If you’ve ever read a boring story, chances are you’ve seen the effects of Flat Character Syndrome firsthand—and it’s not pretty. In my last post, I talked about why flat characters are problematic, and how to determine if your own “darlings” are suffering the same fate. Simply put, flat characters are unrealistic. Their true emotions, conversations, struggles, motivations, and reactions don’t come across on the page. I mentioned that a few well-known symptoms of FCS include issues with point of view, inconsistencies with physical appearance, and a lack of goals, motivations, and fears.Read More
You’ve successfully pumped out the first (or second) draft of your novel—Bravo!
You deserve a cookie (no, really, completing a book is an impressive feat, no matter how rough it may be in its current stage!). If you’re trying to motivate yourself toward self-editing or searching for the right editor for your manuscript, don’t forget to stop and pat yourself on the back.Read More
The word flashback often causes many writing instructors and editors to say, "Eesh. Not this again." When handled carefully, flashbacks are effective storytelling techniques; however, using them with reckless abandon can significantly confuse readers.
My philosophy? Never throw out a potentially useful tool in your story. There's always a fine line to consider when utilizing flashbacks, just as with other storytelling techniques. Authors should always be careful not to use too many flashbacks, especially in the beginning of a novel. As a writer, you never want readers to ask, "Why didn't the author start here, in this setting or in this time?" Messing with chronology and pacing is no joke. You want readers to focus on the plot and characterization, not the order in which things occur or how certain information unravels.Read More