WRITING TIPS AND CHARACTER CREATION

Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

My latest CFT post is Part 2 of my interview with fellow Chapeltown Books author, Gail Aldwin. We discuss writing tips and character creation amongst other topics. Gail also shares her thoughts on “real” books and ebooks. Do you agree with her? Comments welcome in the Chandler’s Ford Today box at the end of the post.

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Facebook – General

When is a character “faulty”? When it takes a convoluted plot to make the character work.

Characters, no matter how bizarre they are or how weird their world is, still have to be believable. There has to be something about them that catches the reader’s attention and then holds it until the end of the story. So a strong character is a must, even if that strength is in being a weak person who will do anything to save their own skin. (Some great stories to come from that, I would have thought!).

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

The most difficult thing about flash is having to cut lines you know are good ones, and usually add depth to the story, BUT don’t in themselves move the tale forward. There simply isn’t the word count room to indulge in that so out they come. Occasionally I’ve been able to use a suitable line elsewhere but not as often as I’d like!

Electronically or by print, both face publishing frustrations - image via Pixabay

Ebooks and print – both have their own frustrations when it comes to publishing. Image via Pixabay

Books can be one major key to knowledge - image via Pixabay

Books are the keys to knowledge. Image via Pixabay

Let creativity spill out - image via Pixabay

Let the creative process flow! Image via Pixabay

Writing, whether it is fiction or otherwise, is a wonderful way to create something new - image via Pixabay

You can’t beat notebooks for jotting down ideas. Image via Pixabay.

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

What is the purpose of a story?

To entertain – definitely.
To sometimes convey truths in a more palatable way – yes.
To get a message across – yes.

To set puzzles for readers to solve – think Agatha Christie here especially.

To warn – yes (particularly true for horror I would have thought. If you decide you’re going to tackle Dracula, you’ve got to be prepared for the consequences!).

Flash fiction does all of this but concisely!

Fairytales with Bite – Story Generating Ideas

In my Chandler’s Ford Today post for this week, I discuss with Gail Aldwin writing tips, character creation and “real” books amongst other topics.

One common question put to writers is where do you get your ideas.  Well, the answer can be all over the place, which is not what most people want to hear.  What they want, a quick pat answer, is simply not possible becauset he great thing about generating ideas for stories is that there are several methods to do this. One at least is bound to suit you.  I use:-

1.  Well known sayings (and sometimes I twist these too).

2.  Proverbs

3.  Think of a subject and a problem in one sentence and then see where it takes you.  For example, “He refused to cry again”.  Who is he?  What made him cry in the first place?  What has led to his change of attitude here (and it is clear there has been a change)?  What has been his problem that has led him to this point?

4.  Think of an ending in one sentence and work backwards.  For example, “At last, the dragon was killed”.  Okay, so why wasn’t it killed earlier?  What was the problem here?

5.  Sometimes in conversations or even TV/radio programmes, you will pick up on something that can be useful – an odd phrase can give a good indication of character.  Then it is up to you what you do with that character on the page!

This World and Others – Dreams and Reality

Writers learn early on to separate out dreams from reality.  The big dream of being published never goes away until fulfilled (and then you want to keep on being published).  The reality is knowing the writing journey is a tough one, that you’ve got to expect rejections but also knowing there are other options out there such as self publishing or seeking publication through the small independent press.

The latter is the route I, and fellow Chapeltown Books author, Gail Aldwin took.  Part 2 of my interview with her is up on Chandler’s Ford Today for this week’s post and we discuss writing tips and character creation amongst other things.

You need the dreams to keep you going. You need hard headed reality to be able to cope with the rejections, competition disappointments and so on.  It does help to know this is all part of the process.  The one good thing about it is that it does toughen you up so you face later rejections better than you might otherwise have done.

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