What Makes A Good Book?

How Important Is Character Development? Since books have been written, and especially since “bestsellers” have been on the minds of publishers, almost everyone has tried figuring out what makes a good book. Some people swear it’s plot—that a well-developed mystery with a few good twists will keep readers turning pages. Others swear that character development […]

When Should Writers Lie?

Even If It’s Fiction—Should Writers Lie? I read a review on one of my books the other day, and the person found it unbelievable that 6-year-old kids were drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and using foul language. Mind you, these scenes took place 30+ years ago, and in an ethnic neighborhood in the city. But this wasn’t the […]

Six Billion Ways to Develop Characters

Building From Scratch to Develop Characters I was talking to an author last week about the writing process and she told me about a great character she had developed. I asked what role the character played in her book. She said, “I’m not using him in this book. I’m saving him for the next one. […]

How Setting Affects Character Development

What Do You Know About Your Characters Character development is the most important aspect of a novel. You might get a few arguments about this statement, but surely almost everyone will place the importance of characters at the first or second position. We’re not going to discuss how you develop your characters, but rather what […]

Talking Dogs and Good Storytelling

Talking Dogs and Good Storytelling What Makes Good Storytelling No matter the media, good storytelling requires good material. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a movie, or a joke—the material has to be good. But even good material isn’t enough. Any comedian can tell you horror tales of jokes that fell flat or audiences […]

How To Cook A Character

How To Cook A Character Characters form the basis for all good writing. It doesn’t matter how good your storytelling is, or how intricate and complex the plot, if you don’t have great characters your novel won’t shine. I have come to realize that character development is very similar to cooking, especially cooking red sauce. […]

Invisible Characters

What is an Invisible Character? There are two kinds of invisible characters: those you create intentionally, and those you create by mistake. If you use beta readers, you’ll spot the mistakes quickly. They’ll be the characters that your readers don’t remember the names of. Or what they looked like, or what role they played in […]

The Writer’s Toolbox

What Do Your Characters Look Like? Many writers don’t take advantage of the most powerful tool in their arsenal—imagination. Whenever you get the urge to tell us how beautiful your characters are, or how perfect their nose is, or their body, or how enchanting the eyes are, down to the perfect shade of blue…stop! Don’t […]

What Do Your Characters Look Like?

What Do Your Characters Look Like? Have you ever seen a movie where the characters look nothing like what you thought they would from the book? It’s a little disappointing isn’t it? And it makes it more difficult for that character to win the audience over if they start out with a negative. The question […]

Secondary Characters—How To Make A Good Story Great

Living In The Shadows—The Fate of Secondary Characters I was watching a movie the other night that looked like it had promise. The first ten minutes got me interested and the main character was intriguing. And then I met the rest of the cast. With only one exception, they were dull, flat, cliched, and otherwise […]

  • Follow Me:
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • This blog will be a little different from many you see. Contrary to the characters in my books, I don’t really kill people, or catch those who do, so the blogs might be about reading, or writing, or animals. These are the things I have great passion for. It might also contain posts about food, or ancestry, or substance abuse. My oldest son is a great cook. My daughter is a genealogist (rootsintheboot.com) and my youngest son is a recovering drug addict. He has been clean for three years, and runs a rehab center (intoactionrecovery.com).

    I hope you enjoy the posts, and please let me know what you think.



  • Vellum, the best way to format an ebook

    Vellum is the easiest and best way to create stunning ebooks. And you can do it for less money and spend far less time.
  • Text Expander™

    Text Expander™ is simply the best way to type. If you write and you don't use it...well, I won't say what you are, but you should be using it.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter!

    Get awesome updates about new stories, notifications of special sales and giveaways, and free books. You'll be the first to know about everything.

    * indicates required
    Pick a newsletter from the options below:
    We will NEVER give your contact information to anyone.
  • Get Finding Family as a gift when you sign up.

  • Lightbox

  • Archives

  •   World Literary Cafe
    The Independent Author Network
  • “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
  • Tags