I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like a character song to put me in the mood to write. A character song, as you might guess, is any piece of music that fits the tone of voice or style of a character. Mostly, I stick to fast paced or nightcored music to keep my book fast paced, it also increases my writing speed and spelling errors. While doing publishing research, I like to listen to ‘Everybody loves me’ to keep me spirit up while I pull myself the realism. What kind of songs do you listen to while writing?
Snow and ice make this area almost barren of life. Humans nest near the frozen forest. Only a large stone wall separates the two. On one side, smoke rises into the night air, on the other golden yellow eyes rival the stars. It appears as if it were a blue moon that night. That is, the first night where there were people on both sides of the wall. No, the villagers rarely left the warmth of their sanctuary. There was only one gate at that point, it was wooden and just as high as the wall. We watched the gates open, peering into the light that shined in the dead of night. Two horses pulled a little sleigh.
It is unknown weather we stayed out of curiosity or hunger. There were few reasons why people left the village so all of the golden eyes watched the sleigh. I alone kept watching the gate. Something fascinated me about what lay inside. The scents that traveled to me caused me to creep closer. Few people were still about, but they made much ruckus during the day. The doors were closing as I looked into the area where a few beams of light shown. As the opportunity for food closed before me someone entered the snow.
They cried out and the closing of the gates stopped. Wrapped in cloth but shrouded in darkness she came up to the gate. The woman stumbled as she came closer to where I lay in wait and watch. Those who had been closing the gate tried to grab her and keep her from going outside into the night. She gently pushed past them. By chance she walked towards where I stood. I knew of this person if only by the smell she carried. Every so often, in times when deer and rabbits were thin, something yummy and warm would be thrown over the wall, and I would promptly eat it.
The woman noticed me and approached she carried something wrapped in cloth up to me. Everytime the gates were opened I would see her. When I was a pup, young and naive, I entered the village in search of the source of good smells. I was not rewarded for me snooping around and small barks and my best growl did not help me. As warm blood fell onto cold fur I was scooped up by the woman. That was a while ago.
A small bundle of warmth was set before me by the lady before she turned and walked back into the gates. With all light not from the moon gone, my companions approached, no doubt hoping for a snack. I snarled at them and looked back to the tiny creature wrapped in a bundle for me. This was not a gift. I had been given something to nurture in the same way that I had been cared for as a pup.
That night the pack wrapped themselves around the pups and the human. Ture is was difficult raising the little creature, but he had skills beyond his years. Raised just as any other pup he stood alongside me for many years. A few times the lady came from the gate. Though the little one growled at her she pet him gently every so often, brushing his cheek and speaking human jiboroush.
At one point the lady stopped visiting and the juicy food she had thrown no longer fed us.
When Maria passed away, the whole village was saddened she had always been so kind, even to those who could not reciprocate. I had heard she had been feeding the wolves, keeping them at bay. No one bothered to give them scraps any longer. We didn’t know we needed to. I was to learn first hand what happened when the wolves weren’t given their peace offering. It was the middle of the day. Wolfs are never out during the day, this day must have given way to a blue moon, however. I was just a young girl but I still remember the event very well. Though the walls were high, they were weak with age.
Wolves of white and black and brown tore down the stone. The village went into chaos. Father called me onto the roof where would be the safest, and we watched the attack together. There are many things I could recall about that day. The way the wall right next to our house fell into individual stones or shards of stone. The stench of blood and the way it stained the snow. The cries of others. But the thing I will tell you about was how one young lad was running with the pack.
He stood on four feet and howled with his friends, ripping at meat and devouring anything dead. His ribs shown clearly through his flesh. The chieftain grabbed up the kid and held him tightly until the wolves were drove away. Young wolf boy bit and growled all the way to the hospital. Though everyone had tried to warm him up and dress him, wolf boy broke free and vanished through the gap in the wall.
Our village was never the kind to resort to violence. A gate was built beside my house and a few knives were sharpened. Over time the little village grew into a town, then a city, but I never forgot to feed the wolves from that day forward. Each day just before dusk leftover meat would be given to me and I would put it over the wall. Slipping through the gate and scoping out a hole in the snow to keep it relatively warm, I would place the meat for the beasts.
