Author Archive | Janice

Pick Six: The How to Create a Character Game

For some writers, characters pop into being fully formed like Athena from Zeus’s forehead. For others, creating a character is a bit more laborious, filled with uncertainty where to start or what’s needed before they can start writing. Maybe the idea is more plot focused, or more about exploring an idea than a deep character journey, and those writers want to dive in and get started without hours of character development. If creating characters don’t […]

9 Comments

Choosing a Point-of-View Character

Not every novel is told from a single point of view. In mysteries or thrillers, it’s common for readers to see both sides of a tale with the protagonist and antagonist. Romances are often told from both the male and female leads. More epic tales–such as fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction– might use several characters to show various parts of the story. No matter which point of view you choose, you want the right […]

3 Comments

What’s the One Thing Your Character Can’t Live Without?

There are a myriad of ways to create characters. Problem is, there are so many of them that we can spend all of our time creating characters and never actually write the novel those characters exist in. I tend to be a minimalist when creating characters, because I like to learn who they are by tossing them into the plot and seeing what they do. But it helps to have a starting point for those […]

6 Comments

Dealing With Multiple Drafts During Revisions

Sometimes a story goes through several drafts before you figure out the best way to tell it. Problem is, you often end up with multiple drafts, and there’s good writing in every one. Finding a way to piece together all the best parts and still make the story feel cohesive can be a challenge. Here are some common trouble spots when dealing with multiple revisions, and some tips on how to handle them: Your Darlings: […]

14 Comments

Are Your Scenes Causing an Effect?

Last month I shared a tip on how to keep your scenes moving. This month, I’d like to take a step back and look at the bigger picture aspect of scenes and plotting. Once you know what’s moving your scenes forward from a plot perspective, consider how that scene affects your entire novel. What is the cause and effect in your scenes? No matter how well written a scene might be, if it isn’t doing […]

15 Comments