The Career Author Podcast: Episode 68 – What Makes a Good Character Great?

How to write a great character

Character is critical and in this episode, Zach and J. go deep on how to take yours from good to great. You will discover how to write great characters and more:

  • How science fiction and fantasy authors can use World Anvil as a marketing tool
  • Why the guys don’t do an enormous amount of worldbuilding for their own series
  • What doesn’t make a great character + how over-developing your characters can actually harm your story
  • What transforms a good character into a great character
  • How to show readers what kind of person your character is through their decisions
  • Why “character-driven vs. plot-driven” is a false dichotomy in storytelling
  • The importance of having a crisis point in every single scene in your novel
  • The basic questions you should answer about every important character before you start writing + the importance of considering your readers during the character creation process
  • What J. and Zach focus on when creating their own characters
  • How to write great characters in your own work and the power of character archetypes

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

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2 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 68 – What Makes a Good Character Great?

  • Morning guys. Interesting hack Zach. Amazing site Worldanvil. One could easily lose themselves down that black hole and never get round to actually writing. Great stuff on characters today. Totally agree about the lack of value of character CV sheets. Did knowing the lead’s favorite color help Cormac McCarthy write “The Road”? Methinks not.
    George R R Martin said about character “When people debate whether someone is a good person or a bad person that shows you have created a real character. If everyone thinks your character’s a hero or a villain, then you’re writing cardboard.”
    Character archetypes are fascinating, especially in novel writing because the archetype can suggest one thing and the character’s thoughts can subvert that making a much more complex character. I agree with you J in that archetypes are a valuable thing to study as they are a great place to start when creating some characters.
    I like the idea of linking character to theme, although a question I usually have is; “what is the theme of my novel?”
    Great show today guys.

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