It's a Writer Thing

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Posts tagged character development

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Anonymous asked: I have a strong villain created and all of her details written out, but how do I make a hero that can take her on?


  • The hero and villain need weaknesses and strengths that play off each other. If your villain has a weakness, it can be your hero’s strength and vice versa. If they both share some weaknesses and strengths, they might need outside help.
  • They should share either the same goal or motive or their goals or motives should contradict each other. This is what creates the protagonist/antagonist relationship.
  • Both should win and lose. If your hero loses throughout the entire story until the very ending, at least make it seem like they’re about to win in some parts. These loses don’t have to be major. The hero could do something minor that forces your villain to change course.
  • They should challenge each other through means and morality.
  • You need a reason for why this character is the hero and the antagonist to this villain. Why could no one else be the hero? Give your hero the best reason for being the hero.
  • The hero is the villain’s conflict. Think of ways this hero will mess up everything for the villain. Think of all the worst possible things that could happen and make sure your hero has the ability to make those things happen.

Filed under Villains heros character development antagonist Motivation Writing tips

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Why your character’s religion (or lack of) is important:


Anyone in the roleplay community who knows me knows i am one hundred percent about one specific thing: religions. It pains me to see people only use religion when they are playing “religion freaks”. That term roughly translates to someone who’s obsessed with religion and takes everything about a certain religion to heart. While these people do exist, it is more likely that you’ll see people who embrace only certain parts of a religion but religion does surround us on a day to day basis and if you want a realistic character or roleplay in general, you must take them into consideration. Stop being afraid of religions. 


  • If your roleplay is set in the United States of America then one of the first things that must come to mind is saying the pledge in the morning. “One nation, under God.” There are several ways people take the pledge: those who don’t pay much attention but say it anyway, those who say the pledge but emit the “God” part, and those who don’t say the pledge at all. Another thing you might want to consider is Catholic schools or any type of educational institution that takes religion into great consideration. It’s becoming rather tacky to see every single Catholic school girl hate religion in general, while yes, there is many Catholic school girls who hate their school simply because of how it is formatted, it doesn’t mean every single one of them is going to start hailing Satan. 
  • Another point, believing in Satan or some sort of underworld in general is a part of almost every single religion. While some may think of religions in general a simply a spiritual path towards heaven, hell is about 50% of religions. Why else would people be so intent on being good and getting into heaven? Because there’s the possibility of getting into hell. 
  • One last thing to consider regarding religions and education is the education of religions. You learn about religions in history class, in philosophy class, and in well, religion class if you attend a school/university that offers it. When talking about religion in a history class you only learn the basics because teachers aren’t allowed or have the time to go into depth with every single piece of a religion, religions are huge and complicated especially if you’re solely talking about the major ones (Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism). In philosophy class you’re taught more in depth about religions but still not 100% and when you take a philosophy class or a history class you’re not necessarily taking either to learn about religions but to learn about every subject offered in the class. However, when you take a specific religious class it has to be because you’re interested in the religion or the religion is yours. 


