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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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“Have a Prompt!” Saturday #123

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Posted by on September 22, 2018 in Home, Prompts

 

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Sheepadoodles and Combining Characters

Have you ever heard of a sheepadoodle? It’s a cross between an Old English sheepdog and a poodle. They look like this:

Despite my love of dogs, I have never heard of this dog hybrid before Rachel mentioned that the new family she’s going to be babysitting is going to get a sheepadoodle puppy. It’s a cross that I never would have thought of.

In a wayward way, it kind of reminded me of the more recent revelation I had with one of my WIPs. There’s a character that I had planned but, after scribbling down a very rough outline, realized that I probably had no use for her. Her bigger role was combined with another character’s to give him a bit more to do and to make the plot a little more difficult for the rest of the cast of main characters.

When writing, usually you would just write down everything you know about the story, make the document or notebook pages a word vomit of the story you want to tell. In later drafts, cutting out or combining characters is something that comes from editing.

In one way, I feel as if I’m a step ahead upon realizing this character is not needed, at least not for the bigger role I had originally planned for her. On the other hand, it is a little sad to already get rid of a character that I feel I haven’t known for too long.

We’ll see what happens with the rest of the first draft.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2018 in Home

 

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Shadows

In one of my WIPs, I have this character who is creatively named Dark. He’s basically comprised of shadows, having been magically rather than naturally born. While he can seem stoic and content to stay in the background, he’s more of the type to try to herd everyone that he knows together to be sure everyone is safe.

As far as I’ve seen in the writing, anyway.

Dark’s followed around the protagonist to be sure said protagonist wouldn’t get himself killed because the protagonist really has no idea what he’s doing since it’s the protagonist’s fault that they’re lost. Basically, Dark just wants the protagonist to stay put while Dark tries to figure out how to get them all home. Each time Dark’s plans crack, Dark himself seems to crack as well.

It’s not until the third character — who happens to be a talking beagle — in their party explains to the protagonist, “Dark is made of shadows. He’s been doing better on his own but, like all shadows, he still needs his anchor,” that both the protagonist and I get a better understanding of the usually reserved Dark’s state of mind.

In a way, that tidbit about Dark made me think about how everyone is a shadow, following along in someone else’s footsteps, looking up to those they admire, while also being someone else’s anchor, someone else’s inspiration, someone else to help keep them grounded when they need it. It’s little moments like that that really make me enjoy writing. I’m lousy at getting plots to stay strung together — which I’m trying to be better about — but my characters and world building make me proud.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Home

 

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“Have a Prompt!” Saturday #116

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Posted by on October 7, 2017 in Prompts

 

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“Have a Prompt!” Saturday #115

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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Prompts

 

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“Have a Prompt!” Saturday #114

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Posted by on September 23, 2017 in Prompts

 

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