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The problem with references is that they are funny only if people understand them, and they can go stale fast. This isn't necessarily a killer, but it's something to keep in mind. Ancient Greek comedy is loaded with references to people who have been dead for thousands of years, and whom we only know about because of the funny references (you can take that ...


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Arguably, the story of the internal life of an individual, in the context of sweeping social events, is a recipe for great literature. "No man is an island": if the world is changing, it's inevitably going to play out in an individual's life. Even a Hero's Journey has a social context. The movie Star Wars is known to be explicitly written as a Hero's ...


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I feel like I am only going to be adding a footnote to some very well made points and suggestions but I feel you pain and would like to offer some constructive advice. As the author you clearly disapprove of the actions of one or more of your characters and that is probably a sign of good moral character. However if you drop out of the flow of events to ...


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There are a few approaches that you could use in this situation. The first is to plot out the most significant events of the unfolding drama and identify as few key players as possible who between them witness the sequence of events. You might then present a semi-fictionalised account of what they saw. If using the historical figures of the culture does not ...


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Some of the other answers have done a great job at addressing the topic of good characters in general, so this focuses specifically on the dialogue: In my opinion, great dialogue is all about subtext. When people talk to each other, what's going on in the words is rarely the whole conversation. Mood, hidden goals and desires, mutual history, personality, ...


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I feel that I may be simply adding a footnote but here is what I do when the cast on the page grows really quickly. I have a "bible" of background information which I tend to print off and carry about with me for when I have ideas. I add a list of characters to this. Now because I am adding a lot very quickly I cheat and use a short hand. I try to add one ...


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I believe there is no "recipe" with which to cook up three-dimensional characters. However, since "good" characters - realistic, believable, full of faults, contradictions, anxieties and passions - are what I value above all in a story and what I put most effort in, here is how I develop my characters: Start with an idea. What kind of story do you want to ...



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