Posted in Characterization

Likeable Characters

Have you ever finished reading a book of fiction and were disappointed it ended? And was part of that disappointment because you were going to miss the characters? You actually liked the characters so much you didn’t want the story to end. You enjoyed your time with them. Why do you think you liked them so much?

The answer is very simple. The author did a fantastic job creating them. But how were they able to be that effective in their creation? It lies in the attention to detail. It goes beyond physical appearance. Go deep within your characters, their minds: how they think, feel, react to certain things, mannerisms. Study other people around you and make notes in a journal. What do you like and dislike about them? Make a list of habits and choose some for your character to have.

Also, consistency is a huge key to creating believable characters. Don’t have them be unafraid of spiders in one chapter and afraid of them in the next. Don’t give them one habit in the first part of the book and it not be their habit in another part of the book. That will only serve to frustrate the reader, and they’ll put the book/story down.

You won’t know if your readers will like your characters or not, but if you do your job and pay attention to detail, the chances of them having such an impact on the reader will go up.

Posted in Writing

The Fruit out of Reach

There are days I hesitate to sit down to write because I feel apprehensive as to whether or not I will have the words to continue the chapter I am working on. It’s as though I’m standing in front of a fruit tree staring up at the perfect piece of fruit. If only I could access it. But, how to do that? Ah-ha! a ladder you say? What if there is no ladder? Then what?

So, I sit down to write anyway. The screen is staring back at me. Ideas are filling my brain, but which option do I choose? Should I have my character do this? Or that? Maybe another option would be better. The perfect scene is there. I just can’t access it because the way to go about reaching it isn’t available. So I start to wonder if I will ever think of what to do.

Then I wonder if I’m thinking to much about it. Maybe the idea will present itself if I stop trying so hard. So I start writing something…anything…and see what happens. Tip, tip, tip…my fingers fly over the key board. All at once, the ideas flow. A wind picks up and the fruit starts falling from the tree on its own. And that perfect piece of fruit that I wasn’t able to reach before? Well, it just landed in my hands. The direction of where I wanted my chapter to go just presented itself on its own. Yes!!!

Seriously though, I have days like that. There are also some days my mind doesn’t want to write anything. That’s ok. It’s your minds way of prompting you to do something else so it can come up with creative story ideas while you rest it. Remember the movie,
Field of Dreams? Kevin Costner’s character was told to build the field and they would come. So, give your mind a rest and the imagination will stir.

Posted in Characterization

The Observer

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.

Posted in Writing

People Inspiration

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.

Posted in Writing

Wielding Words

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

Your pen (or keyboard) is your sword, and the words are the blood that’s shed as a result of wielding your words onto the page. Words have impact. It doesn’t matter what that impact is. Whether they create horror, harshness, love, peace, or fear; they have impact. You are the person in charge of creating that impact. So what kind of thrust to you want to use to create that impact?

You can make something everyday appear abnormal, or you could choose something abnormal or bazaar to appear normal or everyday. It’s all in the words you choose. How you wield your words is up to you. It’s your story, your voice, your personality. Write the words you want to write the way YOU want to write them.

Posted in Characterization

Types of Conflict (Part 5): Person vs. Self

This type of conflict is between a character and their inner self. Don’t we go through this type of struggle on a regular basis?

Examples include:
1. Lack of self-confidence
2. The feeling of guilt when you do something against what you normally would do.
3. Love conflict: When you hurt someone you love.
4. The struggle of having to do something you don’t want to do but have to do. A great example of this is in Lord of the Rings when Frodo struggles with his destiny of having to destroy the ring.

Other Movie Examples of Man vs. Self
1. Buzz Lightyear in the first Toy Story movie. He’s a toy but doesn’t realize he’s a toy.
2. In the movie UP, Carl Fedricksen the grumpy old man is cynical and struggles with the cynicism that has encompassed him and the adventurous spirit he once was.
3. Tangled. Rapunzel struggles with wanting to stay in the tower or defy her mother and venture outside and leave the tower.

Posted in Writing

The Love of Writing

Do you love writing? What kind of writing to you enjoy most? I enjoy writing fiction. I wouldn’t mind writing non-fiction, but then I can’t delve into the creative aspects that is so much a part of fiction.

If you love to write, what do you love about it? For me it’s relaxing. Not only that, but I like the writing high when I’ve written something that brings the story home. When I read a book, any book, I am reminded of the love for the writing craft that other authors have. I can see this in their writing. The attention to detail, the well developed characters, the setting(s), interwoven story lines, and much much more. Of course, none of these details runs off the top of authors’ heads. Much thought is given to every aspect of writing a story.

When I visit Twitter, I feel the joy in every author I follow as they talk about their books. Their love of writing comes through their words.

Love your characters. Breathe your story. Embrace your writing. If you love to write? Write. You don’t necessarily have to write a book. You might enjoy writing short stories, or non-fiction.

Posted in Writing

Words of Depicting Emotion

I’ve talked about emotions before and how to convey them within the story text. But here are some lists of helpful words depicting various emotions instead of using the word(s) confused, sad, strong, happy, angry, surprised, energized, hurt, confident, and fearful:

Confusion
doubtful
embarrassed
lost
hesitant
bewilderment
flustered
perplexed
puzzlement
unsettled
dumbfounding

Sad
crushed
depressed
upset
heavy
mournful
bitter
melancholy
dismal
gloom
glum
heartsick

Strong
secure
sure
certain
ambitious
aggressive
willful
compelling
effectiveness
hardy
dynamic
tenacious

Happy
joyful
optimistic
content
grateful
glad
cheerful
elated
convivial
exultant
jolly
lively

Anger
agitated
perturbed
hateful
furious
livid
mad
bitter
critical
raging
resentful
outraged
disgusted

Surprise
astounded
astonished
amazed
awed
bewildered
curious
marvel
shocked
epiphany
wonderment
eye-opener
unforeseen
unexpected

Energized
active
animated
spirited
healthy
vibrant
renewed
invigorated
inspired
determined

Hurt
betrayed
damaged
abused
rejected
punished
shook
sore
crushed
distressed
disturbed

Confident
assured
convinced
sure
hopeful
sanguine
prepared
successful
brave
certain

Fear
anxiety
scared
terrified
dread
agitated
vulnerable
alarm
angst
fright
distress
foreboding
discomposure
panic