City Generator How to Make a Fantasy World Map Any good fantasy world deserves a map, but how does a world map go from your notebook to an espansive illustration that provides depth and information? Read on as Isaac Stewart shares his process for making the map for The Emperor’s Blades, the first book in Brian Staveley’s new fantasy series Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne. The book is out on January 14th but you can read the first seven chapters for FREE right here. I was ten years old, holding a golden Nintendo cartridge in my hands. I didn’t play The Legend of Zelda to win. Oh boy, I had no idea where that little folded up map would lead me. Exploration For Brian Staveley’s excellent fantasy debut, The Emperor’s Blades, Heather Saunders at Tor wanted a two-page map that would match the feel of the book. Brian’s attention to detail was amazing! Before I jumped in headfirst, I needed to make sure of my destination. Match the design of the book. I asked Heather for samples of the book’s interior design. The Problem of Real World Maps
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. 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: What is in your characters refrigerator right now? Look at your characters feet.
Character Trait Cheat Sheet - Kris Noel In order to create a relatable character, you must think about them as having several layers. Knowing and choosing character traits is important because you don’t want them to be one dimensional. It’s all not as simple as saying “this person is mean” or “this person is kind”. Think about the people you know in real life. I’ve listed some examples of character types: Adventurer: high levels of energy, bold, dominant, competitive, fickle, leader. Bossy: confident, competitive, stubborn, close minded, serious, lacks shame or guilt, wants a high status. Creator: artistic, observant, persistent, sensitive, introverted, becomes easily absorbed, enthusiastic, likes his or her own company. Extrovert: outgoing, talkative, not easily intimidated, expressive, enjoys being with others, seeks social situations. Fearful: driven by fears of rejection, unhappy, withdrawn, avoids stress, uncomfortable in social situations, problems being assertive. -Kris Noel My book My goodreads
25 Things You Should Know About Character Previous iterations of the “25 Things” series: 25 Things Every Writer Should Know 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling And now… Here you’ll find the many things I believe — at this moment! 1. Without character, you have nothing. 2. A great character can be the line between narrative life and story death. 3. Don’t believe that all those other aspects are separate from the character. 4. The audience will do anything to spend time with a great character. 5. It is critical to know what a character wants from the start. 6. It doesn’t matter if we “like” your character, or in the parlance of junior high whether we even “like-like” your character. 7. It is critical to smack the audience in the crotchal region with an undeniable reason to give a fuck. 8. You must prove this thesis: “This character is worth the audience’s time.” 9. Don’t let the character be a dingleberry stuck to the ass of a toad as he floats downriver on a bumpy log. 10. 11. 12. 13. The law of threes. 15. 16. 17. 18.
Creative Writing Prompts: Secrets and Lies for Your Characters Nothing is better (or more fun for the writer) than a story-relevant secret or lie. Give some dilemma beneath the surface story to give your character depth, add suspense and tension, and keep your reader turning the pages. You can drop hints throughout your writing and when the reveal comes—you will surprise, shock, and delight your reader. Creating a character with a strong internal conflict, secret, or burden makes for one compelling read! (To see more on writing a compelling protagonist, check out The Compelling Protagonist Part 1 and Compelling Protagonist Part 2.) Below are writing prompts to help you find some ideas for internal secrets, lies (and therefore conflict) for your characters. Write about a broken promise. Write about a secret. Write about a lie that protects. Write about a lie that is told to hurt. Do this brainstorming throughout the writing of your work in progress.