  • Buddhism: In Theravada and Mahayana schools many people do not eat meat or fish. Some are vegans and specifically in China and Vietnam, many do not eat onions or garlic. Buddha told people not to eat certain types of meats: humans, elephants, horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, boars, and hyenas. This was due to self-respect and protection. Though there is no specific law in Buddhism regarding food, in the time of the Buddha himself, monks were expected to eat everything put in their begging bowl without discrimination. 
  • Hinduism: In this religion, meat, fish, poultry, and eggs are forbidden. People who follow this religion very closely also don’t eat garlic, onions, mushrooms, alcohol, and tea or coffee. In the Vedic texts, one should offer food as a sacrifice to God. Many references indicate that fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and dairy products are fit for humans to consume. The food offered to God is thought to bestow religious merit, purify the body, mind, and spirit. For this reason food has a close relation not only to the religion as a whole but in worship. The forbidden foods are considered ignorant and beef in particular is avoided due to respect for the cow. Bhishma, central character in a Hindu epic tells about how no sacrifice should be made without butter. Therefore, cows became essential. 
  • Christianity: Most Christians do not have a restriction when it come to eating meat though they refrain from eating it on Fridays or during Lent. There are only two biblical references regarding food: Genesis 9.1-4 and Genesis 1.29. The first allow people to eat meat under certain circumstances and the second states that vegetarianism was God’s original will. Most Christians will eat anywhere and don’t experience as many food restrictions as other religions. 
  • Judaism: The ingredients forbidden in the Jewish religion are several: emulsifiers of animal origin, glycerin, gelatin, shellfish, and prawns. Kashrut is the system of Jewish dietary laws. The Torah does not specify any reason for dietary laws but they are followed in order to show obedience to God. Leviticus 11:3 states, “Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.” 
  • Islam: Ingredients forbidden include pork, gelatin, meat not slaughtered in the prescribed way, blood, alcohol, carnivorous animals, and lard. Eating is a matter of faith, their dietary practices are also essentially about obeying God. You must recite the name of God (Allah) before eating and thank God after you are done. It is important to eat by the right hand in company and the name of Allah must be pronounced while slaughtering. It is also important to only eat when you are hungry and not to eat in excess. Essentially it is about thanking Allah for everything and keeping in mind that he is to thank for meals. 



  • Evidently, I don’t know everything about every religion and this was very generic and basic. If you’d like more information on a certain religion then please simply let me know. What I wanted to show more than anything, was that religion is such a part of everyday life. You see it in music, poems, television, movies, everywhere. It has even such a great part in dietary habits. It pains me the amount of people I see who are Buddhists and don’t take their dietary habits into consciousness or even their schools or prayers. I’m sorry that the world has decided to create this idea that religions are something to be feared, that they are evil, but they play a huge and essential part of every day life! Don’t play a religious freak, simply be conscious of what you are doing and saying. As always, if you would like to add more to this feel free, any questions contact me, any mistakes let me know. And have fun creating characters! 

(via fixyourwritinghabits)

Filed under religion character development characters belief writer reference

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alexandergallihaddjinn asked: Could you explain the moral alignment types? I've never really understood them, such as Lawful Evil or Chaotic Good. I would love some help on this, really like ur blog btw


Lawful Types

  • Lawful Good: The law is good and you do good by upholding the law. The most righteous alignment. They are morally good and they follow the laws set forth by a good institution. Ex: Captain America
  • Lawful Neutral: The law is hard, but it is the law. You are only good if you follow the rules. Order is more important than good or evil. Lawful Neutrals may be reluctant to question the status quo. Ex: Inspector Javert.
  • Lawful Evil: When evil is the law. This alignment is fairly good at organization and keeping people in line, often because this system is easier to exploit. The most reasonable type of evil, but only because they’re planning your takedown at the same time. Ex: Professor Umbridge.

Chaotic Types

  • Chaotic Good: Sometimes, conventions like the law and rules get in the way of doing good. To these guys, it’s more important to do what you think is good than to toe the line. Often found in opposition to authority, especially authority they perceive as unjust. Ex: Tony Stark
  • Chaotic Neutral: Do what you want and ignore anyone who disagrees with you. Their desires are above laws and morality. They value their independence and freedom of choice over anything else. Ex: Captain Jack Sparrow
  • Chaotic Evil: Do what you want and kill anyone who disagrees with you. They also want freedom, but at the torturous expense of others/the law. Chaotic Evil doesn’t necessarily shoot up a bus Because, but maybe if they’ve had a bad day or someone special is on it. Ex: the Joker

