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Journal The Merry Writer Writing

Coming Up with Character Names

There was a time when I owned an extensive collection of baby name books. Coming up with character names was a time-consuming process. Now I use random name generator websites, which has sped up the process considerably. For incidental characters, where I might just need a first or last name, I’ll generate 10 or 25 […]

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Work in Progress Writing

Give Your Protagonist Agency

This is something that I need to explain to non-writers. It’s even necessary sometimes to clarify it to “pantsers” who feel that outlining a novel restricts character development. You need to give your protagonist agency. They can’t be shuffled from scene to scene simply because you have a plan that states what’s supposed to happen. […]

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The Merry Writer Work in Progress Writing

What Came First: the Plot, the Character, or Something Else

The dirty secret of my current work-in-progress is that I’m still trying to find the plot. What came first was the main character. She has goals she wants to achieve, problems that she’s trying to fix, and a lot of room for personal growth. As I continue to get a handle on who she is, […]

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Journal Work in Progress Writing

Introducing Your Protagonist: A Mystery to Be Solved

For the book I’m writing, and forgive me if I’m short on details, because I’m still discovering them for myself, I wanted my main character to have a low-key introduction. It wasn’t going to be a dramatic reveal. There are a group of characters having a conversation, with the protagonist being one of them. I […]