The Villain’s Journey – from ThrillerFest

On Monday we talked about how character’s are the story. Today, I pose another idea: while characters may be the story, what really makes your story interesting is the antagonist. And in the case of most thrillers, the antagonist happens to be a villain. If you’re wondering about the distinction between villains and antagonists, check… Read more »

Lessons on Character from ThrillerFest

As I mentioned in my introduction to the ThrillerFest recaps, I fully expected to learn a lot about plot, pacing and suspense. What I did NOT expect was that character development would be the central topic to just about every talk or panel I attended. Character development in a thriller? Actually, that idea is not… Read more »

Top 10 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

Today we have an excellent guest post by Leanna Renee Hieber, author of DARKER STILL. I had the pleasure of chatting briefly with Leanna over lunch at the BEA Bloggers Conference. The minute I met her I could tell how passionate she is about historical fiction and the time period she writes about.  At the… Read more »

Prompt: The Name Game

To wrap up our week-long series about naming characters we’re going to play a game.  In the picture below there are two lists of names.  Select one name from each list (or even pick two names from the same list.)  You can pick names that you think go well together, or if you’d rather leave… Read more »

3 Steps to Naming Your Characters

Naming characters is one of those things that baffled me for a long time.  How would I ever find the right name for my characters?  Names like Humbert Humbert, Holden Caulfield, Hannibal Lecter, Mary Poppins or even Wilbur (Charlotte’s noble pig friend), names where immediately the character would come to mind.  Names like that always… Read more »

Writing for Teens: Interview with Elana Johnson

We end our week-long celebration of Teen Literature with an interview today with the charming Elana Johnson.  I began following Elana’s blog when I first started exploring the blogsphere for fellow writers.  Immediately it became one of my go-to writing blogs because of her honest, no-nonsense advice and her generosity to other writers.  She’s one… Read more »

Find Your Talisman

Each book has a central idea or theme that carries the story. The idea may be something abstract like love, faith, freedom, truth or adventure. As you work, the idea will develop its own story. longing for a mother discovering “truth” about oneself searching for home finding a religion In a way the whole story… Read more »

Writing YA: Capturing the Teen Voice

Today we have a double-guest post by Taryn Albright and Kate Coursey, freelance editors at Teen Eyes.  This editing service looks at manuscripts through the eyes of teens (both Taryn and Kate are under 20) and helps writers nail that ever-elusive “teen voice.” When I met Taryn and Kate at BookExpo, I knew I had… Read more »