Neutral Types

  • Neutral Good: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Neutral Good characters are only interested in doing good. They often follow the law, but don’t wholeheartedly believe in it. They won’t force other people to be good. Ex: John Watson
  • Neutral Neutral/Neutral: Who cares? Neutrals just want to live their lives without interference or they want to keep a kind of balance between two opposing forces. Likely to view politics and ideals as stupid and divisive. Ex: Tyrion Lannister
  • Neutral Evil: Self > Others. They value their own life and gain before anyone and anything else. They may ally with Good for said gain, although their primarily selfish and often harmful actions place them squarely in Evil. Called the Douchebag Alignment. Ex: Smaug

Filed under Character alignments lawful neutral evil Personality character development writer reference

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Writing Effective Character Breakdowns


I got a lot of questions regarding how to write a good character breakdown. An effective character breakdown comes from a character holding in their frustration/pain for a while before they finally let it out in an extremely emotional moment. Sometimes this involves screaming, crying, raging—basically all the things we do in real life to let out stress and eventually feel better. I guess that’s why readers find it so satisfying; because we want to know that the characters would be feeling the same things we’re feeling.

Here are a few general tips on writing a good character breakdown:

Your character’s breakdown has to be built up first.

If your character is constantly crying and breaking down, we won’t really care when the next one happens. A breakdown shows humanity. It shows that your character has been fighting to stay strong, but they finally need a release. Everyone feels emotional every once in a while, especially when the odds are stacked against us, and it’s perfectly healthy to let it all out. Just make sure you build up to the breakdown effectively.

A good breakdown doesn’t mean they’ll be down in the dumps for the rest of your novel.

After a breakdown, someone usually feels relief. They might feel stronger or more determined to never feel that way again. Use this to help your character develop. Use this as motivation. If you have them wallowing in self-pity afterwards, you’ll lose your audience. Obviously a breakdown won’t fix everything, but it will allow them to release some pent up frustration and pain.

A breakdown is great when it’s followed by an important scene between the protagonist and antagonist.

If your main character has to fight when they’re at their lowest point, that makes the stakes even higher. They will use the breakdown in order to understand what they’re fighting for and find the strength to do it. It’s great when characters finally picks themselves back up and defeats the villain.

If your character has a breakdown that doesn’t mean they are weak.

A breakdown just makes your character feel more human. Use this to your advantage and show that your characters actually care about what’s going on. If a character is “strong” the entire time, it might be harder for your audience to relate to them. Show some humanity.

-Kris Noel

(via fixyourwritinghabits)

Filed under Breakdown emotional breakdown emotions crying character development writing advice

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Anonymous asked: How would one write a shy character correctly? Many people say shyness is not a flaw, but in my eyes it appears to be that way. How isn't it a flaw and how can I write it out correctly?


(Introverts vs ExtrovertsIntroverts tag)

I am not sure why you think shyness is a flaw, so I have no idea what specifically to speak on here. Shyness is not an inherently bad thing, but it may hold bad connotations because shyness is often connected with things like fear, being sneaky or secretive, and having low self-esteem. While sometimes these things come hand-in-hand, sometimes they do not.

I am a painfully shy, socially anxious, and introverted person, and this is especially apparent in face-to-face contact. Do hear me out, but remember that not everyone experiences or exhibits traits and feelings the same way. Here are some things that come to mind when I talk about my own shyness and introversion:

