Monday, October 7, 2013

A Question of Character

First off, on Friday, Kiri Liz was kind enough to let me take over her blog last Friday. You can go Here, to read my guest post, about how I like my fairy tales retold.

Now, onto the topic of this post.

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I've been plotting a series about writing. Yes! About writing! I'm aware that it sounds all pretentious and everything. I mean why should I, who's only completed six book, and published four of them, have the audacity to think that I have knowledge to impart to other budding authors! I might lead them astray!

Well, bear with me. I've got a really unique idea for this project, and I'm sure all of you will be quite pleased with it. Even all of you tried and true and much more experienced authors.

Anyways, speaking of all of you experienced authors (and even you not-so-experienced) I'd like your input. Don't worry, I'll make sure you're cited in the back of the book.

Via Pinterest

The first book will be about characters, which I know all of you, even if you've only written one book, have had experience with. Just comment below with your favorite bit of advice, or ten bits of advise, perhaps your favorite book or blog posts about characters.


  1. I've always heard that you should know every detail of your character. You should know their favorite color, what they like to wear, favorite songs, etc. Even if it's not inportant, it helps to know your character.

  2. I guess I'm not sure 100% what I'm supposed to do... But three things I like to keep in mind:

    1. Make an effort to name characters different names... In one book I had a Jamie and an Amy and decided that sounded too much alike. Plus, I had a Jamie in another project. So I renamed them both. And now I'm laughing because of Antonio and Antony's names in After the Twelfth Night. But there's a reason they sound so much alike so they don't count.

    2. The Best Friend. You have your heroes, you have your villains, you have your damsels in distress, you have your old-wizened-mentor-guy... And then there's The Best Friend. Nearly every story has one. He's the hero's buddy. They grew up together, or they met at school or in the army and hit it off while pulling pranks. While the hero is usually more serious, due to the serious nature of his mission... quest... thing, or whatever challenges he has to face during the book, the best friend is the comic relief. He doesn't carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, or in Frodo Baggin's case, he doesn't carry the weight of the Ring. But he's still there. He supports the hero, he's with him every step of the way, protecting him and fighting for him. He makes jokes and is often the favorite character because of his charm. Unfortunately, this also makes him a target for author's to kill off.

    3. Star Wars (spoilers coming up, by the way). When George Lucas was creating the characters for Star Wars, he decided to make them the cliché characters that everyone always sees - and he did it brilliantly!
    Luke Skywalker is the innocent hero, who by a sudden turn of events, is thrown into the fray and expected to save the world.
    Darth Vader is the evil dark lord who wants doom, destruction, and power. And oh yeah, he's the innocent hero's dad.
    Han Solo is the loveable scoundrel, and, later on, the best friend and Everyone's Favorite.
    Leia is, well, the Princess! The damsel in distress who needs rescuing. "Aren't you a little short for a trooper?" "Oh, the uniform!" I mean, really, isn't that brilliant? George Lucas added a princess into his story about space!
    Obi-Wan Kenobi is the wizened old mentor. He guides the innocent hero until he thinks the boy can handle things on his own. Then he dies.
    Those four characters are seen everywhere. Maybe not all together in every single book; but they are some of the most cliché characters out there.
    This brings me to my point: you don't have to have your characters be the oddest craziest most messed-up people on the planet to make them interesting. Often times, that doesn't make them the characters that people remember. Sometimes, using the mold and bringing out a cliché character makes the whole story what it is. People remember Katniss from the Hunger Games because she's an innocent hero thrown into the fray - but I don't even know the names of the main characters from The Fault in Our Stars, even though everybody loves that book. All I know is that it's about two teens struggling through cancer, and that the book makes everyone cry.
    In the end, which should be remember more, the characters or the plot? How about the characters AND the plot? That's what makes a great novel, I think. With Lord of the Rings, it's always Frodo AND the Ring, not Frodo OR the Ring.

    Just some thoughts...

  3. It sounds like a fun project. I will have to recomment later when I am more awake. RIght now all the advice I have is make sure to feed characters often.


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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