characters / writers tips

Writers Tip #51: Give Your Characters Their Head

writers tips

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

Today’s tip: Follow–don’t lead–your characters

When you feel your characters struggling against your pen, let them go. They’re like your children. If you’ve raised them well, they will be independent and yet follow your morals. Develop your characters well–show the reader their motivations, goals, purpose in the plot–and they will create the drama and conflict that is critical to a good novel.

Uncage them. Give them freedom. Revel in their lives, how they think, how they solve problems.




4 thoughts on “Writers Tip #51: Give Your Characters Their Head

  1. I love this tip Jacqui. The idea of letting them live and evolve is a great one… Sometimes we want to rein them in…
    Thank you for your blogging tips and more. I mentioned you in my February thank you post. 🙂


    • That is so true. I see writers posting interviews with their characters, and vignettes of how they’d handle situations that aren’t necessarily in their novels. Why? Because they know their characters. That’s on my list to do.


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