  • I have a harder time opening up and being comfortable around other people, especially strangers. If I am somehow conned into going to a party or other social function, odds are that I will be surrounded by strangers or people I am not personally close with (and am therefore uncomfortable around). I will either lurk in a corner and do everything in my power to leave as soon as possible, or I will latch on to whomever I am closest with or whomever I feel I can tolerate and generally refuse to leave their side. Even if it is only an acquaintance from work or from back in high school, I would rather be with someone who makes me mildly uncomfortable than be around people who make me intensely uncomfortable.
  • I frequently explain my shyness by saying simply that “I hate people,” but this is not literally true. Shyness is not a fear or hatred of other people, but a general discomfort with things like making small talk, lots of people talking around me, and being put on the spot by a sudden question. People have told me that I frequently look surprised when someone asks me a question, often because my brain is now in overdrive as I try to formulate a response in a reasonable amount of time. Most often, I look surprised because I have been caught thinking, daydreaming, or otherwise distancing myself from my surroundings.
  • Similar to the above, sometimes people think I am moody, disinterested, or even upset with them because I take time to think before I speak. Where you might ask a more forward or extroverted person the same question at the same time as me, you are probably more likely to get a response faster from them than you will from me. For some people, this makes them feel like I am not interested in what they have to say, am not invested in the conversation, or that I have bigger things to think and worry about. This is not (always) true.
  • I have a hard time sitting still when I am around other people, so I fidget a lot in the company of others. I keep things like paperclips, marbles, coins, and such in the left-hand pockets of my jackets and things so that I have something to fiddle with while out in public, and I keep them around because they are a less obtrusive and annoying way for me to work off nervous energy. If I am missing such an object, I might drum my fingers against the table or armrest, tap my foot, pull at the fraying hems on my shirt or sleeves. I would rather have my marble, though, since this tends to draw less attention to me than me somehow wiggling around the bus.
  • I do not like being the center of attention, so I tend not to speak very loudly, interrupt, or make an especially hard effort to make my opinions known. I do not volunteer for things and glare at people who volunteer me against my will. Doing something like dragging me to karaoke night and throwing me the mic will make me hate you.
  • Even once you have inspired my ire, I still will not go out of my way to make it obvious that I hate you. I will make your life miserable through more subtle means: making sure you get the uncomfortable seat in my car, pretending not to hear you when you ask me to pass the salt, dallying a bit longer than necessary when you ask me to do something, or (if I really truly hate the ground you walk upon) outright refusing to do something for you.
  • I tend not to make big shows of myself or my emotions while with others. This is not to make me sound robotic: I do smile, laugh, frown, etc., but if my group starts singing and dancing in the middle of the streets, you can expect me to pick up a magazine and wait it out on the park bench. This does two things: saves me from having to participate in something that makes me uncomfortable, and gives me something to do so that no one will come up and ask me why those fools are yelling about freedom and constructing a barricade with café chairs.
  • I become very self-aware around people, and the degree to which I analyze my posture and movements is inversely proportional to how well I know the people I am with. Around complete strangers I have little to no knowledge of, I vigilantly police things like how I sit (am I slouching? will they think I am lazy?), where I place my hands (is it strange for me to have my hands in my lap, or should they be on the table? will I look more relaxed with my arms stretched out on the couch, or will that take up too much space?), where my head is pointing (if I space out, will it look like I am staring at someone or something I shouldn’t be?), that sort of thing. Around close friends, I relax much more.
  • As an introvert, being around other people wears me out. If you are an extroverted person, you may experience the opposite effect: you may like being around other people because it energizes you, where being alone wears you down. I draw my energy from being alone. I do not hate socializing, but I can only do it for so long before I get tired and need to be alone for a while. You might hear it described as introverts needing to “recharge” after social interaction, and I find that to be true in myself.

One big reason I have for doing all these things comes from the question of “What will other people think of me if…?” To some extent, I do worry about how others perceive my actions and behavior, and that influences how I act and behave. It is not a question of “Will people like me if…?” The point of shyness is not to connive my way into peoples’ hearts. Shyness is about making sure I feel comfortable in situations that make me uncomfortable.


EDIT—crimsonrebel brought up a great point that I have forgotten about: I hate telephones with a passion. I hate "coldcalling" people and I hate answering the house phone, and will almost never do so of my own volition. I have similar anxieties about answering an unexpected ring at the door, especially if I am home by myself.

How does shyness or introversion show itself in you, tumblbuds?

