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[personal profile] ladyseishou
Start with an object, a very personal, important thing that represents both your character and theme and expand
out to show surrounding objects, an entire room, then focus on the character or characters and begin as normally.


- Ginger Earle, Establishing Shots-Small to Big

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9 days remaining before the start of NaNoWriMo, Nano Writers! We finish this week putting together something that should help keep track of all the story's details that we've generated the past two weeks, your story's bible... )

Next week we'll look at quick ways to outline the big ideas for your story - pantsters welcomed too! Until then, keep writing Nano Writers!
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
Before I write down one word, I have to have the character in my mind through and through.
I must penetrate into the last wrinkle of his soul.


- Henrik Ibsen

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16 Days until the start of NaNoWriMo, Nano Writers! We've been looking at different ways to fine-tune our characters this week. Come this way for additional suggestions as to how you might get to better know your characters... )

Next week we travel onward into the strange lands of our story's setting. Until then Nano Writer, keep writing!
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[personal profile] ladyseishou
On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.
-Virginia Woolf

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Secondary characters: the mentor, the sidekick, sometimes the love interest, all are characters that for the most part do not change during the course of your story and so are not as fully developed as the protagonist of your tale. But as Nancy Kress describes in her book, Dynamic Characters, these kind of characters can come in three flavors: "ordinary folks", "colorful secondary individuals" and "bit players." And a quick way to brief and unexpected descriptions for these characters may be only a roll away... )

Tomorrow we'll look at a different kinds of writing exercises that will get you into your character's head. Until then, keep writing Nano Writer.
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[personal profile] ladyseishou

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
- Stephen King

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Today we'll take a closer look at our antagonist by laying out virtual (or if you own a deck, real) Tarot cards to discover new insights into our antagonist... )

Tomorrow we'll roll some dice and see what Lady Luck has in store for our story's "helper" characters. Until then, keep writing!
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[personal profile] ladyseishou
Who has the most to lose? Most of the time, your answer will guide you to select the character who should be your protagonist.

— Elizabeth Lyon, Manuscript Makeover

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Today, we'll dig a little deeper into the personality of our protagonist (and our antagonist) by looking into his or her Enneagram personality type... )

Tomorrow, we'll continue to explore more unconventional methods to characterization by looking into the use of Tarot cards whose imagery psychoanalyst Carl Jung considered to be representative of human archetypes. Until then Nano Writer, keep writing!
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[personal profile] ladyseishou
What is either a picture or a novel that is not character?
- Henry James

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This week Nano Writer we look at the characters for our story: our protagonist, antagonist and our secondary characters (mentor, sidekick) - building each up/fleshing them out with a series of what might be considered more unconventional methods... )

Tomorrow, we'll look at how we can generate additional information for character using the personality theory of Enneagram types. Until then, keep writing, Nano Writer!
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[personal profile] ladyseishou
Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted... unbidden... it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us... passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace... but we would be hollow... Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead.
- Joss Whedon

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What's your character's heart's_passion? )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
Great art is the expression of a solution of the conflict
between the demands of the world without and that within.


- Edith Hamilton

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What will you reveal of your character's inner_world? )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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So what does your character find funny? )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
When Medusa looks in the mirror, she sees the Lady of Sorrows.

- Mason Cooley

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest_one_of_all? )
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[personal profile] ladyseishou
With eyes that look'd into the very soul--
. . . . Bright--and as black and burning as coal.


- Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

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And what do they say about_your_protagonist? )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

- Phillips Brooks

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If you had to describe your character with three_words... )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
Character is plot.

- Henry James

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And may we introduce our cast of characters? )
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[personal profile] ladyseishou
Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald


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It's Day 29 for Nano Writers's Let's Build a World. Read over - Character - from Stephanie Bryant's 30 Days of Worldbuilding. Once more to our notebooks, dear Nano Writer and today's exercise )
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[personal profile] ladyseishou
Character develops itself in the stream of life.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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It's Day 19 for Nano Writers's Let's Build a World. Read over - What If? Character - from Stephanie Bryant's 30 Days of Worldbuilding. Time to get out your notebooks and read today's exercise )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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It's Day 18 for Nano Writers's Let's Build a World. Read over - Speculation and Society - from Stephanie Bryant's 30 Days of Worldbuilding. Notebooks ready? Now for today's exercise )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

- Ryunosuke Satoro

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Mod's Note: It is recognized that aspects of this topic may be controversial in nature but it is expected that all members of the community will demonstrate courtesy and respect to all fellow members who may hold or express differing opinions or beliefs. In other words, play nice, okay?

It's Day 6 for Nano Writers's Let's Build a World. Read over Day 6: Races from Stephanie Bryant's 30 Days of Worldbuilding. Time to get out those notebooks (yesterday's map too) and start today's exercise )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
The readers' selections for What a Character Contest have been counted and tabulated!

And an interesting contest it has been! For our writers for Part One, there was a penchant for the supernatural and fantastic with descriptions of vampires, aliens and spies possessing a wide range of reading interests from Howl's Moving Castle to The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy and everything in between.

Our readers responded in kind selecting characterizations that described protagonists (or bad guys) who would work well in any science fiction/fantasy/action novel.

And_the_envelope_please... )
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
After reading through lists of baby names and checking out the name generators at the Seventh Sanctum, Nano Writers might consider the following advice offered by literary agent Even Marshall, author of The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing when putting together a list of names for their novel's characters:

  • Try (at least with your major characters) to have all first and last names start with a different letter. You can keep a simple alphabetical list.
  • Vary the sound and length of characters' first and last names.
  • Avoid using all Anglo names.
  • Avoid using names that end alike or similarly.
  • Try to avoid using names that end in s, which make for awkward possessives.
  • Avoid overly long names, especially for major characters. The stars of my two mystery series are Jane and Anna.


Also a reminder: What a Character! Contest closes at midnight tonight! Come and vote for your favorite characterization!
ladyseishou: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyseishou
As Janet Burroway observes in her work: Writing Fiction - A Guide to Narrative Craft, "Human character is in the foreground of all fiction..." and "...we must find them interesting, we must find them believable, and we must care about what happens to them."

To work toward these goals, she provides the following advice:

  1. Keep a journal and use it to explore and build ideas for characters.

  2. Know all influences that go into the making of your character's type: age, gender, race, nationality, marital status, region, education, religion, profession.

  3. Know the details of your character's life: what he or she does during every part of the day, thinks about, remembers, wants, likes and dislikes, eats says, means.

  4. Identify, heighten, and dramatize consistent inconsistencies. What does your character want that is at odds with whatever else the character wants? What patterns of thought and behavior work against the primary goal?

  5. Focus sharply on how the character looks, on what she or he wears and owns, and on how she or he moves.

  6. Examine the character's speech to make sure it does more than convey information.

  7. Know what your character wants, both generally out of life, and specifically in the context of the story.

  8. If the character is based on a real model, including yourself, make a dramatic external alteration.

  9. If the character is imaginary or alien to you, identify a mental or emotional point of contact.


And now (finally) Part 2 for "What a Character!" details_and_contest_here )

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