fictional characteres

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A thread about millennials and stories (sorry for all the typos I was fueled by too much emotion to type well)

Creating Dynamic Characters That Feel Real

Despite what people may have led you to believe, the plot or structure is not the most important thing about your story–whether it’s a screenplay, short story, novel. That’s not what makes the story real and important. That’s not why your readers care.

Characters are the most important part of your story. Without them, you have nothing. Your story is nothing.

If you want your readers to find your story complex, compelling, and dynamic, then your characters have to be complex, compelling, and dynamic. You’re thinking, “Oh, that’s easy. I’ve already done that.” Your babies are complicated. They’re beautiful but damaged. Intelligent but socially awkward. They want to be an astronaut; they want to save the world.

Sorry, but you’re full of shit.

Characters aren’t just characters, they’re real people, even if they only exist in ink and paper and your mind rather than in flesh and blood. They need to be as real to your readers as their mother, father, best friend, the person sitting next to them. Otherwise, you have failed. Flesh them out, bring them to life on the page.

Your characters are the heart and soul of your story, and you need to treat them as such. That is your job as a writer. And when you don’t do that, you not only fail your readers and your story, you not only do yourself a great disservice, but you also expose yourself. You reveal something to your readers that you don’t want them to know. As Claudia Hunter Johnson says in her book, Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect (which is an excellent book I recommend you all read), character creation is “an artistic and ethical issue.”

Repeat after me: It is an artistic and ethical issue.

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anonymous asked:

hi i love your blog! basically i have a problem with describing characters... i have tons of inspirational boards on pinterest that help me gauge their appearance but i don't want my reader to assume everyone is beautiful, perfect, etc. is there any like prominent "ugly" facial features you can think of to make my characters more realistic looking? i don't want anyone thinking they're all models

Hi, and thank you! I’m glad this blog is helpful.

I can certainly give you a list things society defines as physical imperfections, both for face and body. Keep in mind that appearance is mostly subjective – what one person finds attractive another could think is butt-ugly. So just because you give your character one or more of these traits doesn’t mean they’re not attractive to other characters, if you need or want them to be – adding an imperfection just prevents Mary-Sueism.

Face:
- eyes set too wide apart
- a runaway chin (meaning they don’t have a defined chin)
- a big/hooked nose
- a too-sharp nose
- a large forehead
- a double chin
- eyes set too close together, which makes the face look broader
- crooked/rotten/missing/discolored teeth
- too-thin lips
- a chin that juts out
- too-light eyebrows or eyelashes (if you can’t see eyebrows or eyelashes, it makes the eyes look too wide and kind of scary)

Body:
- dark hair follicles, so girls’ legs or guys’ faces never look completely smooth
- greasy/frizzy/damaged/dead hair
- extra body fat
- cellulite
- being too skinny
- stretch marks
- scars
- physical handicaps
- skin tags
- birthmarks
- a lot of body hair
- ugly feet
- pudgy hands

General:
- acne
- sweating too much/having an unpleasant body odor
- oily skin
- dry/ashy skin
- freckles (I personally love freckles, but some regard them as flaws)
- skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and plaque psoriasis

I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask. - @authors-haven

Girls I Want to See in YA:

Making this post about relationships got me thinking about girls. I’ll probs eventually make a male version of this.

  • Trans girls
  • Girls who are incredibly disinterested and intimidating (there are a lot of idgaf girls who are loud and talk shit and get crazy, but I want to see girls who can silence a room with one look and care so little about what others think that people are scared of her. i.e. I want to see me)
  • Fragile girls who are breaking and broken but not portrayed as lesser
  • Desperate girls
  • Suave girls who play up their sexuality like a lot of guys do, but aren’t written off as whores, nor wholly characterized by their sexuality
  • Girls who are quiet and scared but have to go save the day anyway, breathing into a bag while they do it
  • Girls of non-average appearance (tall girls, fat girls, girls with acne, really short girls, girls with gigantic jugs, u kno. although, the oddly colored hair thing is getting kinda old)
  • Girls who have crazy high standards for a love interest and when the douchebag bad boy comes along and thinks he’s going to seduce her with his edginess she just doesn’t even care. Bonus if she ends up completely platonic friends with him, or if she kills him one day. That would be fun.
  • Girls who ARE the douchebag bad boy but not in a cliche way
  • Really funny girls
  • Anti-hero girls
  • Evil, evil evil evil evil girls (both genuinely hated and kinda admired)
  • Girls who are innocent and sweet and still likable even though people nowadays look down on naïveté 
  • Gorgeous girls who know they’re gorgeous but their gorgeousness is simply a trait and not their entire identity or even that important to them/their love interest
  • Girls who are oblivious and spend too much time in their own heads
  • Really smart girls
  • Nerdy/fangirl girls who are quiet mostly and then get rEALLY EXCITED ABOUT BOOKS OR TV SHOWS AND THat’s basically the only way they know how to really communicate/connect with people

I’m going to stop myself here before I get too crazy with this. I want to see a lot from YA girls.

Parents in Fiction

It’s surprisingly hard to find good parents in fiction, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Good stories require tension, and tension within families is often something that everyone can relate to on some level. Even in the happiest homes, there will always be problems, but it’s too easy to turn parents into two-dimensional ‘perfect’ characters in good situations. For those who want to write characters with a decent home life, write parents as central characters, or parents as side characters, these tips may help.