Filed under Introvert character development Shy shyness writer reference Personality

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Character Sheets and character creation →



When creating a character, there’s a lot of questions you ask yourself. Whether it’s an original character or one you’ve been playing for a long time, using a character sheet to get to know your character better can always be a nice idea. With its help, you’ll be able to think about things you didn’t necesarily thought about, and ask some important questions to yourself that might activate your character’s voice, or help you to get your muse back with them. Everyone has their favorite character sheets, some people prefer to have a lot of questions, some others like it a bit more vague, so here’s a masterlist of the character sheets I found on various websites and found quite interesting, plus some other things that could be used to help you see, for example, how other character view yours. 

With these sheets, you could also try to find your character’s Jung and Enneagram Type or use the Moral Alignment tool. All of these things can be really useful to get a better grip on a character.

Then, if you’re trying to create a character, and do not have many ideas, or get stuck, I’d suggest for you to roam around TVTropes, which gives you a lot of tropes used for character creation. Maybe you could try to mix a few of these and create an original character?

Or, if you’re a skillful writer and know how to make your character different from another, make a list of characters in fiction you happen to find interesting and why. Try to keep it short. Then, maybe, try to mix and match things from two or three characters, take a character and change their backstory, to see what would change. Play with them to inspire yourself and create something new, original and truly yours.

Oh, and here’s a little guide to Mary-Sues and OCs, just in case you want to make sure your character isn’t going to become a Mary-Sue or a Gary-Stu

And last but not least, this article about building fictional character definitely seemed interesting to me, and is full of many other links that could guide you during the creating of your character and help you file one of these sheets.

(via characterandwritinghelp)

Filed under character development Writer Resources

900 notes

Character Development: Alternatives to Worksheets


Aww, thanks!

I always recommend character development sheets as a character development exercise, but try not to take them too seriously/rely on them too heavily.

I suggest switching gears and trying some different character development exercises. There are several that I find to be really helpful when I’m struggling to get to know a character:

1) Reality TV Crew:

This is so much fun I even do it for characters I understand well. :) Start by choosing a point just prior to when your story starts, then pretend a camera crew is following your character through a normal day. Write down everything that happens from the moment your character wakes up until the moment they go to bed. Be sure to explore their interactions with other characters, how they react to good and bad things (good: getting a package in the mail, bad: finding out they have a cavity), what they do to entertain themselves, and how they meet their basic needs. You can even do little reaction interviews, ala The Office or Modern Family where the character divulges their feelings about things that have happened. If it works for you and you want to dive deeper, try to find an important even in their back story and follow them through that day, too.

2) First-Person Free Write

This is kind of like the last one except without a “camera crew.” This one is done in first-person present tense, as if you’re inside your character’s head as they are experiencing an important even in their life. It can be any event that you want, but it’s extra helpful if it is an experience that adds to their back story or has an impact on who they are.

3) Character Interview

For this, you’re going to answer interview questions as if you were your character. There are a number of ways you can go about this. You can look for interviews with real people to help you come up with questions, or you can just wing it and make up a bunch of questions on your own. Either way, make sure you have a good mix of mundane questions like “what is your favorite food” to really profound questions like “if you could go back in time and erase one event from history, what would it be?” Write down all of your questions ahead of time, and then either hand write the answers (remembering that you are the character as you answer), or even better—answer them out loud, either by yourself or with a friend to ask the questions.

4) Alternate Universe Crisis Mode

This is a free write exercise where you drop your character into a crisis that has nothing to do with your plot or back story. This is simply an exercise in possibility—to see how they would react in an extremely stressful situation. It could be a car accident, a ski weekend interrupted by a crazy ax murderer, or devastating earthquake. It doesn’t even have to be a situation in the same time, place, or universe in which your story takes place. If you want to see how your character would have fared in place of one of Henry VIII’s mostly ill-fated wives, go for it! You can even drop your character into your favorite TV show or movie as if they were an additional cast member. This exercise is all about learning who they are as a person. Are they brave or fearful? Do they lead or follow? Are they helping the injured or too squeamish? Are they optimistic or pessimistic? This exercise will tell you a lot about your character.

