Writing that novel

WritingI finished plotting a new novel a few days ago and started writing. Given it was the Holiday season, with vacation time, New Year’s resolutions, and bad weather, maybe you decided to also write that novel? Two months from now, when two paragraphs of writing are angrily staring at you from your desk, you might wonder where it all went wrong. It used to happen to me. I have a big folder of unfinished work on my laptop. Okay… So then what? Continue reading “Writing that novel”

Broken Characters: to thine own self be true

by rahego under Creative Commons
by rahego under Creative Commons

In a previous post, I identified broken plot and broken characters as reasons that I feel stories often fail. Last time I talked about plot, so today, I’ll talk about broken characters.

By broken characters, I mean characters that are not internally consistent. That doesn’t mean that all stories should focus on character. Read Characters & Viewpoints by Orson Scott Card for more about his famous MICE quotient.

You can have characters that do not grow or change, and do not even have a big role. However, they can still be broken, and they can still ruin a story.

By internally consistent I mean, given the situation that a character is in, and their background, they should act in a plausible way. It doesn’t mean they have to be rational, but it does mean their actions flow logically from who they are and what happens to them. For instance, if an armed police officer witnesses a crime, they will call it in, or try to stop it. Of course, the officer can cower in fear, but then you’ll have to give an explanation for this at some point in the story. Characters can be completely irrational, but you have to establish them as such. Continue reading “Broken Characters: to thine own self be true”

Promises, promises – a tale of broken plots

by rahego under Creative Commons
by rahego under Creative Commons

When I notice bad writing in books, TV shows, or video games, it’s often because of broken plots or characters. I’d like to talk about the first: broken plots. Everybody loves to talk about their work. So, as a writer, of course I also feel the need to blog about writing. Just like all the other gazillion writers in the world. Aside from reading books, I like watching television shows, and playing video games. Continue reading “Promises, promises – a tale of broken plots”