Character Development | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Archive for the ‘Character Development’ Category

A Pattern of Shadow and Light Book Five Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone, and I’m fielding a ton of questions, so I think an update is probably due. Here’s what I can tell you: book five is in the works. I’m about 270 pages in and I’ve written Ean and Tanis’s threads up to the end of part one, along. . . Read More


An Update on Book Five

Once upon a time I had a dream, a dream of a book, a book to complete a fantasy series, a fantasy series to please fantasy readers, reading the completed book of this series from this erstwhile dream. If this sounds oddly wistful, it’s rather a reflection of my state of mind about A Pattern. . . Read More


How I Create Characters

Many of you have been asking about my process for creating characters—how I came up with certain characters, and more generally, how I make my characters seem real. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have read one of my earlier posts on organic writing. For those of you who are. . . Read More


The Treatment of Sexuality in A Pattern of Shadow & Light

Some of you have written in asking me about the presentation and treatment of homosexuality in my novels. You pointed out that the majority of incidents involving homosexual characters portray those characters as being evil. You indicated to me that in presenting those characters as evil, it sends a negative message about homosexuality, and you. . . Read More


How to Stay Inspired (and an Update on Kingdom Blades)

Inspiration is one of those elusive words, like “muse” and “success.” It evades us, confounds and confuses us, bewitches when it visits and devastates upon its departure. It’s that girl glimpsed across the subway terminal, or that place in a dream that you just can’t get to. I receive a lot of questions from readers. . . Read More


Grounding Fantasy in Reality and Tackling Controversial Topics

A reader wrote in to me recently and mentioned that while she didn’t have the same visceral reaction to a particular scene (no spoilers) as many other readers had, she didn’t like that one of the characters had to use sex as part of the resolution of the conflict in that scene. This is very. . . Read More


Author Q&A and a Plea to Aspiring Writers

To my readers: please know how much I appreciate your emails, mentions and comments! Recently, many of you have written to me asking similar questions. I thought it would be best to answer all of you here on my blog in order to give your questions adequate address. I’ve lumped your questions together into these three: “What inspired you to. . . Read More


Immortality and Gods in Fantasy

It’s interesting to me how many novels, plays, poems (and even, dare I say, religions) deal with immortality without really dealing with immortality, i.e. immortality is automatically assumed, more understood than explored. In our concept, gods are immortal. In fact, immortality is usually a qualifying aspect to being considered a god. In my experience, even. . . Read More


Writing Kingdom Blades (PSOL Book 4)

Many of you have been asking when book four in A Pattern of Shadow & Light will be released. All I can tell you right now is that I’ll have Kingdom Blades to you at some point in 2016 (the Muse willing). For comparison, each book in this series runs around 300,000 words, and the first. . . Read More


Ultimate Epic Fantasy Writer’s Playlist

“Two boys arrived yesterday with a pebble they said was the head of a dog until I pointed out that it was really a typewriter.” ~Pablo Picasso Inspiration comes in many forms. There are as many sources of inspiration as there are artists to be inspired. A simple turn of a woman’s face might become the basis of a. . . Read More