You have questions. Ask away.

your humble host

This blog has long been a friendly place to come and learn, and what better way to learn than to ask?

You have questions. Writer stuff, marketing, motivation, you name it.


Your questions. Your challenges. Your issues.

If I don’t know, we’ll put it out to my vast network of author friends and get an answer. Or I’ll make something up.


Many people helped me when I was starting out because I was willing to ask what I needed to know.

That shortened my learning curve substantially.

– Dan Alatorre

So go ahead. Ask me anything.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

12 thoughts on “You have questions. Ask away.

  1. I suspect there is no definitive answer but I would be interested in your opinions Dan
    Those occasions when the writer suddenly finds they getting more out of an original minor character.
    Time to re-wind and start the story again making them the central character?
    Edit out some of their parts to put them back in their place?
    Or forge ahead moving them to centre stage and going with the flow?
    (I’m guessing the latter is easier when the story involves action, warfare etc, as folk do die)

    1. There’s a saying that every minor character should think the story is about them. I agree.

      Minor characters aren’t supposed to just show up and speak their lines and disappear. They are supposed to interact and be the spice in the soup. They make the scene more than it was without them, not less.

      As a result, we are often tempted to let them take a bigger role and there’s nothing wrong with that because a story has an arc just like a character does. Your main character should share the spotlight where appropriate.

      Where writers run into trouble is when they’re have so much fun with a minor character that you let them overwhelm the story. It’s very rare that a minor character can actually carry an entire story by themselves which is why they are minor characters to begin with. Where it has been tried, it usually fails. Happy days had Fonzi. Taxi had Louie. Peanuts had Snoopy. Rarely are the fun quirks of a minor character strong enough when they are by themselves at centerstage for the entire story, good enough to pull it off. Usually they are fun because they are different from the main character. When they become the main character, then they’re not different from the main character anymore and are usually not delivering a satisfying story as a result.

          1. Very true.
            Slightly different track
            Many years ago in the 1970s I watched a TV play in which Dr Watson was visiting a stately home for the week-end, and a murder took place, which he solved by using Holmes methods and often saying ‘Now what would Holmes think?’

            1. Right. Almost 50 years ago, they tried it – once.

              I’m not saying it can’t be done, it just usually doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. I haven’t read your story; it might work fine.

              1. In my fantasy writing I was much inspired, encouraged, influenced (chose any permutation) by the works of the late David Gemmel. In addition to his central heroic group and their protagonists he would often insert someone who would gradually grow into the story until their role was important in the action or dynamic going on between the protagonists.
                Rather than one central character I like to work with a small group (in this case three), who are constantly ‘bouncing’ off of each other, so that no one is always the alpha, particularly as they will ‘mess’ up at some stage (who doesn’t in real life?)

                1. Awesome! That sounds like multiple main characters or an ensemble cast, as opposed to a secondary character who steals the spotlight and attempts to be a main character in a sequel. But again, if something works, go with it!

  2. I searched for advice all over on this, but I found very little on this topic. One article said one thing, and two others said the opposite. I’m writing my novel in deep POV. Sometimes my MC asks himself questions in his thoughts, such as “Why did I do that?” or “How angry can I make her? Time to find out.” These thoughts seem very normal for my MC, and rewording them either makes them sound awkward for my character or it takes me out of deep POV. Is this a big no-no, or is it okay?

    1. If that’s how he talks, that’s how he talks. As long as everyone doesn’t do that, you should be fine. But if you wanna send a scene for us to check on, send one on over! I’ll post it and we’ll see what others think.

      1. Thanks! That would be very helpful. Should I email it or paste it in the reply to this thread?

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