have faith in yourself too

How To: Develop Your Characters

I think we’ve all been in the situation where we want to write about a specific character but have no idea how to approach it. For some reason, despite them being your own character, you have no idea how they would act or what they would say in a certain situation. Sometimes, if you even write about your character(s) at all, when you read it back they seem fake or 2-Dimensional. Unrealistic, if you’d prefer.

In this post, I am going to give you some exercises to get past hollow characters and help develop your writing. 

1) Empty Their Pockets

Pretty simple. Think of what your characters would have in their pockets on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t have to be anything super extraordinary, of course. Just start writing some everyday items down and think about whether your character would have these items in their pockets. 

Let’s take a look at one I did for my characters earlier. (sorry that just sounded like something from Blue Peter)

For example:

Character A’s Pockets Contained:

pack of gum, empty pack of cigarettes, library card, NOKIA brick phone

So, here a few things you can tell about Character A simply through the items in their pockets. They visit the library often, meaning that they probably have a high interest in reading (this also could be a sign of intelligence). Judging by the fact Character A has both a pack of gum and cigarettes this could indicate a potential smoking habit, chewing gum is a known way for helping people quit smoking. The pack of cigarettes could show that they are not very good at restricting themselves and could in fact be addicted and finding it hard to cope with smoking. Finally, the NOKIA brick phone shows how they may want to feel connected to people or want to allow their friends/family members/whoever to be able to contact them but have no desire to get the latest model of phone or perhaps believe that having such a device would distract them unnecessarily. 

When doing this exercise, think about key objects which portray certain details about your character! Try not to overthink it too much, write whatever comes to mind and put it down on the page! After writing down a couple objects, go back through them and feel free to edit out items you think are unnecessary or add items which you think would suit the character. 

2) Go Through Their Daily Routine

Again, another easily explained exercise. Go through a regular day in your character’s life, try and do this exercise as if it was happening before whatever events occur in your story or novel. This way it makes it easier to understand your character before they met a secondary character in the novel or before whatever events happened in your writing which may affect their routine. You don’t need to include every single detail in your description, just brief notes or key events which occur during their day would be fine. You can make it as short or as long as you wish, maybe don’t just do it for one day in your character’s week perhaps do it for multiple days. 

Does their routine change during the week? What time do they wake up? What time do they go to sleep? Are they punctual with going to work? Do they do any other activities outside their day-job? These are the kind of things you may want to ask yourself when writing it. 

3) Give Them Fears/Phobias

Everyone fears something: whether it be a phobia of spiders or oblivion, everyone has a fear. Giving your character a phobia makes them seem more realistic, it allows your reader to easily relate to your character.

However, just having a phobia for the sake of it doesn’t help develop your character at all. If you give them a terrible phobia of snakes and they come across a snake and suddenly within moments are able to get over their fear just like that, it’s not a phobia. It’s more of a mild inconvenience than anything else. The reader needs to feel convinced by their fears, they would feel more dissatisfied with your writing if they felt the character could dismiss anything and everything than knowing them being confronted by their fears could be a possible problem. Besides, it would give them no reason to motivate or encourage the character if they knew it was impossible for them to be defeated by anything. Still, this does not mean that your character has to be destroyed by their fear. There is a very big difference between simply dismissing your character’s fear and perhaps overcoming it in the future.

An easy way to write your character possibly overcoming their fear in the future is that when they first encounter that fear, add an element of chance or fate into it. For example, if a character were to move to get away from the creature which may be coming towards them; in the process of getting up, they could slip which could cause their legs to lash out towards the creature. The sudden movement may just be enough to scare the creature away, this way it does not appear to the reader as ridiculous or uncharacteristic courage but instead accidental bravery. This sudden revelation that the character’s horrible fear may not be as all powerful as they first thought could be the first step for them to slowly overcome that fear.

Don’t believe me? Let’s think about this for a moment. Imagine your character, let’s call them the Protagonist™, is stuck in a terrible situation. It doesn’t matter what the situation is but let’s say it’s something which involves them being trapped in a room with a snake. I’m going to give you two examples, both involving the same situation.

Example #1:

Protagonist watched with wide eyes as the snake slowly slithered towards them. The snake paused for a moment, it hissed lowly as it waited for Protagonist to move, waiting for the right moment to strike.  Not hesitating for a single moment, they suddenly realised how dire the situation was and jumped to their feet. Their heart pumping wildly as their body was filled with adrenaline, they were terrified yet they had to do something. Protagonist grabbed the nearest thing to them and stepped towards the snake.

