Notes on VillainsVillains. They're the people we love to hate and hate to love. They're the thieves, lechers, cronies, backstabbers, warmongers, and doom bringers that make our protagonists' lives a living nightmare. But what happens when an antagonist's role in a story (or the antagonist itself) becomes little more than an annoyance? Read on
Your villain's name is often the audience's first impression of him/her (as is the design, but that's a different article), so you want it to be good. There's no foolproof way to determine what "good" is- it might be a simple, regular-sounding name like "James" or "Andrew", or it might be a name composed of random sounds that work well together. Of course, it should depend on what type of world you're creating (you won't find a "Steve" from feudal Japan). More often than not, however, it's easy to tell when a name is painfully unoriginal and doesn't fit the setting. Here are some don'ts:
No generic, tough/scary-sounding words for name
Creating CharactersOkay, so, if you're anything like me, you have a lot of problems with deciding on a character's information. Sometimes it's the looks. Sometimes it's the name. Sometimes it's all that and more! So, incorporating an idea from my HARPG "double-life" (haha) I have developed a simple way to develop characters in the most random way I know how.Creating Characters3 years ago in Writing More Like This
How can this be done? Easy - through the magic of a website known as Random.Org. The name is the address of the site (www.random.org.) For those of you who do not know, Random.Org is a website that generates random numbers based on atmospheric noise. If you want to know more about how it works, go to the website. I'm not going to spend time talking about something I don't know. Anyway, on to creating characters.
As an extra note, all of these will require you to have only one column. Go to the heading "numbers" located toward the top of the page, between "Statistics" and "Drawings."
This one is fairly simple. There are 26 letters
Setting up Plotting NotebooksIt's early September and the temperature has begun to drop. Venturing out-of-doors in a sweater is no longer the wishful thinking of hot, hot August, but the whimsy of sweater-lovers like myself. And as fall approaches us head-on, so does November, and with it, Nation Novel Writing Month.Setting up Plotting Notebooks3 years ago in Writing More Like This
This is my first year participating. I'm sixteen now (almost seventeen when November finally rolls around) and I've been writing for as long as I can remember. What makes this year different is that I've found the answer to my writing issues. It was not that my characters were bad (I've always prided myself on my characters) or that my writing was in any way "faulty" for my age. My problem was that I could not finish what I began. I lost steam quickly. I ventured into a magical world of make-believe only to find I had no map, no guiding light, to keep me on the straight and narrow.
This change was slow to come. I decided to start finishing things (long things) around last year. I still haven't. NaNoWr
Kari's little writing tutor.Kari's little writing tutor.6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Part I Character and plot development
Welcome dear readers! First of all, I want to say that this is my very first tutorial. If anything is unclear, please ask. Ill try my best to make this as helpful as possible for you ^^
So, you want to write a story fanfic or original, doesnt matter. Then I have to say: Wonderful! I dont know about you but myself, Im entering a whole new world when I read or write. Its a place where you can live dozens of lifes, where all of your dreams can come true. A place full of grief sometimes, but also full of joy, true friendship, hope and a special magic. And for that reason: Keep writing! Even if you are completely new to writing and get bad reviews or something similar: Keep writing, and as time passes, youll improve.
I dont claim to be a good writer or anything, but Ive been reading and writing since Ive been in first class (actually I started inventing stories already before
Organize+Write a Story Tips: 1It's always good to keep an inventory (or "cheat sheet") of your main characters. This is a good way to type it out:Organize+Write a Story Tips: 14 years ago in Writing More Like This
Full Name:Lucy Allison Maria First, Middle, and Last name. (try to avoid several different long names, such as "Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way." Especially if it's something that "describes" the character. Really, does YOUR name describe YOU? Long names are fine, but usually are shortened.)
Nicknames/Former names:Lui, Lu, Ally Plenty of people nickname themselves, or are nicknamed. Also, in fiction and non-fiction, lots of people change their names because of hiding, gender change, trauma, etc. (not everyone is nicknamed).
Gender:Female Gender is actually a lot deeper than you think. If you have a character who is a boy, but acts like a girl, it will add to his personality.
Age:16 Choose your characters age wisely. If you are, or have been that age, you'll be able to write it well (such as, there r
Interior MonologuesInterior Monologues4 years ago in Writing More Like This
"I was just wondering what you think about interior monologues, long passages of reflection?" -- Curious Kitty
A note on:
-- Interior Monologues
Whether you are considering adding a lengthy monologue to a story, or intend the monologue to be the story itself where the focus of the entire story is on one character's thoughts and feelings with very little action -- from my observations and experimentation, the readers either love them or hate them. There's no in-between.
