Tag Archives: character

Myself as a character

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A few years ago I happened upon the writing tip of giving conflicts to your main character. Some authors suggest torturing them, to force them outside of their safe zones they’ve built in their life.

You don’t do this just out of some twisted cruelty…well, maybe some authors do that, but there is a good reason you add problems for the character-

TO MAKE THEM GROW.

You want them to learn and evolve through the story. You give them hardships like a blacksmith uses heat and a whetstone, to sharpen the edge.

This hit me hard in my real life. As much as I try to avoid problems and hardship, it just never occurred to me that if I were a character in a story, my story would be boring.

Heroes face the problem. They deal with it. They take on the problem and find a solutions.

When this concept worked its way into my own reality, I found catharsis to see myself as a character in my own story.  Life gives you conflict…that is quite literally what Life is about. Well, the ups and downs. But it is those downs that provide the strongest, life-changing lessons.

Instead of avoiding problems, I should focus on finding solutions to problems. That’s what heroes do, right?

Writing can teach us as much of ourselves as we’re trying to provide entertaining and education to our readers.

What lessons have you learned in your writing journey? Post in comments.

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Writer blog fun

Writing Blog FunThe other day, my writer’s group talked about blogging for writers. Authors, or would-be authors, should consider this medium as a means for marketing their writing. However, it also provides a wonderful means to exercise your writing (or show off your mad skillz) to the world.

Some writers ask me “But what would I write about?” My response is often “You’re a writer- MAKE S#!& UP!” So here are a few blogs to illustrate my point;

 

garThe Evil Overlord Handbook is by Gar the Pitiless. The author writes as an evil character, but unfortunately, doesn’t write much now. His posts are incredibly entertaining and well worth the read.

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The British, modern day series of Sherlock also boasts not just Sherlock’s Blog, but also of Dr. Watson.

From the show, the characters talk about their blogs, which include the posts they mention. Even the side character, Molly Hooper, has a blog.

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I once wrote a blog (no longer published) from the viewpoint of a housewife by day, secret agent at night. I even created a villain, Kang Fang of the Nepal Mafia who sought to take over the world. Since I didn’t gain too many readers, I ended up not writing posts in favor of other projects. But it was fun.

A fellow writer who enjoyed my fan fiction wrote me and volunteered to play the role of Kang Fang. We even explored writing a shared story, taking turns with scenes between two agents. It was hilarious fun for us.

Even if you don’t wish to explore the fictional world. a non-fiction author can utilize their blog to write about the topic of their books. This helps build trust for readers.

For example, if you write about gardening, you might blog about gardening techniques, or share tips. If you write about health, you could post about medical conditions, new discoveries in health, or share personal stories about health on your blog.

The important takeaway is that a blog provides you a valuable and fun tool to gain readership through your writing skills. Show off your writing skills and let your imagination run wild.

 

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Story Tropes: Love (Video by Nika Harper)

I decided I’m so bad about posting, Ill start to share interesting videos, articles, and web sites that might interest other writers.

Today’s link by National Novel Writing Month YouTube channel, talks about Story Tropes: Love.

What is a trope?

A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect[1] such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices,[2] motifs or clichés in creative works. (wikipedia)

Some writers might consider tropes as cliché’s and should be avoided, but classic story telling often includes tropes because they work so well. They often speak truthfully about the human condition- of characters as well as the readers.

You can look up tons of tropes at TVtropes.org which is searchable by genre, medium, and type.

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Thoughts on the adventure

thoughtsThis year I promised myself to go beyond my comfort zone, or more importantly, what I considered ‘safe’, to embrace the adventure and see where it took me.

It didn’t work out as well as I hoped.

Taking chances includes disasters. You don’t read about the people who didn’t make it. Failing doesn’t make good storytelling, but it is part of the path towards success, to find out what works and what doesn’t work. (And I excel at finding out what doesn’t work).

Get help. Help takes on many forms, not just the help of other people who know what they are doing, but also the encounters with choices, or finding meaning in anything from a quote to a story. Ask for advice, weed out the unhelpful criticism, and move forward.

Rise from the ashes. This is difficult if you don’t have wings, so even if you have to stagger and stumble out of the ashes, that works too. The important thing is that you keep trying, changing your plans if necessary, in order to keep moving forward.

I wish Life was more like a story, where you encounter the Hero’s Journey, where stumbling is only a setback, where you find a the Guide to help you, and where you may not triumph but you do change for the better.

What are your thoughts on this topic; post in comments.

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