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So You Want to Write About Witches and Magick: Some Advice

Hi everyone; hope today is going well for you! Today, I’m going to be talking about witchcraft and magick in fiction from the angle of writing it. I realize many witches (including myself) have a burning desire to see more realistic portrayals of magick and the Craft, and there’s no better way to go about it than for us to take pen to paper ourselves! 

This short series of tips is designed for those who want to write a story with characters who practice magick in a more realistic fashion than seen in novels like Harry Potter. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with Harry Potter, of course, but there’s room in the genre of magick for realism, too! Hence, why I’m writing this. I’ll be using examples both from my own writing and from novels I enjoyed that featured realistic magick.

Why write realistic magical fiction?

So, why a realistic portrayal of magick? Obviously, most novels and stories that feature magick are of the fireballs-and-glowing-spells variety, and not very realistic at all. That makes for good reading, too, but more realistic portrayals also have a place insofar as they’re incredibly unique and interesting! Why not stand out from the crowd a bit? 

It’s also worth noting that most witches, I think, if given the choice, would prefer to read something more realistic fiction-wise over an equally well-written fantastic portrayal. I know I would, and I feel like it’s important for magical practitioners as a community to write and create their own magical narratives, providing role models and other hallmarks of good media. 

There’s also the not-so-small matter of how magick actually operates in the real world. I don’t know about you, but my Craft is intensely personal, and exploring it (or a character’s equivalent) in fiction makes for strong characterization. Furthermore, real-life magick is more nuanced than just “she throws fireballs,” and is bound to entice your fellow witch readers who love subtlety and delight in detail.

So, those are some reasons I, as a witch, would like to read (and write!) more realistic portrayals of magick in fiction. How do we do it, though? What sorts of tips can be offered? Let’s begin by discussing the hallmark (I think, anyways) of excellent stories - characterization! How do you create compelling witch characters and interesting magicians? 

Characterization

The first important thing to note is that, as you no doubt know, witches and magicians are an incredibly diverse lot. Witchcraft in and of itself is only one of many magical styles, and others exist, including things like conjure and ceremonial techniques. 

Within many broad categories, you find a wealth of smaller traditions. What kind of magick does your character practice? Sweep, by Cate Tiernan mixes real magick with fantasy, and in that series, most of the characters are Wiccan, but participate in a variety of different styles of magick, ranging from herbal casting to spirit work. Realize, too, that your character will probably work with a variety of techniques, so keep that in mind, as well!

Secondly, ask yourself what your characters believe. How do they conceptualize their magical experiences? Do they believe in a deity or worship a godform, such as the Wiccan goddess or an older pagan deity? Are they Christian? Jewish? Taoist? Views on how magick works and why are as diverse as practitioners themselves, so you need to consider what sort of paradigm your characters are working and living within, as well as why. 

I want to note that I’d be careful writing about practices that are foreign to you (the writer). If you know nothing about Christianity, don’t make your character a Christian, for example, unless you’re willing to do a lot of research to create a sensitive portrayal. As to myself, I’ve experimented with a lot of magical paradigms (such as chaos magick and Thelema) and I tend to draw from those when I write. 

I’ve had characters who were Wiccan, chaotes, and Thelemites in past works. It’s usually best to write what you know. Don’t feel as if your story needs to be full of characters from many different paths or religions to be realistic. Such a story would be realistic, but there’s nothing technically unrealistic about, for example, a story focused solely on chaos magick. Err on the side of caution here to avoid inaccurate or trite portrayals of actual practices. Again, write what you know.

One thing worth avoiding is stories where the main character or characters discover they’re the “chosen ones” and realize a great destiny. I suggest avoiding it because it has become relatively cliche in fiction as a whole, but also because it’s unrealistic in the world of realistic magick. It’s tacitly conceivable that someone might somehow find themselves in such a position, but very cliche in fiction. 

Mostly, it’s unrealistic because magick rarely works that way, and while that shows my own bias (I don’t believe in destiny as such), I’d avoid it just for the cliche factor. I’ll admit in one of my stories I did feature a character who was the reincarnation of a famous folk hero and had a certain “special destiny.” This was a very low-level thing and didn’t feature everyone treating them differently because of it. It was also balanced out with other characters having similar situations, thus making the “special” character relatively ordinary.

One of the benefits of writing more realistic magical fiction is that characters can literally be anyone. There’s no need for them to have been raised by arcane wizards in a windswept castle, because, in real life, witches and magicians come from all walks of life. We could be your neighbor, or a friend. The most important thing is that you work out what your character does magically, why, and what they believe about it. This is, of course, in addition to normal guidelines for good characterization.

Plots and Telling a Good Story

Now, let’s talk about plots? What makes a plot suitable for realistic magick? What plots don’t work within this genre? Which are cliche? Let’s dive in.

Since the keyword here is “realism,” plots can be taken easily from real world experiences and inspiration. Just like me and other real-life witches, witches or magicians in realistic stories will have normal, everyday hardships and joys, and you can explore this. That approach is, in my opinion, much more interesting than just focusing on the magick itself. A story where magick is the main driving force of the plot is rarely going to work well; something else must be there to drive the magick instead! 

As an example, I’m currently working on a short story called Curse Your Local Heroin Dealer. It’s gritty and very much a NSFW thing, but it features a coven of folk witches who find themselves at odds with local drug dealers who’re literally poisoning the community. The main conflict has no real magical aspect; rather, magick is a tool used to solve problems for the characters. It also draws a lot from my experiences living for a while in an area with a serious heroin epidemic, and I think it’s turning out to be a compelling and meaningful story.