“Get away!” They threatened, “Get away!”

Example #2:

Protagonist watched with wide eyes as the snake slowly slithered towards them. The snake paused for a moment, it hissed lowly as it waited for Protagonist to move, waiting for the right moment to strike. The blood in Protagonist’s veins ran cold as the snake grew closer and closer, Protagonist couldn’t move. They begged and screamed on the inside to move away, to get away as far as possible. They had lost all control of their movement, their fear had consumed them. They were frozen to the spot and could only watch as the snake widened it’s jaw, ready to bite down on it’s prey. It widened it’s jaw once, twice - suddenly, Protagonist gained back their instincts. Fleeing seemed like the only realistic option and seconds before the snake could chomp down on their ankle, Protagonist stumbled to their feet. They stumbled backwards into a puddle of water which had pooled behind them and their ankle rolled as they slipped, their legs accidentally lashing out towards the predator. The snake recoiled backwards in shock before deciding that the risk wasn’t worth it: it quickly retreated back to it’s nest, disappearing from Protagonist’s view.

Now, hopefully you see what I mean. I think we can all agree that the second example is a lot better than the first one. 

4) Create Their Flaws/Bad Habits

No one is perfect, this includes your characters. 

If you’re finding it challenging to think of any flaws, try to think of some bad habits. It doesn’t have to be anything so terribly bad that’s it’s illegal. Think simple when it comes to this exercise. It can range from anything between chewing their nails to swearing. 

It might help to try and develop these bad habits into possible flaws or weaknesses. If your character keeps biting their nails that might be a sign of nervousness or anxiety. So, creating bad habits might be a good way to show a certain trait your character may possess. 

Flaws are important as well. Let’s be realistic, if no character had any flaws then every single book we read would be filled with a bunch of characters which are exactly the same. Besides, what’s a hero without it’s villain? 

So, to give you a few ideas, let’s go back to superheroes. Maybe a hero is so set on doing the right thing that they lose sight of what they want? Perhaps it gets to a certain point where they can’t handle that hollow feeling inside of them that they grow arrogant, selfish or even stubborn? There’s a story for you right there. 

Not only that, by giving your characters flaws it is possible that you could work that into your story somehow. This way, not only will you get to show off your amazing character development, but it could also be an exciting point in your storyline.

Write down some ideas, think of flawed personality traits and just write them down! Try to write down at least five straight off the bat, for each one you don’t like you should think about why it doesn’t suit your character. You’re bound to find one flaw you’re happy with!

5) Write Some Scenarios

Now that you’ve developed your characters, go ahead and write them in your story! If you think you still need a bit of practice, try writing something about them being in a certain scenario. It could be anything from ordering their favourite coffee to being trapped in a prison: just write it! Try not to think about it too much, just do whatever feels write (I unintentionally made that pun but i’m not deleting it). 

It doesn’t have to be long either, just a couple paragraphs would be fine. Try to focus on body movements and interior thoughts, it would be ideal if your character was on their own in the situation: that way you can get to know the character on their own a lot better. No other characters means no distractions. It’s just you, the wonderful author, and your character - there is an endless amount of possibilities for you! 


Have faith in yourself too! Nobody knows your brilliantly developed characters better than you do, so here’s your chance to show them off! If you’d like a second opinion, write something about them and give it to a friend/parent/random stranger etc. to read! If they don’t want to, make them read it anyway! 

I hope this helps you all in developing your characters! 

Happy writing!

- jess

anonymous asked:

Tsuna, Xanxus as Fathers and Chrome as a mother pls? about how they will act around their kids and stuff? Thanks, you guys rock!

COMPLETE

~Whew! That was HARD! I hope this is okay, Anon!~

admin adelheid

Tsuna

It’s been rumored― but never before proven― that Vongola knew their blood on sight. And as far as Tsuna was concerned he had no interests in confirming the theory. Secretly he had always viewed the Vongola blood in his veins as nothing but a curse and the thought of producing progeny to make sure that blood will live on was something he had viewed with contempt. A necessary evil that was expected of him and a part of the mantle he had taken on as Don.

He slept with whoever he wanted whenever he wanted and no one called him out on it. Not his Guardians, not his parents and certainly not the people he bedded. Every single one of them knew the score and every single one was expected to deal with it or walk out.

