How to Create Vivid, Compelling Characters #5: A Plotter Talks About Characterization

How to Create Vivid, Compelling Characters #5 - A Plotter Talks About CharacterizationHow to Create Vivid, Compelling Characters #5: A Plotter Talks About Characterization: In this video, Beth interviews Bonnie about her process for character creation, including attitude and worldview as a filter for the character’s experience and about the 12 character expression elements.

What questions do you have about developing your characters? Listen to the video, then post your questions.



In this video series, authors and fiction coaches Beth Barany and Bonnie Johnston help you write powerful, compelling fiction.

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Beth’s Craft Compelling Characters course:

Bonnie’s Creating Archetypal Characters course:



Beth Barany, Creativity Coach for WritersBeth Barany is an award-winning novelist, master neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, and certified creativity coach for writers. She specializes in helping writers experience clarity, so they can write, revise, and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers. Her courses are packed with useful hands-on information that you can implement right away.

She runs an online school for fiction writers and a 12-month group coaching program to help them get published. More resources on publishing, book marketing, and novel writing on her blog, Writer’s Fun Zone.


Bonnie Johnston, Writing Mentor, Award-winning authorBonnie Johnston is a writing mentor and award-winning author with a passion for teaching fiction writers how to increase the emotional impact of their stories to turn readers into fans.

She blogs at Write Smarter, Not Harder, where you can download her free ebook, Editing for Story.

She’s also the author of The 30 Day Novel Workbook, The 30 Day Romance Novel Workbook, and The Writer’s Guide to Getting Organized.




Beth Barany’s online school for fiction writers, Barany School of Fiction:
Beth’s Writer’s Fun Zone blog:
Beth’s Fiction, Magical tales of romance, adventure, and mystery:

Bonnie Johnston’s blog:
Bonnie’s courses:

c. 2018 Beth Barany and Bonnie Johnston

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  • Heather Marsten says:

    Dear Bonnie – Thank you for detailing ways to illustrate characters. It’s important to show a character through various traits, not just a verbal description. I’m working on a first person memoir and I’ve been using a lot of fiction techniques to show the reader what I’m trying to illustrate. First person makes it hard to show the protagonist in an authentic way. But I’ve used certain gestures and people’s comments about me to illustrate my personality. Your suggestions are helpful and I plan to add a few new ones to my memoir.

  • I’m so glad that you found it helpful, Heather! So true about first person, we really get to know that character through their perceptions of the story world first, and their relationships with other characters. Best wishes on your memoir!

  • Helen Fisher says:

    I couldn’t find how to ‘like’ the video, but really appreciate how Bonnie explains her system of characterizing. As much as I’d like to just start writing, I end up with so many instances where the story doesn’t flow and the characters aren’t real enough for me, so your ideas would really help me. I’ve already subscribed! Thanks for all you guys do!

  • Beth Barany says:

    So glad to hear it, Helen!. You can “like” the video on YouTube here, and thanks!

  • I’m delighted that you found it helpful, Helen!

  • Helen Fisher says:

    Bonnie, I wanted to ask you a few questions about your classes, but couldn’t find a ‘contact’ link on your site ‘Write Smarter Not Harder’. If you could contact me, I need to get an idea how long these classes will be available. I can’t start one until February 2020 and there are several I’m interested in. Thank you.

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