Building character

I like to find less common sources of character-building inspiration. This post from Writer Unboxed provides several. Read one, pick a trait and use it as a writing prompt when you feel stuck on a character.

Writer Unboxed » The Science of Creating Authentic Characters


Girls only?

I’ve spoken at a few schools over the years. Perhaps because I’ve visited as a journalist and not a book writer, I haven’t run into any gender segregation problems. But I think it’s something all writers should consider when offering to speak to students. Perhaps there is a good reason occasionally to speak to boys or girls alone, but in this case it seemed unnecessary.

squeetus: No Boys Allowed: School visits as a woman writer

Hearing voices

Voice is something I recognize in others, but I’m not always sure I know my own. In part, I attribute that to many years of training in the “neutral” voice of journalism. That’s why I like reading what other writers say about their voices. Here, for example, is David Arnold’s take on it.

Why YA? David Arnold Explains How He Found His Voice and His Readers « musing

Varied learning

Adding both authors and genres we don’t ordinarily read is a great way to learn as writers. I found Sunili Govinnage’s article from The Guardian intriguing.

I read only non-white authors for 12 months. What I learned surprised me | Sunili Govinnage | Comment is free | The Guardian

For another list of black authors, check out