How to Create Fascinating Characters

No time to read, just want to hear me chat about my new e-course? Scroll to the bottom. There’s a video!

Why I Love Creative Writing

How’s that for heading??

Don’t get me wrong. There are loads of things I despise about creative writing. I’m not some Pollyanna, super inspired, hopelessly infatuated ‘author in an attic’.

I don’t even wear corduroy…

Okay. So I do wear corduroy…

But moving on.

There are many, MANY times during the writing of a book that I want to STAB the pages.

Tear them apart, douse them in vodka , set them on fire.

Quit writing and become… a nun.

(Sorry to all the nuns reading this. But nun is a good analogy because except for the Jesus or Buddha bit, we authors really do spend most of our days living like nuns. Writing fiction demands it of us. It demands devotion and solitude.)

Why Do I Love Creative Writing?

If writing fuels so much rage and despair in me, why do I love it?

Why do I stick with it?

Why do I keep coming back to my stories— riding the wild bronco or placating the spitting camel?

One reason is because I can.

I can do it.

So I do it.

When you have a talent for something, an innate grasp of it, you want to do it. I think that’s human nature.

I do it because I can.

Doesn’t sound real grand does it? Or worthy.

But there it is.

All Writing is Rewriting (Thank goodness)

Another reason I love creative writing is because I love rewriting.

I LOVE shuffling words, sentences, punctuation, paragraphs and chapters.

I LOVE the Rubik’s Cube that is a novel in progress. I love twisting and turning the structure. I’ll even pick off the coloured stickers and rearrange ’em if I have to. (I’m not above cheating for my art).

I love the intellectual vigour that rewriting requires.

And I love the satisfaction that comes from honing, polishing and manipulating a piece until it finally bends to your will.

Until it finally reads brilliantly.


Okay, until it finally reads well.


What Are Stories About?

One the worst mistakes you can make as a writer is to think the story is about YOU.

Stories are never about the writer.

Good writers are humble. Even if only pretending.

Good writers bow to their story. You know, like Buckbeak and Harry.

What are stories REALLY about?

All stories are about characters.

I know some clever clogs might take me to task on this.

But even if a story is about a barstool or a cockroach or an inert mountain, it is still about a character.

If you’re lining up to write a story, that barstool/cockroach/mountain better be a fascinating character.


Because that’s what makes a story your READERS will love.

Love Your Characters

Tip number twenty in my creative writing book is, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOUR CHARACTERS.

Page 128 of See Me Jump. Yeah, words AND pictures! Of course my book has pictures!

I don’t provide this tip as some airy fairy, touchy feely, ending to my book.

I provide it because it is vital.

For many reasons.

But in the context of this blog post, you have to love your characters so that YOU will keep coming back to the story.

That’s what keeps me writing.

I love my characters.

I am curious about my characters. I care about them. I want to see what’s going to happen to them, how they will react to the problems I’m going to throw at them. How they’re going to grow, flourish, fail and fumble.

All of if it.

Why Do I Love Creative Writing?

Because I love creating and developing characters.

They keep me coming back to the manuscript.

They save me when I’m in the pits of despair.

When I want to give up.

My love for my characters saves our duty-free vodka…

What’s more, my characters enchant my readers.

My readers come back to my books (sometimes repeatedly) because, like me, they care about my characters.

In many cases my readers aspire to BE my characters. (I know because they write and tell me!)

How does that happen? How do we, as authors, make that a reality?

We do it by paying close and careful attention to our characters.

It’s as simple and as tricky as that.

Tell Me More About Character Creation, Jen!

I thought you’d never ask!

Whether you’re writing picture books, children’s longer fiction or adult fiction, I’ve created an online intensive to help you think more deeply and creatively about your characters.

This BRAND-NEW e-course is designed to help you lure your characters into life, bring them forward, get them moving and shining.

Learn to create characters you will love and want to work with.

Characters that will help you hang in there and finish your beautiful stories.

Join me in this unique intensive. I’ll walk you through eleven modules that unpack just what creating and developing fascinating characters is all about.

This course includes a follow-up Zoom Q and A call with me!

This is the last chance to work with me in 2021. Cart closes Sunday December 5.

It’s fast and furious. (All the material is delivered on December 6, 2021)

It’s intense.

And it’s fun! (You can set it aside for after Christmas, too. Yay for online courses!)

To find out more and to jump in, CLICK HERE. Your characters and your readers will love you for it!


Want even more? Watch the video below. 😉

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