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Readers That (Don’t) Care: Why is My Character Unsympathetic?

Let me guess: someone read your story and called one of your characters “unsympathetic.” You’re here to figure out what, exactly, that means. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean they’re unlikeable. An unlikeable character isn’t necessarily a problem. A reader can still sympathize with a character they don’t like.  Oftentimes, writers take “unsympathetic” to mean that […]

Clever, Not Invincible: Keeping Your Characters From Being Overpowered

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where the hero never got hurt? No matter how many enemies came after them, they always took them out. No matter how many bullets just missed their head, they always managed to dodge. That was an overpowered character.  That is boring.  It takes all the […]

Unheard Voices: How to Portray Mute Characters Authentically

Writing a mute, nonverbal, or nonspeaking character can allow you to explore new ways of expression, communication, and interaction. Novels depend heavily on dialogue, so when someone appears who doesn’t speak verbally, you are challenged to improve your understanding of your world, characters, their personalities, and how to write detailed, compelling narratives. It doesn’t come […]

Sinister Scribbles: Writing Compelling Villains

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A good villain can make or break entire stories. There are so many stories that would be way better if they had an interesting villain, or stories that would fall apart if their villains weren’t as memorable. But what makes those villains “memorable” in the first place? If you’re looking to write a story and […]

Truth or Fiction: Writing With Unreliable Narrators

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Adding an unreliable narrator to your story spices things up and keeps readers on their toes. Unlike head-hopping, which can confuse your readers, an unreliable narrator is an intentional tool. Its purpose is to make readers think by messing with their mind. Let’s take a deeper look at what it is and how to use […]