The blogs are organized by date.
Comments will appear when we've had time to check them. Apology for the inconvenience, but it's a way to keep phishers and spammers off the page.
This was a lively panel with a bunch of takeaways.
There are three "standard" character types in a story:
You can make characters more interesting by giving them more than one problem. Save the world and cope with a divorce. Think of Peter Parker constantly worrying about Aunt May.
Interestingly, in a panel-vote, the women start with a character and develop a plot, while the guys started with a plot and developed characters to push it forward.
There was some discussion of villains as well as heroes. One trick is to give you villain a weakness that's not a plot breaker. Maybe he's diabetic, or has an ailing daughter. It just can't be something that makes him (too) sympathetic to the reader. (Oh, he's not all bad, he runs a Sick Puppy Rescue!)
Sean pointed out that the modern trend is toward gray villains, not pure black mustache twirlers like Fu Manchu and Snidley Whiplash.
Tina mentioned The Nazi Doctors. This nonfiction book demonstrated how good men become evil in tiny little baby steps. She pointed out that if you can create a villain that follows that sort of progression, your book will have a strong antagonist.
There were also several suggestions for getting into your character's heads, including: