It’s always interesting to hear about something we aren’t yet aware of. Be it a secret of a close friend, a new discovery, or even just something that happened to the neighbours last week. If the same things happened over and over, we’d get bored of it. At least, I would.
Tip of today’s post: Create a species other than a human when creating a character.
The same principles apply to fantasy/fiction story-writing. If there were only generic, ordinary humans in a novel about sci-fi, or even horror, it’d leave a lot to logic, which, in my opinion, shouldn’t be the turning point of such genres (No offense, Scooby Doo fans.).
You can easily find place to put a ghost, vampire, or even a completely original species if the novel is fiction, and in doing this you’ll open up a tonne of doors for your character’s features and personality. There’s only so much you can do with a human, and that’s as much as you understand about humans. Even then, your human characters can have unique traits that fill in the gaps. After all, this gives them individuality and originality. Something we’ve never seen before.
And that, to me, is the most important thing. Flood the planet you’ve made with creatures we could never have imagined alone. Dazzle your audience with technological advances we’d never thought possible. Change anything from the number of fingers on each of your characters hands to the electrical charge of feathers on their wings. Make them absolutely flawless in every which way…
…Don’t do that last one. That’s a Mary Sue.
So me and my friends were messing around with a character of mine, who’s become an inside joke between us and has remained that way for a while. It’s been fun, and whilst slightly annoying, it got me thinking about something I tried a while ago, and it actually opened up a lot of ideas.
Tip of today’s post : Make variants of existing characters by tweaking certain features of them.
This, to me, has always been fun. Taking a part of one character and changing it to something else that would work too; this gets the imagination flowing in a fun way and keeps your mind away from the negative effects being fully serious can have on you.
I even managed to create a canon character this way. I took a fire based character who wasn’t very bright and decided to change her abilities to be water related. Said fire character’s home planet was flooded by water, and I figured that this varied version could perhaps be from the attacking planet. Then I worked her into being somewhat of a doppelganger of the original character, and they both became friends, despite being out to apprehend each other.
There’s lots you can do this way, without deviating too far from your original storyline or character pool. And while diversity will be a little harder to achieve, it’s a good place to start working, right?
It’s a good old rule of the pirates that only the cap’n can see what’s on the treasure map. Maybe the captain was just greedy, or perhaps wanted to keep his crew on an adventure all the way through. Either way, piracy is now illegal.
Tip of today’s post : Try to keep most of your planning confidential.
You’re writing the plot for a story, and your friend walks in and just absorbs all the words on your paper or screen through their spongey eyes, and no longer care about the story you were hyping them up about. It must be a devastating feeling, as I’ve never shown anyone my plans for a story; spoilers are the worst thing in the world. Hands down. I cannot strand when someone tells me what happens in a movie or book I’m interested in, hence my dislike for the cinema.
The reverse seems, to me, to be even worse. Everything you’ve worked on now lies in the hands of your friend, parent or even stranger if you work in a public place. Those hands now have the potential to ruin everything by telling everyone they see about the plot of your story. It’s kinda like when you pretend to be someone you’re not to hide your true self; it burns to hold in your secret, and it burns harder when someone figures out your secret.
It’s ok to share minor details, or the main features of the story, but giving out too much information because you’re being bribed, blackmailed or even just excitable can ruin the entire story for everyone you intend to show it to. The only information I give out is about my characters, and maybe a little side info.
They know too much already…
Do you ever feel pressured into doing something for someone? Like what you’re doing is no longer for your enjoyment and to impress someone who’s input may not even matter? It’s this thought process that must be avoided at all costs, because becoming discouraged can be one of the worst things to affect productivity.
Tip of today’s post : Write only for yourself, and don’t expect the world to love your work.
It feels so much better when your own original work is recognised. Feeling like someone is behind you, insisting you do well often leads you to throw out ideas of your own for ones you think will impress the masses, and in turn you lose ideas, concepts that could’ve been original and amazing, even inspiring.
Why feel pressured by your target audience to re-produce what’s already out there when you can create something new and original? People don’t want to see the same thing over and over from different people, what they’re doing is their own way of being successful. Copying that makes you look like you don’t really care about the writing itself, but only care for the money or the popularity.
Honestly, when you take a moment to just sit down, grab a pen and list down some ideas, you’ll never feel better than the moment you think “Oh my gosh, this is perfect!” and pull an amazing story concept from a few notes. And when that happens, compare that feeling to using another person’s ideas as a whole rather than inspiration.
Side note: I haven’t been uploading recently because it’s the Easter holidays, and my regular routine is dead on school holidays. I need some form of routine to keep things in line, so perhaps you can find it in you to forgive my inactivity and poor excuse.