The Daily Port of Call: February 20, 2014

Photo by ALexander Lvov/

Photo by ALexander Lvov/

In today’s Daily Port of Call, you’ll find help for challenging character situations, how to make sure your adjectives are working for you, and a list of books you should read, if you want to.

“To be credible, characters must have flaws as well as strengths, just like real people. There is a tipping point for flaws, however.” How can you avoid creating a character that is unlikeable?

And on the subject of characters, how can you create characters with invisible disabilities?

“Adjectives are the main tool an author has to grab a reader. A well-chosen one can paint a scene with the utmost care, but one that is too vague can leave your readers feeling detached.” Are your adjectives working for you?

Children’s book author and illustrator Leo Lionni’s granddaughter shares the author’s views on creativity and the secret to great storytelling.

There are many lists of books that one should read. This list focuses on reading the books you discover, if you want to.

Here is an appreciation of short story writer Mavis Gallant, who died earlier this week.