Character Cliches to AvoidCharacter Cliches to Avoid (Like the Plague)
This tutorial-suggestion love child will be split into two parts :: 1 for cliches that should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVUR be done by anyone, and the second part being ones that shouldn't be done by beginning writers.
Section One: The Black Plague
These are character cliches that are so overdone that they should NEVER be done anymore. EVER.
Not a lot to say on this one. There's nothing worse than reading a piece of writing though with a main character or side character that never got the character development that they deserved.
This is my name for characters that never change through the series/work. Your character should always grow with each obstacle they're faced with.
Characters with Atrociously-Spelled Names
Let's just say that if I have to get out the pronounciation guide to get through the first half of your character's name, it shouldn't be done.
The Naming of CharactersFirst of all, we don't need this surface-value, wishy-washy crap. I'll show you what I mean, so here's a form I used to give out when accepting OCs for stories a long time ago (ah, back in the days. I truly forgot how fun writing without bounds used to be--you know, writing for your own satisfaction with things like outrageous Sues, blatant cliches, and genres that I have worn out for a year or two. I still do it sometimes, but I can't bring myself to get too heavily into the story because I know it would be really bad to anyone else. I DO miss writing about fantasy journeys, though, but I really wore that out when I was younger, so right now I'm getting into fantasy-without-the-magic. Technically, historical fiction for my own world).The Naming of Characters4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Anyway, carry on.
DO's and DON'Ts of OCsDOs and DONTs of Creating OCs.DO's and DON'Ts of OCs6 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
I'm not a brilliant or fantasmically talented writer, but I know a decent OC when I see one. Or at least a non-crappy one.
I think we know how this works. Here we go
1. DO Try to vary your OCs personalities. In the real world, if everyone had the same awesome, flawless character, life would be mind-numbingly BORING. Also, not everyone is nice/horrible/depressed/energetic all the time. (Unless, of course, you want to use that as a flaw.)
2. DONT get too hung up on making profiles for your characters. Profiles are for procrastinators who want to make a fantastic character without getting started on the actual story. I was guilty of it too, before I realised how boring filling out the same form over and over again was.
Try describing them in the story, THEN make notes to help you remember stupid boring details like their star-sign and eye colour so you dont accidentally change them halfway through the st
Knowing Your CharacterIn a storywhether it be told on stage, on screen, or in printknowing your main characters inside and out helps create a well rounded and interesting plot. It also makes writing them easier too. In this guide, a companion to To Create a Character, I'll attempt to help put skin and flesh on the bare bones of a character, to create "character," and to discover things about them that youthe creatornever knew.Knowing Your Character4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Exercise 1: Interviews
One of my favorite ways to get to know my character is to interview them as one would a celebrity. The interview can be general, just asking about their life, likes, pet peeves, etc. or it can be prior to or after a significant event (i.e. just saved the world, just won the World Cup, recently defeated by protagonist, etc.).
Here's a list of interesting things to ask your character:
- Do you have any pet peeves?
- What do you think of [insert character here]'s opinion on y
How to Introduce a CharacterThe classical Movie Introduction Sometimes, you get a hero. Not over time, but right at the start this is your hero. He's confident, he's suave, and he always packs his shaving cream. Somehow he always manages to get that beard just right, despite the fact that you've never seen him trim. Everything about him is admirable, and you just wanna follow him like a little puppy dog because that's how AWESOME he is.How to Introduce a Character4 years ago in Writing More Like This
it might work, but you still shouldn't do it. It's one thing for movies, where you can simply follow someone's action across the screens. In books, you want the closeness that only seeing the character fall on their face time times just to get it right once will bring.
The stumbling introduction - sometimes, your character stumbles into the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or the right thing at the right time, perhaps, but if you want a good story you should probably make sure it ends up worse for them than it would have otherwise.
Oh, sure, things
Character Creation TutorialCharacter Creation TutorialCharacter Creation Tutorial6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
How to effectively develop a realistic and likable character for novels and fanfiction.
Table of Contents:
I. A Name
II. Physical Attributes
III. Style & Personality
It can be assumed that developing a plot and storyline is self explanatory. If not, you can find another tutorial for that. This tutorial will focus primarily on the thought-process of creating new characters with depth.
I. A name is the first step. Try to match the character to their name, or somehow integrate the character's name into the storyline or progression of the character's maturity and personality. For example, a character who is dark and moody would probably not be named Star unless this contradiction holds some meaning in the story. (In a comedy it would have a nice effect, but in a drama or serious story, not so much).
