Help for Writers

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. Stories with mary-sues...

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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 the kind of guy...

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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...

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