To Create a CharacterAre you starting a story? Do you have an incomplete, flawed, or no character at all? It's happened to me many times and in my struggles to perfect my creations, I have learned a few things. I present you with seven easy steps with a challenge each to get you thinking.To Create a Character4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Let's start
Step 1: Past
When creating a character, you must first establish a past. Even a person with amnesia has a past, they just don't remember it. Pasts are important, they show what shaped the person and why they are the way they are today.
If your character has a scar, why? If they have amnesia, why? If they have a phobia of water, why?
Remember one thing: there is always a reason.
Challenge: Write a brief story (vignette) of your character's past to familiarize yourself with the way things were.
Step 2: Appearance
You may have a certain idea, a vague idea, or no idea at all as to how your character will look. First, think of their
How to Write Fan Fiction - P1How to Write Fan Fiction - P14 years ago in Writing More Like This
How to Write (Great) Fan Fiction - Part One: Before You Write
Anyone can write fan fiction. That is easy. Even I can write fan fiction and that's saying something! Writing excellent fan fiction, though? That is an art. It takes time, practice and a little bit of knowhow to get it right.
I am Zoni. I am a writer and a fan author. I decided to create this tutorial series to help budding fan authors (and maybe even some of you seasoned pros) improve your skills, learn a better way to write and get more out of your fan fiction.
In these tutorials, I will show you how to write a complete piece of fan fiction, from beginning to end. I will show you my method for taking an ordinary story and raising it to above-average standards. I have a very set routine for how I write, and it lets me get more done in less time without sacrificing quality. So, I will be showing you my personal method and how you can make it work for you. Wh
Story Writing for BEGINNERSStory Writing for BEGINNERS5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Story Writing for BEGINNERS
I want to write a story. I have a couple of ideas, but no idea what to do with them, or even how to begin! Help?!
-- Newbie Writer
So when you wanna write a story, where do you begin? With your PASSION!
Write what you KNOW & LOVE
What do you KNOW, really? What do you love to Do, to Study, to Think About, to Talk About...? Whether it's cave-diving, model trains, skate-boarding, sewing, horses, mythology, ghost legends, or particle physics your passion is where you will find your most unique and powerful work.
Make a list of all the things you know well and all the things you've done -- seriously! Mythology, history, any retail jobs you might have had -- anything you might have seen, done, or studied.
Sticking with your passions and your personal experiences also helps you make fewer MISTAKES.
Case in point, someone who has never kissed isn't going to be able to write a kissing
100 Questions to Ask Your OC100 Questions to Ask Your OC2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Hello, folks! The purpose of this exercise is to delve deep into a character's mind and tease out interesting eccentricities about them, the bits and pieces of unique information that make them special. Each question is designed to help think about the character more and understand them. Whether you're responding to one question or all of them, hopefully your character speaks to you all through it!
1. People don't behave the same way all the time. In fact, they generally have a mask for every social group -- friends, family, business. Sometimes they have a different mask for different groups of friends. How does your character act around different people? How does their personality shift and change?
2. Your character has been brought to a party and promptly ditched. They don't have a ride back home. How does this work? How comfortable are they around all of these strangers? Do they interact?
3. It's kind of awkward - what subje
Advanced CHARACTER CreationAdvanced CHARACTER Creation5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Advanced CHARACTER Creation ~ for Fiction
Hero ~ Villain ~ Ally
There are three essential characters in every story. There may be any number of side characters, but in traditional Adventures, and Romances of every stripe (erotic or not,) the main conflict is usually, if not always, a TRIANGLE of complimentary opposites.
Translation: You could tell the whole story with ONLY these Three Characters; perhaps not with any real detail, but you could still do the entire basic plotline.
I'm sure you're familiar with the names Hero & Villain or Antagonist & Protagonist already. Those are pretty darn standard. However, always there, though seldom named is a Third character, the Ally -- the Companion to the Hero or Villain.
