» 3 Charles Dickens Characters You Don’t Want to Meet The great English writer Charles Dickens is known for his well-crafted characters. While some of the characters we meet in Dickens’ novels are endearing heroes, others are sinister villains. Here are three Dickens characters you would never want to meet. Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist A career criminal, violent abuser, and murderer, Bill Sikes is at the top of the list of characters to avoid. This is how Dickens describes him: “…a stoutly-built fellow of about five-and-thirty, in a black velveteen coat, very soiled drab breeches, lace-up half boots, and grey cotton stockings which enclosed a bulky pair of legs, with large swelling calves—the kind of legs, which in such costume, always look in an unfinished and incomplete state without a set of fetters to garnish them. He had a brown hat on his head, and a dirty belcher handkerchief round his neck: with the long frayed ends of which he smeared the beer from his face as he spoke. Which Dickens character is your favorite villain?
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. 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. Another aspect that cannot be ignored is that today, women’s lives are shaped similarly to men’s lives—most women leave the house each morning for their nine-to-five jobs, they explore the world independently, and they experience sex outside of marriage.
Top 10 Tricks to Make your Villain Stand Out Welcome back to the column that breaks down gaming into what’s really important, ten things at a time! Any story arc needs a good villain. The best big bads are more than just another devil or vampire or dragon. These ten suggestions can help take your villain above and beyond the ordinary and give your players a more memorable game. 1. Means to Power. Why do people follow this villain? 2. The villain should have a single overriding goal that drives all his or her actions. 3. Along with the goal, place concrete steps the villain needs to take to reach the goal. 4. The villain should be making progress if nobody is stopping him or her. 5. Give your villain a weakness the adventurers can figure out and exploit. 6. Avoid faceless or generic threats. 7. Make the villain’s presence known in every corner of the campaign. 8. One of the best ways to make the villain’s presence known is by reusing symbols and calling cards. 9. 10. Powered By DT Author Box Written by loganbonner
10 Ways to Make Readers Loathe Your Antagonist Your story’s antagonist will make or break the book. What’s that? What about the protagonist, you say? Just as your good guy doesn’t have to be a perfect person, there’s also no rule that says your bad guy has to be heinous. But, with that said, it’s also true that most readers enjoy an entirely loathable bad guy just as much as they do a lovable good guy. 1. Nasty bad guys who are nasty just because they can be are always going to be scary. Example: William Tavington in Roland Emmerich’s The Patriot 2. Hypocrisy is loathsome. Example: William Dorrit in Charles Dickens’s Little Dorrit 3. Sometimes the scariest, most loathsome thing about a person is how much they remind us of ourselves. Example: Commodus in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 4. Bad guys who hold all the cards—and know they hold all the cards—and want to rub the protagonist’s nose in that fact—are just plain obnoxious. Example: President Snow in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games 5. A close cousin to arrogance is dominance. 6. 7. 8.
Basic Tips To Write Better (And More Likeable) Badasses Yet another character type that is often poorly-written by amateurs, many badass characters end up becoming completely unlikeable or even despicable. Here are a few tips to keep these characters from going this route. Your character needs to be more than tough and talented. Strong, sexy, smart, skilled, and sassy are all great character traits, but on their own they're going to leave you with a character who is at best forgettable, and at worst completely unlikeable. Stop and ask yourself: if you took away the skills and talents that make your character badass, do you think anyone would care about or want to associate with your character? Don't create an unstoppable kickass machine. Characters who are so awesome and unflappable that there's no doubt they'll win are boring to watch. Be careful that your character doesn't become an amoral/self-centered jerkass. Smirks are not shortcuts to cool.