As another example, look at the Circle of Three series by Isobel Bird. In those stories, the three main characters are burgeoning Wiccan witches. While magick is present, it isn’t a means to an end itself. The girls deal with all the normal struggles of high school students, but face them with a magical twists. Plots include relationship drama, dealing with the death of loved ones, and local mysteries. All of the stories could conceivably have been written without magick, but adding magick creates depth and shifts the story into interesting territory.

In particular, avoid situations where magick is the sole solution to the character’s problems. Just as, in real life, a witch can’t wave a wand and fix a problem, your characters shouldn’t be able to just do a spell and have their world set aright. Instead, the magick can be a vehicle for them moving forward, but also cause for introspection and character development. This is done particularly well in the Witches Chillers series, where the main character’s social awkwardness is underscored by her feeling less adept magically than her peers.

Building a World

A few notes on worldbuilding: you wouldn’t think it necessary when you’re going for realism, but it absolutely is. Anytime you have witches and magicians in a story, they’re going to interact with the wider society just as we do in the real world. Pay attention to the way society treats the occult as a source of inspiration. How will characters handle being feared (or laughed at) for their practices? How will they handle the increasing fascination of society? 

Another thing to consider is magical social structures in the story. Will your character belong to a magical Order, secret society, or coven? In most cases, it’s a bad idea to use real-life organizations in a story. Instead, you should invent your own fictional ones. This isn’t difficult, because you can crib a bit from real life, just not too much. In one of my stories, I created a secret society similar to (but distinct from) the Ordo Templi Orientis as a backdrop for a story about a character’s struggle with depression and how it affects their magick. In other stories, I’ve written about fictional covens and traditions of magick.

Finally, as a last tip, do not slander real paths or traditions for the sake of creating a villain. It won’t be believable if you do it, and will, furthermore, anger people. Why do that? It’s pointless to create a villain who’s a super-scary LaVeyan Satanist, because five minutes of research will tell your readers that LaVeyan Satanism isn’t all that frightening, let alone evil. 

I avoid this in my stories mostly by creating traditions and paths out of whole cloth for the antagonists. The villains in one story I’ve been working on, for example, worship an egregore that takes the form of rat, but doesn’t exist in real life. Another option is to just make the antagonist’s path or tradition irrelevant to their villainous activities, but that can be difficult to do well. In short, try not to play to stereotypes about occult traditions, and don’t slander large (or small) swathes of the community in the name of a villain.

I hope this was helpful and inspirational for budding magical writers out there! There is so much potential in this genre, and I would love to see more of it. If you’ve favorite stories that use this approach, do share them with me, so I can enjoy them, too. If you, yourself, have written any realistic magical fiction, why not share it? I know I look forward to reading more in this genre!

Characterization for Taylor

You know I tend to have a really hard time finding Worm fanfiction I actually like, and I’ve never really managed to figure out why.  I just knew that unlike most fiction I read (or watch) none of the stuff I found could really compare to the original.  I had an epiphany recently though and I’ve realized that it’s that most people seem to just be missing some kind of pivotal piece of Taylor’s character.  And so I’ve written up this huge rant about what I consider to be the basis of Taylor’s every action within Worm.  

Firstly; there are four pivotal pieces Taylor’s personality that never really change throughout the story, allthough some do become more or less prominent.  And that is her:

A) Selflessness

B) Goal-Orientedness

C) Ambitiousness

D) Intelligence

Now, Taylor’s selflessness is probably the most driving motivating urge she has. (People recognize this on some level, which is why I think we get so many Ward!Taylor AUs, but the other three traits listed are what make me believe it would never have really worked out, even if their wasn’t the whole ‘Shadow Stalker’ issue to contend with.)  It’s what  made an untried, untested, unconfident bug controlling master decide to challenge Lung on her first night out.  It’s what made her take on Coil.  It’s what made her throw herself at her enemies feet.  It’s what made her take up the good fight against all those S-class threats.  It’s what made her try her hardest to do good, even when she was a villain, even when it was misunderstood, even when it would have been easier to do nothing, or to do the opposite.  And maybe that might only be one half of Taylor’s kind of screwed up morals, and another half the way the trio dug at every bit of self-hood Taylor managed to scrape together for years… but still.  It’s the reason Taylor makes the choices she makes.  Even (or maybe most especially) the Machiavellian ones.   

Secondly, Taylor’s goal-oriented nature. This is, in essence, what makes Taylor so damned focused on ‘the big picture’.  Now the thing is, is that this in and of itself isn’t all that dangerous.  In fact lot’s of people have this trait! Politicians, lawyers, business execs, hell even gang leaders and prostitutes.  But the thing you have to understand about these people is that if you push them, too far, too fast, in just the right way, in just the right time, there is literally nothing they will not do to accomplish what they set out to.  These people weigh the pros and cons of every decision in their lives, and when things tip to far into the pros there is no moral line, no law, and no consequence that will stop them from doing what they feel they have to do.  

Thirdly, there are Taylor’s ambitions.  This really is what decides what goals exactly Taylor’s going to shoot for.  It’s the part of Taylor that said, yeah I’m going to keep going to school, no matter how hard it is, the part of her that says, yes, I’m going to be a hero, no matter how dangerous it may be, the part of her that says, yes I’m going to save the world, no matter how improbable that may be.  The part of her that looked at every opponent a hundred times stronger than her, a hundred times more experienced than her, and said: yeah I’m gonna fuck their shit up.  All of this? In conjunction with how goal-oriented she is? Yes it’s a frightening combination. 