The Invisible Character: the Ally
The Ally's function is to be the Middle-Man, the nay-sayer that presents an opposing view t
The Art of VILLAINYThe Art of VILLAINY5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Art of VILLAINY ~ Making Realistic Villains for your Fiction ~
"People will do far more to Avoid Pain than they will to Seek Pleasure."
-- CIA Profiler Gavin DeBecker on Human Nature
When I craft a villain, I go out of my way to make darned sure that my fictional villains are as realistic as the villains we face in real life. I begin by giving them ordinary human Issues.
Within every villain (fictional and non-fictional) there's a human issue at core that drives them to BE villains in the first place. Even mass murderers have reasons (however twisted) for doing what they do.
NO villainous action is RANDOM.
The victim may be randomly chosen, but the action -- no matter how twisted -- always has a reason behind it. That reason is ALWAYS driven by a very human issue triggered by an unfulfilled and essential human need.
Key Human Issues:
* Desire for Connection
Plot Saver ListPlot Saver List5 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Kill a main character.
2. Send your characters on a journey.
3. Have your characters lose an important item.
4. Have a character go crazy.
5. A volcano erupts nearby.
6. Your characters stumble on a key.
7. Your characters throw a man off a bridge.
8. Your character gets drunk.
9. Your character finds a lost child.
10. Your character is attacked by a bandit.
11. Your character develops a crush on someone.
12. Add a new character.
13. Your main character trips and breaks his/her arm.
14. Characters argue over milk.
15. Have a character say I am afraid I have lost my watch
16. Write a scene that takes place in a boat.
17. Have a character who wears glasses break them.
18. Have a character play pool.
19. Kill a duck.
20. Use a fire in your novel.
21. Send in the ninjas!
22. Add a one-night stand.
23. Get your characters lost in the forest.
24. Your main characters mother dies.
25. Two characters kiss.
26. One character walks in on two others having sex.
27. A supporti
Creating a New WorldCreating a New World4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Please copy and paste this into a Word document or deviation. Then highlight the information after the colons and type over it.
Time/Era: Exact year or approximate time
Name of Country: For fun, you could alter the name of an old country to amuse more educated readers. For example, I altered the Assyrian Empire's name for a conquering people to evoke images of brutality and Mesopotamia.
Geography: Keep track of all the places you mention and their approximate locations. I find it handy to draw a rough map of the area.
Landscape: Trees, soil, water, buildings... Imagine you were flying over the place in an airplane. What would you see down below? (And no, you can't write "screaming people who have never seen airplanes before and think the apocalypse has come.")
Housing: How big are the houses that the people live in, and what are they made of? If they're members of a migrant tribe, what do they use for shelter, and how do they
5 Ways to Get Fantasy WrongYes, you're writing a fantasy story. Yes, that means many of the normal "rules" of reality are suspended. It doesn't mean you can just write whatever you like and expect your readers to swallow it. The existence of dragons they'll probably accept. Moscow being the capital of France they probably won't.5 Ways to Get Fantasy Wrong3 years ago in Writing More Like This
The key to "selling" weird, fantasy stuff to your reader (like dragons and half-elves) is making the world at large believable. This means getting the simple things right. So on that note:
1. Factual Errors
There are things in the wide-world of fiction that are fantasy elements; things like dragons, unicorns, and women who find beards sexy. There are other things in the wide-world of fiction that are factual elements; things like the speed of an average horse, the boiling point of water, and the observation that iron rusts.