However, it is notable that the internal monologue stories that are sought out most frequently tend to focus on a profound emotion of some kind: grief, loneliness, heartache... Usually by either those seeking to deal with such an emotion, as a kind of therapy, or by those that have never felt such emotions. (Strong emotional stories are extremely popular among young adults.)
In both cases, not only does the reader seek to submerge the
How to never get writers blockHow to never get writers block3 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Realize what you like, and write it down. Really, its as simple as that. All you have to do is, when you go "hey, I like this movie/show/book" break down as to why you like it and write it down. Even if you just like one scene in a movie, write it down; that way if you are ever stuck, just read the list over for inspiration. Here are a few examples:
Guide to Better DialogueWriting dialogue -- realistic dialogue, anyway -- does not come easily to everyone. Done well, dialogue advances the story and fleshes out the characters while providing a break from straight exposition. However, just as realistic dialogue is one of the most powerful tools at a writer's disposal, nothing pulls the reader out of a story faster than bad dialogue. It takes time to develop a good ear, but noting these simple rules and obvious pitfalls can make a huge difference.Guide to Better Dialogue4 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Listen to How People Talk.
Having a sense of natural speech patterns is essential to good dialogue. Start to pay attention to the expressions that people use and the music of everyday conversation. This exercise asks you to do this more formally, but generally speaking it's helpful to develop your ear by paying attention to the way people talk.
2. Not Exactly like Real Speech.
But dialogue should read like real speech. How do you accomplish that? Alfred Hitchcock said that a good story was "life, w
Character Worksheet1) Character's Name:Character Worksheet4 years ago in Writing More Like This
2) Where is this Character from?
4) Economic/Social standing:
5) Magical Standing (if any):
6) How is this character's relationship with his or her parents, or how was it before they died?
7) Does this characters have siblings? How many? Where does this character fall in birth order and how has that influenced his or her life? How does he or she get along with each sibling? How about other family members?
8) What does this character look like? Body type? Height? Hair color and texture? Skin complexion? Eye color? Any tattoos, scars, piercings, or other identifying markings?
9) What types of clothing does he/she favor?
10) What does this character carry in his/her pockets and bags?
11) How does this character move when he/she is waiting? Bored? Angry? Embarrassed? Pleased? Scared?
12) How does this character speak? Loudly, quickly, eloquently, do they use a lot of slang, etc?
13) How does he/she smell?
14) If he/she were a BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab) pe
Basics : Character SheetNow that you have at least a basic idea of how to roleplay with paragraph-style, you might be thinking you can just start roleplaying away as you please, right? Wrong! There are many more things you have to do before actually starting a roleplay. You need to find another person or a small group, discuss a plot and setting... but first of all, you need to make a character sheet!Basics : Character Sheet4 years ago in Writing More Like This
A character sheet defines who your character is; you might want to start roleplaying just like that, but if you don't know what character you're using, if you don't know who they are, or are unable to efficiently determine how they act, it'll most likely end in a clumsy attempt at roleplaying at best, until you've determined who your character is. Once you've been able to outline your character, the roleplay should go much more smoothly. It's always better to flesh out your character before beginning to use it.
Though certain characters are "sheetless", those who use them already know all there is to know about
Unstick your Plot - A guideThe Random Encounter The Guide to Moving Your Story ForwardUnstick your Plot - A guide3 years ago in Writing More Like This
The classical random (there's always a classic.): This is the sort you see in just about any old RPG, or RPG comic, and probably most current ones as well that person or thing you randomly meet so you can be sent off in a random direction and never have to meet them again.
Yeah, it works well enough for games I suppose but I don't recommend it in a story get around it wherever possible. One thing I saw in the Wheel of Time books (by Robert Jordan) was having the rumors and such be heard OFFSCREEN, and delivered to the characters by someone they know. You still get your information, but without the useless extra faces.
The only real reason to put in someone random is for some bit of symbolism, as a general rule, so unless you wanna get real deep or are prepared for your readers wondering if the old farmer is actually a reference to an ancient Norse God you might wanna avoid the classics.
Motivation p. 1Writers are not a homogenous bunch, and that makes sweeping generalities difficult and, frankly, pointless. Some of us are plotters; some of us are seat-of-the-pantsers. Some of us agonize over every word; some of us gleefully slap something together and take the bulldozer to it later. There's really only one thing we have in common: we write.Motivation p. 13 years ago in Writing More Like This
All right, I lied. There's another thing we have in common: we all know how hard writing is.
Seriously. If you say writing is easy, you are either lying or you haven't done it enough. If, like me, you write daily (or at least make that your goal), you realize that your efforts fall into two camps: good days and bad days. Good days are a dream. The words flow from your pen. You complete your goal for the day faster than you ever dreamed. When you close your document/notebook/arcane tome, you know the words you have just written will make your reader's heart stop with awe. And then start it again so they can keep reading.
