Posted in Resources, Writing

Unnecessary Characters – Are they necessary?

 

unnecessary characters
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One of the things I try to look out for in my writing is unnecessary characters. Sure, as writers, we must populate the story but when is it too much? How can we identify these unnecessary characters?

I like to use the sexy lamp test. This test doesn’t apply only to the relevance of a female character, it applies to other characters as well. If you can replace a character with someone else – or a lamp in this case – they aren’t necessary. The test can also be applied to your main characters.

If, for some reason, you really want a certain character in the story because they bring something unique then, maybe the character needs more work. Flesh them out. Every character has some sort of motivation that gets them through the day and if after all that, the character still doesn’t work then, cut them. You can always recycle them for later.

 

 

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Posted in NaNoWriMo, updates, Writing

A Good Feeling

It’s the seventh day of Nation Novel Writing Month and I have to say that, so far, I’m on schedule. There have been a few days where I wait until the last minute to type, underestimating how many hours is going to take me to get 1,667 words that day. 1.6k words doesn’t seem like a lot words but, trust me, when you’re sitting at your computer or sometimes on your phone, it is a lot. You type up three paragraphs and whole page even and then you check the word count. Not even close.

I’ve found that music tends to help me sometimes but that’s not always the case. There are times when I can’t have music on because I’m at work or it’s just not possible. Personally, I like to think of what I’m going to write during the day before I actually sit down and write. It’s more like day dreaming than anything.

With this method, I sort of play through the scenes of my head so I can have an idea of what’s going to happen in the story. There are times when I just sit down, read what I wrote before, and write because I need to finish the scene or I automatically know what’s going to happen next.

Thanks to this, I have finally finished the original story. Now, I can focus on the rewrite. Maybe I mentioned it before, but in case that I haven’t, I’ll say that I know where I want to go with the story. I know what needs to be changed in the rewrite. While I will use almost the same scenes and characters, I will be changing things up a bit. I have a good feeling about this month.

Posted in updates, Writing

At Long Last

This is a bit late but better late than never. Recently, life got in the way with moving furniture and getting the new place situated. However, today I like to say that everything has been moved with only the exception of a box spring for the bed. Other than that, we’re officially moved in.

This past week, I’ve been working on character development in Crimson Queen. I haven’t mentioned that story in a while but I have been working on it bit by bit. My focus, I’m ashamed to admit, has been all over the place since getting a new place. However, now that that is over and done with, I can focus more on what I like to do. For my female lead, Lucinda, specifically, I needed to change her personality a bit.

Previously, it was more geared toward rejecting ‘female’ tasks like sewing and all that but I realized that that outlook on life wasn’t working out. Instead, I changed her dreams, so to speak. Lucinda wants a family but she also wants to follow in her father’s footsteps of mastering the way of a sword. In this way, Lucinda became a more 3-D character as oppose to being a ‘cliche’.

I will still continue to tweak her a bit to stay true to her character but I think I’m on the right path. At least, I hope I am. Plus, since ending Camp NaNoWriMo earlier this year, I have the majority of the store already in the third arc. After some more revision, Crimson Queen should be finished soon. Fingers crossed.

Posted in Writing

Character Creation – part 1

Sometimes a character pops into my head before the actual story. There might be a small scene around the character but nothing is concrete. I don’t plan for this to happen, it just does.

So, what do I do when I have an idea of a character? For starters, I tend to know the character’s sex. I don’t know the character’s gender until way later.

Next, I think about what kind of world would this character live in? Futuristic? Fantasy? Modern day?

Once, I decide that, I look at the situation they are in. Do they struggle to pay for basic essentials? Are they on the run? Are they a gun for hire? Maybe they are a detective/ investigator.

If I can’t think of an answer, I mix and match. Would this character fit in an urban setting? Would it make sense if they were on the run? Nothing is is ever concrete at the beginning. Characters are like clay. They can be modeled as many times as they need to.

As the character takes shape, pieces tend to fall into place. A character now has a sword and a gun. The only place they drink their coffee is from a run down shop on a corner of a not so nice street. For character creation, I think it’s helpful to start with the little things.

What would their room look like? It’s a clean? Messy? Undisturbed? Do they use mouth wash? What snacks do they eat? Do they drink too much coffee? What does a normal day for them look like? What kind of clothes do they wear? Where do they buy their clothes?

There are a lot of character creating questionnaires out there and I’ve found some of them very useful. However, I don’t always need to use them. Sure it’s important to know if your character has any family, siblings, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a pet, but I found that somethings, character creation gets bog down with those sorts of questions.

At times, it feels like a job to me and it’s no longer fun. The character just slips from my mind and it never goes anywhere. I like to mull it over a bit. Keep it a secret if you will before putting it down on paper.

Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – D&D Adventure

“There used to be six of us . . . Now I am alone.”

Five pair of various colored eyes turned around and looked at me. Their brows were creased.

“What are you talking about?” the book loving wizard asked. “We’re about to be rich!”

I shook my head and didn’t respond.

“We have just liberated a cultist infected castle,” the beast of a barbarian spoke up. “We deserved to get paid.”

His smaller companion, only four feet in height nodded in agreement. “When you hired us, you said we could keep what we found.”

They were mercenaries after all. I wasn’t surprised not really. Sure, I liked loot too but if this was anything like the other chest, we were probably going to get our faces melted off like the lightning strucked sorcerer.

You would think he learned his lesson but no, he was up there along with the others staring at the red wardrobed.

It leaned against a dark wall. Beside it was a desk with documents spread all across it. The dwarf was there. Shifting through the parchment, trying to find any clues as to where the leaders of the cultists had gone.

“Good luck,” I told them.

“Then you get no loot,” the wizard piped up.

“You guys ready?” the small roguish mercenary asked.

She stepped forward, theives tools in hand. As she did, I walked out of the room. I pressed my back against the wall. There was no way I was going to get caught in the trap.

I heard the wardrobe open and a hiss. Cries of pain and shock echoed from the room. I waited for a few moments before peeking into the room. Acid bubbled and hissed across the ground. My companions laid on the ground, moaning in agony. The smell of burnt flesh wafted through the room.

Whatever the wardrobe held at one point was gone. It now stood as a blob of melted wood. I squatted down by the doorway.

“So,” I said, “who needs healing?”

Groan answered me.