Using Personal Loss to Write Grief

Life experiences can be excellent teachers and great for making characters relatable.  In most books I’ve read regardless of topic, there’s been some element that drew me in.  Either it was because I understood what the author felt or was nosy curious about what happened to the characters.

As you mentioned in your post, it may be easier or even second nature to “tell” what grief is like, but “showing” can reveal a lot as well.  Being able to balance between these two can make for a great story.  Thank you for sharing, and I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

Veronica Bale's Blog

“I loved that book. I really felt like I could not relate to the characters one bit.”

Said no one ever.

Writing real characters is an essential feature of a story that moves readers and pulls at their heart strings. Yet it’s one of the most misunderstood elements of fiction. Ranking right up there with “show, don’t tell,” creating realistic characters is one of the most oft-touted pieces of writing advice. It’s also one of the toughest skills to master.

Because I think this is such a crucial element in any good story, it’s a topic I’ve written about before. I guest posted at Romance Lives Forever with a piece called 3 Tips for Writing Likable Characters, and I posted my own piece called What Does It Mean to Creat a “Real” Character. I’m all about using personal and small detail to bring characters to life, and recently…

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#A-Z Challenge: C is for Characterisation

Another wonderful post!  Thanks for the tips.

Alison Williams Writing

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For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

C is for Characterisation


Characters can drive a novel. Their problems, crises and development can bring a reader in, enthrall, excite and even inspire. The conflicts and dilemmas your characters face, their feelings, thoughts and actions should be at the heart of your novel. So how do you create a character your readers will want to follow?

  • You don’t have to like your characters. Your readers don’t need to feel sympathetic or to relate to them. There are plenty of fascinating anti-heroes out there. What matters is that your readers are drawn into the world of your character. Get inside your character’s head, and let your reader in there too.
  • Know your character. What drives them? What do they want? What do they need? What do they like? What do they…

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