The ins and outs of character death and how I learned to perfect it

Photo by Ryan Grady on Unsplash

As a writer, you get to witness the beautiful birth of your characters. You get to watch them grow and change throughout your story. You get to throw obstacles at them and see them come out the other end, stronger than ever before. As a writer, you spend hours mapping out every little detail and feel the love of your creations pour into your heart.

Unfortunately, as a writer, you also must occasionally witness the death of a character.

Character death is a well-travelled road for me. …

It’s time to learn about the elusive open ending

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Writing is full of controversies. Should novels be written from multiple points of view, should they include obscenities, should they be written in the past or present tense? The list of topics up for debate is long and can be intimidating, especially for new writers.

Of all the writing styles that are currently scrutinized, there is a practically taboo one. It is the open ending or ambiguous ending.

This type of ending leaves readers with no specific conclusion to satisfy them. …

Buckle up. This is gonna be a long one…

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Everyone has seen the sentences.

When you eat Maya can clean up.

When you are finished digging the dog can go for a walk.

Hannah got down on her knees, she begged.

Commas add clarity and make it easier to read sentences. When a comma is misplaced or omitted altogether, the resulting sentence is enough to make readers scratch their heads. And if you aren’t looking for confusion and random humor in your writing, it’s best to learn the laws of the comma.

In the age of advanced technology and spell…

Or reading at all…

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

When I was a kid, every two weeks my mom would gather my four siblings and me into the minivan and take us to the local library. While the youngest two chased each other around on the dusty carpet downstairs and the other two played games on the computers, I would scour the shelves in search of new worlds and characters to explore.

Then I would leave hauling an armful of novels and non-fiction, ready to spend the foreseeable evenings with my nose buried in them. And you know what? …

The ingredients that go into creating a character you can be proud of.

Photo by Kara Eads on Unsplash

Characters are inarguably the most important part of any story.

They determine whether readers will decide to stick with your story or to run for the hills. And if a character is unrealistic and boring, it’s frustrating and difficult for an author as well. This is why it’s important to use careful planning with each character that you create.

There are many ingredients involved in creating a character and making sure that each one is cooked to perfection is essential to a great story.


o 1 Full Name

o 1 Gender (male, female, no gender)

o Age (possibly several if…

The unexpected path of the invisible writer.

Photo by William J Simpson on Unsplash

It’s hard to make a career as a writer.

Nod your head. Breathe. It’s okay. Let’s get it all out there.

For new writers, stepping into a world of online writing can seem like a dream come true. There are so many readers, there is so much webspace, the words are flowing, the grass is greener, the skies are clear, all the people are writing…

But wait…all the people are writing.

The new writer pauses. They scratch their head. “How will I be heard in this sea of writers all writing their content?” they ask.

They send out queries, hoping…

Dealing with the jitters and insecurities that authors face when writing that first sentence.

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

We all think at some point or another that we are not good writers.

It could stem from the anxiety of being a failure or it could be because someone actually told you that you aren’t as good as you thought you were. Either way, it has happened to even the best of us.

When these situations do occur, a horrible thing results. You decide to stop dead in your writing tracks and doubt yourself until you never want to write again. …

Lindsay Shalla

Aspiring author and editor of all things. Curiosity is the spark that ignites creation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store