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Writing Radically

Unintentionally Unhealthy Character Relationships

Fiction is rife with dysfunctional couples. When handled well, these can explore interesting social dynamics, create conflict, and make a statement about real-world issues like domestic violence and dating abuse. However, when an unintentionally unhealthy relationship is portrayed as a character’s happily ever after, it often leaves readers with a bad taste in their mouth. Continue reading “Unintentionally Unhealthy Character Relationships”

Man Pain:What It Is and Why It Doesn’t Belong in Your Book

The other day I came across this great article on Man Pain. As something that I have found endlessly frustrating in fiction, I’d like to delve into this a bit and  discuss what Man Pain is, why it’s such remarkably bad writing. Continue reading “Man Pain:What It Is and Why It Doesn’t Belong in Your Book”

Common Secondary Character Problems

So you’ve got a reasonably sized cast of supporting characters, but something still isn’t quite right. Below are three of the most common issues that tend to arise when dealing with supporting characters. Continue reading “Common Secondary Character Problems”

Secondary Characters and Why You Need Them

One of the most common issues with supporting characters occurs when the writer simply forgets to include them. This means that the main character spends a lot of time wandering around alone. Setting up your MC a few friends, some family, or even just a rival who won’t bug off can give your character much needed outlet. Continue reading “Secondary Characters and Why You Need Them”

Character Development

Compelling characters tend to change over the course of the story–that is, they develop. Good character development is the art of creating a dynamic character who grows with the story and becomes more nuanced as the reader learns about them. Below is a quick crash course on what character development looks like and four distinct opportunities to include it in your story. Continue reading “Character Development”

Troubleshooting Unlikable Characters

So, you’ve written a great character. They’re smart, funny, and everyone in the story loves them. The problem is that most of your readers don’t. It can be hard to put your finger on what makes readers connect to a character, but if there’s a serious failure to launch these four things may be a good place to start troubleshooting. Continue reading “Troubleshooting Unlikable Characters”

Pulling Off a Plot Twist

Done properly, a plot twist has the power to shock, delight, and horrify readers, sometimes all at the same time. There are few things more satisfying for readers and writers alike than a well executed plot twist. This is, however, easier said than done. In a past article, I wrote about what doesn’t work when writing plot twists. Here, I discuss what makes a good plot twist, and tips for pulling them off in your own work. Continue reading “Pulling Off a Plot Twist”

Infodumps: Why They’re Awful, and How to Fix Them

Rather than introducing information organically, infodumps deliver it in large blocks. They aren’t in scene, they stall the plot, and because they usually appear as a wall of text they’re actually much harder for readers to parse. This is the article about how you recognize them and what you can do to fix them. Continue reading “Infodumps: Why They’re Awful, and How to Fix Them”

Writing Resources

I’m currently on vacation, so in lieu of a long post, I’m going to leave you guys with a few resources that I find useful. Continue reading “Writing Resources”

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