This week, Kathryn and Alida discuss what happens to stories when authors are too nice to their characters. Being too darn nice is a common problem of how we write and treat our characters that affects plot. Nicey nice reduces tension, alleviates friction, and leads to…yawns. What to do about it? Listen and find out!




What is nicey-nice? How can you use character flaws and irrational reactions to combat it? As a writer we need to remember to push boundaries, silence that inner critic, and steer clear of writing our own reactions into our character. So how do you fix a section that is too nice? And how can you use character reactions to build tension into your story? Make your characters reactions messy and their relationships imperfect and you’ll be on your way to writing characters that keep the reader engaged!

What we talked about:

What is “nicey-nice”? (0:48)

Character stupidity vs irrational reaction. (2:50)

Push the boundaries. (5:00)

Beware writing yourself and your reactions into your character. (8:25)

So how do you fix a section that is too nicey-nice? (11:43)

Remember to evaluate your characters baseline versus where they are in the current conflict. (14:30)

What buttons are you pushing in your character? (16:20)

Use multiple types of character reactions in order to build tension. (18:20)

Make it messy! (19:20)

You cannot have a perfect relationship. (21:35)


Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 040: Character Relationships 

Flash Tip: Nicey-nice 

Flash Tip: Frypan to Fire 

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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