So when he busted that disgusting pedophile ring that dared operate on his territory and found your four year old self on sale he was shocked at the violent, uncontrollable desire to protect, shelter, blood, mine, mine, mine! playing on constant replay in his very soul. Some of his men gave him curious looks when he swooped down and held you in his arms, his burning golden eyes glaring death at anyone who came near, treating everyone as a potential danger to your safety.

He would not let go of you even after he returned to the mansion and wouldn’t even allow the servants to touch you. Tsuna personally bathed you, and clothed you and fed you, his attention blind to the world around you both. He was acting like a man obsessed and he didn’t even care. Even Natsu was curled up around you, a carpet of devastating menace to anyone who might seek to take you away from its master. It had worried his Guardians so much that they called Reborn. Seeing the situation, the hitman immediately called for a paternity test. The test confirmed the hitman’s suspicion.

You are Sawada Tsunayoshi’s heir.

His Guardians had tried to find the woman who had neglected their Decimo’s heir only to find out it was not necessary. She indeed was literally dead. Apparently she had went through the pregnancy hoping to use you and force her new lover to marry her by saying you were that man’s child but she ended up getting killed by that lover. He was not very keen on fathering a child outside his own marriage. The man then banished the child to an orphanage barely even fit to raise pigs. It was probably a good thing that your mother was dead. Had she still been alive Tsuna would have probably crushed her neck himself.

He wrapped you up in his arms making silent promises that you will only have the best this life had to offer. He will love you with all his heart. He will make you strong enough to make your own choices.

Shockingly enough he raised you outside the Mafia while teaching you how to defend yourself and how to master your Flame. He wanted you to keep an open mind because Tsuna had seen how closed minded people who grew up and have been spoiled within the confines of Family could be.

He wanted you away from the lies, away from the betrayal and he had wanted you all to himself for a little while. He made sure to switch with his Guardians when he absolutely had to leave on Famiglia business.

He made you understand that he sought to be the best he could for you and that he will always be by your side. Even when you entered Mafia Academy during your high school that promise ― that resolution ―  did not change.

And you will always love that about him.

Xanxus

Xanxus walked around the corner of one of the Varia’s favorite training areas and watched you try to cheat your way out of Squalo’s training drill. It wasn’t like he can really fault you, though; you were trying your best. Add that to the fact that you were barely six and the mistake was totally excusable.

He watched as you lifted your weapon one more time and make another attempt at destroying your target and Xanxus could immediately see that you were doing it purely out of frustration now. Clearly you inherited his temper.

Before you could get yourself killed he made his presence known and walked up to you. Seeing him there you went still and winced right up until Xanxus smacked you on the back of the head with the palm of his hand. Normally an ordinary kid would have been thrown right across the courtyard but it was a testament to your genes― the fact that you were his― that you stayed firm on your feet. It made Xanxus nod, pleased; before demanding what the fuck it was did you think you were doing. He then learns the anger was coming from the fact that you haven’t been able to light your Dying Will Flames yet.

Xanxus scowled at the frustration and underlying fear in your admission. Squalo had been saying something about the kid wanting to be Varia Quality as soon as possible. You didn’t want Belphegor to beat him. The Varia Boss made a mental roll of his eyes at Bel and his love of baiting his brat.

He then asks you if you really were serious about lighting up your Dying Will Flames so soon and you reply you did with a stubborn pout on your face that reminded Xanxus of your mother. He then gives you another cuff to the head before dragging you off up a waterfall by the scruff of your jacket’s collar. Before you could ask what he thought he was doing, you were thrown over the falling body of water. You shouted for him but he merely stared right back down at you, watching your descent to death.

Realizing you were about to die you felt despair and regretted violently that you have failed to make your father proud.

It was then that your vision was enveloped in dense, orange Sky Flames and you felt as though there was nothing else that you could possibly lose. You turn your body in a graceful somersault until you land safely on the ground. As the Flames faded from your person you stare at your hands in awe and looked up in surprise as you felt a rough lick on your cheek. You look up only to see Bester right beside you, the box animal nuzzling you gruffly before running up the waterfall back towards Xanxus.

Smiling you realize he released Bester and made him wait on the ground to catch you if you failed in the task of activating your Flame before reaching the ground.

You look up just in time to see your father’s Varia coat leaving the edge of the waterfall and you stand up gratefully, sporting a grin that would have made Uncle Squalo proud.

Xanxus never did like hearing thanks from anyone; not even his own child. But that was the reason you wanted to be stronger faster, right? So you can be a child he’d be proud of?

