Sunday, December 29, 2013

You Know You're a Writer When....

Sarah of Inklined has tagged me in the You Know You're a Writer When tag! To participate in this tag, I have to list four to six signs of being a writer, without knowingly copying anyone else, and then tag as many other bloggers as I want.

You know you're a writer when....

1. You look up pictures of small pox and burn scars on Pinterest.

2. You have a little scribe in your head taking notes about politics/people/human nature/whatever when your parents/other people have conversations in front of you.

3. You sometimes psychoanalyze yourself and the people around you and characters you see in books and movies, and then apply what you learned/figured out to your own characters. 

4. Most of the time you spend on Facebook involves interacting with other writers.

5. You have this morbid fascination for really old cemeteries and the people buried there and their stories.

6. You daydream of people drawing fan art of your characters.

And now to tag people...
Bethany (Thanigan) of Ramblings of a Young Author
Leah (Canon) of Apassionata
Liam of This Page Intentionally Left Blank 
S. Alex Martin (Scalex) of Get it Write Tonight!
And YOU, fair reader, should you wish to participate.

And a lovely day/night/afternoon/whatever to you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Giving My MC Flaws (and Also My Birthday)

So, for the past...Oh, I forget how long, I've been worried that my MC, Gwen, is not flawed enough and too much like me.

I think I have fixed that. Here's what I did:

Sitting at the table the other night I thought "Well, if she needs flaws, and I'm worried about her being too much like me, why don't I give her flaws I don't have?"

Obvious though that may seem in hindsight, it was totally a light bulb moment. So, I started brainstorming a list of general flaws to pick-and-choose from. Greed, pride, prejudice, vanity... And after a few minutes I went and did a Google search to see if anyone had already made a list so I wouldn't have to do all that list-building work. What I found is this: Dark World RGP Character Flaw list. This is actually something I'd seen before in a Character Therapist blog post, but this time I actually looked through the list for possible flaws for my MC.

So. Much. Fun. Yes, I know that's weird. But I love brainstorming, and basically what I was doing was going through and picking out potential flaws and brainstorming why she might have them and how they might affect her and the story. Doing that helped me dig into her character and made her feel less flat and me-like.

Something else I thought: Not all flaws are created equal. Some flaws will be more prevalent in your character and do more damage than others. I haven't really put this to use yet, but I have it written down to think about as I revise/write.

(Another resource I found, but didn't really use is the TV Tropes Character Flaw Index. It looked useful too.) 

The point of this post condensed into one sentence: If you're having trouble with your MC being flat or too much like you, try brainstorming flaws for him/her that you don't have and that fit into the story, hindering or helping the characters as need be. Actually, let me rephrase that. Give them traits that make them act in ways you wouldn't.

So. That's that. Hopefully someone will read this and it'll help them figure out their characters. In other news, today is my 18th birthday, and also the two year blogoversary of this little corner of the Internet. This means I have now known some of my online friends for over two years, and that makes me happy. In celebration of all this, I might be changing the appearance of this blog soon. I've been thinking it needs a makeover, I just haven't done it yet.

Chances are I won't post again until after Christmas, so happy holidays to you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TCWT: If I Could Live in a Book...

Hello, chaps.

The Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain is back! This month's prompt is:
Which fictional world would you most like to be a part of, and what role do you think you would fulfill within it?

Oh, this question. It's almost as bad as "What's your favorite book?" or "Who's your favorite character?"

I've read lots of books with cool worlds. For this post, I've narrowed my answer to this question to three.

Hogwarts from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
Harry Potter is and shall always be one of my favorite fantasies. I wouldn't mind being an herbology professor at Hogwarts. Or maybe a shopkeeper in Hogsmead or Diagon Alley.

The Enchanted Forest from Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles
I have read these books three times (I think), and I could read them all over again. The Enchanted Forest sits under the Mountains of Morning and is full of cool creatures and witches and people and magic things. I would probably be a witch like the cat-loving Morwen.

Alloy of Law era Scadrial from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series.
Mistborn is my favorite fantasy right now. Alloy of Law is the fourth book in the series, taking place three hundred years after the original trilogy. To avoid spoilers, all I'll say is it's set in an Industrial Revolution kind of setting. If you want more details about this world and magic system, go read Liam's post from earlier in the chain. He explained Scadrial already, so I won't bother doing it too. Not sure what role I'd fill in this society, though.

Hmm. I picked three fantasies. Can't say I'm all that surprised. For a bonus, non-fantasy fourth world, I choose Gone Away Lake from the Gone Away Lake books by Elizabeth Enright, in which two kids find an old, nearly abandoned town next to a dried-up lake. I'd live in Mrs. Brace-Gideon's mansion.

Be sure to check out the rest of the chain!
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And a lovely day to you.