Every Sunday, the feature SHANNON MUIR’S MYSTERY OF CHARACTER on SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF focuses on the art and craft of writing from Shannon’s perspective, or gives you insight on her process as an author. 


This week’s topic focuses on taking chances with the unexpected in character development.

Risk taking doesn’t always happen at the gambling tables. Sometimes authors take chances by doing things with characters you might not expect. When done right, this can create iconic characters that remain memorable. However, if a unique or unusual character begins to call attention in ways that point out flaws or gaps in logical development, it can weaken the character. Too much of this can even detract from the story. All that said, diversity in writing brings a range of items to read. So don’t be afraid of taking chances. This is a reminder I have to give myself sometimes, too.