You don’t know everything. There’s a lot you don’t know about the universe and how it works. Your personal belief system is not a universal truth that everyone must follow. Saying people are foolish or “will learn eventually” because they subscribe to a different belief system than yours is rude and imperialistic. Don’t act like you’re a wise old sage with all the secrets figured out, because you’re only human, just like the rest of us.
Science still matters. While a lot of what we do seems like we’re skirting impossible, we are still physical beings in a physical world. Eating random plants, drinking potions with hazardous materials, and overall being really unsafe about your craft WILL still effect you no matter how much energy you raise. Your healing spell is going to have to metaphysically fight the fact that you just physically swallowed a rock. No positive energies are going to cancel that out.
There will ALWAYS be haters. Whether it be from outside people who think your craft is a self-delusion, or long-time witches who think your untraditional path is a disgrace, you can’t please everyone. There are as many ways to practice the craft as there are witches and then some. There’s no hate-free path, so just accept that and don’t give hate to other people for theirs; you know how it feels coming from other people so why give it to someone else?
Magic won’t solve all your problems. Magic is a very powerful spiritual tool, but it’s not going to solve everything. You will still need to reach out, take action, talk to people, lock your doors, etc. The witch whose first reaction to literally everything is to cast a spell with no followup, and only seeks out knowledge through divination and nothing else will still have a lot of problems because they’re so separated from the rest of the world.
In the Japanese version of Super Mario 64, it is possible to change the direction Mario is facing during the cutscene after collecting a Bowser Key by standing under the key’s spawning point and entering first-person view. Note that in this version, the key appears as a Power Star after collecting it.
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)
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.
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!”
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!
Set your timetable as your phone background for the first few weeks. Use this method for no. 6 too if you can be bothered.
Wear sports bras/bralettes to lectures instead of the ones with a buckle at the back. They tend to poke and prod your back after a while if you’re leaning back. Sports bras don’t.
Lay a towel on your bed a few days before your period is due. If you leak on a towel you can just wash it or throw it away. Easier than washing and changing the sheets (esp. if you’re in a rush to get to a lecture!).
When you’re in a lecture taking notes on a laptop remember to turn down the brightness on your screen, especially if the lecturer has dimmed the lights. Otherwise you’ll annoy others and drain your battery.
Save your recordings at every given break instead of making one continuous one through pausing. Sometimes files are too large to save and you don’t want to risk losing the entire lecture recording. Save as you go along.
If you need to remember something (e.g. a library book, USB, locker key..) write it on a post-it note and stick it on your shoes before you sleep. Make sure they’re the shoes you intend to wear the next day!
Don’t shoot me: if you have left an assignment really late, stay up as long as you can completing it (yes, that means an all-nighter may be needed). Sleep as soon as you’ve handed it in.
If you use tech in a lecture e.g. phone for recording or electronic notetaking on your laptop, then mess around with it before uni begins. Know what buttons to press and when, otherwise you’ll mess up your notes and annoy others, with your excessive clicking.
Always, always, ALWAYS carry a plastic bag/carrier bag. You might need to make a trip to the library, drink may spill in your bag so you’ll need an alternative. Seriously, just carry one.
Find out where coursework/assignment are submitted within your first week on campus. Ask admin how the procedure works and make sure you know it inside out.
Spend a day wondering around campus (before timetabled lectures start). Find out where the library is, talk to the librarians and ask them how to borrow/return books and also how to reserve!
When you get your timetable be sure to visit the lecture halls and seminar rooms a few days before the term starts so you know where to go. Find out where the toilets are in those buildings too.
Find out where your lecturers offices are. Know the building and floor that they’re on (they’re usually all in the same place).
Carry cereal bars and other non perishable foods that take up little room. Sometimes your tummy rumbles really loud in a lecture, give it some love.
Volunteer in your first year of university, these is the least hectic year (usually!). You want something to put on that CV and those post grad applications!
In the UK the first year generally doesn’t count toward the final degree classification but those grades WILL show up on your transcript. Make sure they look decent. When you apply for post grad courses, if you don’t have the certificate yet (because you’re still completing the course) the university/institution will ask for your grade transcript. First year grades come up first!
A huge part of your degree classification/GPA comes from the final year thesis. Talk to as many older students as you can and ask them what topics they picked and how they went about it. A great thesis/dissertation will literally move you from a 2:1 to a 1st.
When you have a meeting with your supervisor take notes and write up a short summary of what was said, similar to writing up “meeting minutes”. This will be helpful for you and your supervisor. Especially if you take long breaks before meeting again.
I’ll update this list as things come to me. I hope it helps.
<b>Kuroo:</b> *giving Kenma love advice*<p/><b>Kuroo:</b> When you fall in love, you start noticing these little quirks about them, and you unknowingly collect and store tiny bits of information of them in your heart-<p/><b>Kenma:</b> Like?<p/><b>Kuroo:</b> Like how they may have a tiny smattering of unnoticeable freckles across their neck and nose, or how they may have a collection of headphones, or even the fact that they sort their clothes by different themes everyday, or maybe how they use this really fruity shampoo that smells really good, or how their handwriting is neat and tidy but gets messy when they feel frustrated, or the fact that they like really like sweets, or the occasional smile they give when they think others aren't looking-<p/><b>Kenma:</b> Uh, Kuroo?<p/><b>Kuroo:</b> Yeah?<p/><b>Kenma:</b> <p/><b>Kuroo:</b> <p/><b>Kuroo:</b> *sudden realization*<p/><b>Kuroo:</b> I've got a crush on Tsukishima.<p/></p>
me @ myself,,,,,, you failed,,,,,,,, i trusted you and you failed me like this,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, i thought you cared,,,,,,,,,, i thought you had my best interest at heart,,,,,,,, where,,,,,,,,,, where is any dirkjake reference in your lastest pic,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, where is it marcia,,,,,,,,,,where is it