to have an effect on me later in life, particularly in my discovery of method acting for writers. As a teenager, I once participated in a school storytelling competition. On stage, before an audience of several hundred students, I enacted the tale of a man tormented by his own shadow, a menacing figure with its own personality. To do that, I personified the scary shadow figure while switching roles at times to let both personalities develop conflict. I won the first prize. The idea… Read More

Want to Improve Your Descriptions? Read These 5 Books!

A powerful way to improve your descriptions is to return to the craft — pore over books that paint poetic, captivating or deliciously fresh prose in original ways. It can be a powerful source of inspiration. Of course, there are countless books out there to list, but here are five of my favorites. 5 books that can inspire your descriptions:… Read More

The ABCs of Crafting Flesh-and-Blood Characters

It’s said that readers can love stories — but only fall in love with characters. Many first-time authors only know their novel’s characters as well as they would know an acquaintance at a cocktail party. The characters’ traits seem more like ticks the author thought would be interesting, rather than ones that arise out of a deeply embedded worldview. These authors have not done the nuts-and-bolts work necessary to create flesh-and-blood characters. Follow these nuts-and-bolts ABCs to create characters:… Read More