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Thesaurus: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Latin thesaurus, treasury, from Greek thesauros. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ n. pl. the•sau•ri (-sôri) or the•sau•rus•es 1. A book of synonyms, often including related and contrasting words and antonyms. 2. A book of selected words or concepts, such as a specialized vocabulary of a particular field. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009.
Dialogue is VISUAL -- Not just a bunch of words. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Watch the average conversation between two people. 90% of that conversation isn't in what's Spoken, it's in what they are DOING while they are speaking. It's in their Body Language. Body-language cues in your story alert the reader by SHOWING them what is going on in a character's head without Telling them, and without resorting to using the most often repeated word in fiction: said. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I love you too." She raised her balled fist and smiled with bared teeth. "Oh yes, I truly do love you." She thrust up her middle finger. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How to use this List. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DON'T try to copy-paste any of this directly into your story! While the terms listed are accurate, they're also Scientific. It's up to you to swap out the scientific terms for more fitting literary phrases to suit your story. Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She was angry. "How dare you...?" Body language cue: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Anger: a. Jaws tensed to a biting position; "I'm going to bite you!"
Adjusted: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She clenched her jaw, grinding her teeth. "How dare you...?" Got it?
The NONVERBAL THESAURUS A Writer's Cheat-Sheet to BODY LANGUAGE CUES
KEY: The gesture; the meaning behind the gesture. ANGER Annoyance, Resentment, Rage ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. Jaws tensed to a biting position; "I'm going to bite you!" b. Chest expansion, squaring of shoulders, and/or hands-on-hips; "I'm bigger than you." c. Cut-off and head-jerk cues; "No. I don't want that." d. Hand-behind-head / hand-above-head. "I may or may not strike you." e. Fists, palm-down beating gestures. "I will strike you!" f. Frowning and tense-mouth expressions; "Don't make me bite you." g. Growling voice tones; "Consider me a threat." h. Staring; "I consider you a threat." I. Gaze avoidance; the head is turned fully away to one side; "Run while I am not looking and I will not attack you."
DISGUST Revulsion, Loathing, Nausea ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. Curled upper lip, a retracted upper lip, and mouth movements. "I feel like vomiting." b. Digestive sounds of revulsion. Guttural sounds ("ach" or "ugh"); "I AM going to vomit!" c. Narrowed or partly closed eyes; "I don't want to see that!" d. Lowered brows of the frown face. "I don't want to smell that!" e. Backward head-jerks and side-to-side head-shakes. "I don't want to taste that!" f. Visible protrusions of the tongue. "I can see that it tastes bad."
FEAR Anxiety, Apprehension, Dread ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. Angling body away; "Don't touch me." b. Release of underarm scent; "Go away! I am unappealing! I stink!" c. Increase in breathing rate. "I'm going to run away!"
d. Trembling and/or chattering teeth. "I want to run away!" e. Crouching. "Don't hurt me!" f. Crying. "I'm hurt enough!" g. Displacement gestures; "How did THIS happen?" h. Fast eye-blink rate. "I don't believe what I'm seeing!" i. Fear grin. "I'm friendly! Honest!" j. Widely opened flashbulb eyes. "I can't believe this!" k. Unconscious escape motions designed to remove a body part, or parts, from danger (e.g., flexing the neck to lower and protect the head). "Don't hit me!" l. Freeze reactions; "Am I in danger?" m. Hair-bristling; "I feel danger!" n. Accelerated heart rate. "I'm getting ready to run away!" o. Tightened shoulder muscle tension; "It's going to hit me!" p. Screaming; "Don't touch me!" q. Squirm cues; "Let go of me." r. Staring eyes with wide-dilated pupils; "How much danger am I in?" s. Sweaty palms. "I don't wanna touch that!" t. Tense-mouth. "Don't make me bite you." u. Throat-clearing. "I want to vomit." v. Audibly tense tone-of-voice, either low and close to a growl, "I'm warning you..." or high to present a non-threatening sound. "I'm not a threat!" w. Yawning. "I have no fangs, see? I'm not a predator!"
HAPPINESS Contentment, Well-being, Joy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. Laugh or smile b. Tears; "I am overwhelmed." Unlike most other facial signs of emotion, the smile is subject to learning and conscious control. In the U.S., Japan, and many other societies, children are taught to smile on purpose, e.g., in a courteous greeting, whether or not they actually feel happy. A true (i.e., involuntary) smile, crinkles the skin around the outside corners of our eyes, forming "crow's feet" or smiling eyes.
