Tag Archives: character development

I Dare Ya!!

I love the DARES on the NaNoWriMo forums (This is one of the many things I do to waste time while waiting for inspiration to strike). ūüôā You should definitely check it out if you get the chance, but just for fun I’ve copied just a few of them here for you to check out.

(I did not make up any of these, but they are free for anyone to use.)

Make your characters play ‘The Game.’
BP if someone says, “I lost the game” at the climax.
DBP if the game is a plot point.
TBP if the game isn’t ever explained.

Give someone an out of character hobby.
BP: If you can justify it.
DBP: If it plays into the bigger picture of the story.

have a character who speaks exclusively in metaphors.
+ if the metaphors never make any sense.
++ if everyone else understands what the character is saying anyway.

include a character with a social networking addiction.
+ if they stop at crucial points in the plot to update facebook/twitter/tumblr/whatever.
++ if they do this at the most inopportune moments possible.
+++ if, while doing this, they say things like ‚Äúwait! my facebook friends/followers/etc. would think this is HILARIOUS.‚ÄĚ
++++ if they say this in the middle of a beheading.

include a character who is constantly pointing out symbolism in the novel.
+ if the things they talk about aren’t actually symbolizing anything.
++ if they are.
+++ and a large cake if you’re parodying your high school english teacher.

Just make the MC be a time traveler or something….
Quadruple bonus points if they’re updating facebook in a medieval castle.

Have a character killed by the Travelling Shovel of Death (but that’s hardly a dare! WAIT, interrupting parenthesis) and explicitly identify it as the Travelling Shovel of Death.
BP if the shovel-ee is otherwise immortal and can only be killed by a metafictional artifact.
DBP if the plot involves a quest to acquire the Travelling Shovel of Death.
TBP if this quest involves visits to the Nanovels of other Nanoers using the Travelling Shovel of Death.
QBP if you type the name of the Travelling Shovel of Death out in full every time that you refer to the Travelling Shovel of Death.
SBP if your nanovel is an academic history of NaNoWriMo itself using the quest for the Travelling Shovel of Death as a framing device.
BNP if the person killed with the Shovel is a white supremacist.

Have a character meet Jenny Everywhere. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Everywhere)
+BP: Have Jenny Everywhere be a major character.
+DBP: Have Jenny’s universe-shifting powers be explained.
+TBP: Make her powers a major plot point.

Kill your protagonist in every scene.
BP if nobody notices.
DBP if it’s never explained why or how that happens.
TBP if it is nevertheless intrinsic to the plot.

Name all of your characters with anagrams of Ian Woon.
BP: If you also have important plot objects named with an anagram (Like a Win a Moron contest. )
DBP: If no one notices this in the story.
TBP: If everyone notices this in the story and makes fun of it.

Write your novel in future tense.

…and that’s the second time I’ve lost The Game today. (For anyone not familiar, the rules for The Game¬†are pretty simple). I hope everyone is having fun prepping for November.


How Do You Get In the Mood to Write?

Glencar Falls, Ireland

This photo helps me. At least on my current story. I sometimes struggle to get into the mood to do any writing (this is a problem I have in many areas). Since my current fantasy novel involves a cross-country journey, this photo is perfect to get my mind-set for wilderness. And it brings back some great memories of my trip to Ireland.

I would love to go back and do a hiking trip across the country. It is beautiful country.

How do you get in the right mindset?

Is It Possible to Finish a Novel In 6 Weeks?

Why yes, I do believe it is. I just finished the novel that I started for August’s CampNaNo. Okay, so it’s only a first draft and still needs work, but I can’t believe that it’s done already. It makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with the other novel that I’ve been working on for 3 years. Who knew that I could finish that fast? Not me.

