Archive for January, 2014

blogstufffinishing

 

A question that every writer should ask himself is what are his limitations?

Do you use curse words in your work or do you believe that it cheapens the writing style? In some cases, I believe cursing does cheapen your writing style. If you have a very formal writing tone, it can come as a surprise and give the affect that you do not know how to write very well. On the other hand, it can also give a mood to the characters’ tone and attitude when they speak. It can give to the ambiance of the setting and give the reader the feeling that they really are in that situation. Perhaps your character does not normally cuss, but tends to swear when they are feeling horribly pressured or let it out in a string of sailor tongue if they have something horribly dramatic like losing a limb happen to them. Maybe there is an innocent girl in a rough neighborhood and the cusswords add to the feeling that she really is out of place there. She doesn’t swear and every filthy word slaps her across the face at the newness of their raw, uncontrollable attitudes.

Do you cheapen the story with smut and lemon just to keep your readers occupied or is there a reason behind the dirty scenes in your book? Is it merely there to keep the reader occupied with your lack of plot or reason for keeping the characters together? Why would it be considered necessary? Is there a dark character in the book that steals the innocence of a girl and it is vital for the story to see the dark side of how evil the man can become if pushed too far? Regardless of your reasons, there is very little cause to add details of that kind into a story. It can cheapen it and also take away some of the reader audience. It depends on age or maturity or even a religious reason for parents to allow their children to read your novel if it contains these elements. Some adults won’t even read books with scenes that explicit and can warn others about your book. Don’t include these scenes in your book without a just cause.

How much time are you willing to take out of your day to improve on your writing skills and exercise your abilities? Do you merely catch in a few minutes whenever you feel particularly inspired or do you force yourself occasionally to write when there is nothing rolling around in your head? Do you give off excuses that you are too busy or don’t have any ideas? Those are merely that-excuses. A true writer loves to scribble down constantly. They live to type out furiously whenever they have an excuse or the time to write. They live to bring their characters to life and pour out their ideas into colorful splashes on the page. They breathe the same air that their characters’ breathe. They fight the tears when their character dies tragically. But even if you don’t have time to write, even if you think you don’t have time to write, make time.

If you think of writing as more than just a hobby, if you are truly a writer, then you must ask yourself, what are your limitations?

If your limitations are that you don’t have enough time, get your work done and finally settle down to relaxation with your notebook in Starbucks.

If your limitations of your story are the love story, don’t just cheapen it with steamy scenes where all the characters do is fall in love after one night of pointless sex. Become a writer and steel yourself for the truth. People don’t fall in love with the passion. It is fleeting. They fall in love with the way the person acts; how they think; and what they accomplish. They might fall in love with the passion that the other throws into everything that they do,  but “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:” (Proverbs 31:30, KJV Bible.) Beauty is not everything and it will eventually fade, leaving the person not in love with the other but in love with the passion, the feeling or rush of excitement that it brings. Don’t write your love story off with pointless fluff which does not enhance the actual love story between the characters. Make their story original and make it less about passion and more about an actual chemistry between the OC’s and develop the characters without the cop-out of smut.

Don’t place random cussing in your story just because “everyone cusses” in this world. Develop your settings and add to the mood perhaps by setting these certain tones and the way that they talk in your story. Don’t cheapen your story with cop-outs in these areas and merely force the attitude that you are trying to convey with these scenes. A good writer-in fact- an excellent writer must be able to actually write out a story without throwing in random tidbits of something that they think is “realistic” in the hopes that it will seem natural. If realism is what you are searching for, think before you place that chapter or scene in and really live it out as if it happened to you on a daily basis or if you had been stuck in that position. A man’s attitude should not be considered scary if all he does is rattle off cusswords. Most cowards use this as an escape and a poor attempt at forcing the impression that they could stand up to anyone. Know your limitations and improve your writing by thinking about the scenes that may cheapen your story and make it generic. Make it original and make it your own.

 

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 blogstuffcharacterimprovement

Don’t make your characters like this guy.

 

Just how well does a writer know his characters?

Does he know them backwards and forwards or does he hardly even know their full name?

Main characters to any successful story must be fully developed. There may only be one of these special characters but in order for the book to fully develop, the character must somehow be relatable to the audience and create a feeling in the reader. If the protagonist is not well thought out or developed, there is an empty feeling in the entire tale. The writer must make the character believable and have substance. They must begin at the beginning.

Names are the beginning to every character. Some have meaning behind them. A brunette might have a name meaning dark one or it could reflect parts of the character’s soul. Perhaps the brunette is dark souled as well as having dark hair. Perhaps, she had cruel intentions behind what she does. While names can be the beginning of the character, now the writer must flesh him or her out.

The writer has to add the character’s strengths; but more importantly, he must know what their flaws are. The total population of the world is made up of flawed people. The writer must use real people as an example for his books in order to make them relatable. Any writer will automatically begin with what his character’s strengths are. At first, he will begin to slowly rattling off their various talents, habits, and sweet things that they might do on occasion. Then the next question comes. What are they bad at? What is that one quality that drives everyone around the character crazy? The flaws to the character must be more than their strengths. If the writer is hoping to make a semi-relatable character for the audience to latch on to, then he must make the character as human as possible. People tend to have more flaws than good traits, and your character in your story should too.

How well does the writer know his character’s story of life? Does he know what the voice sounds like? How does he move and what is his body type? Does he limp when he walks or struts? Characters, main characters especially, must have a backstory and a distinct personality. A solid character must have a beginning, middle, and an end. He must have a story within himself. All characters cannot all be alike or manifestations of the writer. No one is exactly alike. Even twins have differences. The writer must improve his characters and know exactly who they are backwards and forwards. They should have a backstory as well as a consistent attitude through every part of the tale.

 

 

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Give them character like this little lady up above. To give her a little personality, she kind of embodies Monday because she’s forever a wet blanket and constantly angry all of the time. She mostly gets good grades but is forever getting no recognition for it so that feeds her horrible attitude. She doesn’t really have very many friends; she likes to think that she’s too busy for them but in reality, nobody very much likes her sulky attitude and grumpiness so they stray far away from her. She’s become weirdly close with the librarian since the librarian sees her as a younger version of herself-therefore, actually gives her the benefit of the doubt that she’s a nice enough girl when not doing any sort of schoolwork. She’s also pen pals with a few British girls who remain her only friends around her age throughout high school.

You can tell this girl has character from her outfit and her attitude. She’s grumpy from the umbrella popping open and soaking her with the cold rain. Her school doesn’t allow hats; so her hair is getting ruined from the rain and also soaking the rest of her.

She was part of an art project that a few friends and I were doing as a challenge but you can also use this as a practice for adding a background for these characters. Draw a simple character that flows from your imagination and practice adding character in the still picture. Make them unique. Everyone doesn’t always have to particularly like the character either.

 

Dream up whatever you want to and keep practicing!

 

xoxo, Ella 🙂