Tag Archives: amanda downum

Shaping Stories With Characters: How Characters Affect Your Plot

We’re currently covering characters in the Writing F&SF class, so I thought I’d pull out a little from my notes.

Some simplistic stories have characters that seem like placeholders, as though any individual could fit into that slot. Fairy tales, for instance, tend to have generic characters: the princess, the prince, the witch. One delightful strategy for working with them, in fact, is to pick a character and flesh them out to the point where they shape the story.

Characters need to do this. They need to influence the story and make it one that could only happen to them.
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Recent Reading

I’ve read some great stuff in the last month or so, and wanted to point to some books that I thought people would particularly enjoy. Works read include Amanda Downum’s The Drowning City and The Bone Palace, Gemma Files’ A Book of Tongues, and the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay.
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