5) Milestone Map

In this exercise, you’re going to write 1-3 paragraphs, first-person, about all of your character’s major milestones from the first day of school to whatever milestone they hit prior to your story beginning. These don’t even have to be major milestones like getting a driver’s license or going to prom—they can be smaller ones, too, like first babysitting job, first A on a test, first kiss, etc.

6) Character Playlist

One of the first things I do when I create a character is listen to a lot of music. I’ll usually start by listening to “B sides” (the non-hit songs) of my favorite bands and singers. Then I’ll use an app like Pandora (which plays random songs based on your interests) to find new music, or sometimes I’ll sit on YouTube and watch random music videos to find new stuff. Little by little, a playlist will begin to emerge as I hear songs that fit my character. When I have a good list of songs going, I’ll sit down and really listen to the music. More often than not I learn new things about my character this way.

7) Character Board

This one is especially fun if you’re crafty or good with photoshop, but it’s still fun even if you’re not. The object is to create an inspiration board for your character filled with photos of everything from clothing to physical features, and from quotes to items the might own. Anything that reminds you of your character. If you have access to magazines you can tear up, you might do it on a piece of poster board or bulletin board and have fun decorating it old school Or, you might prefer to do a collage in photoshop or an online collage app. You can even do a gallery on Pinterest or Tumblr if you prefer.

8) Visualization Tricks

Sometimes a character’s personality won’t fall into place until you’re able to visualize them. There are a number of ways you can go about getting a good picture of them into your head. If you’re good at drawing, you can try to draw a portrait of them. If you’re not good at drawing, you might enlist a friend or family member who is. Or, if that’s not possible, try looking through the commissions tag on tumblr and see if you can pay someone to do it. Some artists might even be willing to negotiate if you can’t afford to pay them, if there’s something else you can offer them like writing them a piece of fan-fiction, making them a fan-video, or a graphic. Sometimes it’s fun to do a “casting call” and choose an actor or model who looks like your character to “play” them in your mind. It’s very important that you already know what your character looks like before doing this, because the goal isn’t to use an actor as your character. It’s just a way to help you visualize them easier.

If none of these help you  get a better handle on your character, there may be something else not working. You might consider putting them into a folder for a future project and try creating a new character for the current story. Sometimes that ends up being the magic trick that gets things flowing again. :)

(via thewritingcafe)

Filed under character development writing advice character questions

412 notes

Traits from Living with Substance Abusers


You learn to lie. You lie to your friends, when they ask how your weekend was and you tell them it was boring, but really you had to mediate between your fighting parents. You lie to your parents, because you know they’ve had a bad day and you don’t want to tell them about how rough your day was, too. You lie to yourself when you tell yourself that living in your situation doesn’t affect you very much.

You’re afraid you’ll end up like your parent(s). Alcoholism and predilection to certain drugs can be congenital to some degree. You become afraid you’ll just be a repeat of your parents. You’re scared of having kids because you’re not sure how you’ll parent when your most consistent model was dysfunctional at best. You’re afraid of addictive substances because you’ve seen what it can to do people who are nice and rational when they’re not using them. You’re afraid an outburst heralds mental declination. You know firsthand what being addicted looks like and you know you don’t want that to happen to you.

You become sensitive to other people’s (negative) emotions. You spend a lot of time monitoring the danger conditions at home. There are always a few signals that signal a coming explosion. You learn to watch for them. Before you know it, you’re reading other people outside the home. You can tell when people are upset and angry before they react. Sometimes it helps. Most of the time it isolates you. You become nervous and withdrawn when you sense your friend is angry - even if they’re angry at someone else. Your mind interprets a friend’s mild annoyance as a full-blown insult and you can’t help but avoid them. 

