Thoughts on “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK OUTLANDER AHEAD. Strap in, folks, this is gonna be a long review. Then again this was a long book, so what do you expect? What I liked:  The great characters. I didn't always like Claire, but she always felt like a person and not just a vassal through which the author [...]

How to Mary Sue Proof Your Characters

Last week I wrote a post about Mary Sues and why people write them. Today, I want to give you some unsolicited pointers on how to avoid writing a Mary Sue, or even a Gary Stu (the male equivalent). Enjoy! Start with a real person. While it may not be a good idea to base a [...]

Why Do People Write Mary Sues?

For those of you who aren't familiar with what a Mary Sue is, it's essentially a female character that is too perfect. A character that is always morally correct no matter what, has all the male protagonists drooling themselves over her even though she would describe herself as plain, and is special without having to [...]

Your Characters are NOT Your Friends: A Public Service Announcement for Writers

I've seen several Instagram posts that say things like "is it sad that my characters are my best friends?" or "I have more conversations with my characters than I do with real people. Is that bad?" Yes. Yes, it is. Not because you're a wallflower with friends that exist only in your mind. That's perfectly [...]

How to Write Women: a Guide for Men

Hello, men. I am a woman. Today I am going to give you some tips on how to write female characters. Keep in mind that women are human beings and no woman is exactly the same as another. However, I'm hoping to give you at least a general idea of how to pull off a [...]

Why You Should Love Unloveable Characters

I hear readers complain time and time again that they cannot get into a story because the character is a "bad person."Now I can understand not wanting to read something because the character is unbelievable or underdeveloped, but a bad person? I say "bad people" make some of the best characters. Why? Three reasons: 1. They're more [...]