4 Core Components of an Awesome Sidekick Character

I’ve always loved sidekicks, Chewbacca, Samwise Gamgee, Ron and Hermione. Sidekick characters can enhance the story tension, help flesh out the protagonist, and move the plot forward in a number of significant ways. Several of the masterplots that Heather and I wrote about last year include a sidekick character as a possible component. Sidekicks are …
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3 Tricks for Character Names

For a long time I hated naming my characters. No sooner did I settle on a name and I would realize another book (or three) used the same name. The main reason I got myself into this renaming mess was because I followed some widely accepted writing advice, I used charts of popular baby names …
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The Hero’s Emotional Midpoint

This week I’m honing the middle of my WIP, so it’s time to dust off the Archives and refresh my knowledge on a story’s midpoint… Originally posted on Aug. 4, 2014. Updated and reposted on Sept. 5, 2016. Awhile ago I wrote about Mapping the Mushy Middle of a story. This is a plot-centric approach to …
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5 Overlooked Pixar Storytelling Tips

I bet most writers have heard of Pixar Studios. They are the huge animation powerhouse that is now owned by Disney. They’re best known for a string of huge blockbusters films, all earmarked for family viewing. Even if you don’t make a point of watching Pixar films (and by the way you should), you may …
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Character Development: The Reaction Chart

Creating characters to populate your novel or screenplay is a lot of fun. You get to devise different backgrounds and opinions and alliances and secrets and all kinds of interesting stuff that brings the cast to life. But you can have the most detailed character sketches and richly drawn cast ever, and your story could …
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Writing Lovable Rogues

Lovable rouges are not villains, they are fascinating antiheroes. These characters are everywhere, in books, movies and on TV. They are young, old, male and female. And they have wowed us as protagonists, love interests and sidekicks for a long time. A few notable rouges are: Tom Sawyer from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Jack …
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Character Development: The Interaction Chart

Last week I shared Ten Questions To Ask Your Characters to make sure the supporting cast is as well-rounded as the protagonist. But that’s just step one to developing a novel’s cast. Now that we know who everyone is, what they want, and what their role is in the story, it’s time to figure out …
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