Characters on the Bus When I was a senior in college, I took the city bus to and from school and took notes on my observations. And if you've ever taken the bus before, you will know that it is rich with characters and strange events, just waiting for a story to be told. So this post (and those that will follow after) are inspired by these trips. At the front of the bus, sits the guy who stands every time the bus driver makes a stop and opens up the doors. Nearby, I notice the guy who took several classes with me and takes the same same bus as I do who never remembers who I am. Sitting beside me, I notice the lady who wears a wool hat every day on the bus no matter what the weather is like. Sitting towards the back, a guy who takes a slurp of his drink and when he finishes his sip will say, "Arrgh, matey." And as the bus ride comes to an end, I can't help but over hear the conversation someone is having on their cell phone about inheriting a great deal of money.
Tension Hook Your Readers With Tension By Laura Backes, Write4Kids.com Tension. Without it, life would be—let's face it—boring. So would fiction. "Tension" is a loaded word, and can be misleading. Tension is what hooks readers of any age and keeps them turning the pages. * The ticking clock. * Dialogue. * Pacing. * Sentence structure. Each story requires a different kind of tension. Laura Backes is the author of Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read from Prima/Random House. Copyright © 2002, Children's Book Insider, LLC Story Starters As of July 1, 2013 ThinkQuest has been discontinued. We would like to thank everyone for being a part of the ThinkQuest global community: Students - For your limitless creativity and innovation, which inspires us all. Teachers - For your passion in guiding students on their quest. Partners - For your unwavering support and evangelism. Parents - For supporting the use of technology not only as an instrument of learning, but as a means of creating knowledge. We encourage everyone to continue to “Think, Create and Collaborate,” unleashing the power of technology to teach, share, and inspire. Best wishes, The Oracle Education Foundation
6 Ways to Hook Your Readers Although I consider myself an avid reader, I must admit I have a short attention span when it comes to getting into books. If you fail to grab my attention in the first few lines, I start spacing out. Most readers are like me. Here are a few things I find annoying in the first lines of a story: Dialogue. The last thing you want to do as a writer is annoy or bore people. (N.B. 1. Put a question in your readers’ minds. “Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” 2. By starting at an important moment in the story, your reader is more likely to want to continue so he or she can discover what will happen next. “It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told.” 3. Description is good when it encourages people to paint a picture in their minds. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” 4. The promise of reading more about a character you find intriguing will, no doubt, draw you into a story’s narrative. 5. 6.
Set up Your Story in the First Paragraphs by Jodie Renner, editor, author, speaker I receive several first chapters (and synopses) every week as submissions for possible editing, and I always read the first page. Some are clear and compelling and make me want to read more. But too often, two main problems emerge: Either the author spends too much time revving his engine with description or backstory before we even care (boring); or we’re plunged right into the story but have no idea where we are or what’s going on (confusing). There are three cardinal rules of successful novelists: 1. 2. 3. I’ve discussed the negative effects of starting off too slowly, with too much description and/or backstory, in other articles (see the links at the end of this article). Your first paragraph and first page are absolutely critical! So try to work in the basics of the 4 W’s below in your first page — preferably within the first two or three paragraphs. Who? What? Where? When? Also, your first page is a kind of promise to your readers. 1. 2. 3.
400 Writing Topics - Prompts and Suggestions for Paragraphs, Essays, and Speeches - Essay Topics If getting started is the hardest part of the writing process, close behind it (and closely related to it) may be the challenge of finding a good topic to write about. Sometimes, of course, an instructor will solve that problem for you by assigning a topic. But at other times you'll have the opportunity to choose a topic on your own. And you really should think of it as an opportunity--a chance to write about something you care about and know well. So relax. To help get you thinking, we've prepared some writing suggestions--more than 400 of them, in fact. We've organized the suggested topics into 11 broad categories, loosely based on some of the common ways of developing paragraphs and essays. Now follow the links to our 400 topic suggestions and see where they take you. Describing People, Places, and Things: 40 Writing TopicsDescriptive writing calls for close attention to details--details of sight and sound, sometimes even of smell, touch, and taste.
Seven Common Character Types Seven Common Character Types by Terry W. Ervin II Fiction writers employ a variety of characters while weaving their tales. Beyond the standard definitions of protagonist (the main character in a literary work) and antagonist (the main character or force that opposes the protagonist in a literary work), recognizing the types of characters and the parts they play while reading an interesting story can add to the experience. Confidante- someone in whom the central character confides, thus revealing the main character’s personality, thoughts, and intentions. Example: In a story, Melvin Sanders is a detective on the trail of a serial killer. In this example Chops is a confidante. Dynamic Character - a character which changes during the course of a story or novel. Example: Ebenezer Scrooge, in A Christmas Carol by Dickens, was very stingy with his money. In this example Ebenezer Scrooge is a dynamic character. In this example Louis Drud is a flat character. In this example Betty is a foil.