Fourthly, but definitely not least, is how damn intelligent Taylor is.  The thing about those other three traits? Is that lots of people have them.  Hell lot’s of people have them in conjunction with each other!  But not half of them turn out to be as dangerous as Taylor is.  And that’s because of this.  Because she may not have a supercomputer for a brain, but she’s got that rare combination of tactical and strategic talent that allows her to take very bit of knowledge, skill, and power she has, and then munchkin the hell out of it.  This is the girl who using her brains, pepper spray, bugs, and a small team of villains specializing in smash and grab robbery, managed to take over a city.  This is the girl who killed Alexandria in an apoplectic rage.  This is the girl who beat off the S9 twice.  This is the girl who rotted off Lungs crotch and cut out his eyes.  This is the girl who took every minuscule tool and advantage offered to her, and saved the multiverse.  This is what makes Taylor, Taylor.  

anonymous asked:

Hi! First of all, thank you so much for running this wonderful blog. Do you have any tips, examples or suggestions for character descriptions? I have no idea what features to focus on and what to leave out and let readers decide for themselves (especially when describing someone my main character meets for the first time). Also, a lot of times I can't find words or expressions to portrait a character without the description sounding somehow awkward, or corny, or just not right in a stylistic way

Hi, and you’re so welcome! I’m always happy to help.

Don’t describe things that everyone has – for example, don’t name a hair color or an eye color – because usually the audience sees those things however they want, and their imaginings being corrected by “his blond hair glinted in the sunlight” jars your reader out of the spell your story weaves. However, if they have a unique or jarring physical attribute – a big nose, being extremely overweight, being bowlegged, having bushy eyebrows – I usually describe that. Basically, just pick a couple of points that stick out about your character’s appearance, and use those as your physical description – then, if you still feel you need to describe them more, try to use their facial expressions or body language to clue your audience in to his personality.

As an example, say this is my character (source is pinterest, but the artist is definitely @burdge).

What striking features do we see?

- He has a straight nose

- He has wide eyes

- He has shaggy hair

- As Burdge herself wrote, he has bad posture

What can we infer about his personality/character from his body language and facial expressions?

- His posture infers that he’s either humble, has low self-esteem, or is naturally very relaxed

- His facial expressions indicate that he’s shy or introverted, or that he thinks a lot

That said, I might write my description of him like this:

He had a straight nose and slouched often. His eyes didn’t meet mine often, but when they did I noticed they were wide, housed under bushy eyebrows. Shaggy hair fell across his brow in messy tumbles, and he often ducked his head down so he could hide behind it.

Admittedly not the best description I’ve ever written, but it will hold its own in this example, I hope. Notice how I used those points about his sketch to describe him in short but effective terms.

I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask. - @authors-haven

Different Ways Characters Can Show Love

Part of the stigma around romance in fiction is how it can feel cut-and-paste when poorly written. Romance is so much more than ‘potential couple goes through struggles together’, it should be shaped by each character’s personality and backstory. Different characters are going to show love differently, and its often tied into how they were raised as children, and those difference can cause issues in relationships (even if it’s a situation where there is no real fault). A young man accustomed to getting small gifts from his mother might feel like his partner doesn’t love him if they don’t give small gifts, or a woman raised in a house where actions speak louder than words may find her partner’s constant “I love you”s to feel fake unless they back it up with more.

I’ve found general types of confirmation of feeling and have noted a few kinds of characters where they are most likely to appear.

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Title: Nice Gestures and Cute Smiles
Fandom: Marvel
Word Count: 1,487
Characters: John Allerdyce x Reader, Bobby Drake
Reader Gender: Female
Warnings: Swearing, self-deprecation (John)
Notes: Based on this headcanon by @willsomeoneholdmyhand on @kurtwxgners’s blog.