It was difficult to finish. You know that feeling you have when you’ve read a good book and you reach the end? That sinking feeling because you know you will miss the characters? Finishing a novel is a little like that for me. I get all wrapped up in the story and the characters. I know things about them that I don’t even get to put in the story. I really think that is part of my problem, finishing means saying goodbye. I have a way¬†out now though, since there are several more ideas bouncing around for this character and the world in which she lives. Finishing doesn’t seem so final now. So next goal, finish the original idea, and outline a new novel for November.

Still, I am hoping to make November’s novel something a little different. I have a character that’s been patiently waiting. October will, hopefully, be filled with world building for the new world and outlining. Unless I don’t finish The Tales of Talamh. In which case I’ll be a rebel for November.

Write often, knit when you can and be good to each other.

Do Unto Others…

Today my post may turn out to be more of a rant. Strangely, sadly a rant about a situation very close to me. My own son. How did I raise a child who is so insensitive; mean-spirited even? It doesn’t seem possible. All of my life I have lived in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. I had to learn as an adult that sometimes it is okay to say what you think. Still I try to say things in such a way as to not hurt people. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve caused my fair share of hurt feelings. I am no saint, but still if you knew me, you would never believe how my kid could be turning out the way that he is.

I cannot for the life of me, understand why people put all of their business on Facebook. Not every thought you have is worth saying out loud, much less putting on the world wide web for everyone you know to see. Suffice it to say that my son has made a rather insensitive comment in a decline to an event and I am appalled that he won’t delete it. When I first asked him about it he said “It’s the truth.” Well needless to say that prompted a conversation wherein I had to explain that the “truth” is subjective. His comment was only his opinion and quite frankly an opinion that was hurtful and insensitive. I let it go because he was at a friend’s house and I had called him on the phone to ask him to delete the comment. Later I texted him and asked him to “please” delete the comment with a promise of a conversation later about why if he wanted. The comment remained. Today, I picked him up from his friend’s house and admittedly I became angry when he still refused to delete it. So I tried again later, and he is being quite obstinate about it. He is 18 ( by just a few¬†weeks) and seems to feel that I can no longer tell him what to do. It is an interesting conundrum.

I threatened to take away his electronics and cell phone (I pay for it all), and he asked if I was done “bullying” him. To be fair, I knew that’s what I was doing, so it did not much bother me when he called me on it. I let him know that I was a much bigger bully than him. That we are all capable of being mean and nasty and that it was a choice that we each make every day. I admit here that this is not how I wanted to handle it, but he has not responded to pleading or reasoning. My arsenal is getting thin.

When he posted the comment, which I am sure hurt a lot of people’s feelings, I was upset that he could be so thoughtless and insensitive. Still I thought it to be excusable based on his age and lacking experience, but his refusal to fix his mistake, or even admit that he has made one just makes his comment mean. I struggle to understand what gain he could have from directing his anger at this group of people in this way.

So now, I am sad to think that this is a child that I raised and begs the question of just what is wrong with this generation and how do we fix it? We cannot continue treating each other so badly. It simply will not do. What has happened to the world that so many people think that it is okay to just slam someone in a public forum with no regard for how it may affect others or themselves?

Yes,¬† we all get angry. Yes, we all say things we shouldn’t. And yes, we all cross the line sometimes, but when we do it privately, we have to make amends with the one person that we hurt. When we do it publicly, we are judged, and we run the risk of hurting a whole lot of people, some of whom we did not realize we would hurt. So keep your opinions to yourself sometimes. Exercise good judgement, even when you are angry. If you are angry with me, then say it in person or send me a private message. We might be able to work it out, but if we start a public war, there may be too much damage done.

Be good to each other!

Busy, Busy!

Well, I had no internet this last weekend, so I missed my Fridays with Frost spot this week. It will be back this Friday for sure. I also missed my free download from Barnes & Noble, I’m pretty sad about that too.

Meanwhile, my winning CampNaNo¬†story is now up to 59,800 words. It should be finished soon. Well, you know the first draft. Then I can, hopefully, get back to my other novel. I’d like to finish it before the end of October so that I can get a jump-start on outlining a new story for November’s NaNo. I’ve an idea on the back burner for several years now and I’d really like to get to it this year.

