Character Arc

Character Arc

by Adam Huddleston


Continuing on my theme of literary terms, let’s take a quick look at “character arc.” It is simply defined as the inner transformation of a character over the course of a story. No matter what external forces are acting upon the character, it is the inner journey that creates the character arc.

A few examples: The character “Red” from the film “The Shawshank Redemption”. At the beginning of the story, the hardened inmate believes that there is very little light left in his life. He makes the comment that hope is a dangerous thing and can drive a man insane in prison. By the end of the tale, he has adopted the philosophy of his new friend, Andy Dufresne; that hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.

Frodo Baggins from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy begins the tale very comfortable at home and not believing that he has much bravery inside of him. After a long a deadly journey across his world, he becomes much more mature and sure of himself.

Finally, Han Solo from the “Star Wars” saga. When we first meet Han in Episode 4, he states that he has no belief in the “force”, that it is simply a collection of tricks. In the recently released Episode 7, he has learned that the “force” does exist. He even admits to another character, “Crazy thing is… it’s true. The Force. The Jedi. All of it. It’s all true.”

Aspire to infuse a character arc in the characters that populate your story. Your fans will thank you.

Happy writing!


Outtakes 243


By Cait Collins


Recently I received an invitation to a baby shower. I pulled the gift registry and was thrilled to see a selection of books on the list. A few days later an invitation to a baby shower for my new niece arrived. Instead of cards, the parents asked for a book with a note from the giver written inside.

Wow! In a world where everything is electronic, these first time parents are asking for books to help educate their infants. I respect their thoughtfulness and desire to give these little ones a head start. Nourishing the mind is just as important as nourishing the body. Baby Girl 1 has a book of Disney favorites, and my niece has a selection of some of my favorite Little Golden Books.

Book selections for babies are far from limited. Dr. Seuss, Disney, Aesop, Winnie the Pooh, animal stories (remember The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Chicken Little, and the Little Red Hen?), The Berenstain Bears, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, board books, touch-and-feel books, books with sound are just a sampling of the available offerings. And with the abundance of material, just think of all the memories you create when you take the time to read to your child.

Here’s another thought. Keep a journal of special moments and add photographs to the book. It will be a treasure for both you and your child. Best wishes Moms, Dads, and Little Ones.


Find the Perfect Name with Scrivener

Find the Perfect Name with Scrivener

By Rory C. Keel

For several years now, I have been using the Scrivener writing program to do my writing. For me, it is the greatest program that allows me to outline, storyboard, edit and write all within a neatly organized package.

With all the bells and whistles, it would be hard to list them all or explain how to use them in one blog. However, I do want to share some of the interesting features this wonderful program holds.

Have your ever written a story with a character that needed a better name? You know, the Bob or Sally that would really make your story a bestseller if they had a better name.

Well, Scrivener can help you find that perfect name. Tucked neatly away in the Writing tools is a built-in name generator.

Here’s how you find it. Above the tool bar find the word “EDIT,” follow down the menu until you see the word “Writing Tools.” When you place your curser over the word a side menu should appear, and at the bottom you should see the “Name generator.”

With the click of your mouse or scroll pad, the Name Generator should appear in a small window.

The first decision you will need to make is how many names do you want the program to generate? You will see a scroll bar numbered from 1-500, simply slid the marker to number you want to choose from.

Next you will notice the small gear button near the bottom of the window, click it. At this point, you need to make several other choices, such as do you want MALE or FEMALE names? You can set alliteration options, number of forename or surnames, initials, and obscurity level of the names.

You will also find a menu to choose the ethnicity of the name you wish to find. Once you check the appropriate box or boxes, find the long button on the previous menu that says “Generate Names,” and click. The blank screen will suddenly fill with names from which to choose the right name for your character.

I hope you find the perfect name.

Podcasts for Writers

Podcasts for Writers

By Natalie Bright

Every morning during that first cup of coffee and then while I’m getting dressed, I’m listening to news about story craft, social media, or the publishing bizz. I’m late to this party, but feeling happy and amazed about discovering the world of podcasts.

Here’s a few of my favorites:

The Creative Penn Podcast

  • This podcast has taught me so much about social media and really inspired me to keep writing. Indie published authors are very saavy about the bizz and passionate about writing.

The Self Publishing Formula Podcast

  • This is a new show on the block with a bestselling indie author and a newbie author working on his first book. Their live broadcast from the London Book Fair was excellent.

Writing Excuses

  • Useful information in a 15-minute format. Perfect for your daily commute.

The Writing Renegade: The Podcast for Indie Writers

  • Discussions on writing, editing, publishing, marketing, interviews with successful authors, and more.

Authority Self-Publishing

  • Marketing, writing and Kindle publishing tips for authors

The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke

  • This because I write historical novels and I’m also working on my family genealogy. Practical tips for historical research. The resources and links are invaluable.

Happy listening WordsmithSix friends!

Meet the Author – Melanie Miller

Meet the Author


Since the creation of WordsmithSix as a critique group, we have evolved in many ways. While every member is like family and brings their own valuable insights to the group, sometimes there are changes. Some of our members have moved on in their life’s journey, however their contributions continue to influence our writing forever. Others have filled the empty chairs and have started their journey into the world of writing.

Each member of WordsmithSix is excited about our writing journey. For the next few weeks we will dedicate a Sunday blog to letting our readers know a little more about who we are. Each author will be asked a few questions to help you understand their desire to write and what motivates them. Maybe their answers will influence you in your writing.

This week we want to highlight a young writer who has been a recent guest at our critique group. She has a great talent and we are sure that you will be seeing her writing in the near future.

Please welcome Melanie Miller.


  1. When did you start writing?

I started writing in High School. My first attempt at writing a novel began when I was only a sophomore.

  1. Why did you choose the genre you write?

I write Young Adult Fiction because I love reading it, and I want to write something that my younger brother will enjoy.  Young Adult has some of the most fluid and dynamic characters–seeing how these characters grow and change makes me happy.

  1. What’s the best thing you’ve done to help your writing?

I went to the West Texas Writing Academy in 2015. Being there connected me with a bunch of writers and help me see that my writing aspirations were fully within my grasp.

  1. What’s your writing routine like?

Procrastination. I find that I am most inspired to do creative writing whenever I have something else that needs to be done. Like taxes. But normally, I will drag my self out of bed at six in the morning and write until I have to go to class.

  1. How do you reach that personal place that allows the writing to flow?

I usually go somewhere where I put on my headphones and sit with no distractions or friends trying to talk to me. After ten to thirty minutes of gutting out the words, things start to flow.

  1. Are you an outliner?

I don’t think I can be impartial when answering this. Whatever answer I come up with would be muddied by by own egocentric bias. Still. I would like to think that me and my writing style are different, but then again, who wouldn’t?

  1. What has been your biggest writing challenge?

Finding the will power to actually write. Actually sitting down and writing is the hardest thing in the world. There are a hundred-thousand distractions, especially if you work on a computer.

  1. What are you working on currently, future?

I am currently writing the first draft of my first novel. I also have tentative plans for two more books using this same world and main character. I also have several other commenting worlds and storylines that I plan on exploring in the future.

  1. What advice would you give to new writers?

Forge connections with writing groups. Once you get yourself in a strong writing group, it gives you reason and motivation to writing, even if that motivation is only to not be embarrassed by bringing in shoddy work or no work at all.

  1. What’s the most positive thing you could tell writers today?

The publishing business is becoming more and more accessible. With ebooks and online publishing, it is increasingly likely that your book will be published in some form or manner.