Tag Archives | Characterization

A New Method for Antagonists

I’ve had the pleasure over the past few summers to teach at Duke Young Writers’ Camp. One of my favorite courses was a Dark Fiction class for middle grade students. It was an opportunity to walk young writers through fiction that really pushes the boundaries. Unsurprisingly, many of my young writers go a little too far. One infamous story featured a villainous assassin targeting a list of grandmothers. It was a great opportunity to talk […]

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Your Characters Should Want Things

A couple of months ago, I had the privilege of hearing Naomi Novik, author of UPROOTED and SPINNING SILVER, speak about fantasy and folklore at a local bookstore. She likened fairy tales to desire lines: those eroded paths in grass or woodland that form when many people seek out the same things—a shortcut, a nice view, a way around an obstacle. They can endure for centuries. Fairy tale characters are full of desires: they want […]

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Characters – then and now

At a book festival this week, I was on a panel about characters and how to develop them. One of the audience members had a fantastic question that was basically: How have your characters (and the way you develop them) changed from your first book to your latest book? I went from the first book I wrote, rather than the first book I published, because the first book I published was actually the seventeenth book […]

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Creating Character Voice

Hi PubCrawlers! Julie here, and today I want to talk a bit about Character Voice—that is, the pattern of thought and speech that is unique to each character. A strong and distinct voice will help bring a character to life on the page. I want to be clear in differentiating Character Voice from Writer’s Voice, or the voice you as a writer bring to your stories. JJ and Kelly have a great podcast about Writer’s […]

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GUEST POST: The Writer as Tour Guide

The Writer as Tour Guide 6 Tips for Writing Outside Your Own Culture Let’s say that you run a tour company where you serve as bus driver and tour guide for people who want to have an intense, immersive experience of a fascinating city. Ideally, you should know that city intimately. But what if you’ve never been there? You could hire a local bus driver and tour guide—someone who’s familiar with the history, the streets, […]

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