Daily Writing Tip 7 of 100, Character Is Action

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Character Is Action

Source – “10 Tips And Tricks For Creating Memorable Characters” by Charlie Jane Anders.

This is the maxim that I’ve basically tried to live by for the past few years, and I kind of want to get it made into a banner that I can hang over my computer. Your characters can be witty and spout interesting philosophies, and have cool names and awesome fashion sense — but in the end, they are what they do.

We have all come across fiction where the characters rarely actually do anything. This can be truthful, of course, because real life is full of people that don’t do much of anything. The world splits open with knowitalls that talk and talk and don’t do squat. But that’s why we read, to escape from that dismal reality.

Fiction is all a lie, but good fiction is a beautiful lie and great fiction is a lie that transcends the real world. So get your characters, the good ones, and especially the bad ones, out there and doing stuff, all kinds of stuff, to each other and to the world around them.

We get out of bed every morning and realize that we are all helpless and mostly hopeless – everywhere except sometimes between the pages. So don’t disappoint.