Originally posted by narnianwitch

       The eyes of John Allerdyce were beginning to flutter closed as he sat at his desk. His arms were folded on his desk, and his head rested there. His lips were parted slightly as sleep threatened to envelop him. Seconds before that happened, a loud thump on his desk – just a few inches from his head – snapped him back to reality. He bolted upright, instinctively clutching his Zippo. Upon the realization that the noise had been you setting a coffee cup on his desk, he immediately relaxed.
       “Damn, didn’t mean to scare you,” you stated with a chuckle. “I figured you could use a pick-me-up. Judging by the fact that you were about to pass out, I think I was right.”
       John muttered a “thanks,” still clearly a bit grouchy from being startled, and from being tired. You smiled at his sour attitude, finding it cute, then took your seat next to him. The class went by horrendously slow, as usual. When the glorious sound of the bell rang out, you and John made your way to the exit, but Professor Xavier called out to John.
       “Please stay after class, Mr. Allerdyce. I’d like to discuss your recent report.”
       The annoyance on John’s face was plain as could be as he shot you an eyeroll, before turning around and walking back into the room. You decided to wait outside the classroom, knowing he’d probably want to rant about the meeting once it was over. It took about five minutes, then John exited the classroom quickly, clearly irked about whatever Professor Xavier had said. He left so fast that he didn’t even notice you, leaned against the wall just outside the room. You took that as an opportunity to come up behind him and grab his sides, causing him to flinch and spin around.
       “You should quit that shit, Y/N. I’m gonna accidentally burn you or something one of these days,” John said. His tone was irritated, but you knew he wasn’t truly upset with you. You bumped him with your shoulder, and he gave you a small smile before doing the same. You fell into step beside him, and the two of you made your way to your next class.
       The lunch bell eventually sounded, signaling an end to Professor Grey’s class, and John got asked to stay after yet again. He told you to go ahead and go, so you did.
       “Where’s John?” Bobby asked as you sat down across from him at the lunch table.
       “Professor Grey wanted to talk to him about something,” you explained, then set your backpack on the seat next to you, reserving it for John. Bobby simply nodded, then began eating his lunch.
       John made his way over to the table a short while later, looking just as annoyed as he did when he had finished speaking with Professor Xavier. However, in truth, he usually looked at least a little annoyed. You moved your backpack to the floor as he reached you and Bobby, and he hesitated for a moment, before taking a seat next to you.
       “Why’d you save me a seat?”
       “Lunchroom looked busy today; didn’t want you to get stuck sitting somewhere else. I didn’t think that would be necessarily enjoyable for you. You’re not exactly a social butterfly, sweetheart,” you said teasingly. John just shot you a playful glare.
       That evening, after you retreated to the room you shared with Rogue, you grew bored. You decided on an impulse to make cookies. Once they were finished, you put a few on a plate, made a couple glasses of milk, and headed to John’s room. You knocked on the door with your foot, and after a few moments of some rustling sounds, he opened the door. His hair was messy, and you could tell that he’d been repeatedly running his hands through it. The grey sweatpants he wore were slung low on his hips, and his black T-shirt was wrinkled.
       “What’s up?”
       “I made some cookies, figured I’d see if you wanted to share,” you replied. A small smile found its way to his lips, and he stepped away from the doorway to allow you to enter.
       The room was fitting for two teenage boys: fairly plain walls, save for a few posters of cars and bands, and clothing littering the floor. Various books and papers were strewn across John’s bed, which he lazily pushed to the floor to make room for the two of you to sit. You rested the glasses of milk on his nightstand, then the plate of still-warm cookies on the bed. John sat criss-crossed, and you followed suit. You busied yourself with looking around the room, then when your gaze returned to John, he was already staring at you.
       “Do I have chocolate on my face or something?”
       “No, no, I just…” John began, then ran a hand through his hair, messing it up even more. “Why do you do this shit for me?”
       “What shit?”
       “This shit,” he said, gesturing towards the plate of cookies between you two. “You bring me coffee, you save me seats at lunch, you fucking bake me cookies – you’re so nice to me. Why?”
       “It’s called flirting, hotshot.”
       You momentarily thought John was going to choke on the cookie in his mouth at your response. He looked up at you with furrowed brows.
       “Why? Why do you flirt with me?”
       “You’re like a two year old, asking ‘why’ about everything,” you quipped, chuckling as you leaned back on the bed. “I flirt with you because I like you. You’re such a ladies’ man, I would have thought you’d have figured that out by now.”
       “I’m not…. Girls don’t like me. They fuck me. It’s much less complicated than this,” John said in an exasperated tone, gesturing between the two of you. He ran a hand through his hair yet again, sighing. “We flirt a little, we fuck, and we go our separate ways. There’s no… nice gestures and cute smiles – like that one you’re giving me right now. Why are you smiling at me like that? I basically just admitted to being a slut, why are you smiling at me?”
       “Do you really think I wasn’t previously aware that you’re a man-whore?” you inquired, laughing. “I’m smiling at you because I’ve never seen you flustered like this. It’s cute.”
       “I’m not ‘cute.’ I’m dangerous, Y/N, don’t you see that? My mutation – it’s dangerous. Hell, not even just that – I’m dangerous. I’m gonna end up hurting you, and I don’t want that. I don’t want to hurt you, I wouldn’t be able to stand myself if I did. I like you too much.”
       “So…” you began, leaning forward with a bright smile on your face. “You do like me, huh?”
       “Did you hear a fucking thing I just said?!” John asked, abruptly standing and glowering down at you.
       “I heard you give a little spiel about you thinking that you’re dangerous, even though I know you’re not. John, just last week, I saw you give a little girl your ice cream because she dropped hers! Dangerous people don’t do that kind of shit. You’re scared to have feelings for me, but please – don’t be. I’m not going to hurt you, and I know that’s why you’re scared. And I trust you to not hurt me,” you asserted, standing as well. You saw how John’s shoulders relaxed, and the anger faded from his features.
       “But I don’t,” he said softly. “I don’t trust me to not hurt you.”
       “Stop doubting yourself, John,” you said, gently cupping his cheek with your hand. He slowly closed his eyes and leaned into your touch, earning a small smile from you. After a few moments of standing like that, John’s eyes opened, and he looked very serious. He began leaning down, and it seemed like it took years for his lips to touch yours. The hand that had been on his cheek moved to the back of his neck, and the other rested on his chest. John’s arms wrapped tightly around your waist, pulling you as close together as possible.
       It wasn’t long before he began to back you up, until the backs of your legs hit the bed, and you both fell onto the mattress together. The touches became increasingly more eager – on both sides. His hands were like fire on your skin, and not just because of his mutation. They had just begun to snake their way underneath your shirt, when you heard the door open.
       “Hey, do you know where my – dammit, man, I’ve told you to start putting a sock on the doorknob or something!”
       Before John’s lips reconnected with yours, you briefly wondered if Bobby was able to dodge the fireball John hurled at him. But once his lips and hands were on you again, your thoughts had no room for anything other than John.


