Blood bounces quite strikingly on snow not only because of the obvious color/contrast discrepancy, but the large difference in temperatures.
Another post to add to the list of “I swear I’m not a serial killer, just a writer”
TRAGIC BACKSTORY EXPLAINS BEHAVIOR BUT DOES NOT EXCUSE IT
TRAGIC BACKSTORY EXPLAINS BEHAVIOR BUT DOES NOT EXCUSE IT
TRAGIC BACKSTORY EXPLAINS BEHAVIOR BUT DOES NOT EXCUSE IT
WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND
Most writers fret over developing characters and getting down to every last detail, but what about introducing them?
The introduction of a character is the reader’s first impression of who this character is. If this character is important, you’ll want to make it stick out to the reader.
What to Avoid:
Queerness: If you introduce a queer character, forget the queer part. Ignore it during introductions unless absolutely necessary. Showing that a character is queer during the introduction creates a bias in the reader. Some readers nitpick queer characters and examine every detail to make sure the author didn’t screw it up. Establish this character first. Paranorman did this beautifully with one of their characters. It was the absolute last thing the viewer learned, after the film explored the character in all other ways available. However, you don’t have to wait until the very end. You can introduce this whenever you want, just make sure it’s not the absolute first thing you mention about a character’s life.
Appearance for a POV Character: The first thing you introduce about a POV character should not be his or her appearance unless it’s relevant. For example, if your character is in a jail cell during the 1700’s, you could describe his long beard or thinness to show poor conditions and neglect. But when do you introduce appearance? Well that’s the beauty of writing. Unlike a film, your reader cannot see everything. You are in charge of opening this world to your reader. Describe the appearance whenever you want, preferably after your reader has a little insight on the personality of the character, but don’t wait too long to do so. Give your reader at least a little bit of information in the beginning.
The Mirror: When introducing a main character for the love of everything do not make them look in some sort of reflective surface. It’s lazy and it’s overdone, especially in first person POV. A way you can use this without being cliche is if the character is looking at something specifically like an injury.
All at Once: Don’t reveal everything about your character at once, including character traits and appearance. Do this gradually, to keep the character fresh in the mind of the reader. If you info dump, the reader may have to go back to keep track of what characters look like.
More Than One: Be careful when introducing two characters at the same time. I can’t recall how many books I’ve read in which the main character meets up with two friends and says nothing more than what they look like and the fact that they both like the same hobby. It’s hard to tell these types of characters apart and it just becomes annoying when the author tries to introduce more than two characters at the same time. If you need to introduce more than one character at the same time, try giving some time between them. Even just a couple minutes will do.
First Pages: Don’t introduce all your characters within the first few pages. It gets messy and disorganized.
Back Story: Don’t introduce a character with tons of back story. Save that for later. The reader does not care about the back story yet and it’s too much information for them to hold at once. Readers needs to know the character before they are able to attach a back story to a face.
Too Many Names:
"Where are you going, Joe?"
"The pizza came, George."
"I’m not going, Hannah."
Avoid writing a bunch of dialogue like that at the beginning. Some of it can flow naturally, but keep it to a minimum and reveal names within the narration. Don’t wait forever to reveal a person’s name though. Doing it once is okay, but when you’ve got a larger cast it can be difficult to keep track of who is who.
Of course, these are not rules and there are exceptions. For example, in Brave New World, a person’s appearance gave hints to where they stood in society and thus giving a person’s height upon introduction was useful.
How to Introduce a Memorable Character:
When introducing a memorable character, try to think about who that character is. 30 Rock is a great example. During the first episode, one of the characters makes his introduction by literally kicking down a door in a casual manner. The behavior fit the character perfectly, as the watcher learns as the show reveals more about that character.
Characters should be introduced in their natural habitat. Again, using Paranorman as an example, the main characters are shown in ways that help define them. The main character is first shown talking to a ghost because he is able to see the dead. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark opens with Indy on one of his many archaeological journeys/treasure hunts and shows just how bad ass he is. Basically, you should introduce the major aspects of your character first and get on to the details later. You want to hook the reader with characters instead of starting out quietly.
