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Creative Writing Prompts: Secrets and Lies for Your Characters

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.) It’s vital to have conflict in every scene, and when the action is quiet in your book, internal conflict will keep a reader turning the pages. 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. Related:  WRITING

Creating Bitchy Characters: How to Write a Mean Character If you’re interested in breaking the mold with your character, there is no single criterion for a bitch. However, you might want to consider making several of her dominant traits negative or what society has typically not expected of females. For example, her traits might include being manipulating, selfish, cunning, power-seeking, or vengeful. Or, perhaps your bitch character cannot connect to others emotionally, or she is sexually insatiable. Or maybe she’s simply a nonconformist who is opinionated, mouthy, aggressive, ambitious, or confident. How to Create a Bitchy Character The juxtaposition of what women are supposed to be—sweet, feminine, compliant, and vulnerable—and what they are truly capable of being—tough, athletic, powerful, and violent—creates a natural friction that can yield fascinating results in fiction. Tips For Writing Strong Female Characters Do you want your reader to be appalled when your bitch character dares not to follow the rules? You might also like:

Mind-Blowing Heroines What Jane Eyre Can Teach You About Mind-Blowing Heroines How to craft a three-dimensional, empowered, compelling heroine? It’s a buzzing question, even among female authors. But what does all that really mean? What are the requirements for a strong female character? For tips on creating female characters who are strong, empowered, and compelling in their own right, let’s take a look at one of our earliest examples of a mind-blowing heroine: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (whose character arc I analyze in-depth in my book Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic). 1. The first requirement in creating a fabulous character (of either sex) is making sure you’ve given her both phenomenal strengths and staggering weaknesses. And yet, I also read almost as many books about women who are unrealistically empowered—both physically and spiritually. In creating a memorable female character, it’s important to make sure she acts like a woman. Jane Eyre is such a beautiful example of this. 2. 3.

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

Writing Characters Using Conflict & Backstory Seven Steps To Creating Characters That Write Themselves Creating characters that are believable takes time and discipline. Creating dynamically real individuals and not imposing your own thoughts and impressions upon them is not easy to do, and is often the difference between a novel or screenplay that sits in a closet and one that finds its way around town and into the hands of audiences. Spending your time building your characters before they enter the world of your story makes the process of writing an easier and more enjoyable ride, and creates a finished product that agents, publishers, producers and readers can truly be excited by. You must first agree to operate from the understanding that the three-dimensionality of your characters is not created magically. The complexity that you desire comes through: 1. The first key to deepening your work is finding the major motivators in the lives of your characters that drive their actions. 2. 3. 4. 5. Emotions are extreme. 6. 7.

Writing a Novel with Unforgettable Characters Character development is one of the first essential steps of writing a novel and it involves creating the people who will carry out your story. There will most likely be a variety of characters needed for your story, but none as important as your lead character – your protagonist. A well-developed protagonist has much to do with the success of writing a novel. When writing a novel, the protagonist should be someone that your readers feel is a “real person” that they come to love (or at least like a whole lot), can relate to in many ways, and will care about and think about long after they’ve turned the final page on your novel. How to Create “Real People” for Your Novel When writing a novel, there are many ways to go about creating characters and much has been written about it in “how to write a novel books”, sometimes in great detail. Writing a Novel – Four Attributes of a Lead Character: 1. 2. 3. 4. Writing a Novel – Three Attributes Every Character Has: 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3.

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! — about characters: 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.

Heartless Bitches International Rants - Mike's Heartless Bitch Testimonial by M.N. In late October 2005, The Tyra Banks Show contacted Natalie, the Head Bitch, (on very short notice) to appear on an episode about women who are called or who call themselves “bitches.” Natalie would have been unable to appear herself, so they asked her to suggest a couple of members of HBI who would do a good job standing up for the views expressed in the Heartless Manifesto. I was one of the members she urged to answer the call. The show as described to me would have explored the different connotations of the word “bitch” in modern America; the producer I spoke to was eager to present the positive ideal of the bitch that HBI stands for and contrast it with the negative character traits that are often called “bitchy.” The producer emailed me a few questions about what sort of woman I consider a bitch to be and what I like about them; she was interested enough to schedule a short phone interview with me. TB: What sort of woman do you consider a bitch to be?

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. And one of the most important parts of my pre-writing process is developing my characters. 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. 5. 6.

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. If this character chart is helpful, please let us know! Looking for more character questionnaires / charts? 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently This list has been expanded into the new book, “Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind,” by Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman. Creativity works in mysterious and often paradoxical ways. Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context. Inspiration and ideas often arise seemingly out of nowhere and then fail to show up when we most need them, and creative thinking requires complex cognition yet is completely distinct from the thinking process. Neuroscience paints a complicated picture of creativity. And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they’re complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. While there’s no “typical” creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. They daydream. According to Kaufman and psychologist Rebecca L. They observe everything.

Avoid Overactive or Inactive Supporting Characters One of the most common plot problems writers face is mistaking minor characters and subplots for the main character and primary plot. In the following excerpt, Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, discusses overactive or inactive characters and subplots and how they can impact your story. Overactive or Inactive Supporting Characters If in the second act you find your novel veering off course either because a minor character has come in and tried to run the place, or because your minor characters seem to be doing nothing but sitting on your couch, eating your food, not really contributing, you should put them to the test: determine why they’re there, if they can be brought in line somehow, or, if not, how you might excise them from the novel. If an inactive supporting character does indeed seem to fulfill some function like this—but is otherwise inert—you might see if another and better-established supporting character might fulfill that role just as easily. You might also like:

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. They all have some sort of defining trait that makes them different from everyone else. 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. -Kris Noel My book My goodreads

Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking 2382 516Share Synopsis Aspects of creative thinking that are not usually taught. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. And, finally, Creativity is paradoxical. Tags: adversity, contemporaries, creative education, creative geniuses, creative life, creative thinker, creative thinking, education, lighting systems, masterpieces, minor poets, motions, picasso, practicality, profitability, rembrandt, self-help, shakespeare, sonnets, special person, symphonies, thomas edison, wolfgang amadeus mozart

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