@mayathepsychicc  @shayara

thelittlestboychildthing  asked:

I have something to ask... Do you know how to describe a person's past without making it seems weirdly written in a story? I've been having trouble with this for a very long time.

Hi!

What you have to do is work it into the story like it’s always been there – act like it’s a natural part of the story, because it is. If you mean that you’re writing your character’s backstory out, don’t do it – you can as a character-building exercise (we’ll get to that in a second), but don’t include it in your story. Readers don’t want a bunch of exposition – they want action. They want to see how the story’s main conflict is going to progress, and looking at the past doesn’t give them that.

However, of course, the past influences both the present and the future, so backstory is important. Basically you need to know your characters’ backstory inside and out, so that it works its way into the story naturally through your dialogue and through your characters’ thoughts. For example, if you’re trying to make your way through the house of someone you don’t know and it’s pitch black, you’re going to stumble and bump into things – nothing about it will be natural or easy. However, if it’s your own house you’re trying to navigate, it will probably be a lot easier, because it’s familiar. It’s the same thing with backstory – you need to make yourself familiar with it, so it will come out naturally. You can do this by – this is going to sound horrible and like a lot of work, and it is, but it will pay off – literally writing the entirety of your characters’ lives out, and figuring out everything of significance that happens to them before your story starts. I don’t mean every little detail – I mean the big stuff, the milestones and the memories, good or bad, that stick with them.

To reiterate: don’t include a ton of backstory in your story, because the reader wants to focus on the present, not the past. I understand that, depending on your plot, certain scenes and issues from your backstory may come into play, and may need to be expanded on – that might call for a flashback, but I would advise you to use those very sparingly, because they can get boring fast, and if done incorrectly, they can get cringy fast. In my opinion, a flashback is employed best when it’s employed to alleviate suspense – the character’s been hiding something throughout the story, and the flashback finally brings it to light. For example *SPOILER ALERT!*, in Stephen King’s short story “The Library Policeman”, Sam (the main character) was molested when he was a very young child, and has blocked the memory out. However, the memory is crucial to the plot, so nothing can be resolved until he remembers and conquers his trauma. Throughout the story we know Sam is hiding some kind of traumatic memory, but we don’t know what it is until the tail end of the story. Stephen King withheld Sam’s memory to create suspense, and when it was needed, he employed the flashback to alleviate that suspense and turn us toward the final conflict between the protagonists and the antagonists.

To help you if you decide to use flashbacks, here’s a post with some general guidelines for them, another post with some other guidelines for flashbacks, and yet another (image) that narrows down how flashbacks should be used.

So, to sum it up:

  • Familiarize yourself with your characters’ backstories, so that it will seep naturally into your story
  • Don’t put much backstory into the story itself – it will bore your readers
  • If a scene from your character’s past is vital to your story, a flashback is a good method to employ, but use flashbacks sparingly and follow strict guidelines to make sure they’re done correctly

I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask. - @authors-haven

Detail and Description in Writing: The Law of Conservation of Detail

I’ve always laughed at the truthfulness of that joke, and yet, imagine if you actually took the time to describe that entire painting. Every character, every expression, every little sculpture and design on the walls and ceiling. Chances are, you’d lose your reader long before you even got halfway. Detail is nice, but there’s a line between interesting world-building and rambling on about unnecessary elements.

If you write well enough, your reader will picture the first scene anyway.

So how do you stop feeling like your story is a bunch of stick figures in a wobbly tunnel?

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Any tips for fellow fanfic writers? :) PS I love you 😍

  • If you write for reviews/popularity, you will always be dissatisfied. Write the story you want to read and be happy with it!
  • Write a summary. Write a GOOD summary. No quotes, no song lyrics, no vagueness, no “you’ll just have to read and see!”, no “just another ___ fic”. None of that. NO.
  • Take the time to study grammar and fiction craft (plot, characterization, voice, point of view, setting, etc.)
  • Also don’t switch point of views in the middle of a paragraph. Or the middle of a scene. Keep it in one person’s head.

jacie-cruzer77  asked:

Hello! Do you by chance know how to write jerk/rude characters in a way that makes them likeable? In my case, my jerk character is a jerk for selfish reasons most of the time, though usually it is out of habit. Anything is appreciated!

Hi!

The surest way to make a jerk likeable is to have Hell rain down on him from the very start of the story. Have misfortune befall him time and time again, and always have it come as a surprise – it can be a consequence of one of his actions, but have that consequence be out of proportion to his action, or simply have him be hurt or completely taken off-guard by the consequence.

For example, I recently was writing a story in which my protagonist (Alex) is a womanizer. In his first scene, he’s just broken up with his most recent girlfriend (Melody), and he ducks into a classroom with one of his other exes (Cassie) for a makeout scene. However, a group of girls (friends of Melody’s) walks in on them and catches them on video. Although Alex obviously has horrible morals and treats others badly (he baldly states in his thoughts that he’s using Cassie and doesn’t actually care for her), his shock and bewilderment makes him more likeable (but only because the audience hasn’t had a chance to dislike him yet – if he had displayed more of his personality before these events, the audience would think he was getting what he deserved, so timing is important!).
Then Melody goes overboard to get revenge on him – she tells Cassie’s ex to beat Alex up (and in fact he almost breaks Alex’s ankle), and tells Cassie to steal and vandalize Alex’s car. This is completely out-of-proportion as a consequence to Alex’s action, which earns him sympathy from the audience, and sympathy = endearment (I don’t know about you, but I hardly ever feel sorry for someone I don’t like, so if your audience pities your character, the audience probably likes your character).