Clearly, these are not two distinct categories that can have a line neatly drawn between them. You may have creat
A Writer's Guide: Believable CharactersI know a lot of you out there are aspiring-writers (I’m one myself!) and sometimes we get so caught up in this “must publish!” attitude that we get lost in our stories along the way. Sometimes there comes a point when we stare at our half-finished novel and say “I’m stuck. “ Usually these moments happen when we don’t know where we’re going next with our story, and usually that’s because somewhere along the line we’ve strayed off the path and we aren’t quite sure how to get back.A Writer's Guide: Believable Characters2 years ago in Writing More Like This
One of the things that you may find helpful if you’ve never done it before is to take a really in-depth look at your characters and the world they live in. Characters are really the backbone of our stories. You can carry an entire story on the shoulders of a character without much plot (memoirs anyone?), but you can’t carry a plot without some great characters. So, to help you guys out, I wanted to write an article on things you shoul
Nobody Loves My Character!Nobody Loves My Character!2 years ago in Writing More Like This
On making characters lovable, in your story and online
Brought to you by Super Editor
Disclaimer: This is a troubleshooting guide, and it doesn't necessarily cover every possible solution. It's based on my own experience, and not every idea may fit every character or work. Please use your common sense and personal taste when applying this information. Thanks for reading!
It's every writer's nightmare: your characters, after all the things you've put them through and all the months or years they've inhabited your head, have been eagerly displayed to the public and received an unenthusiastic response. Your audience has not been enchanted. They do not drool, fall hopelessly in love, or draw fan art in droves. They don't even pick favorite characters or whine for more information! You've failed. Nobody understands your characters. Nobody understands you.
...Wait a second. Try again?
Deviants who regularly post OC stories and art are lucky: their relationship with their audien
Writing Emotions VISUALLYWriting Emotions VISUALLY5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing Emotions VISUALLY
"What is ...VISUAL writing?"
-- Visual writing is when the reader can SEE your story unfolding in their imaginations just like a movie.
* Non-visual: It was a dreary day.
* Visual: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.
This is more commonly known as SHOWING vs. TELLING.
* Telling: It was a dreary day.
* Showing: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.
"What's wrong with just...Telling them?"
-- The problem lays with Reader interpretation. Abstract (poetic) words and ideas rely on the readers' interpretation of what those words mean to them personally.
She was woefully depressed.
* How does Big Bird act when he's woefully depressed?
* How do Y
The Ultimate Writing GuideThe Ultimate Writing Guide6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Have great tutorial that you want to show off to help others? Or need a great tutorial yourself to make your characters shine across the battlefield? Then check out the description for more information.
Character Creation TipsCharacter Creation Tips7 years ago in Writing More Like This
Note: I wrote this after reading a similar article in The Writer magazine about a year ago. Hope it's helpful!
Not all characters are created equal. Here are some steps to make yours superior.
Figure out what your character wants, needs, desires. A closer relationship with God? A place to belong? Just to survive? Figure it out. You cant move on to number 2 until you have.
Now that you know what your character most desires, you should be able to figure out what he/she most fears. Doing the wrong thing, being alone, death? They are the polar opposites of your characters desires.
Go back in time to before your story begins and create a detailed backstory for your character. What happened in to past to create in him the desires and fears that he has now? Be specific. Write out individual scenes, or at leas
Writing ANGSTWriting ANGST5 years ago in Writing More Like This
One way to add excitement to your story is by adding lots of bad-guys, also known as EXTERNAL Conflict. Another way is by adding INTERNAL Conflict, more commonly known as Angst.
I'm sure most of you have noticed by now that most movie characters, and far too many book characters, are One-Dimensional. They do stuff, but they don't face any personality issues: a hang-up, a fear, paranoia, a moral code, a love interest, a strong dislike Or worse, they do have all these things, but they never really affect the story.
There's a Plot Arc, things happen, but no Character Arc. The things that happen don't affect the characters emotionally.
Where's the ANGST?
Answer these two questions:
1. What is your character's biggest character flaw?
(Think: 7 Deadly Sins.)
How to name your charactersHow to name your characters7 years ago in Writing More Like This
NAMING YOUR CHARACTERS
There are many problems that a writer can come across when selecting a name for a character, here I hope to deal with some of the major pitfalls, and hopefully give some useful tips
~ Unique and different names are not an excuse to ignore good characterisation. Would you take these characters seriously?