SADNESS Sorrow, Unhappiness, Depression, Gloom ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. Bowing postures; "I'm terribly sorry." b. Cry face and lip-pout; "Please don't hurt me anymore." c. Gazing-down; "I am not a challenge." d. Slumped flexed-forward posture of the shoulders; "I give up." e. Audible sigh; "I give up." f. Compressed lips; "No, I don't want that."
"I don't want that…" g." j. body-bend. Self-touching gestures. freeze reactions "Am I in danger?" f. Palm-up gestures. I am not a threat. Involuntary sideward eye movements. and then tears." l. "I don't want that…" d. "I can't chase you. taste. . and tense-mouth expressions "That looks like it tastes bad." h. "See? I have no fangs. Surrender ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. UNCERTAINTY Indecision. "I will not challenge you. "I surrender. lip-purse. "I don't like it. sight." Female college students show uneasiness by sitting still and arm-crossing. gaze-down. head-tilt-side." f." n. and bowing "Please don't…" c. Mimic of superior's body movements "I will not challenge you. shoulder-shrugging. Shoulder-shrug. sight. muscles of the throat constrict and repeated swallowing occurs. laughing. displacement cues "How did THIS happen?" d. Turning away "No thank you. e. Misgiving. "I will not challenge you. Male college students express uneasiness by changing their sitting posture to a more direct body orientation. "Don't touch me." g. "Where is the danger coming from?" b. "Don't touch me." SUBMISSION Acknowledgment. "Don't touch me. facial flushing. Frown. "Don't touch me.The facial features constrict as if to seal-off contact with the outside world." b. or rub their forehead or cheeks or back of the neck." Men will rub their chins with their hand." Women will put a finger on their lower front teeth with the mouth slightly open or pose a finger under the chin. exaggerated personal distance. smell." h. "I am not a threat. tug at the lobes of their ears. Lip-pout." k. Blood rushing to enhance the senses: hearing." e. "Am I still in one piece?" c. Hand-behind-head. taste. palms-up. pigeon toes." . I am not a predator. "Don't…" i. give-way. Doubt ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. Side-to-side head-shakes "No. in reaction to the increased tension. Compliance. "I surrender." i. Blood rushing to enhance the senses: hearing." m. smell. "I'm going to defend myself. Sideward head-tilts. body-shift. the eyes close tightly. In acute sadness.
Looming with chin down. Increased breathing rate. squaring of shoulders." j. Attachment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. LOVE Affection. Table-slap. and helpless. "No fangs. "I'm stronger than you." p. to mask feelings of submission or uncertainty in the boardroom--or on the battlefield." r." c. "Don't notice me. Palm-down gesture. The Business Suit Built-in Aggression ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The business suit allows a powerful. including hugs and kisses. chin out and pushed forward. "I want to smell you. Direct stare. lapels enhance the illusion of primate pectoral strength. "I like you.o. or cross lines of sight with. Swagger walk. Dropped to fingertip level. "Are you challenging me?" b. squaring of shoulders Strength cues are tailored into every Brooks Brothers® suit. a dominant individual. the jacket's hemline visually enlarges the upper body to gorilla-like proportions. Physical contact. "I will strike you!" g." ." f. wrinkled skin on the bridge of the nose. Pads and epaulets cover inadvertent shrugs and slips of the shoulder blades. Eyebrow raise. as though in preparation to bite. shyness. The coat's squared shoulders exaggerate the size and strength of the upright torso. Devotion. "I'm bigger than you.) DOMINANCE Influence." i. "I consider you a threat. "I will bite you." h." d. close to a growl. yawning. Control ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a. Power. Hands-on-hips posture." b. Head-tilt-back. Wedge-shaped Chest expansion. "Do I need to strike you?" e. and a sharp movement of the head towards the other person." Aggressive behaviors include the head brought forward toward another person. "I dare you to bite me. Lower tone of voice. "Don't make me bite you. Exaggerated Chest expansion. "I'm ready for battle." (Note the considerable overlap between expressions of submission and fear. higher vocal pitch "I'm weak. see? I am not a threat." q. Flaring upward and outward. influential 'wedge-like' silhouette for business and public affairs. "I don't want to challenge you. difficulty gazing directly at.
