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Characters Who are Mary-Sues

Is your character a “Mary Sue”? About a year ago, I received an email from a reader that said, in part: “… all of my sisters read my stories, but when one of them remarked that my character was a “Mary-Sue”, I became horrified....

Dressing Your Characters

I’m willing to bet that, most of the time, you tap out a sentence or two about what your character is wearing almost as an afterthought. (Hang on, you think, I’ve got to help the reader picture this guy. What’ll I dress him in? Ummm… he’s...

What Does Your Character Want?

“What does your character want?”  It seems like a simple question – yet it is one that can cause untold problems for some writers. They fuss and fiddle about with all manner of MINOR things that the character wants, and totally miss the big one! What...

Characters with Personality

My librarian and I share a passion for mysteries and thrillers. She knows my tastes so well now that she puts new books on reserve for me as soon as they are in the system. But when I think about our conversations about the latest story that we both loved, I...

Unlikeable Characters

What’s the one thing that is most likely to make a reader discard a book without finishing it? An unlikeable character. This was brought home to me forcibly last week, when I had to read a book ready for discussion at a book club meeting. This was the very first...