Anonymous asked: “Do you have any tips on how to describe characters effectively? I always find myself dumping a paragraph on their appearance the moment they appear which often really halts the action.”
Even in great manuscripts, character descriptions can come off pretty clunky. Some writers will get pretty creative to minimize that aspect of it, but it’s usually there to some degree no matter what. Though character descriptions might bog down the writing to some extent, I know they’re necessary. As a reader, I would feel that something is missing if a character wasn’t adequately described. With that said, descriptions do not have to be long, just long enough to help the reader picture him or her.
There are a few ways strategies to describing characters that can help avoid that long description dump at the first sight of a new character:
“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” ― Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon
Sometimes this is the easiest skill to forget! I find when talking to other writers about this, it is especially muddled when writing fan fiction - though there’s a lot more thought that has to go into previously established characters constructed by someone else in writing them and making them still feel real - mostly because it’s harder to know “everything” about them. Anyway, I am going to talk today about how lately I’ve been going about the process of writing characters.
Anonymous asked: “Do you have any tips for writing good and believable flaws for characters and making them effect the plot?”
All good characters are flawed in some way. Even if they are good and kind people, no one is perfect and this rule is especially true for fictional characters. Flaws do not always have to be big and in your face. They can be smaller and relatable.
Some people will say that the character’s flaws should work directly against him in his pursuit of his goal, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. It should however effect how he progresses to his goals. When trying to connect character flaws and plots, you can either know the plot and figure out how the character will get tripped up along the way or come up with the character and try to see how that could hinder him in working towards his goals.
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Anonymous asked: “I really want to start writing a book that I’ve had ideas for rolling around in my mind for a while now. The only problem is I can’t find the motivation to start writing and I’m struggling with getting started. It feels like my imagination is dying!”
Starting a novel can sometimes be intimidating. It’s not physically difficult, but mentally you might face some unexpected roadblocks. I can’t say this is something I’ve ever particularly worried about, but it happens. You get in your head and psych yourself out. You love the idea you’ve been working on and feel there’s a lot riding on it when it comes to putting it on the page.
The secret to getting over this feeling: take a deep breath and remind yourself that this isn’t the first chapter, this is the first draft. No one will know what you’re writing or if you’re writing anything great. In fact, you can even tell yourself, your idea’s not perfect. It needs work still. Even say, this is just for fun. We’ll see where this goes.
“Malfoy, you don’t honestly think you can keep this up can you? She will find out eventually you know. She’s a smart one.” Blaise leaned his head back to rest on Pansy’s stomach, watching as Draco touched his cheek making sure the glamour stuck; concealing all of his markings underneath.
“I intend to keep it up whenever I am with her, that is the goal isn’t it? To seduce and claim? How do you expect me to do that with a face like this? It isn’t normal here Blaise. Nothing about us is normal!” He hissed, raking a newly glamoured hand through his unruly silver hair.
“I understand that Draco bu-”
“No, we have a mission. One that was entrusted to us and I intend to follow it. This is the only way.” Sighing he looked at his reflection once more.