As a kid people always told me how quiet I was (I still am). It surprised me (and still does) that some have a problem with that. The truth is, being quiet is part of my personality. If there is something to say, I’ll say it. I’m not the only quiet human. There are others. But there are times when I’m not. I like to be goofy and joke around, just not all the time.
What I’ve noticed though, after my dad pointed this out, when I am quiet, I am observing other people. How they talk, their mannerisms, their physical attributes, their speech patterns, everything; I take in everything. Here again, that’s how I have always been. Does this mean I observe everything around me? No. LOL. My husband is good at that. We compliment each other in that way.
If you are creating characters, be mindful of them (their mannerisms, physical attributes, language, etc.). Observe other people and write down what you observe in a character journal so you can use that information later when creating a scene/chapter in your story/novel. Or if you’re in the process of creating a character, those observations can come in handy.
A daydream takes the mind upon a flight
of visions dancing ‘cross the brain of sight,
imagine if you can a tale of weeds
clawed and deep within the flowers of seed,
choking out such beauty to die and bend
never to grow up but meet its end,
but fingers claw and pull out from the muck
life’s problems sewing in and now are stuck,
yank once then twice and thrown aside and out
of God’s garden that man has strewn about,
at last sun’s rays uplift His color wheel
of blooms with sweetest scents that touch and heal
our body, mind, and soul from evil’s clutches,
blessing all who bow, and Jesus touches
If you are an author, whether you are experienced or not, sometimes talking to someone you trust (implicitly) about your story ideas can help you tremendously. I know that’s very simple advice, and maybe you already knew that. But it’s a good reminder. I never would have come up with the story I did for my first book had I not confided in my creative writing professor. Sometimes we need that nudge. So, if you are on the fence about a piece of writing you are working on, hash it out with a trusted friend.
The present is but a wave
creeping toward the shore,
then in a breath it’s gone–
In life our friends and family,
warm our hearts and stay,
in our minds and in our soul,
then gone to our dismay.
Time’s wind blows at vicious speeds,
our memories we take hold,
that is all we have one day,
when we are growing old.
Alone we feel when most are gone,
as to the grave they go,
where does one lean in nothingness,
no one is there, you know.
But Christ is here and looking down,
and sees our pain that stands,
His love surrounds and comforts,
as you’re hanging by His hand.
by L. M. Montes
In the vast array of wild I shrank
with no one else about,
am I the only one on earth
or separate, taken out.
Foliage crunched as footsteps sank
in leaves of dry dead beds,
where is water for me to drink,
a pounding slams my head.
A distant creek spoke in bubbles
leading my ear to treat my tongue,
dragging feet and limbs in slump
I flopped in waters that sung.
Have you ever wondered what a story/movie would be like if there were no clashing forces going against the main character? It would be boring to the point there would be no story. Not really anyway. Believe it or not villains create that extra zing of emotion for the reader/viewer to the point we sometimes feel as though we’re in the story/movie.
I finished reading a book a few days ago that had me talking back to the characters, and I mean saying things like, “Really? Don’t you see it has nothing to do with terrorism?” At one point I said, “Oh my gosh, this author.” My husband asked, “What?” To which I responded with, “The author drug this out way to much.” Actually, the author did his job, and he did it well. The villains were smug, very smug, and they thought they had everything going the way they wanted it to. Well, they did. The reader (this reader) wanted them to get what was coming to them (and they did eventually). That folks is story, suspense, emotion building writing.
So remember….when you are creating your villains, make sure to give them lots of tender loving care. You want them to connect with the reader too.
The book I spoke of above is linked below just in case you might want to read it. It’s book 5 in the Alton Blackwell Files series by Steven F. Freeman.
How do you choose names for your characters? Do you merely assign them a name without giving much thought to it? Do you use a process? There are quite a few things one can do to assign names to their characters. I’ve used a baby names book. Looking names lists online works too. If your character is of another culture or country whose names are different than those used in your own, some baby names books have lists of common names used in different countries.
In one of my pieces of writing I used characters of 4 real life people. I asked them permission first. Please, if you are ever going to do this, ask that person or persons permission to use them in your book/story. When I was renaming these 4 people for my story, I tried to choose names that fit their personalities. Trust me, this wasn’t as easy as it may have appeared to be. One gentleman helped me with that, so that one was easy enough to put a name to. The other three took some thinking. I got my baby names book out and browsed male names. I thought of each person individually and then tried out a name on them. I went through several before settling on some that worked well and matched each of their personalities. There was only one problem. One of the guys I couldn’t think of a name for. At all. So I, for the time being, left his name alone and used his real name until I could think of one that suited him. FINALLY, after writing 25 chapters, I thought of the perfect name for him. Of course, I had to go back and change his name throughout the manuscript, but it was worth the wait.
Most often you’re not going to use real people. But the same thing still rings true. The people you make up will have personalities and you will have to choose a name that fits that personality. Also, if you are going to assign a name to a character that sounds funny or out of place, you might want to explain why they were given that name by making that part of your story. For example, if you give one of your female characters the name of Spunky Dickson (a funny name for a female anyway), have the character tell why her parents named her that. Maybe the whole story centers around that. Maybe Spunky is a nickname.
Have fun choosing names for your characters. Don’t make it a chore. Work with it and mold it into your story.
How are you, I wonder, you I never see,
are you here or are you yonder, with me you’ll never be.
In my mind you live, you touch, I never feel,
will you ever hover much in dreams where love is sealed.
Once we were together,
where friendship we endured,
that is all it ever was,
a gift so gentle and pure.