You are browsing Writing

Questionable: Character Names


Sharon S asked:

As a reader, I am always interested in finding out how and why authors choose the names of their characters. I’ve asked but never quite get an answer. I’m listening to Maybe This Time again. I’d forgotten Andy’s name is Andromeda. I’m guessing that is because of her strange mom? But what gives you your names? Please and Thank You.


Filed in Writing | Comments (32)

Great Site: Wordmark


If you’re a font-lover (I am, I am) but it makes you crazy trying to figure out which font will look best for the design you’re working on, go to Wordmark immediately. You type the words you want to preview in the box, hit the “load fonts” button so the site can access your font list and you get this:


Questionable: Staying Attached When Characters Do Unlikable Things


Sure Thing asked

How do you manage to place your characters in difficulties/conflicts that are still emotionally readable? . . . You still create vulnerability in your characters but nothing that makes me feel they are too flawed . . . . How is it that they hurt, or do hurtful stuff (Cal) and I still want to keep reading?


Filed in Writing | Comments (37)

Howdunit: Writing Mysteries


So after five years of beating my head against the brick wall that was Lavender’s Blue, I’m starting over. The flaws were in the protagonist (negative goal), antagonist (confused motivation), the conflict (intermittent), and the plot (wandered all over the place). I’d been duct-taping over the holes in the story for so long it was 95% duct tape. A beta read by Toni Causey finally made me see the light: No More Duct Tape. Time to build a new book.

Oh, and one other thing: the mystery sucked. read more >>

Filed in Writing | Comments (192)

Leverage Sunday: Splitting Up Is Hard To Do


As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’ve figured out why the last season of Leverage is my least favorite even though it has wonderful episodes: Each story moved the team closer to splitting up. As a writer, I applaud this. After four years, the team members are not just masters at what they do but tightly bonded in a family that nothing can destroy. Which means there’s no place else to go unless they find a way to destroy that invincible family. Thankfully, they didn’t do that, but they did change the community, moving toward Nate and Sophie’s marriage and retirement from the con and the new Leverage International headed by, of all people, Parker, ably supported by Eliot and Hardison. It was absolutely the right thing to do narratively and creatively, but it took away the thing I loved best about Leverage: that family of five working together. I’m not complaining, I don’t see any other way they could have gone in a fifth season, and I would have said, “Hell, yes,” to a sixth season, but still . . .

Filed in Writing | Comments (7)