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Maddie Morrow

  • The methods for planning a novel are endless: character questionnaires, structure templates, prewriting, outlining. Some writers fall into the camp of plotters, where warm-up work is second nature and vital to […]

  • You’re curled up in a comfy chair, happily reading, when a male character murmurs, “Oh Sally, you’re so beautiful. The thought of another day without you makes my sun go dark and the stars burn out in despa […]

    • Aha, thanks so much for this article! I have nine main characters (I know, I know), and more than half of them are male, so I sometimes struggle with writing emotional scenes where I know a girl would sit down and cry but I have no clue what a guy would do. XD These tips were all really helpful – thank you so much for pouring your time into it!

    • Thank you for this Article, Maddie!
      So many people get it twisted. I do read some marriage books and some of my particular favorites are:
      Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
      The Book of Romance by Tommy Neson
      The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
      and… Boundaries in Marriage by Drs. Henry Cloud & John Townsend

      Too often women are the worst offenders in castigating their own gender and diminishing the precious value of being feminine as something that they label as “weak”.

      Here is something I wrote earlier today about this very thing:
      I have often wondered if people realized how insulting it is for women who have to behave like a man to be perceived as strong. As if natural female traits and characteristics are in and of themselves somehow weak and the girl must adapt a “man-like” persona to be taken seriously or be considered tough. How insulting is that? You are absolutely correct, God does give each different roles and responsibilities that they are charged to fulfill in obedience to him, but a woman trying to stand in for a man, or vice versa should raise questions. It certainly did with the prophetess Deborah, who had to deal with weak-willed men and lead them into a fight, that they should have been heading. (Judges 4:8-9) God made humankind to be complimentary of each other. Both are required for strength. Unity is bringing together both of His unique creations into oneness to become a formidable force together under His blessing.
      They are like two eyes, one sees the direction from the left and its periphery, and the other sees from the right. Both are required for full sight. With the loss of either, the strength of eyesight is diminished. Proverbs 31 describes a woman of amazing capability and shrewd judgment and virtue. And she has some awesome managerial skills. Should it then matter that she might lose in an arm-wrestling match against Hulko-the-Beefy Musclehead? Does the loss in such a match make her weak? Certainly not! But on a battlefield, as opponents could she put an arrow through his eye socket if he was trying to fell her with a thirteen-pound broad sword? Most certainly, she could!

      Can we not agree that masculinity does not have to mirror a woman’s emotional perspective to be called “good”. And the fact that a woman may or may not punch with the psi impact as a man, or have the tensile strength to crush an old-style tin can with one hand, does not equate to her being a weak person? Such nonsense we (society at large) get into for pointless arguments.

      It has become so frustrating seeing the “battle of the sexes” become an all-out war between two groups that God designed to be complementary and unified.

      Truly a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. (a paraphrase of Luke 11:17)

      If the enemy of our souls, the accuser of the daughters and sons of God, knows this truth, one wonders why we continue to let him do this to us.
      God’s design is this:
      A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. [Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT]

      Isn’t it ironic how Satan pits us against one another over our God-designed differences?
      One truly then has to answer these questions:
      Did God not know what He was doing when He created differences in the sexes? And if so, does God ever make mistakes in His choices? Does He not make good decisions?

      So then, if God declared his creation of male and female both to be good and a fitting helpmate for each other, why do we attempt to diminish one another? Do we know better than God what “good” truly is?

      A little humility in how we treat one another is warranted, I think, so daily I celebrate the beauty and tenderness of my wife’s tremendous strength. I’ll take God’s definition of “good” over mine any day!

  • Well, probably. But I would say it had to be a very very strong quote, and only a one liner. Not like an actual passage from the book. Something like “I am Dauntless, I am brave.” Could work, but I wouldn’t recommend a large piece of writing.

  • You’ve finished a manuscript and polished it until it can’t shine any brighter. Now you need to begin the task you’ve anxiously been awaiting: writing a query letter. 
     
    A quick Google search pulls up dozens […]

  • Oh that sounds fantastic! And definitely difficult.

  • Thank you! Good luck with your character! They’re fun to write.

  • The cinnamon roll. A smol bean. We invent all kinds of affectionate nicknames for the cuddly teddy-bear characters we adore. But what about characters who have a few prickles? Or are downright cold?
     
    As […]

    • Really helpful article! I’ll definitely be coming back to this, because one of my newest characters can definitely be described as “unlikeable.” Thanks for all the great tips!

