Posts Tagged ‘story’

 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.

 

 

Scan0025

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 🙂

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 blogstuffnovember

 

 

The time has come to let you in on a writing challenge. And probably one of the best challenges for a writer is NaNoWriMo.  Now, I’ve constantly referred back to this weirdly named thing and for any of you that do not know what it is, it is actually a nickname. NaNoWriMo is the abbreviated form for National Novel Writing Month. Their website, www.nanowrimo.org, is the home page where you type in your information to create a profile and during the month of November, you must finish a 50,000 word novel. They have pep talks that are generated through your email/inbox and encourage you on your journey to completing an idea that has been swimming around in your head and begging to come out onto paper.

Last year, on the last day of NaNoWriMo, I ended up writing for 7-8 hours straight in my desperate attempts to finish my novel that I so desperately wanted to complete for the challenge. It’s hard. But guess what? There is little that feels better than completing such a huge task in such a short amount of time.

This is my third time in a row that I’ve begun my work for NaNoWriMo.

  But don’t worry if you don’t complete it. 

My first year, I ended up writing maybe 20,000 words all together because I ended up running out of time and just didn’t have the inspiration for my story.

Last year, I won NaNoWriMo with an extra 2,000 words and I still have yet to edit my novel and add in the necessary bits and pieces to tie it all in together.

This year, I was not encouraged at all in my murder mystery; so with several days left to spare, I changed my idea to a historical fiction novel having to do with the War for Independence and pirates. Something about this really excites me.

      “Soldier, recently turned sailor, Bayard Bristol will need to save his comrades from the villainous pirates that roam their seas during the War for Independence. But once the dreaded pirate Captain Mortis and his cut-throat, first mate Blaze Harte challenge the waters with their swords and cannons, Bristol will need all the help he can get to save his men and his country from their greedy clutches.

      But once aboard the Lady Scylla, Bristol finds himself surprised at the so-called, blood-thirsty first mate once he finds out that the young man might not be what he once appeared to be…

     Can Bristol save his men, his country, and maybe even the souls of those lost at sea?”- The Honor Code

 

The ideas that I like to experiment my writing with usually have different themes. I love challenges and I love writing. This story really excited me into writing a story having a cast mainly made up of men which is particularly hard for me since I am a girl and tend to write and draw better girls since I can relate to them better. Also, after analyzing several successful shows and books, I realized that not just the main cast has to be well-thought out and fleshed out. Good characters need backgrounds and different personalities. They cannot all be the same with a few minor changes.

This led me to also challenging myself into dipping into history that has already been fleshed out. Historical fiction is much harder for a writer in the way that you cannot completely make up everything. You must stay true to history although you can put your own twist and people’s actions into your own words. Although some writers may say that since history that is already fleshed out, it takes out the part of making up the background and world; I find that it is much harder. If you already have a framework for your backdrop into your story, you have limited control as to what happens. The plot and everything inside the book has to fit with the history and is not nearly as flexible.

With these two challenges, I wanted to challenge myself further by providing a solid background to one of my main characters, Blaze. Instead of the reader gradually finding out about Blaze’s past along with the other characters, I wanted to let the reader know firsthand why Blaze acts the way she does. Throughout my novel, I want to give flashback chapters that give Blaze her meanings and true intentions and how she came to the point where she is today. The characters in the book may not realize why she acts the way she does, but the reader does. I wanted to reader to feel the connection and I wanted to make Blaze seem believable and not just a random character thrown into the story for dramatic affect.

 

After saying this, I want to challenge all the writers out there to do this challenge as well. National Novel Writing Month is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and those pesky words typed up on your laptop’s word document.

 

Whether new or old at this challenge, good luck!

 

Xoxo, Ella 🙂