Character Development Questions reprinted with permission by author Heather McCorkle (@HeatherMcCorkle on Twitter) As I started research for my next novel, a young adult historical fantasy, I realized I needed to get to know my new main character. One of my favorite ways to do this is to fill out one of those personal questionnaires about them. This is the one I’ve compiled:1) What is your full name? What name do you go by and why? 2) What do you look like? What are your best and worst features? 3) What is your birth date? Do you celebrate or avoid it and why? 4) How do you preferRead More →

If you read a book or watch a movie, and you’ve learned even a little about GMC, then you can figure out a character’s GMC… If you read the biography, you can clearly see where I found these goals and motivations. But, let me say this: these could be better. Analysis below.Read More →

I wanted to work on GMC for my secondary characters. I’d already written maybe fifty pages of info and backstory on my main characters. But, I couldn’t figure out what my secondary characters wanted. Why did my villain steal? From charity money to build a facility for children? I read somewhere, and strongly believe, a character can do anything as long as they have good and truthful motivation. This was a big deal to me. And I had five secondary characters to do this with. They mattered. They needed their own stories, at least in their minds. Yeah, I know, that sounds weird.Read More →

There are approximately a billion ways to create a character. A lot of people use character worksheets or questionnaires.  I do not use these.  I will be brave enough to admit that one of those reasons is because I never spell questionnaire correctly on the first go.  That alone puts me off them.  But, really, they just don’t work for me. I have a few personal tricks for developing* a character.  I usually, but not always, start with an idea of what they look like using pictures of actual people.  If it’s not there from the beginning, it comes quickly.  Once upon a time, IRead More →

Alicia Rasley (blog) is a wildly talented writer and teacher who should get more recognition than she does. I bought her e-book in PDF, Discovering the Story Within, before people were even reading e-books. (My only complaint: it’s full of awesome worksheets, but the PDF is protected against copying, pasting, highlighting–anything you right-click to do, so filling them out in a word-processing program is impossible.) Plotting But, for today, and for GMC month, I’d like to point you to an article she did on her site called Plotting Without Fears. In this article she tells you the quick and dirty way to plot a story. FindRead More →

That’s my actual wall. Those are two of the seven GMC charts I have hung there. My two main protagonists, actually. On the top left, you’ll see an extra note: the lesson they need to learn by the end of the story. In this novel, my antagonist and her minion don’t have these. Because they fail to learn a lesson; they’re villains. Not all antagonists are villains, though. In some stories, an antagonist could be a friend or family member or even lover. In order to for the antagonist have a happy ending, they need to arc as well.Read More →

Just so you know: “zombie love”.  700 impressions. I couldn’t make this stuff up. “Dirty sex.”  I’m ranked 210th in all of google for dirty sex.  That takes you here: Vintage Inspiration I don’t care who you are, there’s some perverse pride in writing in a notebook like this. It says, loud and proud, though without actually speaking, “Yeah. I’m probably writing dirty sex scenes. You gotta problem with that?” Or something like that. Maybe that’s just me, your mileage my vary. Yeah.  It doesn’t get any hotter or dirtier than that, baby.Read More →

I hate character charts.  I see them everywhere.  I’ve bought books on character development that had 10 page(!) character charts.  Sample questions:   Astrological sign? Who cares?  I don’t check my horoscope.  I mean, I guess, if I had a character who was all into that, it might matter to them.  I guess, I’m saying if it doesn’t matter to my character, why should it matter to me? Political leanings? Unless my character is a politician or an activist or a lobbyist, why do I need to know this?  Will her views on global warming affect her reaction when she’s forced into a marriage ofRead More →