Blog Archives

People-Watching: It’s Not Just For Peeping Toms Anymore

The next time you’re in a public place — a coffeehouse, a park, a store — observe the people around you. Pick a person, a couple, or a group, and imagine what their lives might be like. Imagine All the

Posted in Character, Process, World-Building, Writing craft

Name That… Character!

Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it? Do you think it suits you? What about your children’s names? And what about your characters? Ask ten different authors about how they choose names for

Posted in Character, Writing craft

#13WeekNovel Writing Challenge: Week Eleven – Surrender

Week Eleven. We’re getting close now. Can you taste it? This week, your hero surrenders. Why? Because she has no choice. It’s only through surrendering that your hero redefines her relationship to her goal. Notice how all of your characters

Posted in Character, Process, Story Structure, Writing craft

Nine Sources of Unforgettable Characters

Fiction is about people, and a novel’s key element is characterization. But how do you do it? How do you spawn characters? From whence do they hail? Does a doctor bring them in a black bag? Or a stork? No,

Posted in A Merchant's Tale, Character, Fiction, Writing craft

NaNoWriMo: Thanksgiving Update – How Do I Write My Ending?

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. — Henry David Thoreau I’ll be honest, 2016 has been a mixed bag. On the one hand, we’ve lost so many cultural icons, from David Bowie to

Posted in Character, Commitment, Creativity, Story Structure, Writing craft, Writing Life

Four Tips for Writing across Genders

Can I write a young, smart, resourceful female character that does justice to a whole suite of gender concerns that aren’t “natural” to me by birth and upbringing? The “golden rule” of writing is: write what you know. The relative

Posted in Character, Writing craft

Twenty Ways to Build Character

Do your homework. Writing is a hell of a tough racket, and if you’re lazy about it, it will defeat you so fast it’ll make your head spin. So before you type Chapter One into that virginal word processor page—and

Posted in Character, Writing craft

#RoE: In the Garden of the Lady Rathtyen

Note: this is an adapted excerpt from The Romance of Eowain, a forthcoming full-length fantasy adventure novel. Come check out this and all the great books in the Matter of Manred Saga at Newark Comic Con 2016 on August 20!

Posted in Character, Conflict, Fiction, Self-Publishing, Setting, The Romance of Eowain

The Challenges of Writing a Series

My youngest daughter recently celebrated her twelfth birthday. Aside from being an enormous Potterhead, she also enjoys young adult dystopian fiction (Insurgent, The Hunger Games, etc.). Tonight, after dinner, she decided to embark on a mission to civilize me. Though

Posted in Character, Fiction, Point of View, Story Structure, The Romance of Eowain, Writing craft

Love is Complicated

If you decide to write about love, you’re at the slight disadvantage of being in a line that’s five-thousand years long. Thousands of writers have written about love, and now you want to do it too? The competition is enough

Posted in Character, Fiction, Story Structure, The Romance of Eowain, Writing craft

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The Author
Michael Dellert is an award-winning writer, editor, publishing consultant, and writing coach with a publishing career spanning 18 years. He is currently working as an independent freelancer. He lives in the Greater New York City area.
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