sight. "I find you pleasing to look at. "If you want to hear what I say. submission. Closing personal distance. Head-tilt-side." e. sight. Lips: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a) grin (happiness. f. blood rushing to enhance the senses: hearing. Eyes: . Facial flushing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. disagree) 5. contentment) b) grimace (fear) c) lip-compression (anger. taste. Direct gaze with wide pupils. emotion. "Oh that scent!" (arousal. to enhance the senses: hearing. rivalry) b) nose wrinkle." j. Nose: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a) nostril flare. "I want to make love to you. "We make a set. smell. Courtship behavior. uncertainty) f) lip-purse (disagree) g) sneer (contempt) 3. Brows: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a) frown (anger." i. friendship. surprise) c) narrowed (threat. Softened tone of voice. Tongue: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ tongue-show (dislike. taste. "Do I have your attention?" g." Summary of common Facial Cues. Mimic of behavior and/or appearance. Increased heart rate." d. disagreement) d) fast-blink (arousal) e) normal-blink (relaxed) 6. Eyelids: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a) flashbulb eyes (surprise) b) widened (excitement. smell. "I want to touch you. sadness. we belong together. (disgust) 2. come closer. frustration) d) canine snarl (disgust) e) lip-pout (sadness. concentration) b) brow-raise (intensity) 4. h.c.
disagree) e) gaze-down (submission." She raised her balled fist and smiled with bared teeth. "Oh yes. . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Enjoy! Reference: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Center for Nonverbal Studies (CNS): http://center-for-nonverbal-studies..Don't just SAY it." She glared straight at him. Rightward movement is associated with symbolic thinking. "Oh yes. SHOW IT! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Skip the dialogue "he said / she said" tags altogether by using Body-language cues and ACTIONS to SHOW what the characters mean when they say: "I love you." "I love you too. "Oh yes.." "I love you too. or Creativity. In conclusion. I truly do love you. deception) f) CLEMS* (thought processing) This is an acronym for "Conjugate Lateral Eye Movement." She dropped her chin and pouted. "Oh yes. or Memory." She thrust up her middle finger. fight-or-flight) b) small pupils (rest-and-digest) c) direct-gaze (affiliate.) while Leftward Movement is associated with visual thinking. threaten) d) gaze cut-off (dislike. I truly do love you." She rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically. -." She turned away and wiped the tear from her cheek.org/ Looking for more of my Writing Tips & Tricks? Advanced Plotting: The CHARACTER ARC PLOT ARC: The events that happen while the characters make other plans." "I love you too." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I love you too.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a) big pupils (arousal. (what we KNOW. I truly do love you. I truly do love you." When the eyes move sideward (to the right or left) in response to a question." "I love you too. (what we INVENT). I truly do love you. "Oh yes.
you need. about adapting and overcoming circumstancing that should take the characters down physically AND emotionally -.and that takes Angst. The 7 Stages of Grief: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Shock &Denial – Pain &Guilt – Anger & Bargaining – Despair & Reflection – Precipice & Choice – Reconstruction & Adjustment – Acceptance & Hope Why Grief? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stories are about CHANGE. Both the hero and the villain should suffer emotionally and physically to make those personal changes happen. Think about how hard it is for YOU to change your mind about liking or disliking anyone. and event must push toward the ending you have planned even if it doesn't look that way to the casual observer. or any of hundreds of Plot Arcs found in books and on the 'net. However. My personal choice is to use a Character Arc in addition to a Plot Arc.of Angst . Understanding Plot ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To make a story a cohesive whole.CHARACTER ARC: The emotional roller-coaster that the character suffers while dealing with the Plot. Every single character. Changing takes suffering. the ultimate difference between the Hero and the Villain is the Villain's failure to face his fears and make the final sacrificial emotional change. but that's just me. This inability to change and Mature is . a Character Arc can be used all by itself as the plot-line for a story or in addition to an actual Plot Arc such as The Heroic Journey. What would it take to change your mind? That's the level of suffering . For the record. In short. object. both hero and villain change and develop emotionally as well as physically. In a solidly built story. every scene in the story should either illustrate a characteristic attribute of a main Character or be an Event that makes your ending happen. What the Character Arc does is map out the Emotional path your characters need to take to grow and change into the heroes and heroines your story needs to achieve your story's ending. every single thing in it must be there for a reason. location.