I guess we’ll see how far I get, I still have a fair amount of knitting that I need to get to as well.

Here’s to the fact that sometimes endings just aren’t happy!

Have a good week¬† ūüôā

Flat Characters and Plot Soup

I have been on vacation this week and due to getting a bit of the writing bug last week, I’ve spent most of my time working on my long neglected novel. It has been a lot of fun.

You see I put away my novel when I realized that it was missing some things and I could not seem to remedy the issues. Oh, I had a solution waiting in the wings, but I was not terribly satisfied with it.¬†I needed to introduce new characters, but they simply lacked depth, and then of¬†course they didn’t really add to the plot, only filled in space. No, I had to put it down. I needed the new characters for conflict, but I¬†simply could not bear¬†for¬†them¬†to be so boring.

Now, my windshield got broken on Friday and so Monday and Tuesday all I had to do (besides the normal household chores) was gardening and writing.

I had completed my outline for the August Camp Nano, and I did not want to get ahead of myself so I decided to go through the old novel. I have a couple of different copies so first I sat down and read through the one that was the most recent. I realized that I had a lot of good stuff in there and it seemed unfair to just give up on my characters. So I¬†jumped back in with renewed vigor and I have written close to 15,000 words in just 3 days. Much to my excitement, it isn’t just drivel either, these are good quality words and real solutions to my story’s issues.

Also I have learned that the 2007 version of Word has a nifty, time-saving feature. ‘Compare.’ It will actually compare the different versions of my document and display the old, new, and combined documents in one screen. Cool, huh? Okay, a lot of you probably knew that, but I had no idea. Working for a non-profit, we are still using an older version.

Thanks a ton for letting me ramble. I was having a bit of a slow start this morning, but there is something about spending a few minutes writing, that always leads to more writing. At least for me.

BTW – In the event that the news has escaped anyone, Ray Bradbury passed away this week. The world has lost a beautiful mind.

Save Yourself!!

Normally I don’t do movie reviews. This is in part due to the fact that I like just about anything. I like movies. Let me escape the world in which I live for two hours, and I’m usually happy. Yet here I find myself compelled to write about this one. Compelled, because I want to save everyone two hours of their lives. Drive is the worst movie I have seen in a long time. Maybe you’ve seen the commercials, or a trailer, and like me you thought it was going to be an action packed thriller. It’s not. Not even close. The commercials hinted at car chases, if you’ve seen the commercials you’ve seen all three of the best minutes of this movie.

Let’s start with the car chases, there is one which is mildly exciting for about a minute and a half. The other one is not particularly exciting. Moving on, the plot is thin, the characters are not particularly likeable, and the dialogue sucks (primarily because there is more soundtrack than dialogue). Oh, yes, and the soundtrack sucks.

Now there is some violence, but its crude and often unbelievable. It is a movie that appears to be trying for artistic, and maybe I’m just not an art fan. Reviews mention a powerful love story, but I found nothing moving at all about the “love story.” Worse even is that I wasn’t really sure, until near the end, that there was a love story.¬†Even that aspect is¬†vague and boring. The main character is almost completely played “deadpan,” and the love interest seems uncertain at best.

There are some aspects that reminded me of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, but it falls completely flat.

I just watched a trailer for this movie on YouTube, and I can honestly say that the whole movie is in that two and a half minute trailer, including most of the ending. Seriously, the whole story is in that trailer. The only thing missing is all the time in between those scenes where the characters stand/sit around looking at each other. And, of course, the last two minutes of the movie, which I only vaguely recall because I was so busy being disgusted that I had watched the whole thing hoping that it would get better and it never did.

My suggestion then is, if you have to rent the movie, watch the trailer first and then the last two minutes. Save yourself the full 2 hours.