Tag Archives: Novel Writing

5 Ways to Describe Characters (without Describing Them)

5 Ways to Describe Your Character (Without Actually Describing Them)

How do you describe your characters?

Here’s an amazing writing trick:

Go to the mirror, write what you see, and…

…never, ever do that again. 

Because describing your characters with a checklist is BORING:

  • Her eyes were brown
  • And her hair was brown
  • Even her teeth were brown
  • She really should brush more often

If you want to describe the physical appearance of your characters, go see how J. K. Rowling does it.

Otherwise, keep reading. I’ll show you how to make your characters come to life…

…without writing dull, immersion-breaking, “this is how they look” paragraphs:

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Writing and the Importance of Imperfection

Let me tell you the truth: You will never write the perfect anything.

You will not write the perfect poem, nor the perfect essay. All of your novels will be riddled with flaws and failings and weak writing. Even if you spend eight weeks on your next blog post, it will not be perfect.

Let me tell you the truth: Perfect is boring. Flaws are good.

This is the story of how I learned to embrace my writing imperfections. Hopefully, you will learn a thing or two from this tale.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Outline

Didn’t you know? A bad outline is the death of a good story.

How can you be creative when everything is already planned out for you?

No emotion in the writer, no emotion in the reader.

How can you follow this rule when you already know everything that’s going to happen?

Like an overbearing parent, a detailed outline can suck all the danger and excitement out of your next story. Here’s a post from NY Book Editors that explains all the problems writers, especially newer writers, cause for themselves whenever they outline their work.

So that’s it? All this talk about how dangerous outlines are, let’s just forget about them?

Please. If not for your sake, think of your readers. You gotta outline.

WHY? You’re a creative person, and you’ve got a million ideas, and whenever you sit down to write, you always seem to come up with more. What do YOU need an outline for?

Continue reading How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Outline