if you will just start one more time I promise I'll buy you a brand new battery. If only I'd taken it to the shop when I had the chance. etc. The intensity of the grief reaction is a function of how the change-produced loss is perceived. I had problems starting it yesterday. and the emotion of Compassion that comes with it. And again… 2. This is Fact." 5. In short.. crap. DESPAIR & REFLECTION: "It won't start. physical." 3.. Dallas Texas Everyone deals with one form of angst or another on a daily basis. SHOCK & DENIAL: "Oh no! No! No! No! Not the battery!" You try to start it again. " Editorial . PRECIPICE & CHOICE: "Crap. lights. the grief reaction will be minimal or barely felt. and keep you in perfect working condition…" 4. This isn't fiction. Crap. And again. heater. You go out to your car. "Damn you! Start! Start! Start! Please car. PAIN & GUILT: "Damn it. Significant grief responses which go unresolved can lead to mental. new tires. I need to get to work! Should I call in to work and tell them I'm not coming . In fact. crap. Think about how you typically react: What's the first thing you do? 1.TLC Group. the battery is dead. You hear nothing but a grind. but I didn't think it was this bad. it almost did as recently as WWII. If the loss is not perceived as significant. and sociological problems. Without maturity. belts and hoses.. ANGER & BARGAINING: "Start damn it!" Perhaps you slam your hand on the steering wheel? Then you try it again. get a tune up. What causes ANGST? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "A change of circumstance of any kind (a change from one state to another) produces a loss of some kind (the stage changed from) which will produce a grief reaction. put the key in the ignition and turn it on. in a battle between Maturity & Immaturity.what allows the hero to take him down. The Dead Battery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You're on your way to work. the human race would have wiped itself out in petty selfish squabbles ages ago. You check to make sure that everything that could be draining the battery is off: radio. and then try it again.. Maturity always wins. Why does this crap always happen to me? Sure.
This is also where the Antagonist has his best chance of strong-arming the Protagonist into getting what they want by offering a quick solution – a bargain – that the Protagonist simply cannot refuse.and why they decided to take him with them on their monster hunt. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE: "I'll call the mechanic from work and ask them to look at my car." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The situation is no longer avoidable. 2. his own mouth is what gets him into trouble with the Vikings -. I'll call a taxi or maybe my friend and see if they can get me to work?" You pick up the cell phone and start dialing numbers. Rather than deal with it the Protagonist keep going as though it never happened: "I'm busy! Go away!" In The Thirteenth Warrior – Ibn Fadlan is an Arab noble who is literally pulled into a Viking adventure he wants no part of. RECONSTRUCTION & ADJUSTMENT: "I need the cash too badly to skip out of work. It is then that he finds out exactly what sort of barbarous monsters he and his 12 companions are expected to defeat – and that they are in the thousands. . Shock & Denial – "This can't be happening to me!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An Inciting Event has happened to ruin the Protagonist's blissful ignorance. Pain & Guilt – "If only I hadn't. and outright begging. or just say I'm going to be late?" 6. In The Thirteenth Warrior – Ibn has finally arrived in the far distant land and learned the language of the Vikings. 7. especially now with the car. bribes.. However. 3.in. Anger & Bargaining – "Screw You!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The main character does everything in his power to wiggle back out of the situation by way of threats. it won't be too expensive to fix it. It's right there staring them in the face and the Protagonist suspects that what happened is their own damned fault – even if it isn't.. Hopefully. the king of that land is old and his son power hungry. In The Thirteenth Warrior – Ibn knows for a fact that he'd been sent out into the far reaches of civilization because he'd fallen in love with a noble's wife. To make matters worse." STORY Stages of the Character Arc 1.