If you can't think of a name you can go to places like babynames.com or google for assistance
Character Design TutorialGENERAL ISSUES ABOUT CHARACTER DESIGNCharacter Design Tutorial4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
[New section!] Over-mirroring aka sticking too much in patterns of the original series!
INTRODUCTION: DESIGN OF CHARACTER'S LOOKS: WHAT IS ITS ROLE IN THE WHOLE CHARACTER DESIGN?
At first: No costume can save a badly made character. Your Average Joe/Jane character won't become any more interesting even if you make him/her to wear turquoise hair and odd-colored neon-color eyes. What makes character interesting is his/her INNER SIDE: his/her personality, history, skills, behavior pattern, odd traits, running gags, simply WHAT (S)HE IS. A rye bread doesn't become into a cream cake even if you put on it whipped cream and strawberries.
However, a good design may help the reader/viewer to notice, tell apart and remember the character more easily. That's why all Naruto characters are not sporting black hair and wearing those green tactical vests: if all character seemed almost similar, it would be pain for the reader to tell who of th
Character MotivationCharacter Motivation5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Everyone's heard that characters should have goals, something they want and must strive for, overcoming obstacles and antagonists in order to obtain. Because, well, a story is the record of your character's journey toward achieving a goal.
While all of this is true, I think a lot of writers lose sight of an even more important aspect of character. That is, motivation. Sure, you know what your character wants.
That's the gist of motivation. What is the psychology and reasoning behind your character's goal? If your character is driven to make money, is his motivation greed? To pay off a debt? To support his family?
Motivation is your character's emotional connection with the reader. When the reader comes to understand why your character has set out to achieve his goal, they will understand your character in human terms, relate to him, and become invested in what happens to your character throughout the story.
Without a clear motivation, your character's goals don't mean much. So wha
How To Make Your Own OC You may have wondered how people come up with Original Characters with a functioning personality in the past. You may have also left your mouth agape when you saw someone have their Original Character react negatively to a spider at one moment, then hug their spider anthro friend in the next. Well, it's really a simple process that requires one thing so rarely used these days; thought. I'm expecting you have a general idea of your character at this point and are seeking to deepen or improve their personality now. If so, you can skip a few steps.How To Make Your Own OC6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Step one: Build a base for your character.
All things are built on a strong foundation.
Find the center of your character's mind, their motivation in life, and their drive to keep breathing (if that is indeed what they do; not all characters are human).
Something simple like "Survival," will more than suffice, as an existence like this will lead to self-conflict of yearnin
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 Avoid Creating a Mary Sue TutorialHiya!How to Avoid Creating a Mary Sue Tutorial5 years ago in Writing More Like This
While reading manymanymany fan fictions and original stories with varying levels, it popped into my mind a few tricks to decrease the Mary Sue aspects from characters. I've sorted the tricks to different categories, hope they are useful! The categories are,
- What is a Mary Sue anyway? And why people create them?
- Before creating him/her, aka General attitude
- When creating him/her
- When writing about him/her
- Notes about fan characters
- Notes about original characters
- Links to other Anti Mary Sue tutorials
Most the tricks I've mentioned in this guide are good to remember all the time. However, the tricks I've marked with a star symbol (*) are optional, kind of extra tricks. I use quite harsh examples in the guide to make stuff clear, but remember that the flaws that are smaller than the ones that I mentioned can be bad, too!
On the other hand: Generally, NONE of mentioned flaws are ABSOLUTELY bad, so you don't necessarily have to throw your character into recycling bin or
10 Second Tip - Foreshadowing10 Second Tip - Foreshadowing4 years ago in Writing More Like This
I hear the term 'foreshadowing' a lot. That's when you hint at stuff to come, right? So yeah, but how do I DO it?
Foreshadowing is when the opening scene of a story is a kind of nutshell prophecy for the whole story.
* In a Horror, this is when the originating Bad Thing happens.
* In a Mystery or Crime story, it's when the first victim is slain, and/or object (McGuffin) goes missing.
* In a Romance this is where the main character meets their soon-to-be lover for a fleeting but memorable moment.
* In a Sci-fi, this is where the ruling Theory is presented.
* In a Gothic, this is where the main character transforms into a monster for the first time.
This also reveals the Premise, or ruling argument that the story is trying to illustrate; what the story is trying to Prove.