Also, you could simply pit your jerk against a bigger jerk. For example, Alex is obviously not a great person, but Melody is worse, because she is deceptive and goes too far while showing absolutely no remorse for her actions. She leads Cassie to steal and vandalize Alex’s car, then calls the police on her as revenge, even though she had told Cassie there were no hard feelings. She also leads Alex directly to where Cassie’s ex is waiting – outside, where there are no witnesses to put a stop to the fight – and wears a smile as she does it. Melody is purposely cruel and manipulative, whereas Alex is merely selfish, often without even realizing it as wrong – that makes Alex the lesser of two evils, and out of the two, the audience will most likely side with him.

Lastly, you could also have your jerk genuinely decide to change, only to have others continue to treat him based off his previous actions, which could cause him to backslide, and which would create a constant, worsening cycle that could possibly lead to self-destruction. For example, Alex figures out that he genuinely is sorry and wants Melody’s forgiveness, and she continues to deny him and bring up his past, which leads him to wild nights drinking/drugging/partying. One night he’s wasted and crashes his car, and that’s that – our jerk is done for.

(I would also advise you to write in your jerk’s POV, at least to start your story – each person sees themself as their own protagonist, so if you write in your jerk’s POV, your story will automatically lean in his favor, which will affect your audience’s opinion.)

I hope this helps! (Sorry I used my story so much – I was finding it hard to explain without using examples.) If anything is unclear or you need more help, please don’t hesitate to ask! - @authors-haven

anonymous asked:

Iknow u talked abotu Hidan being more BPD, if u had to choose, psychopath or sociopath? (I think i already kno the answer!:) )

I don’t like to go on about it because to me it’s one of the most boring topics in the world.

It’s so easy to characterize fictional characters with a mental disorder or boil them down to a psychopath or sociopath because that’s just how human brains work. Look for familiar patterns in our own world to compare and contrast with the other world.

But to me, saying a character is a sociopath or a psychopath is so easy.

But I understand the idea behind trying to diagnose a mental condition to a fictional character and the same reason why people give specific sexuality to their favorite character. 

It’s to understand their thought process or to portray themselves onto their favorite. To understand them and get to know their mindset. 

It’s a fascinating topic to be sure, but one that I usually do to often. (I lie my blog is nothing but this)

but sociopath and psychopath are such broad definitions, it could be why I don’t like using those words or that topic because they can mean a wide range of people.

Not everyone who is a sociopath shows all the symptoms and not everyone who is a psychopath shows all the symptoms. And their are high-functioning sociopaths and psychopaths in our society. 

But I’ll try for you my dear annon.

I’ll just copy/paste some things from @evartandadam​‘s blog and take advantage of our friendship. (Well cus… she told me I could anyways)

According to an article here are the differences between the two

I actually recommend reading her rant she did on Sasori years ago about Sociopath vs Psychopath

Note, her analysis is far more in depth and researched in far more detail. I’m just probably reciting a wiki-pedia text book definition of the symptoms. So I’ll do my best here. 

Hidan seems to fall into a few key traits of both:

  • A disregard for laws and social mores
  • A disregard for the rights of others
  • A failure to feel remorse or guilt
  • A tendency to display violent behavior

Well it seems that those that posess those key traits seem to lie in Hidan, lets see what it says more:

Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage. They are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place for very long. It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules. In the eyes of others, sociopaths will appear to be very disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath, including murder, will tend to be haphazard, disorganized and spontaneous rather than planned.

Well. Gee.

While Hidan exhibits some traits of a Sociopath I don’t think he could be one. Because his rituals are very long, meticulous and planned out. Even here, when Yugito Nii is left half-dead, there is a specific manner in which he does so. His ritual is a four step program. Lick blood, curse mode, Jashinst Symbol, Stab and repeat. Hidan does have a disdain for the shinobi system and society and is prone to fits of rage but he is never careless in his murders. Even though he killed Asuma, it was a fair battlefield. True, Hidan is brutal in his rituals and combat but he never attacks anyone unprovoked.

 If Hidan wants to fight someone or sacrifice someone he is very obvious about it. He will provoke his opponent into attacking him so he can easily get their blood when their momentum stops. This is his strategy and it works great. 

But I think this isn’t enough. I had to look at the “Positive” symptoms of Sociopaths. Positive, does not mean that these benefit the person. They just mean that they are traits that are not active in other mental disorders.

  • Superficial charm and good intelligence.
  • Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
  • Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
  • Unreliability.
  • Untruthfulness and insincerity.
  • Lack of remorse and shame.
  • Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior.
  • Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience.

,,,,,,Yeah just reading off of this it is not Hidan. I will go through them. Quickly for some, longer for others.

“Superficial charm and good intelligence.“

Hidan is amazingly charming. This one is check, yes. 

  • Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.

This one is a No/Yes. While Hidan says he has his own goals in mind, he is in a cult afterall. Wether Jashin or not is real. (Assuming she is real because Hidan is immortal afterall.) So if his disillusion are real or not, no one knows. His perception is his reality, he worships Jashin.