Questionnaires for Writing Character Profiles - Creative Writing Help Enter your e-mail to get the e-book for FREE. We'll also keep you informed about interesting website news. "I have searched the web and used different worksheets, but none have come close to your worksheets and descriptions of (what to do and what not to do). "As usual - I already love the course on Irresistible Fiction, rewriting a lot and improving greatly even after the first lesson. “Essentials of Fiction proved that I could indeed write and I wrote every day, much to my boyfriend's dismay (waa sniff).” - Jill Gardner "I am loving the course and the peer interaction on the blog is fantastic!!!" "I'm enjoying the weekly email course, Essentials of Poetry Writing. "Thank you for all the material in this course. "I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the lessons and feel they were very helpful in introducing new ideas and perspectives to my writing. "Thanks very much for this course. "I'm learning so much. "Thank you so much!! "The Irresistible Fiction course is going well.
4 Options for Improving Your Fiction We writers can be impatient—not only with the process of writing and getting published, but with ourselves for not being perfect from the get-go. We readily accept the need for intensive training and ongoing skills development for our day jobs, but when it comes to writing, we often expect to just be able to ‘do it’. I used to be a teacher. However, it took me a year or two of writing (and failing at writing) to learn that the path to becoming seriously skilled was going to be longer and more difficult than I ever imagined. But that’s okay. If you’ve ever looked at your writing and seen nothing but problems, I’m here to tell you it’s a good thing: you’re on the right track. So, you recognize the need to improve your craft. 1. I’m putting ‘self-directed study’ first in the list because I believe, in most cases, it’s the best place to start. Beginning with self-directed study requires little financial investment, and gives you a chance to decide if you truly want to be a writer. 2. 3. 4.
How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters Edit Article Sample Character DescriptionsCreating Personalities for Your Own Characters Edited by Secretive, Julia Maureen, Flickety, Ben Rubenstein and 19 others You're on a plane to a distant country to visit some weird old relatives you are somehow related to. In your hands, you hold a book that your friend recommended. Ad Steps Sample Character Descriptions Creating Personalities for Your Own Characters 1Start with a simple profile including these categories: Name, Age, Gender, and Occupation. 6Continue developing characters until your story is finished. Tips Keep the characters true to themselves. Warnings Don't copy off other characters in different, already well known books, such as Harry Potter.
Character Questionnaires - Get to Know Your Characters Receive more writing tips and advice (along with special offers and other Gotham news). One of the best ways to get to know your characters is to ask questions about them. Many writers do this as a kind of homework before they actually start writing a story. The more you know your characters, the fuller they will be. Character Questionnaire 1 This questionnaire is found in Gotham Writers Workshops Writing Fiction. You might start with questions that address the basics about a character: What is your characters name? What is your characters hair color? What kind of distinguishing facial features does your character have? Does your character have a birthmark? Who are your characters friends and family? Where was your character born? Where does your character go when hes angry? What is her biggest fear? Does she have a secret? What makes your character laugh out loud? When has your character been in love? Then dig deeper by asking more unconventional questions: Look at your characters feet.
Writing The Perfect Scene Having trouble making the scenes in your novel work their magic? In this article, I’ll show you how to write the “perfect” scene. Maybe you think it’s impossible to write the perfect scene. After all, who can choose every word perfectly, every thought, every sentence, every paragraph? What does perfection mean, anyway? Honestly, I don’t know. But structure is pretty well understood. The Two Levels of Scene Structure A scene has two levels of structure, and only two. The large-scale structure of the sceneThe small-scale structure of the scene This may seem obvious, but by the end of this article, I hope to convince you that it’s terribly profound. Before we begin, we need to understand how we keep score. Your reader is reading your fiction because you provide him or her with a powerful emotional experience. If you fail to create these emotions in your reader, then you have failed. Large-Scale Structure of a Scene The large-scale structure of a scene is extremely simple. GoalConflictDisaster
How to Write a Character Sketch: Learning More About Your Characters’ Motivations and Personalities Regardless of the type of writing you are doing, knowing who your characters are and knowing them well will add greatly to your work. Understanding your characters’ personalities through a character sketch helps you to understand where they are coming from and what motivates them. This, in turn, helps you understand what drives all of the action in your work, and the clearer this is, the easier your audiences will be able to connect with your writing. But how do you go about writing a character sketch? There are numerous ways to go about it. Interview Your Characters Perhaps the most straightforward way of getting to know who your characters are and what drives them is by asking them outright in an interview. It may seem like a very obvious or banal exercise, but even minor details will help you understand who your character is. Write a Character Monologue Another fantastic and highly effective way of getting to know your character is by writing a monologue as your character.
Writers' Workshop | Characterisation How to write convincing characters Characterisation - the task of building characters - isn't easy. But if you're struggling to build characters with real life and vigour, just follow these rules. If you do follow them correctly, we can pretty much guarantee that your characterisation will be just fine! Know what kind of character you are writing There are roughly two types of protagonist in fiction. The second type of character (rather less common, in fact) is the genuinely extraordinary character who would make things happen in an empty room. Either type of character is fine - don't struggle to equip your ordinary character with a whole lot of amazing skills, or try to 'humanise' your James Bond character by making him nice to old ladies and interested in baking. Empathy is about story and good writing Likewise, don't worry too much if your character is likeable. A) you write well enough that your reader is drawn in to your protagonist's world, whether they like it or not; and