The results of Revenge
The path of Ambition
The reality of Love
The sacrifices one mak
Character Flaws - EmotionalEmotional flaws are an integral part of making your character likeable to your readers. Believe me when I say, the more perfect your character is, the more your readers are going to be turned off by him or her and the more likely they will be to drop the book and never read it or another one by you again.Character Flaws - Emotional7 years ago in Writing More Like This
The reason is: they won't be able to identify with the character. No one in this world is perfect. If you make a perfect character, your readers are going to feel inferior to that character and hate him/her. They're not going to like the fact that s/he is always right, always wins, always knows everything, always says the right thing, etc., etc.
A character should always have at least two flaws. Especially a main character. This way, your reader can watch them grow and grow with them. If you have a series, I would choose 5 flaws so once your character defeats one flaw, they can start working on the next, just like in real life. Choose one flaw to be the maj
INTERNAL CONFLICTINTERNAL CONFLICT5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Note: this is how the professional authors do it. That doesn't mean YOU have to. As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest.
His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. His hand pressed at waist, the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. His fingers drifted upward, toward her breast.
Desire pulsed within her core, in time with her heart. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal. The fear in her soul told her to stop, and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy... He fired her blood more than any other man.
She turned away from his kiss. "Please, I can't."
His gaze narrowed, then he smiled. "
The Necessity of Flaws in CharacterizationOkay. Close your eyes (well, maybe just one) and imagine your favorite fictional character. Are they strong? Compassionate and giving? Witty and clever? Wise and intelligent? No matter the make-up of their awesomeness, they probably bring a smile to your face and that warm, fuzzy feeling to your insides. You probably remember vividly their adventures and hijinks, their clever retorts, or how amazing they were at figuring out some wild and crazy puzzle. They probably inspired your own writing. You probably wanted to recreate that smile and fuzzy feeling with your own readers, so you made your version of the character (or took some of their traits) and integrated them into your prose.The Necessity of Flaws in Characterization3 years ago in Writing More Like This
This is all fine and dandy, especially considering there's nothing new under the sun, but there's a good chance you missed out on something really important. Let me explain.
It's great to have a badass character who kicks ass and takes name. But what makes them so badass? Is it that they can lift a Hummer w
Character Tips 3 - ClothingCharacter Creation ClothingCharacter Tips 3 - Clothing4 years ago in Other More Like This
So, your character has a body, a life and a personality. The thing is, they're still naked! Well, this should solve their problem.
Before we decide on their clothes, we need to figure out what they actually do for a living. This is important because, apart from their personality, this will decide the type of clothing your character will wear. For example, a princess will wear a lot of fine dresses and have a lot of jewellery whereas a peasant will have patched up clothes and little to no jewellery. A business man will wear a suit to work whereas a person working on a construction site will wear jeans, steel toed boots, a shirt, a high vis. vest and a hard hat.
Basically, position in society and career will determine what your character usually wears.
How Personality Fits In
Appearance is influenced by your personality, not the other way around. For example, an outgoing person will more likely reveal more skin than a shy per
Writing Style vs. VoiceWriting Style vs. Voice5 years ago in Writing More Like This
A Writer's Guide to Style vs. Voice
Here on dA, there seems to be a lot of confusion and general mass hysteria when it comes to the subjects of writing style and voice. What are they? What's the difference? Can you write one without the other? How important are they, anyhow? Do you really need either of them? Wait, what are they again?
Style is the form and structure with which you write.
Voice is the attitude and perspective with which you write.
In other words, voice is the emotion and feeling of a piece of literature, and style is the technical way of communicating that emotion.
Clearly, there is a tangible difference between the two. Style is a delivery system for voice. While voice can and should affect the form with which you write, you can most certainly write one without the other. However, the best writing is a masterful fusion of both.
I'm here to illustrate for you the difference between style and voice and to define exactly what they are and how you can us
How to make a characterCreating a new original character for your own use can be both an exciting and scary time, not just for you, but for those who will be hearing about your character in one way or another. That is the main idea behind this guide, to give you some ideas to think about when it comes to making your own character (also called an OC).How to make a character4 years ago in DeviantArt Tutorials More Like This
Come up with a good background for the character:
One thing I can't stress enough is to get at least a decent idea of your character's history before whatever you decided on as the "present time". Things to keep in mind here would be the relationship with parents (if any), natural tendencies while growing up, relationships with friends, things like that. Now I'm not saying you have to have every single little nuance down before you go anywhere else with it, you can paint the background in some fairly broad strokes zooming into one or two major incidents that help shape the character's personality today.
