Posts tagged characters
Perspective in Creative Writing: Who Is Telling Your Story

Perspective is the lens through which you tell your story. Which lens you choose affects your reader’s experience and opinion of your characters. Make sure you’re making the best choice in protagonist, point of view, and your personal preferences for your story’s perspective.

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Elizabeth’s Midnight: How to Read Like a Writer

It’s easy to get lost in complex plots and world building, but not every story needs a web of ideas. Sometimes a story is about one person and their journey. Aaron Michael Ritchey focuses on a single character and plot arc in Elizabeth’s Midnight. His unique, fully developed characters and “what could be worse” plot make his novel linger with readers.

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The Purpose of Quality Description in Creative Writing

Description immerses your reader in your story. Quality description focuses on showing the details that impact your story and is key to your readers’ ability to experience and picture your setting, characters, and events. If you want your readers to feel something when they read your writing, you need to use quality description.

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The Dragon Book: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to make your story standout from others in your genre, you need to make the tropes and stereotypes your own. The authors of the short stories in The Dragon Book re-imagine the infamous creatures. The anthology also demonstrates how to pace and design a collection.

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The Flower Man by Mark Ludy: How to Read Like a Writer

There are many ways to tell a story. It can be written, spoken, sung, even shown through images. Mark Ludy illustrates how one man can change a community through wordless, vibrant images in The Flower Man. If you need to brush up your characterization and body language techniques, start with this book.

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The Sleeper and the Spindle: How to Read Like a Writer

The Sleeper and the Spindle is a young adult short story transformed into a graphic novel. Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, it is an excellent example of how the written word and visual art can come together to create an engaging story. If you’re thinking about combining text and image, or another kind of creative partnership, read this book.

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How to "Show Don't Tell" in Creative Writing

Any writer who’s taken a writing course or been a part of a critique group has probably heard the phrase “show don’t tell.” You may have even said it yourself. Why should you show? Showing — especially in instances like backstory, setting, and emotion where telling is easy — will advance your plot and deepen your characters.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: How to Read Like a Writer

Most authors have a favorite writer whom they wish to emulate in some manner. However, if your favorite is a classic writer, you may need to pick the aspects of their style you incorporate into your own writing carefully. Today’s readers are not the same as the readers of the past.

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Syntax: Sentence Organization and Voice Creation

When it comes to sentence organization, many writers nod off or only care enough to be clear, but the kind of syntax you use has a tremendous impact on voice. A child is going to arrange their sentences differently than a psychologist. Your sentences will look different than another author’s. Syntax is a key aspect of your story’s voice.

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Creative Nonfiction: What Is It and How to Write It

To some the phrase creative nonfiction might seem like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. Creative nonfiction is about sharing your story, facts, and reality in a compelling way, so your readers are both informed and entertained. It grants writers the freedom to build scenes and play with form, while remaining true.

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Born to Run by Christopher McDougall: How to Read Like a Writer

Whether you're interested in running long distances or not, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superalthetes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall is a must read for any aspiring nonfiction writer. McDougall employs concepts, conflicts, characters, and causalities often associated with fiction to share the knowledge he gained while asking "Why does my foot hurt?"

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Why Nonfiction Needs to Tell a Story

Humans are psychologically wired to remember and understand stories. Using basic story structure and elements from fiction will help your nonfiction book stand out and deliver the information driving your need to write in a way that will linger in your reader's memory.

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Emily St. John Mandel: How to Read Like a Writer

Dystopian fiction is a popular current trend. If you want your story to stand out from the crowd, read Station Eleven. Emily St. John Mendel transforms dystopias. Through a twisted timeline, multiple points of view, and the importance of art, she speculates on how society might carry on after a pandemic deadlier than the Spanish Flu.

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Transference by Kate Jonuska: How to Read Like a Writer

Often literary and genre fiction are at odds, but in Transference Kate Jonuska brings the two together through an extremely close third person point of view, snarky humor, and inner character conflict. You can learn how to blend styles by reading books like Transference.

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Self-Help by Lorrie Moore: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to try out a new writing technique or put your reader in an uncomfortable situation, the short story might be the format for you. Self-Help by Lorrie Moore is a collection of short stories that gives Moore the chance to have her readers walk in another’s shoes through second person point of view and create a variety of character voices.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: How to Read Like a Writer

If you’re writing an unreliable narrator or plot twists, check out The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins uses plot twists to build suspense and change perceptions of her characters. She also uses a variety of characteristics to make her narrators untrustworthy. Learn how to control the information in your story for similar effects.

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