Who hasn’t had a mentor in their life? Perhaps it was a parent, teacher or friend. Writers often have special writing mentors. This could be a creative writing tutor, or authors who’re generous with their advice to newbies. As in life, fiction is awash with mentor figures. But what is their dramatic function in a story? And how can you use the mentor archetype to strengthen your novel? Continue reading
Naming characters is one of the most fun things to do when writing a novel, but there are a few pitfalls and I’ve fallen into most of them. So I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve picked along during my writing journey.
1 Keep a list of your characters
If you don’t, you might accidentally use the same name twice, as I did, or use a similar name, which could be confusing (see tip 2). A list is also useful to generate a dramatis personae: common in historical and fantasy novels. But what about short stories, where there are only a few characters? A list is a good idea here too. When I collected my short stories together for publication, I discovered I had 5 Julias and 2 Julians as main characters. If only I’d kept a list … Continue reading