You feel alone. As you can imagine, constantly lying to your friends about your mental and emotional state doesn’t engender great friendship. So in addition to lying to your friends, you’re walking around with this great burden in your chest because you can’t talk about it to anyone, and the burden just makes you more and more withdrawn. As a result of a distressed home, sometimes you can’t attend events or do things your friends are, so you’re even more out of the loop. Sometimes you’re lucky and you find that one great friend and/or family member and/or counselor you can talk to about it. And let me tell you: talking about it makes you feel a lot better.

Read More

(via characterandwritinghelp)

Filed under Substance abuse abuse alcoholism writer reference character development Victim Character traits

356 notes




(taken and edited from my great, amazing Television professor last spring.)

The Square — Often the central protagonist, and usually The Everyman or the Only Sane Man or Woman.   A large portion of the comedy from such a character comes from his/her reactions to the situation or other characters.

The Wisecracker — The domain of the SNARKER or PUN MAKER.  This character just lives to make fun of others.  If the protagonist isn’t a Square, s/he is most likely a Wisecracker.

The Bully — Despite the name, The Bully is oftentimes not an actual bully per se, but is sometimes a  Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Typically more outright belligerent than The Wisecracker, if written as a complete Jerkass, The Bully may actively dislike all the other characters. If female, this will be The Rich Bitch.

The Dork — Aka the Nerd, the Dork need not be stereotypically nerdy or geeky, at least not visually, though he or she should be such in relation to the other members of the cast.  

The Goofball — This role is typically filled by The Ditz or the Cloud Cuckoo Character, but the character could also be generically zany or a  Blithe Spirit rather than outright ditzy. Could also be a Pollyanna, with naivety serving as the defining trait; if so, expect this to be the youngest character.

The Charmer — This character comes in two varieties: First, the Casanova, the lover, the player. Enough said. Second, a more classically refined character, someone who is a devout adherent to old-fashioned politeness, grace and decorum.

The Stick — Crank The Square up to eleven, and you have The Stick. This character is extremely uptight and stuffy, a stickler for the rules if you will, a stick in the mud as it were. Usually humorless, often humorously so. The humor from The Stick generally results from his/her dismay or outright horror at the antics of the others. 

The Sage — Usually an older character, this person acts as a sort of Mentor to the main characters, dispensing advice and a fable or two. Though close to the main group, The Sage generally exists outside that group, for example a neighbor, or an authority figure such as a teacher.

The Bigmouth — A (sometimes) softer, less-hateful alternative to The Bully, The Bigmouth is an annoying, um, bigmouth. Whether s/he is a  Know-Nothing Know-It-All, an overbearing egotist like Ted Baxter, or an intrusive Nosy Neighbor, The Bigmouth just has a knack for getting on everyone’s nerves.

In my great search through my blog this morning I refound this post.

It’s gold.

And I’m writing a sitcom right now so it’s useful.

(via screenandscripts)

Filed under Comedy sitcom archetypes character development Tropes

730 notes

The Power of Silence


It’s important that you make sure the dialogue fits your particular character and that it helps explain who they are. Usually each line of dialogue should reveal something about your character and what their motivations are. However, it’s important to consider what silence reveals and what its power will be in your story.

If you quiet down a character, sometimes that will help your scene become more powerful and memorable. Constant talking doesn’t mean constant action.  Sometimes no response is the BEST response. Consider conversations in real life. Think about when someone says nothing when you’d really like them to say anything at all. Think about when their silence actually gives you the answer you’re looking for. The moment between you and that person becomes more intense and you get your answer even though they haven’t spoken any words. This becomes just as intense when in the narrative of a story.

Overwhelming your story with dialogue is never a good idea. If you’re constantly having a character explain things verbally, your story will become boring and bogged down. Cutting down your words is an important skill every writer must have because you can never become too attached to any particular scene or sentence. If something is bogging your story down or is unnecessary, you must be able to remove it from your story. It will also help your story flow the way it’s supposed to and can improve pacing.

Dialogue fails when it becomes more about explaining things to the reader instead of for character development. If you’re having your character ask questions simply to find a bland way to pass information to your reader, you should rethink how you’re doing things. The dialogue is supposed to help build your characters. It DOES reveal information to the reader, but that’s not what it’s about. Avoid info-dumping through your dialogue.