How to Introduce Other Characters:
When you introduce any character, you should not think of them as something that has not existed before the page. Force the mindset that your characters existed before the story began. They already have mannerisms and voices that have been developed. You’re just focusing on one part of their lives. Therefore, it’s not really an introduction. You’re basically taking a picture of one time period of a person’s life. That picture is just a small part of what your characters are and what you see in that picture is what you get in an introduction.
You also need to introduce the motive, especially for the main character. This doesn’t have to be the main motive, but your character should want something. The reader needs to root for this character from the beginning to keep reading.
Once you’ve introduced your character, you have to keep that introduction consistent. It can’t be all dramatic at first and then die down for the rest of the story.
Summary of What to Introduce:
- A motive, large or small.
- A little bit of the appearance.
- A behavior or a character in action.
- Hints of personality (both good and bad qualities).
- The reason the reader should care about this character.
- Basics (name, age, gender, etc. (if applicable)).
On the importance of a teddy bear…
i will reblog this every time.
But what if the teddy bear is the nightmare and the creature is the protector?
It is a little-known fact that teddy bears crave and feed on the dreams of young children. It is little-known, of course, because the bears are so soft and cuddly that they convince the young children that they need them. For a while, the bear will feed on the bad dreams, leaving the child with nothing but the sweetest of dreams. But the good dreams taste better and feed them more, so eventually the teddy bear will start feeding on those, and the child will have nightmares every night. And, because the teddy bear so thoroughly convinces the child that the bear is necessary for the good dreams, they will keep sleeping with it, hoping for its magic to work again.
But the mind of a child is so rich and imaginative that it creates the means to its salvation. The monster under the bed rises, in the end, to vanquish the bear. Some nights it rises before the first nightmare night. Other times, it is at the last moment, and rises only when the bear means to suck dry every last dream and imagination in the child’s mind.
Tonight is the former. This monster was sent out in time to save its child from a single bad dream. And despite the teddy bear’s sword, the monster is fierce and devours it in a single gulp.
It is about to leave when it hears confused, wordless mumbles. The monster looks down and sees its child is awake, and looking up at it. Sleep has not faded so much that the child doesn’t scream, just asks in a sweet voice what the monster is doing there.
The monster, like the teddy bear, can’t speak. Instead it picks up the water by the bedside, hands its child the glass. Still confused, the child takes it. When the child drinks its fill and hands it back, the monster tucks it in with gentle claws.
The child murmurs a thanks and falls asleep again. And the monster leaves, satisfied that it has left its child with less fear rather than more.
holy shit that was beautiful
tears man. tears.
Cant applaud hard enough
That was… That was amazing!
I’m not gonna lie, this speaks to me.
While my teddy bear did it’s duty keeping me comforted, when I was 10 and 12 and having trouble falling asleep because I was terrified that a murderer was going to come into my room and stab me to death after watching Scream? I took comfort (and mostly avoided nightmares) in remembering that if the murderer came close enough to hurt me, he would be close enough for the creatures under the bed to grab him.
They kept me safe from what a sleepy 10-year-old imagined was certain death, and I will forever be grateful to them.
In the West, plot is commonly thought to revolve around conflict: a confrontation between two or more elements, in which one ultimately dominates the other. The standard three- and five-act plot structures—which permeate Western media—have conflict written into their very foundations. A “problem” appears near the end of the first act; and, in the second act, the conflict generated by this problem takes center stage. Conflict is used to create reader involvement even by many post-modern writers, whose work otherwise defies traditional structure.
The necessity of conflict is preached as a kind of dogma by contemporary writers’ workshops and Internet “guides” to writing. A plot without conflict is considered dull; some even go so far as to call it impossible. This has influenced not only fiction, but writing in general—arguably even philosophy. Yet, is there any truth to this belief? Does plot necessarily hinge on conflict? No. Such claims are a product of the West’s insularity. For countless centuries, Chinese and Japanese writers have used a plot structure that does not have conflict “built in”, so to speak. Rather, it relies on exposition and contrast to generate interest. This structure is known as kishōtenketsu.
i love how tumblr is like personally offended by 50 shades of grey
I’ve seen a couple people now say it’s okay that DC wont let Kate Kane marry her girlfriend because it’s not homophobia, characters just get boooring after they get married!
