A few weeks ago, I created a graphic poster that listed 100 ways to say “said.” It was quite a hit. But there are plenty of words that young writers settle for, perhaps because they are unaware of the many alternatives.
I doubt there’s another action verb blander than go or it’s past form, went. It seemed to me that there are numerous better, more vivid alternatives, so I started brainstorming. Before long, I not only passed 100, but made it all the way to 200. In fact, I’ve thought of more since, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
The most important aspect of a great fictional character is how much the reader cares about him. Some characters are lovable (Wilbur the pig, Bilbo Baggins, Pinocchio), some are heroic (Odysseus, Paul Bunyan, Superman), some are tragic (Hamlet, Willy Loman, John Henry), and some are just plain evil (Iago, Saruman, The Wicked Witch of the West). The point is, we feel strongly about them one way or another.