After a while, when I placed the meat, I could feel eyes watching me, yellow eyes hid in the shadows. There was a night at one point, where a brave wolf came forward from the shadows, leaving the pack. Soon after the wolves stood close to the gate when I opened it. It was around that point when I saw the wolf boy again, he seemed to be just a little younger than me, but much stronger than when I had seen him before.
I bought cooked meat for the boy and would toss it to him. This made me get fairly close to the wolves, however, because wolf boy was always the furthest away. It wasn’t long after that before the first wolf trailed in after me. On a freezing and stormy night the leader of the pack slipped in through the gate. When I tried to lead him back outside with a chunk of meat, more of the pack came in.
Today I would like to show you what I do as my basic character outline. Hopefully this helps you! I answer the fallowing questions to enhance the plot and move it forward.
What are some of their most displaced traits
What is their defining quality
What is the opposite of that
What would make them do the opposite?
How can I include this?
What do they want most
What is the opposite
How could he want both?
What steps would that character take to achieve both
What would he never say?
What would he never do?
What would he never think?
Write a scene where must say/do/think these things
What is he trying to accomplish?
What if the last reason you wrote down was the primary reason?
What is his conflict/goal?
What could make it matter more?
What is the point where he can not turn back?
So I recently began working on a brand new book. I started working on it with out thinking about trying to write it in 30 days. Surprisingly, I have been able to keep up my word count every day I worked on it. During NaNoWriNo I struggled to reach the number of words each and every day. So what changed? I was excited about the work! The characters are funny! I enjoy writing it so the words come easy. Maybe for future projects I need to tweak the idea instead of focus on the word count. What do you think? Would this help you?
This link is to a Dnews video regarding personality physiology, specifically, the big five. These five traits are what I use to create commingling and relatable characters. By choosing some traits to be represented more highly in your characters you can craft unique and memorable ‘people’. If you have two characters who share nearly identical traits, that’s a good sign you should combine them. As an example of how this is used, the fallowing link is to Captain Jack Sparrow’s personality psychology analysis.
Instead of giving you another 5 pages of text, how about a short book recommendation. I just finished reading Wild Ink (success secrets to writing and publishing in the young adult market) by Victoria Hanley. I really enjoyed the content and writing style. Each section of information was concise and I learned a lot. Not only did it have information on different types of publishing and marketing (along with the usual 3 act structure) but also included information from many authors on a variety of subjects. I have found my self refer to it as a novel three times now because it reads like a story. Please read this amazing literary confection.
Well yesterday I got back from my celebration. That’s right. I completed 50,000 words almost 100 pages. This first draft is looking pretty good but the completion of my project has inspired me and my writing career so look out for more stuff by yours truly. I hope you all try to write a draft in a month, it is very rewarding and not terribly hard. I found my typing speed to be around 500 words for half an hour, whats yours?
The sound of a story is often the little clicking noises that keys make and a story teller’s fingers dance around a keyboard. It could also be the crisp sound of a flowing pencil across paper, or the little breaths that come between each sentence that one may speak. Stories are everywhere. They are in video, audio, picture, text, speech, thought, and action. Your life is a story; a story written by a fun loving and creative deity that orchestrates every occurrence ever since time itself had begun. The work that she writes is written in the skies and acted out by the people, with the other gods directing the film. There are no extras in this masterpiece, every person has their own story, their own background, rising action, climax, falling action and death; and all the characters, whether or not they like it, are working towards a common goal.
Each little action you take causes a ripple effect that can change the course of history. Perhaps this action is finding someone on the street, laying face down on cracked concrete. Perhaps it is you who received the 911 call about a teenager dying on the street in the ghetto. Perhaps you drove the ambulance to save a boy whose hair has been dyed red by his own blood. Perhaps a person scooped this pail human off the ground and watched as his heartbeat flatlined. Perhaps someone took this broken soul to the hospital anyway, not wanting to give up or give in. Perhaps that guy opened his eyes, hearing the rhythm of keys being typed instead of his heart.
