6 unusual tips for writing characters who’ll keep readers riveted – guest post at Ingram Spark

How do we create fictional people who feel just as real as our closest friends? How do we build layers of complexity that will bewitch a reader and keep them hooked for several hundred pages? Ingram Spark noticed I had a book about characters (here) invited me to their blog to write my six strongest tips on the subject. The first tip will cheer anybody who’s had feedback that said ‘I don’t believe your protagonist would do that …’ Do come over.


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  1. #1 by DRMarvello on March 8, 2018 - 9:40 pm

    They don’t appear to allow comments over there, so I’ll comment here instead. 🙂

    Your article had me hooked from the first tip: “Don’t focus on what happens; focus on why.” It’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

    In fact, I recently wrote an article called “Getting to Why” for my local writing group on this topic. In reading back over it, I was amused to discover that most of your other five tips are more or less represented as implementations of that first tip.

    I’m somewhat tools oriented, so I described how to use Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (GMC) as well as Passions, Motivations, and Relations (PMR) to understand or justify why characters do what they do. But the overall message was pretty similar. Apparently I’ve managed to learn something from you after all this time!

  2. #3 by Anna Dobritt on March 8, 2018 - 9:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Anna Dobritt — Author.

  3. #4 by ccyager on March 8, 2018 - 9:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Anatomy of Perceval Blog and commented:
    Roz Morris has written a guest blog about creating compelling characters, and I agree with all her tips! Motivations that drive the action make stories really hard to put down. If you want to know what the tips are, please click on the link and enjoy!

  4. #5 by J Rose on March 9, 2018 - 11:41 am

    I like Tip 5 the best. It’s what makes 3 Billboards such a powerful film. Truly satisfying to read/watch human change (but hard to write it!!)

    • #6 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on March 9, 2018 - 12:06 pm

      Thanks, Josephine! Three Billboards is on my list … and now I’m looking forward to it even more.

  5. #7 by Rita E. Gould: anartfulsequenceofwords on March 9, 2018 - 2:39 pm

    Fantastic advice, Roz! The ‘opposites’ idea is particularly interesting for generating character conflict.

  6. #9 by J. M. Galindo on March 11, 2018 - 7:13 pm

    I’ve got to say it is a great article…I personally think when a writer creates a character, he creates a part of himself/herself in such a way that the very same author is living through them…that is the case of Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, Ernest Hemingway, Gabriel García Márquez, Edgar Allan Poe, Julio Cortázar, Jane Austen, Emily Jane Brontë, Moliére, Lope de Vega, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Victor Hugo, and Guy de Maupassant writings.

  7. #11 by Alexander M Zoltai on August 14, 2018 - 4:07 am

    Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:
    As usual, when I re-blog something from Roz Morris, it’s top-notch stuff 🙂

  1. Writing Links 3/12/18 – Where Genres Collide

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