5. In The Thirteenth Warrior – In the hopes of taking out the two leaders of the monster tribe. The problem at hand matters. An attack is coming and there is nothing they can do but try to defend themselves. Reconstruction & Adjustment – "Okay. In The Thirteenth Warrior – Ibn and the Vikings have succeeded in taking out one of the leaders. Ibn and the Vikings sneak into the Monsters' vast caves with the full knowledge that it's a suicide mission. However. Home is so far away it no longer matters. woman. Not only is their boat surrounded by alligators. During this sneak attack. Ibn and the Vikings face a number of their fears and conquer them. There are just too many. Precipice & Choice – "Give up or go down fighting?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Quite literally trapped in a "damned if you do. desperation forces the Protagonist to make a personal Sacrifice during an emotionally heavy Ordeal (often provided by the Antagonist. hopefully that will stop the invasion before the monsters kill every last man.) This often means facing the Protagonist's main debilitating fear -and conquering it. Acceptance & Hope– "We'll make them regret messing with us!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With nothing left to lose. Another solution must be found. there is still the chance that the final leader will show his face..." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is where your characters realize exactly what they're up against and just how overwhelming the enemy truly is. a few more are in the boat with them disguised as friends. If one of them can succeed in killing him. In The Thirteenth Warrior – Ibn and the Vikings learn that the monsters are undefeatable. Ibn and the Vikings fully expect to die. Despair & Reflection– "We're going to die. This success gives them the inner strength to deal with their situation. so here's the plan." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Protagonist finally gives up and commits himself to what needs to be done. "Must I use Grief?" Does my character's arc have to be so…depressing?" . and child.4. and damned if you don't" situation. The Great Hall can not be defended. but the other still survives. leaving them nothing left to fear. they throw themselves into the fray. 7. 6. In The Thirteenth Warrior – Knowing that they are vastly outnumbered.
?" Anger & Bargaining ." "Do these stages go in EXACTLY this order?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Denial ALWAYS comes First.Relief . The others can be juggled around as you please.Aggravation . the emotional conflict doesn't have to be Horrific! The stages can be softened. so maybe I could have.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the Stages of Grief."So what?" Pain & Guilt – Self-reproach . You can look it up on Google by typing in: stages of grief. They merely map the cycle of someone under emotional pressure created by conflicts.Exasperation . and I'll stay out of yours. "Are there Other maps for Character Arcs?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Absolutely! Any human behavior pattern can be used as a Character Arc map."How do I always get myself into these messes?" Precipice & Choice . Feel free to Experiment! "Where the heck did you find these Stages?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Human Psychology. ."Oh. and story conflict should create emotional pressure for your characters."You know what? I don't need this crap!" Reconstruction & Adjustment – Accommodation -. However." Acceptance & Hope ."Okay.. the word "Grief" is actually misleading. For example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Shock & Denial can become Indifference .."You stay out of my way. The stages aren't strictly about crushing depression.Annoyance . "The Stages of Grief" is merely the easiest to work with and most commonly used. Okay?" Despair & Reflection ."That's one less problem to deal with. now I have time to do other things. Acceptance ALWAYS goes Last. Never forget: Stories need Emotional conflict to be fulfilling.
* In a Gothic. • • • • • The results of Revenge The path of Ambition The reality of Love The sacrifices one makes for Science The pain of being Different . that's not the only function it serves. but how do I DO it? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Foreshadowing is when the opening scene of a story is a kind of nutshell prophecy for the whole story. or ruling argument that the story is trying to illustrate. * In a Romance this is where the main character meets their soon-to-be lover for a fleeting but memorable moment. this is where the main character transforms into a monster for the first time.. Knowing your Characters' emotional stage allows you to choose the events and situations that will Force your characters to make the decisions needed to make your ending happen. right? So yeah. by all means. Looking for more of my Writing Tips & Tricks? ------Original Message-----I hear the term 'foreshadowing' a lot.) advice does not suit your creative style.. IGNORE IT. This also reveals the Premise. * In a Sci-fi. it's YOUR story. That's when you hint at stuff to come. After all. * In a Mystery or Crime story. Ally. Outlining a Character Arc for each of your three main characters (Hero.In Conclusion. * In a Horror. this is where the ruling Theory is presented.) is your most powerful Secret Weapon toward keeping your characters from running all over you. However. it's when the first victim is slain. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty. Villain. I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. and/or object (McGuffin) goes missing. As a multipublished author. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Using a Character Arc is one of the best ways to enrich an otherwise dry event driven story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DISCLAIMER: As with all advice. what the story is trying to Prove. take what you can use and throw out the rest. this is when the originating Bad Thing happens.
