Establishing a Strong Relationship With an Offscreen Character (Analyzing Shadow and Bone)

I've been going back and forth a lot about this blog lately.  As you've most likely noticed,  I haven't been able to post many original craft posts, and even the Brain Science roundup posts have been haphazard. Nowadays, paid work takes priority over blogging.

A month ago I decided to close this blog down, and had settled on that decision for about 24 hours before I made a 180 degree turn and decided to make a conscious effort to write more craft posts.  Why?  Because I'm the one who learns the most from writing these-- taking the time to analyze books I admire and figuring out why I admire them. 

So, here's the TLDR.  I'm going to make an effort to blog more, but to make this feasible, the posts will be less polished than before.  I used to spend a lot of time editing blog posts, but now I'm just going to focus on getting the ideas down. Hopefully, people will still find them useful.

On to the book of the day.  I'm two books into The Grisha series and enjoying it immensely.  (Moderate spoilers for Shadow and Bone). One thing that struck me, was the relationship between Alina and her childhood friend Mal. Mal plays a very large role in later parts of the story, and in order to make the developments believable, the reader must be convinced that Alina and Mal are very close.  The tricky part though?  Mal's off screen, in another part of the country, for much of the first half of the book.

Brain Science for Writers 11/19/2015

By Paulr (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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