3 1/2 Tips for Fixing an Unlikable Character I’ve mentioned several times that I struggle with writing unlikable characters when I first draft a story, and I know I’m not the only one. We often love our characters no matter what they do—even the villains. *smile* So we’re not unbiased readers when it comes to figuring out whether our characters are too unlikable. In any story, it’s difficult to balance not enough and too much of various elements. Not enough description can leave our readers confused about the setting or action details, while too much description can slow our story’s pace. On the character side, not enough flaws can leave our characters feeling flat or can make it difficult for readers to relate to them. Some genres can get away with flat, unrelatable, or unlikable characters, but others can’t. The 1/2 Tip: Tone Down the Character I debated including this tip at all—first, because it’s obvious, and second, because sometimes we don’t want to tone down the character. Toning Down a Character:
Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes People hate change. We may sit around and wish our lives were different, but when the rubber really starts streaking the tarmac, we usually find ourselves wishing we could just hang out here in our safe and familiar haunts. Characters are no different. A good way to conceive of movie stories, like Die Hard and Love, Actually, is to think of the visible story as the metaphor for the invisible story. In other words, the plot is all about the character’s inner journey, whether the connection is immediately evident or not. The Change Arc, at its simplest manifestation, is all about the protagonist’s changing priorities. One of the most common mistakes made by authors of every level of experience is to create a problem for their Main Character that has nothing to do with the story at large. The Lie the Character Believes The Change Arc is all about the Lie Your Character Believes. Nope, your character is incomplete on the inside. Your character may not even realize he has a problem. 1. 2. 3.
9 ways to trick yourself into writing a novel November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short). This is the year you complete the book of your dreams. Sometimes all you need is a little motivation. Trick yourself into completing your novel this month by trying one (or all) of the strategies below. 1. Treat yourself. Use the power of positive reinforcement by treating yourself with treats after finishing a specified goal. For example, once you finish a chapter in your novel, reward yourself with Nutella-covered strawberries. Associate the completing of a goal with a desired stimulus in order to acquire a positive association, which will hopefully continue to motivate you throughout your writing process. 2. Deadlines can be a powerful motivator when it comes to writing. First, organize your story into specific parts; this can be done by chapter or scenes, depending on your preference. 3. No, you won't actually die, but the program Write or Die can ruin your life. 4. Take cues from Nathan For You. 5. Image: Richard T. 6. 7.
No Shortcuts, Please: Myths and Misconceptions of Villains & Mental Health – WRITERS HELPING WRITERS® I love the internet–I get to meet all sorts of wonderful people. Today I’m happy to welcome Sacha Black, who knows a heck of a lot about the baddie in your story…someone more important than some writers may realize. This misconception means sometimes not as much effort is put into building them, so Sacha is addressing this today. Strong characters are the gateway to a compelling story, so please read on! Villains get all the interesting bits of a story. The disorders aren’t always portrayed accurately.It leads to myths, misconceptions, and stigmatizing a sector of society. Let me be clear; I’m not suggesting anyone in the story with mental health issues must be a villain or antagonist. Before we look at the myths, let’s tackle a common misconception that writers often get wrong. Misconception – Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) Are “the Same” Schizophrenia is not the same thing as a split personality (medically known as Multiple Personality Disorder). Save Related
How Not to Create a Villain by Anne Marble Villains aren't as important to the romance novel as the hero and heroine, but in many stories, they are crucial. The villain's actions can drive the hero and heroine to succeed against all odds, force them to make difficult decisions, even drive them apart for a while. However, romance writers walk a delicate tightrope when creating villains. If your villain is dull, the readers won't be all that interested in your story, even if your hero and heroine are wonderful. On the other hand, if the villain is too interesting or has too many scenes, he might distract the readers from the hero and heroine -- and they should always be the main focus of a romance novel. Even if you aren't writing romantic suspense novels, your story might still need a villain. Why should you work so hard on your villains? There are some common mistakes many romance writers make when creating villains. Villains Who Take Over the Novel. Obvious Villains. Clichéd Villains. Unnecessary Villains.
Writing a Book – Finding Time You want to write a book, and have been wondering about the process. Maybe you’ve started a bunch of times, but something got in the way. Motivation failed you, or you lost track of the time, or you wrote the entire thing but never got it out there in any form or fashion. There are lots of roadblocks and dead ends in the world of writing books. Finding Time to Write a Book Most people, when I queried them, said that finding time was the #1 complain/worry/issue they had with being able to write a book. Write notes about your book into something like Evernote, which can be accessed from your phone, your desktop, and any web browser (meaning you have no excuses to take down ideas). But I Have Kids So do I. While they watch TV, you write at the table. Time DOES Grow On Trees Gandhi famously said that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. How you respect your own time and how you show others the value of your own time is the key here. Own this. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about discipline.