Southern. D. Wattserfield
These are all names that I came up with off the top of my head or based on words about my desk. It is not difficult to come up with a new, unique name. But that doesnt instantly make your character interesting or cool.
There is nothing wrong with an unusual name (something my parents have told me for years), but if your story is chock full of unique and different names then many established readers and writers may not take your work seriously.
I once read someone
I Dub Thee...I Dub Thee...3 years ago in Writing More Like This
On the psychology and choosing of names
Brought to you by Super Editor
Many authors struggle with names. After coming up with a character who perfectly fits his or her intended role, planning personality traits, clothing, hobbies, and physical descriptions, now you have to sum all of that character's being up in a name!
There is an incredible number of ways to choose a name. Often authors are baffled by the vast array of first names and surnames that could be given to a character, and it's almost impossible to start. Whether you're hoping for a name that could belong to any girl on a street or a fantasy warrior from planet Xyla, there are infinite ways of choosing a name.
The best way to find ordinary names is a list. Sometimes one might choose a name that actually means something, while other times one might hope for an ordinary name with little more meaning than "her mom liked it."
Beating the BlockBeating the Block3 years ago in Writing More Like This
brought to you by Super Editor
Please read this list slowly and carefully, considering not only the individual prompt but ways to bend it. You'll get much more out of it. (Thinking about specific characters and/or listening to your book's theme music while you read may help.)
This list is designed mainly to give ideas for characterization-related scenes. If your issue is more along the lines of "I don't know where I'm going," then this may not be as helpful. While you can read this anyway, meditation and logic are usually the things that work best.
If this gives you an idea, write it down! It's a long list, so you don't want to risk forgetting anything.
Not all of these thoughts and ideas will apply to your story, but perhaps one can give you an idea! I encourage you to modify the ideas below to better fit your characters' unique situation. This is just meant to get the ideas flowing. Let's get started!
Two characters are stuck under a br
Writing Tips - OrganisationWriting Tips - Organisation5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing Without Confusing Yourself (Or Your Readers)
Writing is a very personal, individual undertaking. Everybody approaches the activity a bit differently from the next guy. Some people can come up with concept, plot, characters, and everything else and just sit down and write. Others need to take time to figure out what's going on; what's going to happen in the story, and how it all fits together. Others still will find themselves getting stuck somewhere along the middle, losing track of everything or changing an idea mid-way through, or never know how to end. These are the people for whom this has been put together. Those of you who can barrel through a story overnight are still welcome to look, though.
There are different ways in which a writer can and will get stuck on any given piece. Motivation, immediate environment, too few (or too many) ideas available, lack of organisation; the list goes on, but life is short and I am lazy. The sticking point that we're going
The Character ArcThe Character Arc4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The CHARACTER ARC
PLOT ARC: The events that happen while the characters make other plans.
CHARACTER ARC: The emotional roller-coaster that the character suffers while dealing with the Plot.
To make a story a cohesive whole, every single thing in it must be there for a reason. Every single character, object, location, and event must push toward the ending you have planned even if it doesn't look that way to the casual observer. In short, every scene in the story should either illustrate a characteristic attribute of a main Character or be an Event that makes your ending happen.
What the Character Arc does is map out the Emotional path your characters need to take to grow and change into the heroes and heroines your story needs to achieve your story's ending.
For the record, a Character Arc can be used all by itself as th
Basic PLOTTINGBasic PLOTTING5 years ago in Writing More Like This
A plot is the pattern a story follows, the most common being:
All successful (read: popular) stories have patterns. Sometimes it's simple, sometimes it's complex, but all of the stories read or told often enough to remain in the popular mind of any culture have a pattern, a plot.
Here are some examples of simple plot patterns
American Dream Version:
He became very rich.
The Heroic version:
He became the leader of his people.
He died in the middle of a glorious battle to defend his land, and became a legendary figure that would never be forgotten.
Aristotle's Elements of a Greek Tragedy - simplified:
Act One: He rose to glory.