Remember that physical gestures are sometimes better than using dialogue. They can easily reveal things about your characters without shouting it in your reader’s faces. If you have a character that bites his lip when he is lying, that’s a visual cue that will help your readers understand what is going through the character’s head without saying anything.

-Kris Noel

Filed under Dialogue quiet characters character development Writing tips Favorite

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Quite a few people requested some form of trait/personality generator, and here’s the result!  I wanted to keep it vague enough that the options could work for any universe, be it modern, fantasy, scifi, or anything else, so these are really just the basics. Remember that a character is much more than a list of traits, and this should only be used as a starting point– I tried to include a variety of things, but further development is definitely a must.

Could pair well with the gender and sexuality generator.

To Play: Click and drag each gif, or if that isn’t working/you’re on mobile, just take a screenshot of the whole thing (multiple screenshots may be required if you want more than one trait from each category).

(via legit-writing-tips)

Filed under character development Writer Resources Prompt

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Anonymous asked: hello. i am having a lot of trouble writing a demisexual character. do you think that you could tell me how to portray them?


Most demisexuals act like asexuals outside of a relationship. Sexually charged imagery and music isn’t appealing solely for the sexual message. On the other hand, we can still appreciate a good beat or tasteful font choices, if not the overexposure of skin. Demisexuals can appreciate people they find aesthetically pleasing, but we don’t find them sexually appealing, ex. I can notice that Scarlett Johansson is a beautiful woman without desiring her. You won’t find demisexuals embroiled in celebrity crushes or mooning from afar. 

A lot of people think demisexuality is an admirable choice or a result of trust issues. It’s not. You just don’t feel attracted to people you don’t know. I tried skipping the emotional bond and going straight to dating a few times and it never panned out. These relationships felt … I don’t know, empty? I always liked the person I’d chosen to date and found them to be nice/interesting/fun, but I wish I’d befriended them instead. 

Traits like personality and appearance doesn’t really influence you at first. After all, when’s the last time you chose your friends for their looks or personality? Your friends might share some personal traits with you, but you’re looking more for shared interests in a friendship than you are a compatible personality. It’s only after you’ve become good enough friends that sexual attraction might form/has formed that you think about these things, but it’s a secondary consideration. 

The definition of demisexual is someone who only experiences sexual attraction after forming a deep emotional bond with said person. These emotional bonds are usually deep friendship or a romantic bond. However, demisexuals are not automatically attracted to anyone they have a deep friendship with. I have never considered 99% of my friends anything other than friends. Similarly, it’s easy to think demisexuals can only experience sexual attraction to one person at a time. This is not always true, but it takes a long time for a bond strong enough to bring on sexual attraction to form with one person, let alone more than one at the same time. It’s also a myth that demisexuals are always faithful. Sexual attraction does not mean slavish devotion. Demisexuals - like most people in healthy relationships - keep their circle of friends after they enter a romantic relationship. We are capable of finding another sexually attractive person outside of the current relationship. 

The biggest problem with being demisexual is that your initial bond with a potential mate is friendship. While you might be sexually attracted to them, they might want to continue a platonic friendship. It’s also harder to flirt, especially if you’re really comfortable with your friend, e.g. you often touch, hug, kiss on the cheek, etc. I feel like I need to go over the top when expressing interest. 

Finally, demisexuals can be sorted into subgroups by romantic/sexual preference. Some demisexuals identify themselves as demi-heterosexual (sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex they have formed a close bond with) or demisexual homoromantic (romantically attracted to members of the same sex they have formed a close bond with that might develop into sexual attraction). 



I didn’t mean to imply you can only be demisexual hetero/homo romantic. Those were just the first two orientations that popped into my mind. A demisexual character can be any romantic orientation.

Filed under Demisexual sexuality character development