Chrome

Chrome need only take one look at you to know that something was wrong. She could sense it through the bonds you shared with each other both mentally and emotionally. Right now she could sense the confusion and the hurt in you and it was a measure of her respect for you as another human being that she barely resisted invading your mind and taking out what was hurting her baby.

Despite all this you act as though everything was fine. Chrome gave you a fond, gentle smile knowing you were acting normally for her benefit. Sometimes she wondered what she did to deserve such a wonderful child.

Chrome was not expecting to ever get pregnant. She had thought that the damage to her organs back when she was a child was the end of all her hopes of ever conceiving and producing her own progeny. So she was surprised and shocked when she was told of her pregnancy. She was treated by everyone in the Famiglia like a glass doll for the whole eight months she conceived you.

The moment you were placed in her arms at the hospital she couldn’t stop her tears from falling as she held you to her. It was the happiest day of her life. Loving you was easy for her as she has always been a loving person.

You were raised in freedom and with the assurance of a loved child. You were never given cause to doubt the affection your family and Family had for you. Yet you did your mother proud that you never took advantage of that love. You have a tendency of harboring all your problems to the last minute, hesitant to ask for help in fear of being a burden to your important people.

At first it made Chrome worried and wonder if she did anything to earn your distrust. Although she had grown out of her shyness for the most part her fear of not being a good parent― of turning into her mother― consumed her sometimes. She would give anything for you not to hate her. She would die if you told her you hated her. But she understood that she needed to trust you too. To have faith in your love.

When you excused yourself to go to school and kissed her goodbye Chrome did what any normal, self-respecting, law abiding parent would do.

Sent Mukurou after you, enveloping the Mist owl with Flames to make it invisible to your yet partly trained, yet already skillful sixteen year old eyes. It was through this method that Chrome discovered what was bothering you.

Chrome had been concerned about you not being able to make real friends at a Mafia Academy so she had you enrolled at an ordinary public school from kindergarten to middle school. The moment you stepped on Mafia Academy for high school, though, things started taking a vicious turn.

Everyone had been calling you an abomination. Someone who should not have been born of this world since your mother was no longer human. Everyone had known about the mythos behind the Vongola Decimo’s female Mist Guardian at this point. It was part of her infamy now that she was known for sustaining her own life with organs made of illusions. So people around you keep on thinking that perhaps you were no real person at all. That you were just an illusion; a homunculus borne out of Chrome Dokuro’s Flames in her desire for a child.

It made you sadly question your own humanity. It also bothered you that they were insulting your beloved mother.

That night Chrome waited for you in her study. It has been tradition for you to tell her goodnight before you went to sleep whenever she was in the house and not out on duty for the Famiglia. That night she hugged you close in a loving embrace and asked you if you loved her.

Of course you tell her yes.

Chrome then looks you deep in the eyes and holds a warm hand to your chest and tells you in no uncertain terms that as long as you feel love in your heart― the kind of love that made you want to do everything you can to make the people you love happy― then that made you human.

That night, as you lie in your bed you shed tears of relief before sleep claimed you, a raging clarity calming your troubled mind.

Your mother was no monster. She was proof of your humanity.

it’s okay to have flaws,
it’s okay to feel lack in confidence in front of public,
it’s okay to make mistakes,
it’s okay to be unhappy and be sad,
it’s okay to feel alone at times,
it’s okay to feel like being outcast, because u are a strong person from the inside out. nothing in this world could let u down.

i have faith in u, and u should have faith in yourself too 💛

Dear Athena,

You know how I’m close friends with the Chief Prosecutor?

I defended him once years ago… and I doubted him.  I actually felt the need to ask the man I became a lawyer to help if he had killed someone.  It happens to the best of us.  That’s why I have to keep repeating that mantra, to remind all of us.

Being a lawyer isn’t easy.  If it was, anyone could do it.  I know you can do it, though, because you do have that faith in your client.  Just because you question yourself, it doesn’t mean that your faith is gone.  Sometimes that questioning gives you exactly the answer you need.

Don’t let this shake your faith in yourself either.  You have to believe in yourself too, you know.  I already believe in you.  You’re still learning but I know you’ll go far.

-Phoenix Wright

anonymous asked:

GoM providing words of encouragement to their S/O who's playing in a volleyball match and nothing's going right. Like their serves aren't going over, tosses are off, spikes getting blocked, etc.

Akashi Seijuro: He was good at everything, which just added to your frustration as another toss missed. You rake your fingers through your bangs out of annoyance. 