How to Make a VillainHow to Make a Villain.How to Make a Villain5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Okay, keep in mind that everyone has their own way of going through characters, and villains especially are very much your own thing. You're going to have your favorite class, most likely, and you're often going to stick to it. (And sorry folks, this is an ACTUAL tutorial - there are enough joke ones out there already, funny as they may be.)
One thing to generally keep in mind, however, is the tragic past - avoid it. Seriously, people, nobody likes it when the villain gets whiny. Which isn't to say that they can't have a tragic past, but it's very easy to send it into whininess, or cliché. A bad boy villain character who keeps it all locked up inside really isn't any better. There are several options, though, I'll be listing only the ones I'm familiar with around here.
Classic villain - These have a lot of subclasses, and can range from stupid to serious, but they're basically the type you'll see in old movies. The evil scientists, or power
How to Pick a HeroHow to Pick a HeroHow to Pick a Hero5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Believe it or not, there are actually many types of hero's in the world. If you didn't know this my GOD what have you been doing? Moves you to the front of the class immediately.
Assuming for the moment you do know, however, there's an entirely different challenge ahead - picking the right one for your story, video game, movie, or whatever the hell else you're trying.
The Classic Hero - You know them well. The do gooders that do no wrong, always save the day, and look good doing it. Great for cartoons, nooooooot so good for keeping an audience. Sorry, folks, their time has mostly come, and nobody wants to hear about them. They still have uses, though - you can do a kiddy thing, you can set them up as the well meaning, but eternally annoying, rival, or you can even make fun of them! Repeatedly! With pointy sticks! (Or, you know, you can put them in video games, where they're still alive and well! Just look at Mario.)
The Insane Hero - these can be s
The Subtle STATIC TRAITThe Subtle STATIC TRAIT4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Subtle STATIC TRAIT
Secret Weapon of the Clever Writer
The Static Trait is the small personal HABIT an individual character displays which reveals their personal Neurosis, their driving NEED, especially in stressful situations. This habitual or even ritual behavior acts as both their greatest source of trouble and the linchpin to their success. It's the individual character's "Accident Waiting to Happen".
The most obvious place to find visible Static Traits is in both Comedies and Tragedies. These stories (and movies) RELY on their characters' Static Traits to linchpin the plot.
What made Laurel and Hardy so funny, were the little neurotic habits -- the static traits -- that would appear under stressful situations. Abbot and Costello built whole routines on Bud Abbot's little twitchy responses. The climactic scene in every one of their movies involved Abbot in a panic attack. You spent half the movie going "Oh no! Don't! Don't! Don't!...AH! He did
Avoiding Mary-SuesTips to Avoid Making Mary-SuesAvoiding Mary-Sues4 years ago in Other More Like This
In this piece of writing, I will be giving you some tips on how to avoid Mary-Sues. I will be using some of my own characters as examples in here too.
Just one thing before I get started though, having only one thing apply to a character doesn't always make them an instant Mary-Sue (except for point 3 because no one is perfect).
1. Tragic Pasts
Tragic pasts are extremely common, you can pick up a lot of books and see that the main character has some kind of bad happening in their past. Some examples of tragic pasts can be orphaned in a car/plane crash, beaten, raped, stolen, enslaved, having alcoholic/drug addict parents, etcetera. There isn't anything to say that a character can't have a good past though, many people grow up in happy homes.
Now, Mary-Sues are likely to have at least more than one of those tragic happenings. They also tend to keep angsting about it too, making other characters take pity on them.
I must admit that I have char
Writing ACTION ScenesWriting ACTION Scenes5 years ago in Writing More Like This
-------- Original Message -----------
"I can't write an action/fight scene worth a crap. Mind you, I can usually imagine them, I just can't write them." -- Wanna Do a Fight Scene.
If you can imagine it - you can write it. The easiest way is by doing it in LAYERS.
The Quick and Dirty Method for writing Action Scenes
Start with a list of ACTIONS & Reactions < in that order.
-- Actions ALWAYS go before Reactions.
(IMPORTANT! Each CHARACTER gets a SEPERATE LINE. ~ NEVER clump the separate actions of two different characters in the same paragraph or the reader will get confused as to who is doing what very quickly.)
Will lunged forward, his sword fully extended in a stab.
Jack caught Will's blade with the flat of his blade. Pushing the blade just out of range of his skin, Jack slide down Will's blade in a short fast stab.
Will turned to the side to avoid Jack's sword's point.
Jack did a quick side-step to stay in front