Tag Archives: character

Finding the perfect dress . . .

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

Which comes first?  Character or plot?  And how do they relate to each other?

Years ago, looking for my wedding dress, I ran across a curious problem.  I had indulged when selecting dresses to try on.  Things with layers and embellishments, interesting skirts and bodices.  They were beautiful and unique.  Lavish.

Eagerly I began the process of getting into them (it required help), and a parade of beautiful designs soon greeted me, one after another, from the mirror.  Bit by bit, though, my excitement dimmed as I realized that, while beautiful, none of them looked right on me.

Now, I’m no runway model, but those dresses should have at least looked okay.  Why didn’t they? Continue reading

Insomniacs Anonymous 12-25-15

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

Do the characters in your story reflect aspects of your own family and traditions? If so, how does this reflection enhance your story? What might you need to revise in order to serve the story you are telling?

Insomniacs Anonymous 11-11-15

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

Does a protagonist really have to change over the course of a story or is it enough for you as a reader if she just discovers a truth?

Practical Prompt 10-9-15

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

You finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

Be mean to your hero. If the protagonist accomplishes his or her goals too easily, there is no tension, and the story becomes boring. It’s OK for the hero to fail (and fail, and fail, and fail) until he or she finally achieves the goal. Victory is sweeter when the outcome is not assured.

Insomniacs Anonymous 9-30-15

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

In a flat character arc, the character is already at their best potential.  In this case, the world is changed by the character instead of the character changed by the world.  Can you think of some good stories where this dynamic makes an engaging story?