As for bad days
5 Steps to Organize Your NovelWhat You'll Need:5 Steps to Organize Your Novel3 years ago in Writing More Like This
A basic story idea
Printer (preferably laser) with plenty of paper
Three Ring Binders (2) with separating tabs
Build Your World and Characters
For most writers, this comes naturally. If you're having some issues, there are plenty of tutorials, guides, aids and groups available for assistance. For the purpose of this guide, you should have your world built and at the very least your main characters devised. Having secondary characters planned will get you bonus points!
Print Character and Plot Sheets
Each character should have their own sheet (keep the backs blank, they're a grand place to keep extra notes and page references). It's not necessary that you fill out every single line of the character sheet. Fill out only what is necessary for the character/plot. Feel free to add to the sheet as your write, too. The
Guide to Char. Archetypes Pt3The Perfect Woman. How much time do we spend striving to be that elusive creature? You know the woman, or at least imagine you do. She is brilliant in the boardroom, passionate in the bedroom, and puts Martha Stewart to shame when entertaining.Guide to Char. Archetypes Pt34 years ago in Writing More Like This
She's the star of all our favorite romances, because she's the woman we all want to be.
Hmm. Wait a sec. I don't want to be like that. And that wasn't the lady who accepted the proposal of the dashing hero in the Regency I just put down. In fact, I am not sure I have ever read a romance in which the heroine was so darned wonderful that all she had to do to find happiness everlasting was straighten out that silly hero of hers.
No. In all the romances I have seen, the heroine has a bit of emotional baggage to overcome. And she has a few real life obstacles in her path. She has to work to get the brass ring in life, and I like to watch her do it. That's the story!
So, if our romances don't star Patti Perfect, who does traipse across the pages?
How To Fantasy Character SheetIdentityHow To Fantasy Character Sheet3 years ago in Writing More Like This
The name of the character can set the tone for his/her personality in the story. One of the things you must consider as a writer is how appropriate a name is for the person's age, gender, and nationality/race/species. These three factors can provide a good base for choosing a good name for your character. Another thing I like to consider is the meaning of the name; the meaning of your character's name can, again, fit the personality or it can fit a theme or motif you want to build.
There is no perfect age: the young want to be old, the old want to be young, and no one wants to be in-between. A young character has a different point of view on life and all its wonders in comparison to someone with more years under their belt. People also change over time, so you have to ask yourself "What stage in life, physically and mentally, is my character?"
Date of Birth:
This is just a parallel to the age category, but the earliest mont
The LAYERS of FictionThe LAYERS of Fiction4 years ago in Writing More Like This
"If you have Action and Dialogue, do you really NEED Description too?
What is the difference?"
The Layers of Fiction
"Himawari-chan, I have your lunch!"
"Here you go Himawari-chan!"
"Thank you, Watanuki-kun!"
"You are very welcome, Himawari-chan."
"I see. Of course. Thank you, Yuuko-san. Do I need to tell you what she said?"
"No! No, you don't, and I don't want to hear it! I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!"
"Yuuko thinks you do."
"That's her! Not me!"
"Are you a fortune-teller?"
"No! Of course not!"
"I'll come get you after class. I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice."
"What? No! I said I don't want to wait !"
"You gonna eat that?"
"Yes I am!"
"I do not, not, NOT take orders from you!"
This is "Talking Head Syndrome." There are no dialogue tags, because I don't use them.
Motivation: PsychologicalFirst of all, you are probably thinking about writing the wrong way. Writing, ultimately, is not about getting published. It is not about writing "the next big thing." It is not about making money. Writing is about writing, and don't look at me like that because you know exactly what I mean.Motivation: Psychological3 years ago in Writing More Like This
You write because you love that sweet spot. You love scrolling back up through your document or flipping through pages of your handwriting. You love getting down that scene that's been in your head since you came up with the story. You love that point where your brain turns off and the world narrows to the stream of words in your head, when you no longer see words but straight into your world.
That, dear friends, is what writing is all about. Everything else? Gravy.
(P.S. If you are worried about making a living at writing stop it. You will most likely never make a living at fiction writing. Jobs are for "making" a living. Writing is living, pure and simple. I get tangled
How Not to write a Mary SueHow Not to write a Mary Sue3 years ago in Writing More Like This
How Not To Write A Mary Sue
So, what is a Mary Sue? It is used as a form of criticism in literature and refers to an idealised and somewhat "perfect" character that appears to have no flaws or if they do they are so limited that all the "perfect" characteristics overwhelm them making the character "flat." Mary sue often refers to a young female protagonist and male "Mary Sues" are often called "Larry Stu".