The coach called a time out. Breathing in deeply, you try to calm down as he lectures the team. You are only human, and being human means that you’re prone to irritation when things aren’t going your way.

“________.” Akashi says directly over your head as he leans on the railing. His voice is soothing, cooling your hot blood. “I may not play volleyball, but the team that keeps the ball from hitting the ground wins. And I know you can do that.”

His words somehow simplified the game to a point; it made all the tactics and plays feel insignificant.

You repeat his words to yourself. “Keep the ball from hitting the ground…keep the ball from hitting the ground…that’s it!”

A plan forms in your head and you quickly explain the details to your team members. Although tired and dejected, they nod and agree it could work.

As you walk on to the court with a new spring in your step, you don’t forget to turn around and flash Akashi a smile of gratitude.

Kise Ryouta: You can hear his cheers from the sidelines every time you serve. It was hard to miss his distinct voice. And even though you know he was genuinely trying to motivate you, his cheers started feeling more like jeers as the game started going south.

Sighing, you collapse on to the bench and use a towel to wipe away the sweat on your forehead. 

“_______!” He’s calling your name across the court, getting quite a bit of attention from girls as he noticed who he was. “_______, do you love your team?”

Instead of smiling with a carefree look, his eyes are intense and they let you know that he was serious. The words weren’t much, and they didn’t seem very encouraging, but they made you remember why you played. You didn’t play for yourself, or to beat the opponents. You played for the team. 

A smile unravels across your face as his words sink in. Yes, you loved your team. And you would do anything to make sure it wins.

Kuroko Tetsuya: Kuroko Tetsuya rarely yelled. Regardless, you knew he was silently watching your game in the stands and cheering in his own way. You smack the ball with the palm of your hand, down on to the other court, only for the ball to be blocked. The point goes to the opponents and the coach calls a time out.

“Take it play by play. Stay calm. And work as a team.” That’s all he says as the team greedily sucks down some water. 

“_______-san.”

You pause, certain that Kuroko was calling to you.

“________-san, up here.” Kuroko is peering over the railing with a neutral face. “The game only ends when you stop fighting. It’s only 0% of victory when you stop fighting.”

You smile at his reassuring words, knowing that they carry a lot of weight. They were the same words he had once said to Aomine. Hope surges within you again as your team runs back on to the court.

Midorima Shintarou: Despite Midorima’s claims to not understand volleyball at all, he seemed to be able to follow the game. That just made you feel worse because he would understand that you weren’t playing well.

“______! You can do this!”

You were almost certain that you were dreaming. Midorima Shintarou didn’t yell, nor did he ever show that he cared in public. You know he did, but you didn’t think he’d cheer for you out loud.

Glancing up at him, you can tell that he’s trying to ignore his red cheeks. But as you connect gazes, his eyes gain warmth and he nods while he slightly smiles.

He had faith in you. And that’s all you needed to know. If he had faith in you, and the team had faith in you, then you could have faith in yourself too. You could do this.

Murasakibara Atsushi: The giant was munching away at his snacks last time you saw him. He probably wasn’t even paying attention to the game. Most days, you would be mad that he wasn’t really watching, but you didn’t want him to see when you weren’t playing well.

“_______-chin better crush the other team!” The almost lackadaisical yell from the tall Murasakibara Atsushi was offset by the bag of chips in his hand, but you knew he meant it nonetheless. He wasn’t the type for yelling, but you could tell that he cared as he brushes crumbs away from his mouth and watches the court below with wide-awake eyes. “Go, _________-chin!”

You breathe out, turning back to the court as you’re handed the ball to serve. Tossing the ball in the air, you jump up and connect your palm with the ball, leaving it to cleanly sail over the court. 

Aomine Daiki: “Hey, _____!” The muscular basketball player of a boyfriend is leaning over the side of the stands. 

You smile weakly in response, not wanting him to see you when you weren’t at your best. Maybe it was dumb, but since he was so good at basketball, you felt like you had to give it your all as well. But the fact that all of your spikes weren’t scoring points because of the huge blockers made you want to drown in a pit of shame.

He grins, unconcerned. “The strongest team wins, right?” He calls over the railing, making you feel more ashamed. “But the strongest team always works together to find a way to score.”

His last sentence sinks in slowly and makes the sides of your mouth slowly curl up. 

“Besides,” He grins cheekily, “you look fantastic in those shorts.” 

You fling a volleyball at his face.