Beasts, Alphas, Doms, and the BDSM Line

Notebook of a Black Sheep

First, I’d like to thank my anonymous reviewer for their compliment, in saying that my story was well-written. But second, I would like to address some concerns that this reviewer brought up.

For those of you who haven’t read the review, the subject is the mentality behind alphas and dominants, and what that tendency actually says about the person in question. This begs the question of whether an alpha can ever be considered a well-rounded character. Since one of my two main characters is a beast character, and he is the focal point, this tension is makes up the crux of my story.

“I have always found over-the-top ‘alphas’ or ‘doms’ to be more than a little repugnant…”

Alphas and dominants certainly cater to a particular taste. The stories that revolve around them often center around the issue of control. This is because being an alpha means being at the…

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Book Review: Crafting the Character Arc by Jennie Jarvis

Read Tom Lucas


A quick Google search for writing advice will result in approximately 7 billion hits. That’s a craft article for every person on the planet. There is more writing about writing on the Internet than there is actual writing. Some of this advice is good, some bad, and some – I’m pretty sure was put there by highly competitive writers that are hoping you will follow it so that your writing will SUCK FOREVER.

Something one hears often is that characters should be engaging, relatable, and must change over the course of the story. It’s obvious advice. But unless you are already a pro, how to pull this off might not be so obvious. And if you’re a pro, you probably don’t need the advice in the first place – but thanks for reading my book review anyway. You’re a peach!

If you are looking to create a path for your…

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Am I in Any of My Characters?

Sean Thompson

Are you kidding? I’m in all my characters, every last… wait, scratch that. My characters are complete fabrications, personalities I conjured up from scratch.

And that last answer was complete and utter nonsense.

But first allow me to acknowledge what a sneaky, difficult question that was! Took me awhile of staring at the screen while I marinated, and realized that to varying degrees, I’m inside each of my characters.  To take it a step further, I’ve identified 3 frequently used resources to support them.

My friends are a diverse and interesting lot, so they’re my favorite resource for character ideas and traits. I can think up countless times where I would be hanging out with a friend only to hear some priceless anecdote that ends with me wide-eyed (perhaps laughing hysterically) and saying, “Oh yeah, I’m SO jacking that for so-and-so!” It’s almost like being in some sort of argument or debate where you come up…

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Building Characterization With Music


By Sara Lehn

Teachers have long taken advantage of students’ love of music as a tool for the classroom, writing catchy tunes to act as mnemonic devices, playing educational songs and music videos, and so on.  Watch students in the hallway or cafeteria and you will inevitably find them with headphones blaring, blocking out the world.

As a singer, music speaks to me because of how it reflects the raw emotion of the human soul, and had you asked me at the age of seventeen what song best defined who I was, I could have answered quickly and without hesitation with a choice that clearly illustrated my mindset at the time.

I find that many of my students have an equally personal connection to their music. As a result, I have started to consider the ways that music can be used in the classroom as a tool to reflect the most…

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How to Expand Your Novel


You’ve been working on your novel or your short story, but you’re stumped. There’s something off about your story, something that makes it hard to believe, not to mention your word count might be lower than you anticipated.

How do you go about remedying this? How can you expand your work?

One way is through narration.

  • Force your characters to do more, go bigger. You want to push them outside their comfort zone.
  • You want to make sure there are enough obstacles in your characters way to make what they’re doing have a big emotional and physical impact.
  • Find ways to reveal your characters’ internal states of mind – their thoughts, beliefs, ideals, fears– through their actions, or lack thereof.

Another way to expand is through description.

  • Find ways to show tension and movement through description.
  • Show what’s happening through sensory details. Make readers experience the same sensations your characters…

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The Wisdom of Writing Character Profiles

Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion

The Wisdom of Writing Character Profiles

by C.K. Thomas

Using a computer program designed for writing fiction gives me an opportunity to write detailed profiles of each of my novel’s characters. Those profiles are stowed neatly in an area at the bottom of my writing page for easy access, and that area operates independently of other parts of the screen. A selection of given names and family names resides in this area as well, so I have no excuse for failing to take advantage of these handy resources.

character profiles

After writing four novels, three of them using the above-mentioned software, I’m presently committed to doing a better job of keeping track of my characters. The value of keeping a detailed log of characters for reference became clear to me long ago, but I’m guilty of what I choose to call “creating characters on the run.” I excuse myself with the…

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What’s in a name . . .?

Millie Thom


The names we choose for the characters in our novels may come to us in a blinding flash . . . or we could spend days, weeks, or even months dredging them up from the bottom of the fish pond. Alternatively, we might have already chosen our main characters’ names before we even start writing the book. Then again, we might have known for years we would write about a particular character or characters.

shutterstock_174166391 You may call me Miss Gertrude Ramsbottom.

