Posts belonging to Category For Writers

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Beach of Bones

This is a real place; I walked it while I was out of town earlier this week. It was begging to end up immortalized in one of my stories somewhere, so I let Lian have it, and she went to a few places I hadn’t considered when I was taking that walk. At least, that [...]

Choosing a Main Character

This was supposed to have gone up a week ago. I don’t know why it didn’t.
A lot of us writers have it easy. We have one strong character idea and are ready to center a story around them, or we have a strong plot idea and just need to design a character who can [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Beyond Reproach

Because of one of my library’s last batch of books, I was thinking about unwritten rules today. One of my works in progress gets most of her characterization from her society’s unwritten rules and her ability to use them to her advantage: these are the principles from which she operates.
There is a kind of person [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: They and Their Weapons

I operate in worlds that do take the time to think about the relationship between a person and her favored weapon, but even with the characters for whom it’s significant, I operate more on character instinct than on understanding how it works. Tonight was as good a night as any to look for specifics.
Tuyet never [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Surfeit

She had had quite enough of needing help.
Sure, it was justifiable. Acquiring the interest of very large, very scary things tended to do that. There was a point past which the amount of self-defense training she’d managed to shoehorn in around things that seemed more relevant if she was justifying them to her superiors and [...]

Cultures and Children

We don’t often think about children in speculative fiction or our games—at least, not once we stop reading entirely in the children’s section. They might be incidental characters, might possibly serve in a MacGuffin role, but they’re not likely to be the protagonist. As such, it’s easy for us to forget about them in a [...]

Characterization Exercise: Where Is This Problem Going?

I blame the US government shutdown for this one. If I hadn’t been tracking it, trying to figure out whether I’d be out of work (and then, when I’d go back to it), I’d wouldn’t have gotten suckered onto far too many comment threads. (Curse my curiosity!) If I hadn’t been looking at the comment [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Kes and Fear

Going back to fear reactions for this week’s post; they’re usually good for some exploration. Today I’m going to look at my old long-runner, the demon hunter Kestrel.
It’s not that Kes isn’t afraid. She takes the battlefield against things that would probably be able to kill her if she ever let them get within striking [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Dreaming of…

I know which character this came from, but where the idea came from is anyone’s guess.
A year after she gave up home, she gave up her dreams of it. Forced to cast aside the old identity, she had done so not by simple rejection and association retraining, but with a series of mental gymnastics that [...]

Weaponized Weaknesses

I’ve talked a lot about the kinds of things a character can turn into weapons—but then there’s one of my favorite ways, one that backfires easily, but that works spectacularly. What happens when a character uses her own weaknesses as part of her arsenal?
Things get interesting.
Part of it is just the effect. A character uses [...]