Literary Birthday - 27 July
Happy Birthday, Cassandra Clare, born 27 July 1973
Cassandra Clare: On Writing
- Creating characters is like throwing together ingredients for a recipe. I take characteristics I like and dislike in real people I know, or know of, and use them to embellish and define characters.
- You’re a reader as well as a writer, so write what you’d want to read.
- Perfect heroines, like perfect heroes, aren’t relatable, and if you can’t put yourself in the protagonist’s shoes, not only will they not inspire you, but the book will be pretty boring.
- Is my character developed and believable? Do they seem like a real person? Some people find character worksheets very helpful in developing their characters.
- What does my character want? Character arcs are determined by desire. i.e., what does your character want at the beginning of the story? Do they get it? Do they not get it? How does getting or not getting what they desire change them? A character who doesn’t want anything is flat, not to mention not believable.
- If there were an easy fix for writer’s block, no one would have it. My sole real observation on the topic of block is that writer’s block isn’t a disease. It’s a symptom of the disease. There is something causing your writers block: you’ve gone down the wrong road in your plot, you haven’t learned how to outline, you’re trying to make yourself write something you don’t really want to write, you’re depressed or stressed, etc. Figure out the cause and fix that and the symptom will probably go away.
- And write what you love - don’t feel pressured to write serious prose if what you like is to be funny.
Find more writing advice from Cassandra Clare here
Cassandra Clare is an American author. She writes young adult fiction, and is well-known for her best-selling series, The Mortal Instruments.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write
"We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved by anyone again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them."