How do we actually go about the name-choosing process? For example, why did we call the pretty and very feminine young lady ‘Daisy,’ or ‘Poppy’ – or any such flowery name – whereas, for the older strait-laced woman we opt for Gertrude, Beatrice or Penelope?

Of course, the abbreviated form of these formal-sounding names (e.g. Gertie) could be used for a less prim and starchy figure.

Often, we pick…

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Redemption: Even in fiction it’s tough

Justine Dare Davis

Redemption Webster makes it sound so easy….

Redeemable. That’s a big word in fiction writing. When you create a character, sometimes you don’t want them redeemable. You want a villain so evil people stand up and cheer at their fate, a la Dolores Umbridge. (Sorry, I wanted that woman to die more than I wanted Voldemort dead!) Sometimes you want people to understand why they are the way they are, to perhaps feel a twinge of understanding. Sometimes you want the character to be puzzling, so readers can’t quite decide if they’re completely evil or not.

All of this, of course, presupposes you have A Plan.

blueprint See how nicely it all comes together when you have a plan?

But life–and writing–being what they are, sometimes things just happen. Like an editor buying what you assumed would be a standalone book, and then, when it’s too late to change anything, asking for…

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The Characters Are Starting To Tell Me The Story

Journal Of A Story

Image Courtesy of akarakingdoms/ Image Courtesy of akarakingdoms/

Today I worked on another character, I originally thought he would be introduced towards the middle of the story. But now I see he needs to come in sooner. As I wrote about him, I realized what his epiphany would be at the end of the story, and he even helped me fill in the details for the ending.

As I refresh my memory from the fiction writing courses I’ve taken, and study about writing, I am told again and again that what we plan in the story can change as we start writing. So…I’m planning with the knowledge  that things can and will  probably change.

Even so, the excitement is growing as I get to know each character a little more.

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Kat's Writing Runway

Knowing your characters and what they would do lessens your backstory; they will tell you your plot because they will act according to their character type.  This will supercharge your focus on writing to your readers and not yourself.  Ex:  Jack finds a diamond ring on the street, with I Love You Suzy engraved inside.  How will Jack react.  Look at the character profile you created for Jack.  If Jack is honest, kind, trustworthy, pays his tithes weekly, brings his own pens to work; he will run an add and try to find the owner.  If Jack is desperate, homesless because he was thrown out of the local mission for stealing from the other inhabitants and meaner than a rabid dog running wild on the streets, he’d head for the closest pond shop.  Jack is a hopeless narcisstic mystic; believes everything is a sign, a meaning, a step to the next step in his life that is all about him; he will…

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Writing Characters: Love them or Hate them

Writer Babble


Characters. Without them a story can’t be. Characters are the pawns we use within the environment we write to create each scene. Without them we can have no conflict, we can have no dialog and the story will be pretty dry and boring. There is a reason why we remember characters years after we read the book or watch the movie. They burrow into our minds, causing us to reflect back on their trials and tribulations. We want them to succeed, we want the good to win over the bad but inevitably we want each character’s arc to reach a conclusion. A conclusion that satisfies the reader or viewer.

I love grabbing a book, finding a main character, sometimes even a secondary character to get behind. I care what happens to them as I’m going to spend a good number of hours or days with them, following their journey. I…

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Tarot Writing Series: Brainstorming Characters [Part One]

Fables Den

Welcome back to Fable Den’s Tarot Writing Series! 🙂

Tarot is commonly used as a tool for divination and fortune-telling, but it is also a great tool for storytelling and storycrafting because of the rich symbolism and imagery that are present in each and every tarot card. In this mini series, you will find a couple of useful tarot exercises that will help you with the creation of your characters. In this particular blog post, you will find a series of exercises centred around the Five W’s Method. You will also be introduced to the sixteenth card of the major arcana—The Star.

17-StarUsing tarot to generate ideas about a potential character

There are many ways to engage a tarot card. When constructing a character, try using the five W’s (who, what, when, where and why) to note down some of your basic observations of the card. The Five W’s Method asks…

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Interesting Quote For Character Development

Random Scribblings - Donna Munt's Writing Blog

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” ~ Dale Carnegie

I found that in my Twitter feed a moment ago, and I think it’s an important thing to keep in mind while you’re writing. Character development isn’t my strong suit and I plan to work on it a lot before attempting my next novel-length piece, so I’ll definitely have to remember this quote.

There’s another quote that says something like the difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense. While this is true – your reader does need to be able to suspend disbelief successfully for your story to work – I suppose if you’re writing the story properly, your characters can still do some really bizarre things and get away with it as long as you’ve set it up right.

Anyway, it’s something to think about…

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