Tag Archive: character


Epenthesis-Episode 014: Villains

Funny thing is, I just finished making the villain for my story a couple days ago and I got an email last night to talk about it! It’s weird when these things happen.

Hope everyone is having an awesome NaNoWriMo if you’re participating!

Epenthesis-Episode 013: Believable Characters

Summary: Talking about Murdering Your Darlings, creating believable flaws, and how you can avoid making Mary Sues. I also talk about Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series and how to use unexpected contradictions to surprise the reader.

I’m thinking of writing a text blog tomorrow to give me a little break from podcasting. Or maybe a video blog! Would you guys like to see me making faces while I talk about writing?

 

 

Epenthesis-Episode 012: Working Outline

Where I talk about working outlines, why I hated Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon, and how watching movies like Stranger Than Fiction can help you structure your scenes. It was really fun to do and I had no idea it was going to be the longest one yet! I apparently have a lot to say when it comes to outlines. It’ll definitely come in handy when November 1st rolls around for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I believe I mentioned that this episode would be on another topic but I decided that this is what I wanted to talk about today. I’ll get into some of my pre-planned stuff on Friday. :) have a great day till then!

Epenthesis-Episode 011: Filling the Void

Update on this dreary, rainy Monday! Just got back from the National Publicity Summit in NYC, had a great time, but now  I’m sick so you may get to hear my sexy sick voice in the next episode. This one’s a follow up to my blog A Relationship is Like a Character where I talk about the void and character motivation. Until next time!

And thus rounds out the last of the Dialogue series of podcasts:

Part 1: Episode 008: Dialogue

Part 2: Episode 009: Dialogue Tags

Today’s episode:

Epenthesis-Episode 010: Action Around Dialogue

Today’s episode was fun to record since I got so excited talking about it. Dialogue is a great tool, but the action around dialogue really brings a scene together. It’s important to know that your dialogue and your actions create two very different effects, and together are like harmonies that can make a scene really shine.

I’ll be in NYC this week but I’m hoping to have my episodes post while I’m gone.

Next Wednesday’s Episode: Episode 011: Filling the Void

Have a wonderful Monday :)

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’m slowing down a bit posting the podcasts since I recorded nine of them before I put them up on the blog. Now that I’m getting closer to “real time” so to speak, I’m figuring out how often I want to update. Might be fun to go three to five times a week. Anyone have an opinion, leave me a message. I’m hoping that these are useful!

Today’s podcast follows:

Epenthesis-Episode 008: Dialogue

This is Part 1 of the Dialogue Series (dun dun DUN!) and I get pretty passionate about it. I also have a nice little tangent in there about the History of Reading class I took in grad school, and how grammar came to be. I might do a video at some point about it since I would have a lot of fun with visuals!

Next episode: Dialogue Tags (Part 2)

Edit: Action Around Dialogue (Part 3)

Epenthesis-Episode 007: Brainstorming

I was apprehensive about sharing details about my upcoming project but I wrote about 2,500 words last night so I’m on a good high about it. It also helped me figure out some sticky plot points by talking it out!

Episode 004: Discarding Old Tools I talk a little in the beginning about Episode 4 so here’s a quick link.

Episode 006: Plot vs. Theme I mention this one too so here’s a quick link for it.

 

Progress Stats:

Current Wordcount: 28,323

Goal: 70,000

Draft: First

Deadline: October 31, 2011

Epenthesis-Episode 006: Plot vs. Theme

Wherein I talk about plot, theme, and how they’re different. I also talk about time travel, Sailor Moon, and my secret new writing project that I hope to keep secret…but I reveal more about in upcoming podcast.

My mom’s a shrink – that’s what I tell people when they ask me if I have any psychology background. I can usually whip out a slew of Freudian-based motivations and behavioral changes analysis as fast as I can recall a friend’s phone number. But the truth is that I’ve been perceptive about people’s thoughts and motivations since I was a kid. One of the things I’ve been good at figuring out is relationships, both for romantic as well as friendship, so I maybe analyze books a little too much (or just enough?). I treat characters as if they are real people so when they break character, I can trace it back to when and where and why. One of the big issues I wanted to write about today was the Lone Wolf character, the “I’m better going it alone” type who (almost always) learns the lesson that nothing can be accomplished alone.

Bearing in mind the psychology thing, I started thinking about why this character never works. Why is this character prominent at the beginning of the story but by the end has softened his hard shell to allow at least one other person in? Why must a lesson be learned for this otherwise self-sufficient character?

You see him in romance novels just as often as you see him in mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, even nonfiction to a certain extent. You may even have a picture of him in your head: the lone wolf, the cowboy who rides by himself into the sunset, the quiet guy who doesn’t want trouble (but it tends to follow him around anyway), antisocial, or just plain mean. Maybe he talks, maybe he doesn’t, maybe his whole family died, maybe his family never understood him.

The reason he never works as a complete character is because being alone is a self defense mechanism in writing. Instead of being alone to stop anyone from hurting him, the character ends up hurting himself so that no one can do it for him. There is always something a little bit wrong with a lone wolf character: sure we admire his strength and aloof attitude, but part of what we want is to be around him. We want his strength at our back, we want him to believe in us and confide in us. We don’t actually want him to be alone.

So if you’ve got a cool loner type, make sure he doesn’t stay that way in your writing. If he does, make sure it makes sense because the reader will question why. Also remember that a character who stubbornly refuses to interact with ANYONE usually has something wrong with him. Human beings are social creatures by design and environment: we’re supposed to be around people. Straight-up hermits need to get out of their caves sometimes. If they don’t, we never hear about them. It sounds like one big existential commentary on life, but no one wants to be alone so why would anyone read a story about someone who is completely alone?

Creating Setting (continued)

My friend Night-mare wrote a response to my blog here and of course, that got my brain thinking of some advance techniques for playing with setting. If you want to see the first part of Creating Setting, go here.

Advanced Tip for Setting

Night-mare mentions how different characters should have different feelings when it comes to their surroundings. A person’s background and experiences will always color their perception of their surroundings. Now, the easy answer is to match the internal mood to the external: if your main character is depressed, make it rain. If your two main characters are having their very first romantic kiss, have a perfect sunset hang behind them. If the villain has just appeared, have a lightening storm.

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