Traits of Human Consciousness Several Steps Further: Aside from the listing above, traits of human consciousness can be viewed from a number of other perspectives. Here are several: Traits Organized from Psychological (Inner-oriented) to Social (Outer-oriented) Human personality/character traits can be divided by those that are inner/psychological; and those that are outer-oriented/social. Traits Expressing in the Vertical Scale of Human Consciousness (Physical, Vital, Mental) The individual human expresses exits at three fundamental planes or levels of being -- mental, vital, and physical. ARTICLE: Positive and Negative Human Traits (from a spiritual perspective) New Fundamental Traits/Capacities that Enable Higher Achievement and Personal Growth From our research, we have determined that there are certain fundamental human traits and capacities that enable an individual to accomplish at a higher level, as well as rise in consciousness and fulfillment in life. Personal and Society's Values
Character Chart for Fiction Writers - EpiGuide.com If you're a fiction writer -- whether you're working on a novel, short story, screenplay, television series, play, web series, webserial, or blog-based fiction -- your characters should come alive for your reader or audience. The highly detailed chart below will help writers develop fictional characters who are believable, captivating, and unique. Print this page to complete the form for each main character you create. IMPORTANT: Note that all fields are optional and should be used simply as a guide; character charts should inspire you to think about your character in new ways, rather than constrain your writing. Fill in only as much info as you choose. Have fun getting to know your character! If this character chart is helpful, please let us know! Looking for more character questionnaires / charts?
6 Key Things to Consider When Developing Characters By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund I have to admit, I don’t write (or often read) character driven stories. My books are full of action and drama and are primarily plot-driven. But, that doesn’t mean I neglect my characters. In fact, I'm currently in the pre-planning stage for a couple different books. I find this time of getting to know my characters one of the most delightful aspects of the entire writing process. I thought I'd share a few of the things I consider when I'm developing my characters in the pre-writing stage. 1. Obviously I consider their physical appearance. But I always go much deeper than physical appearance. 2. Not only do I try to understand their skills, abilities, and talents, but I also attempt to determine their personality type (are they dominant, passive, loyal, outgoing, etc.). 3. I may not need to know when they had their first scraped knee or lost tooth. 4. I try to narrow down the qualities that will help my readers care about the characters. 5. 6.
How to Figure Out the Worst Thing That Can Happen to Your Character This week’s video examines the advice to “think of the worst thing that can happen to your character, then make it worse.” Writers are always being told to think of the worst thing that could happen to their characters—and then to make it worse. Being something of a literalist, the first time I heard that, my original thought was something like, The worst thing? You mean like kill him? So what did they have in mind? The point of this exercise is not only to up the stakes and create conflict, but more importantly to generate character growth and advance his personal arc in the story. For example, if your character is about to propose marriage to the woman he loves, his worst thing might be her discovery of a secret in his past. Tell me your opinion: What is the worst thing that could happen to your character at this point in your story?
Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers There's a Word for That: 25 Expressions You Should Have in Your Vocabulary Recently I came across this amazing little Tumblr named ‘OtherWordly‘ – itself a play on words. It consists of a collection of strange and lovely words from different languages through different times. What I like most about this selection of consonants and vowels – little meaning-carrying packages of vibration – is that they all try to point to the unspeakable, the transient or the neglected. That which we forget in the busyness of our daily grind. Words have the power to remind us – and therefore we should choose our words carefully so we are reminded of the things that nourish our souls. You can find my favourite words below – pick five that resonate most, write them down, yes seriously – go grab a pen -, make sure to learn them by heart, teach them to your inner voice and share them with others to guide our collective attention to what truly matters. 1 – Sophrosyne 2 – Vorfreude pronunciation | ‘for-froi-duh 3 – Numinous 4 – Nemophilist pronunciation | ne-‘mo-fe-list 5 – Sillage
Story Starters, Creative Writing Ideas for Fiction Looking for story starters and creative writing ideas? You've just struck gold. Here you'll find an endless supply of inspiration. Take a moment to bookmark this page so that you can find it again whenever you need new ideas. Also be sure to check out our free 3-day online creative writing course, Endless Story Ideas, which will show you techniques to come up with new fiction ideas whenever you need them. Do you like this page? Story Starters Not sure what to write about? Or get started with these Ideas for Characters, Ideas for Plots, and "What If" Story Starters. Find out about two magic phrases that make it easy to come up with great story ideas. Get 20 ideas that answer the question, "What happens next?" Browse Story Prompts About Obsessions, Life Changes, Talents, Travel, Relationships, Secrets and Habits. Use our fun Story Ideas Kit to create mix-and-match story plots. If you're looking for more detailed creative writing ideas, read on. And... Other Creative Writing Ideas Break it down