  • Unreliability.
  • FUCK NO. Hidan is RELIABLE if not anything else. HE LEFT A JINCHURKI HALF-DEAD WHICH SPECIFICALLY GOES AGAINST THE COMMANDMENTS OF HIS RELIGION TO FOLLOW AKATSUKI’S ORDERS.
  • Untruthfulness and insincerity.
  • No. Hidan is honest and open. He can be manipulative, but I don’t think he uses people. 
  • Lack of remorse and shame.

*LEAVES THIS HERE* I will never get over his look when he sees Kakuzu’s mask die. He expresses empathy for him or his partner. Either because Kakuzu is closer to death, or because he takes pity on these creatures. 

  • Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior.

“Kakuzu, Do something!” “You’re trying to split up me and Kakuzu huh?”  “Just sit back and watch Kakuzu” “No way, I want in on the action too! Let’s just stick with the usual” 

  • Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience.

……………… AHEM

WELL GEEE SOUNDS LIKE HIDAN DIDN’T LEARN ANYTHING AT ALL DURING HIS PAST EXPERIENCE. *derpface*

While Hidan exhibits some qualities of a Sociopath he hardly displays enough positive symptoms to be called one.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.

=__________=

As I said before, Hidan has a strong empathy trait and has a strong connection to Kakuzu. He also disobeys his religion to follow Akatsuki’s orders. That is huge. It shows he cares about them in his own Hidan way and I think I talked about that not to long ago.

I will caption a conversation I had with @evartandadam awhile ago to close off this topic.

Eva: i realized sociopathy is a spectrum. So Hidan could have a small amount of anti-social personality disorder. I feel that he can still feel empathy though, to a degree like, sasori is totally a sociopath/psychopath. Hidan isn’t anything like him and hidan does have a moral compass and a sense of god, even though it’s screwed up. I researched that sociopaths rarely believe in a higher power, since they don’t believe anything is higher that themselves. 

Dana: Hidan has major empathy man. It’s kind of his whole shtick. He gets majorly upset when he isn’t treated with fairness or kindness. Even empathy towards things that don’t affect him at all. Like he lectures Kakuzu for destroying a temple that isn’t part of his religion and for killing a monk. Not HIS religion or a JASHINIST monk. Just from respect out of someone else following another faith.

Eva: Exactly borderline personality disorder suits him a lot better. Manipulation, emotional outbursts and attention.

Ways to Flesh-Out Characters
  1. Fill out an online dating profile. Is it funny or serious? How honest would they be? What pictures would they use?
  2. Take a Jung/Myers-Briggs type indicator test (though this can be tricky depending on what level of development the character is already at).
  3. Fill out a character questionnaire; they can be found with a quick online search.
  4. Put your character through a significant challenge. What methodology do they use? At what point do they give up? Succeed or fail, how do they react?
  5. Think about their material possessions or living status, and how that affects them. Some people can be material-rich but monetary-poor (for example, if they have an item of high value, but a low-paying job).
  6. Find a theme song!
  7. Give your character power, control, or authority over something. This can be another person, group of people, or more abstract like the environment. Would they take the power in the first place? Be fair or abuse it? When does it become too much to handle?
  8. Monologue. It can be a good way to discover voice, but it should be on a topic that matters to the character.
  9. Interrogate them. By asking questions, especially serious ones, new information can be discovered. Most of these details may never be mentioned or explained in-story, but the small things will help a character become more realistic.
  10. Put your character in front of a tough choice they have to make. What do they prioritize? How willing to take responsibility are they? Would they try to find a way out, or rely on luck?

rynnwolfe  asked:

Your newest part of From Amy, With Love has permanently raised my expectations for characterization in fiction. I adore how even when Wilford was completely off the handle, he was still Wilford, with the pink and glitter and flamboyant air. I was wondering, now that we've seen Dark and Wil at full power, what would Bim be like?

I wanted Wilford’s moment to be very Wilford. It kind of reminded me of Doctor Strange but without all the pretty symmetry. This is chaos and glitter and Warfstache.

I’m very excited for Bim to have his moment as well, and I’m not sure when but it will happen, believe you me! Bim would be less chaos and more flashy, I feel like. Bim wants attention where Dark wants control and Wilford wants chaos. So Bim’s moment is going to be grandiose but thought out, and I can’t wait to try my hand at writing it!

Thanks for dropping by, cutie pie!

anonymous asked:

I've got a genderqueer character who looks extremely androgynous. I realise that can be a stereotype but the character is a shapeshifter and consciously chooses to look like that. Part of their reason is that while they come from a culture that recognises 3rd gender the culture they're currently in doesn't. Mixing visual ques is a small way of asserting their identity when the people around them don't have a frame work for discussing 3rd gender. Does this work?

Personally I feel like this totally works as your character is not representing themselves this way to make them seem more appealing or sexually desirable, but as a gentle way of thumbing their nose at a group who refuses to see past their own norms. Normally this androgyny becomes an issue in fiction when people characterize it as attractiveness rather than just allowing the character to be who/what they are.

Snarky and rebellious may, or may not, be a way into my heart.

Ironically I actually happen to do this myself to a lesser extent. While I can’t change my physical structure on an urge I do regularly mix clothing styles, wearing both “men’s” and “women’s” fashions. I’ll also wear makeup to enhance culturally typed female features on some days and on other days use it to enhance culturally typed male features, while on even more common days not wearing any at all.

- Reese