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Common, Yet Terrible Character Descriptors - And How To Fix Them

Common, Yet Terrible Character Descriptors - And How To Fix Them
When asked to describe their characters, many people tend to use the same over-generalized descriptors over and over. The result tends to be what I call a "Forer profile" - it's so vague that it can fit any number of characters - all of whom are wildly different - equally well. And when the same character description could fit a sneaky trickster as it could a determined soldier as it could a grad student opening a florist's shop, that's a problem. So, I'm going to outline how to give more and better information on your character to give people a better idea of what sort of person they're reading about. For the sake of simplicity, we'll go with "animals" for most of this particular section. Here are other examples of useful statements: "My character volunteers at the animal shelter."" All of the above statements are only a few words longer than "my character loves animals," but contain huge amounts of information in comparison. Fun is entirely subjective. Related:  Writing Character DevelopmentDevelopment

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.

Basic Tips To Create Better Characters With Tragic & Traumatic Backstories First, ask yourself why you're giving your character a tragic or traumatic backstory. Are you giving your character this backstory to build up/explain what kind of person your character is now? Or are you doing it mainly to make readers or other characters feel sorry for your character, or to make your character seem more badass/tough for having survived the ordeal? Or are you doing it mainly to give your character a reason to run away from home and/or have nobody to be attached to so xe can go hang out with the cool characters with nothing to pull xir away? Even worse, trauma/tragedy often is used as little more than a device to give an intended love interest a reason to want to lavish care and affection on xir. Benjamin Linus from Lost is a good example of a tragic/traumatic backstory used to good effect. Ask yourself how much trauma/tragedy your character actually needs. Remember, not everything your character does should be explicitly or overtly tied to the trauma/tragedy.

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.

Introducing Characters - First Impressions Introducing Characters - First Impressions by Melanie Anne Phillipscreator StoryWeaver, co-creator Dramatica When your reader/audience first meets your characters in a story, it has the same effects as when you are introduced to someone in real life. First impressions have a tremendous impact that you can use either to establish or mislead your reader/audience as to the true nature of each character. You might tell your reader/audience all there is to know about a particular character right up front. But for another character, you may drop little bits of information over the whole course of the story. Then there is the question of who shows up first? Who is your Main Character? You know all about your characters while your audience knows nothing. Sometimes an author may want to have a character with a dark side, or a hidden side that will be revealed only later in the story. *Try either or both for 90 days.

So You Wanna Write/Play A Powerful/Talented Character That Probably Won't Be Perceived As A Mary Sue? Many, many, many times I've seen people complain that they can't write or play powerful characters without these characters being labelled as Mary Sues. I really have only one thing to say to this: it's probably either because your characters are Mary Sues, or because you're presenting your character the wrong way. Sure it's not the former? Okay, then let's get on to how you can present your character so people probably won't grab the torches and pitchforks. This article is largely intended for fan characters, though most of it applies to other character types as well. Start by describing what makes your character tick, not what makes xir special. When you begin your character profile/pitch, leave out your character's appearances, superpowers, and canon connections as long as you possibly can. If you have a well-developed character, you should be able to describe xir without mentioning xir powers, abilities, or canon connections quite easily. Remove irrelevant specialness.

How to Write a Horror Story: 12 steps Steps Writing Your Own Horror Story 1Get an idea, brainstorm ( make a list of scary topics; be original). 12Think out of the box! Tips Attempt to include as many major details as possible, ie - facial expressions, setting details and feelings. Ad Warnings Don't explain everything. Helpful Tools and Programs Scrivener - Scrivener is a program for Mac OS that acts as a word processor, and story management tool. Tips To Create & Write Better Non-Protagonist Characters (NPCs) For the purpose of this article, the term “NPC” and “PC” shall refer to “non-protagonist character” and “protagonist character,” respectively. Not only will they refer to PCs and NPCs in the traditional sense (“non-player/playable character” and “playable/player character”), but also to to non-protagonist characters in non-interactive fiction (eg, TV, books, movies). The reason being, the advice in this article applies to both RPG NPCs and non-protagonist characters in non-interactive fiction, and some forms of roleplay (eg, fandom and play-by-post roleplays) can blur the distinctions between the two. They need to be treated as people with their own lives, and not merely as stepping stones or obstacles for the protagonists. Many times, NPCs aren’t treated as actual people who have lives, dreams, and problems of their own but as little more than walking, talking objects that have little purpose other than helping or hindering the heroes somehow.

Mary Sue Test Background A Mary Sue is an unrealistic type of literary character commonly created by inexperienced authors. Although they vary, a typical Mary Sue has an unreasonable number of cool or special traits, especially ones the author wishes he or she had, and they tend to accomplish things too easily, solve problems too neatly, and become the center of attention whether they deserve it or not. This test aims to help authors evaluate whether their characters are in danger of becoming Mary Sues by drawing attention to potentially problematic traits. However, authors should remember that a Mary Sue is a subjective classification. There is no such thing as a "Mary Sue trait"; any trait can be part of an interesting, well-balanced character. When taking this test, be honest, but keep it in perspective and remember context. The test has seven sections: This test comes from this thread in the Writer's Block subforum on TV Tropes. Section 1: Author Avatars Scoring 1-10: Your character is understated.