From my experience most Mary Sues are written in non-published works usually by young writers especially in fan-fiction. However there are a few Mary Sue writers who are actually published (sadly). It shows a deep lacking to create perfect characters unless it's done for satirical purposes.
So why should you avoid writing Mary Sues? Simple, perfect is boring!
We don't like perfect, we don't want perfect! Ask anyone in a relationship to list the positives traits, charms and idiosyncrasies of their partner and I guarantee at least one will be something that is weird, annoying, bizarre
Fantasy Character SheetIdentityFantasy Character Sheet3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
General Body Description:
Typical clothing style:
Picture (link if available):
Use of Drugs:
Highest Education Level Achieved:
Languages & Dialects Spoken:
Anything Especially Unique?
Western Zodiac/Chinese Zodiac:
World Building Formula pt. 1-2World Building FormulaWorld Building Formula pt. 1-25 years ago in Writing More Like This
Section 1: Real Life Influences
Before we delve into creating an imaginary world, we must understand the importance of using real life influences as a base. No one can imagine anything not based on real life.
The best way to start creating or to fine-tune an imaginary world is to find influences from our world to be inspired from.
If a fantastical world has cargo full of imaginary species and magic or alternate laws of physics, the reader needs something, at least a few principles, that are the same as Earths so that they have grounding in your story. Theres a fine balance, as many wise writer types will say between patronizing and keeping your audience in the dark enough that they want to know more. The correct balance allows them to understand without confusion while being drawn on through the book by suspense.
Section 2: Nature
Reality, or at least what we perceive as reality, is probably the most key factor in what w
Motivation - Novelist EditionMotivation - Novelist Edition3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Motivating myself to write and keeping that motivation throughout a writing project is one of the biggest challenges I face as a writer. I get the impression a lot of other people struggle with it as well.
There are a lot of tools out there such as the Write or Die program and National Novel Writing Month designed to keep you motivated, but they're just gimmicks in my opinion. Writing takes a lot of time and effort, and we as humans need a very compelling reason to exert ourselves in such an extreme manner. A timer or deadline typically isn't good enough.
The only effective long-term motivator is a real, tangible reward. Finishing a novel is a great reward, but the gratification is too long coming to really work as motivation. So what reward system will actually keep you writing and rewriting until you can call your project officially finished?
Well, there's always chocolate. Aside from that, the only compelling reasons to keep writing are that you will literally go crazy if you don't
Sentence Structure for FICTIONSentence Structure for FICTION4 years ago in Writing More Like This
On Basic Sentence Structure for Fiction
(Grammar Nazis BEWARE!)
Everything I ever learned about writing Fiction DIDN'T come from school; not even college. In fact, the way one writes fiction is almost the complete opposite of everything I learned in school about writing.
In order to make my stories crystal clear in my readers' imaginations, I write in precise Chronological Order, in the order events actually happen, PLUS in the order that the eye sees it.
Case in point, when describing a character, I describe them from top to bottom, in the order that the eye notices them. Face, hair, upper body, arms, hands, then lower body, legs, feet, then over all impression.
Structure of the GOTHIC TaleStructure of the GOTHIC Tale4 years ago in Writing More Like This
What is the difference between a Gothic tale and a Horror story? Intent. Seriously.
Both Horror stories and Gothic tales delve into the realm of emotional trauma such as revenge, abuse, and hate--including, if not especially, sexual trauma. However, the darkness in a Gothic tale is not expressed or defined by graphically detailed, and gruesome, violence as it is in a Horror. Though violence is often featured in the Gothic, it is NOT the main focus of the story. The drama of Despair is the vehicle of the Gothic where a Horror story is driven by the action of Violence.
In a nutshell...
Horror = Action story
Gothic = Drama Story
While both Gothics and Horror are tales of the spiritual and/or psychological reality of the human psyche, Horror stories deal with the monsters that can lurk within our friends and neighbors. Gothics, however, deal with the monsters within ourselves; the hidden, self-destructive side that we don't wan
World Building Settings Part 1Fantasy World BuildingWorld Building Settings Part 14 years ago in Writing More Like This
Settings Part One: City life
Hello there. You've decided to put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper, and I congratulate it for you. What's that? I got a little mixed up? Just checking to make sure you're not just skipping to the important parts. Ah well, lets go to the important parts now. You just named your city Elksqakamvrp and every building is purple. You're all ready to write in your city now!
No. Just... no. First off... are you certain that you can pronounce your city? Second, you don't know anything about it. How advanced is it? Where is it? How big is it? The where helps with the climate. It is in a big honking desert? Add some legal gambling and you've just made Las Vegas. Is it coastal? That means fish, unless there's something wrong with the water, and that will directly affect your coastal city. What about economy, cultural diversity, building materials, things it's well known for, general opinion of it, sanity and feat