Sunday, December 9, 2012

Creating Unforgettable Characters: James Scott Bell

Writers' Digest hosted a free webinar this past week given by suspense author and writing teacher James Scott Bell.

Bell has written several books on writing (see his website). The one I have on my shelf (and maybe you do, too) is Plot and Structure.

He has a new book soon to be released called Revision and Self Editing for Publication. The webinar was designed to showcase ths book and was all about revision. It was great!

I wanted to highlight just one brief tidbit of Bell's webinar--how to craft unforgettable characters. It's short, sweet, but very powerful.

So here is Bell's list of traits to give unforgettable characters. Keep them close by and use them to analyze your latest hero or heroine, to see whether you've created characters that jump off the page.

So, are your characters...




PASSIONATE--They have their blood boiling about something.

COMPLEX--inner conflict--This means emotional. Remember, readers aren't analyzing their way through your story, they're FEELING. So give them something to feel about!



Isn't this a great list?

Do you have any other traits to add?

For more on James Scott Bell, visit


  1. Sometimes questioning what they know of life.

  2. Conflicted, yes, I love that! Thanks, Ella :)

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  4. Hi Miranda, I'm sorry I missed this webinar. Does Writer's Digest offer free ones very often? I don't see any listed on their website. How did you hear about it? On your recommendation I checking out the book from my library. Thanks so much!

  5. Hi Laurel Ann--I heard about it quite by accident on Twitter or perhaps it was posted in the Beau Monde group on FB. They said 1000 people signed up for it!

  6. Hi Suzi--congrats on your new release, The Viscount's Pleasure House
    Many sales and all best!!!