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Character Fears

Our 8-pound dog is scared of our turtle.

Once upon a time, Raph the turtle was hanging out in our den and Rachel gave her a piece of banana. Chip the dog wandered in, saw the turtle and the untouched banana, and decided that, hey, Raph isn’t eating the banana and it’s on the floor, so it must be up for grabs. Before we could blink, Chip inhaled the banana piece and Raph… wasn’t happy. Apparently Raph was saving the banana for later.

Chip was startled that the turtle suddenly turned and really got going toward her. Despite popular belief, turtles aren’t that slow. When they wanna move, they move. Chip was still faster, of course, but she was startled enough to never want to stay in the den whenever Raph came out of her tank.

It’s a bit of an irrational fear. Honestly, there are no indications that Raph remembers the stolen banana piece or if she holds grudges. But seeing the turtle turn on her is ingrained in Chip’s little brain and makes the pup dash out of the room whenever she so much as hears Raph’s tank open.

Fears help round out characters. Even if they don’t impact much of the story, fears shape a character’s personality and actions. Facing their fears is usually a fantastic make-or-break moment for characters in their stories as well. Does your character’s fear help shape your character’s personality or the other way around?

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Posted by on October 4, 2018 in Home

 

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Dreams

3e386d7fe4a1be66264c9c7b604e11ceThe protagonist in your book is there to be the hero (presumably). The protagonist will go through the plot, being sure to grow along the way, and save the world. That is the protagonist’s purpose and the character will probably come to terms with that along the way.

What about the protagonist’s dreams, though? Sure, perhaps they dream of the world being safe or of the Bad Guy reforming, but what did they dream about before being thrust into the hero role?

What your protagonist has always dreamed for themselves will shape the way they carry themselves — body, mind, and soul — throughout the story. Will the dream change along with them as the plot goes further along? Will the dream steadfastly stay in their heart for when everything is all over, to keep that simple hint of normalcy in their lives, even if the plot has made everything change forever?

Which is the better ending, for a protagonist’s dreams to grow with them or to stay the same as they were before the protagonist’s journey, no matter how bittersweet it may have become?

I’ll admit, I personally haven’t given much thought to some of my protagonist’s dreams outside of the plot of their story. It’s something that I want to work on, something that I want to explore about their psyches. What dreams will be put on hold for the plot? Will those dreams be waiting when the plot is done?

More importantly, will the protagonists recognize their old dreams when the plot is over?

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2017 in Home

 

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Character Development

I’ve been playing around a lot with my characters lately. I enjoy finding new ways to develop them further, to figure out what makes them tick, and what better way to do so than to put words on paper?

My favorite way to develop them is to write them in little scenes, to stretch my imagination with prompts. Sometimes those scenes from the prompts will end up in the characters’ novel.

Another way I’ve seen people develop characters is to fill out questionnaires regarding them. Those allow the authors to know all the nitty-gritty details about the characters.

Who else has used sites like Tumblr or Pinterest to help develop characters? Posting pictures, blog posts, creating special boards to pin information and inspiration, are all extra ways to help figure out who your characters are.

Want a challenge? Throw a couple of characters from different novels into a scene together and see how they react.

What to you do to develop characters?

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Home

 

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