Numbness made his skin tingle, it made his eyes not want to open and his body slack. He heard words drifting through his ears, words like tingle, slack, and drifting, but could not piece together a sentence, let alone a thought. His breathing and the clicking of keys served as a constant over the next day and night as other sounds like foot steps or the vents on machines faded in and out of existence. During this time, a lot of things happened, files were searched for this young man’s name, missing person reports were searched through, and many people were questioned, but an identity was not matched to the sleeping face or rhythmic ticking of his soul.
Purple eyes that had seen many things and forgotten most of them, open in the night. Moon light filtered into the room and shone through the blood bag hanging at his side cast a red shadow onto the white sheets and white gown. Though dulled and tired, the eyes darted around the room hearing a noise other than that of the fan and his ticking heart. His breathing was quick as though he had awoken from a nightmare and his heart was beating fast like he had just woken up into a new one. With head spinning, he tried to move one pale arm so he could sit up and look around the room but found himself to be to weak. The noise he heard was was that of a quiet voice.
“Hello?” He called, hoping a nurse would answer.
His tongue felt sore so the young man didn’t bother to call out again. Instead he listened carefully. After the echo of his speech, the voice depicted his speech and then proceeded to remark about how he was feeling and what he did differently. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes again and tried to fall asleep. Soon after, the voice he heard stopped echoing around the vacant room.
So today I started my new, month long, project. I 1700 words as of now, 6:47 July first. To tackle this project I have retreated to the local library and gathered more learning materials. I currently have the fallow books:
Fast Fiction: a book in 30 days writing guide.
A book in a month: a fill in the blanks 30 day writing outline.
The author training manual: A book that assess and gives you the skills to be a (best selling) author, not a writer.
Wonderbook: a colorful book dictating writing skills.
The emotion Thesaurus: you find and emotion, it gives you a list of physical traits.
Creating Characters: about… wait for it… Creating Characters!
I am trying to make myself a better writer this round as opposed to actually completing my book. What books do you use to help you in your craft?
In the past I have tried to write 3 books without a solid plot. What I mean by this, is, a plot that is only in the writers head and not on paper or that only has the general idea written down. Here is my experience:
Trial One: Hinny
The book 12 year old me tried to write was very interesting. I had the general idea that I would have a princess on planet Merc who’s brother was captured and 10 years later, the princess was also captured. The idea was her brother would be mentoring her on an ‘undiscovered ‘island were all the kidnapped kids of the world resided. I have thought up countless scenarios to put the characters in but I never wrote out a plot or any order of advents. The story ended up, 3 years later, being 100 pages on the girl going to school with monster and obtaining super powers. It, to this day, is still unfinished. So yeah…
Trial Two: The Anti-Villain with Carnelian Eyes
This is the story I am working on currently. While I was on a vacation a huge rain storm inspired one chapter of a book about a criminal that could control the weather. When I got home, a friend of my helped me think up a second chapter. When I wrote up the chapter, it was really short so I added on the kidnapping of a child on to the end of it. I gave these chapters to a friend and was guided to change the kid into a love interest. Fallowing this was 400 pages of the criminal, who had no real goal, doing a whole bunch of random things. Before I wrote the last chapter of the book I decided I didn’t like it and started over, only keeping the same first chapter. After that the plot has changed 8 times. Now I am finally revisiting the story and not change the plot.
Trial Three: NaNoWriMo project
I bet you can tell were this is going. Last year I tried out National Novel Writing Month. The plot of the book I was writing was going to be a girl who went to a school for teenagers where they learned to fight and she was asked to guide a new student around the school. The boy was going to be a jerk at first and then help her learn to fight so she could get into a better school. I actually wrote this down but I did not have any plot points, just a general idea. The story followed the plot for about the first 20 pages, then, there was an uprising in the town they lived in, the main character was taken hostage by her love interest’s brother’s split personality, killed her. Then there were 4 guys who all loved her, trying to bring her back to life while all plotting to kill each other. I finished NaNoWriMo with 2000 words left to write having killed my favorite character and having a book that I did not open for over a year until yesterday when I posted the first long section for you.
I will use plot points from now on, or at least a written out flow of advents. How do you plot and how does it work? Also, I still can’t get indenting to work quite right on this website, sorry.