Don’t just nod your head and agree that it’s okay that a character is only considered cool if they’re single. Don’t be okay with only “will they wont they” and tense love quadrangles being the only “acceptable” relationships in comics. Don’t be okay with characters getting ignored after they get canon married. Don’t be okay with their spouse “having” to be killed off in order to make them angsty and single and therefore “good to write about” again.
Strive as a fandom and as a community to send the message that those things AREN’T okay. Or, rather, they are, but we don’t need 99.9% of the characters to be single and angsty and in the middle of an on-and-off love triangle for year after year after year. That is just tedious. We don’t need every superhero’s spouse and kids to die to make them interesting. It happens so much it’s not even a shock anymore. At this point, a superhero getting married or having kids is just a countdown to said family getting killed off. Yawn.
Demand better writing from your comics. Do you want to read about a wide variety of people who are superheroes or do you want to read about a bunch of cloned angst-clouds churned out from the Hot Single And Tragic comics writing machine?
No nodding and agreeing from ME.
I liked Peter Parker and MJ married. I would have loved to see Dick Grayson married, to either of the ladies he was engaged to. I would have loved to see Kate happy. I loved Bucky and Natasha together.
All angst all the time is not a thing I want. To make heroes have a reason to keep going, the writers should give them hope, or it becomes contrived, unbelievable. And hope is a good thing, especially when you know it is an actual possibility, not a lie.
The cake is a lie. Don’t make happiness one, too.
Every first draft is perfect, because all a first draft has to do is exist.
A while back someone retweeted a comment that some author? editor? I don’t follow them and I don’t remember. A comment that some literary field person had made about where were all the stories about girl tech nerds saving the world? Sort of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo meets Kick-Ass, was the specific example she used. This gave me a bunny. I wrote some notes, scheduled it for October, and it promptly toppled off the pile of my huge, huge to-do list.
Fast forward to last night. The twitter @BlackGirlNerds tweeted “Let’s Trend A New Character Archetype for Black Women - Black Girl Nerds” and, well, I thought of this novel in progress. So I tweeted back something to the effect of “brb making notes for my future girl nerds save the world novella. This twitter? Loved that. And said something to the effect of “Let me know when it’s finished so I can put it out there for people.”
And then I died of shock.
So, apparently, this is such a rare thing that, sight unseen, this person is willing to at least at the moment express faith in my abilities and promote me. Um. Sure? I knew that the White Male Hero was a thing, but apparently the idea that this was a niche I could fill, that people actively wanted someone, anyone, even me to fill, this hadn’t occurred to me until last night happened.
Here’s where the cry for help comes in. If anyone would be willing to draw art of the characters for this novella (it’s about Nanonovel sized, 50-60k words) I would
- Be eternally grateful
- Provide advance PDFs (or epubs or .mobis if I can figure out how this frigging software works). Sort of the broke non-publishing-house writer’s version of ARCs?
- Fling credit all over the internet everywhere I post it, and even some places I don’t (such as “text by me, with art by [your name here]” on Twitter, with links back, etc)
- Gush all over you and be eternally grateful, did I mention that?
I can’t actually pay anyone anything right now. I am not exactly skint broke but I am tight for cash and won’t have as much money as I’d love to fling around Dragon*Con, let alone enough money to pay people for art that I would love to have of stuff. So I can’t commission anything, and I’m not looking for Fabulous Art. Whatever anyone feels like doing! This is pretty much just begging for fanart of something I haven’t written yet, although I can give you fancasting for the characters, character descriptions and backgrounds, and a rough outline of the story progression and various other notes I have kicking around.
I mean, I’d do character art myself, I’d love to have character portraits of everything I spend any amount of time (read: longer than 5k words or so) writing, but I have the artistic ability of a stunned moose. And no time to practice and upgrade that to drunken moose.
So, um. Halp? And, man, it’s weird what happens on Twitter.
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