The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Stuck with a case of massive writer's block? Has your muse gone on indefinite hiatus? Or are you just bored? Check out the random generators - with a click of a button, you can create characters, names, settings, items, and more for your creative works! The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test How to use this test: First, if you're unsure of what a Mary Sue is, please read this page. Answer all questions for which the answer is 'yes' or 'technically yes' unless the item mentioned is so commonplace in the universe you are writing for that it doesn't really make your character remarkable or unusual. If your character is a role-playing character and the only reason you can answer 'yes' is because of other players acting of their own free wills (IE, everyone has their characters throwing themselves at your character's feet and you've done nothing to force this) do not answer yes to the corresponding question. Part 1 - All Characters Questions that pertain to all characters everywhere.
Here to Create & 102 Resources for Fiction Writing UPDATE 1/10: Dead links removed, new links added, as well as Revision and Tools and Software sections. Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration. Also, I recommend some resources for Revision and some online Tools and Software. Too many links? 10 Days of Character Building Name Generators Name Playground The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Priming the idea pump (A character checklist shamlessly lifted from acting) How to Create a Character Seven Common Character Types Handling a Cast of Thousands – Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters It’s Not What They Say . . . Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid “Stepping Out of Character” How to Start Writing in the Third Person Web Resources for Developing Characters Speaking of Dialogue
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. In addition, a fuller understanding of the character types and their uses can increase a writer’s effectiveness in weaving his own fictional tales. Below is a list of common character types, followed by an explanation and short example. 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. In this example Ebenezer Scrooge is a dynamic character. Copyright © Terry W.
Handling a Cast of Thousands - Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters by Will Greenway Few writing challenges are greater than doing justice to a large cast of characters in a novel or story. In fact, the difference between simply doing them justice and handling them well is a significant level of effort in itself. Sadly, this is one of those writer conundrums that is often best resolved with a "Don't do that if it hurts" solution. Getting a grip on your cast Cast members are reoccurring characters who are pivotal to your story. Aside from your main cast, there will be supporting roles, and often dozens of walk-on or cameo characters. Least significant, but always necessary, are walk-ons and cameos. Because of the limited time these characters spend in the frame, writers tend to make them more exotic, giving them odd quirks or ticks in order to make them interesting. Beware of "extras" with aspirations of star status. Don't promote these exotic latecomers to cast status. Casting couch -- criteria for success A viewpoint character carries a heavy onus.
It's Not What They Say... by Mary Cook In fiction writing it's the dialogue that lifts your characters off the page. You must ensure your writing is strong enough for the task. It's not what they say; it's the way they say it Speech has a natural rhythm, like music. You can tell a lot about a character by his verbal mannerisms. One person might use "you know" a great deal, while another opens nearly every sentence with "Well". Punctuation is almost as important as the words. Punctuation is also important from a style point of view. Don't use the exclamation point too freely. You can learn a lot about realistic dialogue by eavesdropping on other people's conversations. Don't be tempted to write with a regional accent by introducing strange spellings. Anyone who has read Somerset Maugham's Liza of Lambeth will know what I mean. For example, the following dialogue on the subject of childbirth could lead the reader to think Maugham couldn't spell or was writing in a foreign language: Cut out the superfluous words.
Establishing the Right Point of View Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid "Stepping Out of Character" by Marg Gilks Return to Characters, Viewpoint, and Names · Print/Mobile-Friendly Version "Dalquist was shaking with rage, tears streaking down her face. 'Get out,' she whispered. Yikes! If you can see what's wrong with this excerpt, congratulations. What's wrong with the above excerpt? Paragraph one is ambiguous. Every scene should have only one POV character, and everything must be filtered through that POV character's perceptions. But, isn't it so much easier just to tell the reader what character X is thinking, rather than trying to show it in ways the POV character (and thus, the reader) can see and understand? Let's look at that again, and we'll see a hint: isn't it so much easier just to tell the reader what character X is thinking, rather than trying to show it in ways the POV character can see and understand? Yup: "show, don't tell." Yup: characterization. "Lexas didn't turn around. Find Out More...
Web Resources for Developing Characters When developing characters, many writers use personality traits that they see in themselves and in others, such as friends, family and celebrities. A new source of material and information that can help you develop characters is the Internet. The Internet offers some unique resources for character development, such as psychological testing websites, baby name databases and other reference sites and databases. These websites certainly weren't created for writers developing characters; nevertheless, these site are extremely useful for writers. This article will help you locate some of these useful resources, and give you some tips about how you can use them to develop your own characters. Psychological Resources Psychological websites can help writers learn the underlying principles of behavior that motivate or cause people to act as they do. Biography Resources Biography resources can be a great help to writers. Naming Characters Other Resources Developing Characters
Tami Cowden | Author I am happy to say that The Complete Writers’ Guide to Heroes and Heroines is now available on Kindle! And even better – so is Fallen Heroes: Sixteen Master Villain Archetypes! What are the Sixteen Master Archetypes? The word "archetype" was coined by Carl Jung, who theorized that humans have a collective unconscious, "deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity.... a kind of readiness to reproduce over and over again the same or similar mythical ideas...." The observations my coauthors and I made are that there are recurring character types who have starred in story after story, entertaining and informing the human experience for millennia. At his or her core, every well-defined hero or heroine is one of the respective archetypes. But beware when trying to decide what archetypal family to which a character belongs. I am serious – what the character does is not the defining element. “Any archetype can do anything – the question will always be why.” Top
Character Chart FAVORITES Color: Music: Food: Literature: Expressions: Book: Quote: Expletive(s) (swears): Mode of transportation: HABITS Smokes: What? How often? Drinks: What? How often? SELF-PERCEPTION One word character would use to describe self: One paragraph description of how character would describe self: What does character consider best physical characteristic? Immediate goal(s): Long range goal(s): How does character plan to accomplish goal(s)? How character react in a crisis (calm/panic/etc.)? Jewelry? Owns a computer? © (c ) copyright 1990-2011 Rebecca Sinclair ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Authors Note: I worked hard on this. ~ Permission is granted to LINK TO the Fiction Writers Character Chart. ~ Permission is granted to print out a copy of the Fiction Writers Character Chart FOR PERSONAL USE ~ Permission is NOT granted to copy and/or use the Character Chart in print and/or electronic form (including the internet) without express written permission)
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. If this character chart is helpful, please let us know! Looking for more character questionnaires / charts?
Science Fiction Writer Robert J. Sawyer: On Writing — Dialogue SFWRITER.COM > How to Write > On Writing: Dialogue by Robert J. Sawyer Copyright © 1996 by Robert J. Sawyer. All rights reserved. Writing convincing dialogue is one of the hardest things for new writers to master. Here's the kind of dialog you read in many beginners' stories: "What happened to you, Joe?" Here's how real people talk: "Christ, man, what happened?" See the differences? Also note that in the first example, the speakers refer to each other by name. A few other features of real human speech demonstrated in the second example above: when relaying to a third party a conversation we had with somebody else, we usually only directly quote what the other person said; our own side of the conversation is typically relayed with considerable bravado, and the listener understands that what's really being presented is what we wish we'd had the guts to say, not what we actually said. Now, which of the above examples is better? "Christ, man, what happened?" "Interchangeable?"