    • I love this! My WIP is a Cinderella retelling from the stepsister’s pov. She, her sister, and her mother are all traditionally villains in the tale, and I wanted to maintain that exterior (with a bit of a twist, of course 😉 ). But some days that makes the unlikable and distant, closed-off character vibe a struggle! Thanks for sharing! A great article with some useful tips!

  • “What’s your plan?” As graduation looms closer, high schoolers get sick of hearing this question from friends, relatives, and strangers.
     
    Career decisions are daunting for anyone—and even more complica […]

  • Hey guys! Check this out. This might help fill some of the voids some of you have been missing in the guilds. Be sure to sign up for a word war group if you plan to continue participating.

    @samantha-pen @hgm_barnes18 @heather-drabant @kb-writer @inspirewrite @duskflower @kjames0813 @ireneadler
    @kari-karast @i-david
    @donna-darling @kr-lalonde[Read more]

  • Glad you like it!

    Hmm, well personally I would be more likely to cut out the antagonist over a villain, If I had to choose just one. I think villains bring the strong, evil force that drives plots forward. That being said, it might work in some stories to have conflict stem from someone more antagonistic than villainous. For instance, in a…[Read more]

  • @emberynus-the-dragonslayer
    Thank you!

    @kr-lalonde
    No, Kendra, I didn’t have the baby. I said I’m due this week. You would have seen it on Facebook if I had lol.

    Yeah, if you want to share bits of your writing create a topic and tag people if you like. That way it’s easy for you to get back to, because the whole discussion will be about your…[Read more]

  • @jennythefaun
    Congratulations on advancing!!! That is awesome.

    I personally love this story and would submit it.

  • Antagonists and villains are often used interchangeably. But they’re not identical. Though they’re both defined as an opponent, that’s where the similarities end.
     
    A villain is deliberately and person […]

    • Really insightful post, Maddie. I’ve never heard someone put it into so many words, but it makes perfect sense! Do you think every story should have a villain? Or is an antagonist sometimes enough on its own?

      • Glad you like it!

        Hmm, well personally I would be more likely to cut out the antagonist over a villain, If I had to choose just one. I think villains bring the strong, evil force that drives plots forward. That being said, it might work in some stories to have conflict stem from someone more antagonistic than villainous. For instance, in a contemporary YA, it would probably be just fine for the main opposition to come from a high school classmate who isn’t truly evil, just conflicting with the hero.

  • Hey guys. I’m sorry it’s been so dead around here. Definitely a large portion my fault. Kind of hard to keep a guild running when the guild master falls off the face of the earth.

    However, it has come to my attention recently that this is not relegated to Knaphollow only. A couple of the guild’s are completely without leaders, most are floun…[Read more]

  • Thanks! I agree, a tough girl is much easier to convey. Probably because of the cultural shift toward that. While society is starting to demand more sensitive men as well, I don’t think that has caught up to the amount of attention strong women are getting.

  • Thanks!
    Matthew 6:19-20, Hebrews 1:10-12, 2 Corinthians 4:16 all come to mind, as well as the verse that says “in the last days things shall wax worse and worse” (not sure of the reference). There’s also just a general running theme of it throughout the Bible without direct quotes. It starts with a perfect paradise and after sin mankind start…[Read more]

  • Editor’s Note: This article is the final installment in our five-part series on how to build empathy between readers and characters. To learn why we did this series and how we approached the topic, read our i […]

    • Thanks!
      Matthew 6:19-20, Hebrews 1:10-12, 2 Corinthians 4:16 all come to mind, as well as the verse that says “in the last days things shall wax worse and worse” (not sure of the reference). There’s also just a general running theme of it throughout the Bible without direct quotes. It starts with a perfect paradise and after sin mankind starts to age and die, animals age and die, and the world at large starts to die (plants don’t stay forever, weather patterns change, etc). Despite our technology increasing, humanity is definitely not getting better in our society.

    • Thanks! I agree, a tough girl is much easier to convey. Probably because of the cultural shift toward that. While society is starting to demand more sensitive men as well, I don’t think that has caught up to the amount of attention strong women are getting.

    • Thank you! Yes! I absolutely agree.

    • So helpful. I’ve been struggling to write my male protagonist’s emotions that he constantly tries not to show (his anguish over his sister’s death, his determination to be proven tough, his hope not to become like his father, etc.) and I think this article will be most helpful. Thanks!

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