Guide for Writers: Characters Most stories are remembered for their characters, not specific plot points. If you want to write a memorable story, create memorable characters. They do not need to be believable — they need to be dramatic. It Takes Two Often, the best stories are deceptively simple: there are two main characters for the reader to follow. The central character is the character a reader or viewer “follows” through the story. The opposition character can be “good” or “evil” depending on the role of the central character. Grand Central Characters A grand central character is a complete character. What is the character’s active goal? An active goal is a specific, measurable goal. While the goal is known to the character, his or her emotional need seldom is. The reason the character fails to see a need is usually a character flaw. Finally, as the story progresses you should reveal the backstory of the central character. Creating Characters Character creation — and development — requires the hubris of Dr.

Writing Characters | Creative Writing Course In this fifth session in my free creative writing course, we will be looking at writing characters. In creative writing we become, in a way, like God. In short stories, novels and poems, we construct a world then fill it with people who take on a life of their own. Iris Murdoch described a novel as ‘a fit house for free characters to live in’. How far a literary construct can have free will is an ongoing philosophical debate; more pertinent to writers is whether plot should follow character or the other way around. Character, Plot and Message There are three kinds of stories: those that start from character, from plot or from message. A message-driven story is one where a writer starts with an idea or theme (enviromentalism, religion, anti-war etc) then crafts a plot and populates it with types who will best illustrate the message. A character-based story is when the characters are so memorable and well-drawn that the story would not exist without them. Starting from Character Motivation

Writing Realistic Injuries Quick Contents Introduction General remarks What's normal?Reactions to injury - including emotional reactions, fainting and shock. Minor injuries - such as bruises, grazes and sprains Head injuries - from black eyes to severe concussions Broken bones Dislocated jointsCutting and Piercing - for various locations, including blood loss symptoms and figures. Blunt trauma - getting hit, internal injuries.Burns - including electrical burns Hostile environments - such as extreme cold and heat, oxygen deprivation and exposure to vacuum. Introduction Characters climbing cliffs with broken arms or getting knocked out for an hour or so and then running around like nothing happened, bug me. Back to Quick Contents General Remarks There’s a lot of ‘relatively’ and ‘probably’ in this article because everyone reacts differently to injury. What’s Normal…? For a normal, reasonably healthy adult the following reading are ‘normal’. Pulse rate between 60-100 beats per minute. Blood pressure 120-140 over 70-90.

Basic Tips To Get More Racial Diversity In Your Writing Quite often, casts in stories written by white people end up being pretty much all-white - not necessarily out of any malice by the authors, but because they simply haven't trained themselves to write otherwise. So, here's a list of tips that will make creating non-white characters second-nature before long. Make characters non-white just because you can. When you create a new character, ask yourself: does this character really need to be white? Accustom yourself to creating non-white characters. Take some time and deliberately develop some non-white characters, even if you don't plan to use them at the time. Accustom yourself to writing non-white characters. Write vignettes or short stories about non-white characters, or roleplay non-white characters when you get the chance. Remember, just making minor or background characters non-white does not count as inclusion. Get out there and watch/read what non-white people have to say on YouTube and blog sites.

How to Write Characters Try Dramatica & StoryWeaver Risk Free* *Try either or both for 90 days. Not working for you? Return for a full refund of your purchase price! About Dramatica and StoryWeaver Hi, I'm Melanie Anne Phillips, creator of StoryWeaver, co-creator of Dramatica and owner of Storymind.com. What They Do Dramatica is a tool to help you build a perfect story structure. How They Do It Dramatica has the world's only patented interactive Story Engine™ which cross-references your answers to questions about your dramatic intent, then finds any weaknesses in your structure and even suggests the best ways to strengthen them. StoryWeaver uses a revolutionary new creative format as you follow more than 200 Story Cards™ step by step through the story development process. How They Work Together By itself Dramatic appeals to structural writers who like to work out all the details of their stories logically before they write a word. Try Both Programs Risk Free! We have a 90 Day Return Policy here at Storymind.

Improve Your Character Writing Look through the eyes of the opposition. By now, you’re probably used to seeing the world through the eyes of your protagonist. Now, try seeing the world and your protagonist through the eyes of characters who disagree with or even outright hate your protagonist. Get in-character as these characters for awhile and grok the world from their POV for awhile. Can you, in the shoes and mindsets of these characters, justify the things you were having these characters do in-story? You might also create two new characters, both of whom are neither wholly good nor bad. Like something you like.Dislike something you like.Like something you dislike.Dislike something you dislike. And set up each character so that each one: Likes something the other character likes.Dislikes something the other character likes.Likes something the other character dislikes.Dislikes something the other character dislikes. Don’t just make their likes and dislikes frivolous, either - make them important and meaningful.

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