thriller characters

Key Ingredients for a Great Thriller Character

A good thriller should be brimming with suspense, high stakes, plot twists and heart-stopping moments, but with all that going on, it’s easy to sacrifice depth of character in favour of plot. So here are the key ingredients for a thriller character.


Alien: Covenant and how not to fall into the foolish characters trap

The foolish character trap is a wily foe for writers because so many of us fall right in. Alien Covenant, the latest film in the sci-fi horror series and part two of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus trilogy offers us a great example of what not to do.

Writing a mirror scene

How and Why to Write a Mirror Scene

An effective mirror scene offers another layer to a character’s point of view, by creating a moment in a story where a character catches sight of their own reflection. This moment is generally followed by a realisation, which can be a passing moment of

writing strong female characters

5 ways you’re weakening your ‘strong female characters’

Female characters can’t just be er…female and characters, they have to be ‘strong female characters’. But what does that mean? Well, I think it was supposed to mean female characters who did more than get kidnapped, married or died. Strong female characters are supposed to be more than something for the men to kiss or…

Rewriting the Balance of Black and White Characters in Fiction

I loved Chella’s recent article on avoiding black stereotypes in our writing. It highlights an issue so long-standing in fiction I think it calls for a deeper discussion. It was a revelation to me, following some general conversations with Chella, to realise that there are default settings for characters in fiction. I never even considered…

5 Things about Character Names

“He doesn’t look like a Paul“. Ever heard that phrase, or something similar? Like it or not, there’s more to a character’s name than just a title. Your character’s name does a lot more than provide a hook to hang their hat on. Of course, you could just make up the first name that comes…

black character stereotypes

9 Black Character Stereotypes to Avoid in Your Writing

Congratulations, you’re writing a story with a diverse set of characters. This is a great thing and needs to be supported. A fear of political correctness mustn’t stop writers from creating characters from other races, religions or walks of life. Writing from beyond your own experience takes a little bit more thought and work, but that’s our job, right? The first step to writing non-white characters is understanding the mistakes of the past. So here’s my checklist for avoiding the most common black character stereotypes…