Creating Quirky

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By: JPC Allen So much work goes into creating believable characters that writers sometimes forget to have fun with the process. One way I’ve discovered to prevent character development from becoming a chore is creating quirks for characters, fun traits that make my characters seem more likable or real or relatable. One of the reasons for Sherlock Holmes’s enduring popularity is his …

Surprise Characters Can Be Fun

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By Ann H. Gabhart The number one reason people read novels is because of the characters. Books need lots of action orconflict. Fabulous settings or dramatic historical events are good, but without characters to enable readers to vicariously live the story with them, you just have a travel guide, a history book or a news article. We want to love …

Creating Characters that Readers Can Love

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by Ann H. Gabhart Why do we love picking up fiction books to read? Great settings can add to a story, like the Appalachian Mountains setting I used for Along a Storied Trail. Interesting history makes me dive into a story. A plot that keeps me turning pages is a big plus. All those definitely contribute to a good novel, …

Are Your Characters Overeating?

ACFW Authors and writing, Characters, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing 2 Comments

By Patti Jo Moore At the beginning of each new year, many of us set goals that we hope to achieve during the upcoming year. One of the most common goals relates to health—losing weight. I’ve heard many writers lament that sitting at their keyboards for long stretches of time hasn’t helped their weight or health in general. If you’re …

Three Aids to Successful Writing

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By Stephanie Prichard Ten years ago, my husband asked if I’d like to write a novel with him. Mind you, this is a man who rarely reads anything other than the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, he loves fiction—but only in the format of movies. What did he know about writing books? I snorted and told him to go ahead …

When Your Setting Takes on Character

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By Norma Gail Setting that takes on character brings our stories to life in the minds of our readers. When the author knows the setting well, small details can enhance what our characters experience. In a recent review by Connie Porter Saunders, she wrote, “You know an author is talented when they can convince readers that a country is one …

Do your characters talk to you?

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, revisions, tips, writing 5 Comments

By Glynn Young The news report made quite a splash. Researchers at Durham University in the U.K. teamed up with The Guardian newspaper and the Edinburgh Book Festival to do a study of authors. And the study reported that two-thirds of authors hear their characters speak while they’re writing. My first thought was, this is news? The study was more …

Boredom as Writing Inspiration

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Conflict/Tension, Friends of ACFW, Learning, tips, writing 4 Comments

By JPC Allen Little did I realize when I wrote this post in March how many of us would be battling boredom in the near future. Every month on my blog, I choose some aspect about the month—a holiday or the weather—and brainstorm ideas about how to use the month as writing inspiration. March is my least favorite month. I’m …

Those Important First Pages

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Editing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, revisions, tips, writing 3 Comments

by Jamie Chavez Sometimes you set out to do a thing for one reason only to find it was so much more than you ever imagined. More than you could have actually planned. In this case, I learned just how much value can be wrung out of focusing on the first chapter and how it relates to the rest of …

Why Do Imperfect Characters and Story Worlds Resonate with Readers?

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By Cynthia Herron You might think because I write Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction my story worlds are a delightful Sunday-Go-to-Meeting escape. Well, I can’t fib. That’s somewhat true…to a point. However— As a conscientious writer whose goal is to share a great story, I strive to balance the delightful with reality-based conflict in a heartfelt, homespun way. Today’s readers want meat-and-potatoes stories that resonate. …