Category Archive: Characters

Feb 28

Remind Us Who Is Who

Recently a read a scifi novel and couldn’t keep up with the characters throughout the story. Having an interesting and memorable character name is important, but that’s not enough. I just hate it when characters are names things like Bill, Bob, Bert, Bull, Barren, Berry, Bo, Blue, and Brad. It may seem cute to the …

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Sep 16

It’s All In The Casting

The importance of good or great casting can’t be overstated. This is not only true in both stage and screen productions, but it absolutely applies to the writing process. When it comes to the reality of able actors, it is often possible to switch performers on stage for a long running stage production — but …

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Sep 30

Character Appearance Thumbnail

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 4.51.05 PM

One common thing all fiction writers have to do is to give a thumbnail sketch of new characters. The physical appearance of characters consists of the same things — face features, body type, hair and perhaps a memorable trait.   What I’ve been doing for the last couple of years is using an Excel spreadsheet …

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Jun 11


In another post I mentioned the idea of using the alphabet to keep from having too many characters whose names that not only begin with the same letter, but are even similar in the number of letters. Imagine having a story with characters named Betsy, Betty, Bessie, and Bossy. In screenwriting where the character’s name …

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Mar 19

Character Introductions

The first time a character appears in the story, novel, or script you want to give the reader/audience; a memorable name a visual and memorable hook to make this character stand out make this character’s description part of the action of the scene. In scripts, it’s a good idea to put the character’s name in …

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Mar 13

Naming Characters

The naming of characters is more than simply assigning names to the population of your story. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that using different letters of the alphabet to name your primary or significant characters is a good practice. Parents (and the writers of children’s books) may find it cute to have all their …

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Oct 18

Back Secrets

Lately I’ve been enjoying a relative new series of mysteries based on Agatha Christi novels featuring her amateur sleuth, Miss Marple. What has struck me is how important the back story, or rather the back secrets, are to many of Christi’s characters. A back secret is a character’s hidden back story which altered their character …

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Jul 23

Character Basics

A character is any person or thing with a human personality or trait in your story. Often we talk about the “good guy” vs. the “bad guy” or the “hero” or the “heroin” against the “villain.” Characters are also referred to as “A” and “B” or “C” and so forth. We’re also familiar with the …

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