Solve EVERY problem presented. parents. Never telegraph your punches. The trick is to put the plot element into your story EARLY without making the reader aware of its importance. whatever happened with. but don't actually change anything. coworkers. The author should NEVER pull a rabbit out of their hat simply to rescue their hero. "Hey. if you intend to use (what looks like) chance and coincidence to move your plot you're going to need careful preparation.) is unacceptable. * Were the guilty punished? * Was the lost object or person found? Plus who did it and why? * Did the lover gain the attention of their beloved? * Was the scientific theory convincing? (Or horrifying enough?) * Did the monster reconcile with their nature? Always complete each circle you began. objects. the beat cops.. Every choice made MUST seem logical for that character. They want to figure it out THEMSELVES. the more problems you add--which means the more story you have to write to solve those problems. * Hero * Ally (buddy or lover) * Villain Side characters are those who occupy places in the story: the waitress. However. and surprises that compel the reader to Keep Reading to discover 'what's really going on?' Never forget: The readers DON'T want to see what's coming. The Ending ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The last part is what that prophecy brought about--what happened BECAUSE of the events in the story.. and helpers that were just suddenly THERE without explanation. Main characters are the characters whose actions actually affect the plot. no matter how small. Any unsolved problems become Plot Holes your readers WILL notice and call you on.?" The easiest way to do this is by keeping your Main cast SMALL. Using deus ex machina (situations... Enjoy! .. turns.The Story ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The meat of the story should fulfill that prophecy using twists. The more Main characters you have.
) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Apathy/Passive-aggression (Sloth) • Addiction (Lust) • Obsession (Greed) • Resentment (Envy) • Hate/Revenge (Wrath) • Avarice (Gluttony) • Arrogance (Pride) 2. they do have all these things.Writing ANGST! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One way to add excitement to your story is by adding lots of bad-guys. but they never really affect the story. paranoia. a strong dislike… Or worse. They do stuff.Chapter One is good. "When should one introduce the personality flaw that leads to the Angst?" -. and far too many book characters. What is your character's biggest character flaw? (Think: 7 Deadly Sins. a moral code. but no Character Arc. There's a Plot Arc. I'm sure most of you have noticed by now that most movie characters. The things that happen don't affect the characters emotionally. more commonly known as Angst. things happen. Where's the ANGST? Answer these two questions: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. What is the worst possible thing that could happen to them in the story? ~~~~~~~~~~~ Add the answers to these two questions together and voila…! Instant Angst. are One-Dimensional. a love interest. a fear. also known as EXTERNAL Conflict. Another way is by adding INTERNAL Conflict. but they don't face any personality issues: a hang-up. HOWEVER…! ~ CAUTION ONE! ~ Don't toss in a personality issue you don't intend to use! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ .
It could be a fan who writes you a concerned letter. about Adapting to and Overcoming physical AND emotional circumstances that should take them down." ~ CAUTION TWO! ~ The fastest way to write a story that you won't be able to finish. a Reviewer read by thousands. "Whatever happened with…?" or worse. If it DOESN'T affect the plot in some way. you better have a use for it fairly quickly.Despair – Acceptance Why Grief? -. The Rule of CHARACTER DRIVEN Fiction: -."If the Kiss is shown in Chapter One. if you have it in the story. This is where dramatic tension is . In fact. this unsolved personal issue is WHY the Villain traditionally LOSES to the Hero. you've just made a PLOT HOLE. the first Emotional Crisis better happen by Chapter Three -."If the gun is shown in Chapter One. the Sex better happen by chapter three -. and that use had better turn the plot.and there had better be a damned good reason for that Emotional Crisis to be there. the Villain does not. giving the Hero an advantage the Villain literally cannot deal with. is by writing about an emotional issue you don't know how to FIX! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ When your main character has a personal hang-up.The rule of Mystery Fiction states: -. This includes Emotional Conflict." These rules should apply in ANYTHING you put in a story. shape or form. It's as simple as. and I guarantee that someone will not only see it. it needs to be SOLVED.The best stories are all about Personal CHANGE. Making ANGST Happen: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Character Arc = The Stages of Grief Denial – Anger – Negotiation . they'll call you on it."If the Personality Flaw is shown in Chapter One. Only the Villain can get away with an unsolved personal hang-up." The Rule of Erotic Fiction: -.and there had better be a damned good reason for that Kiss to be there.and there had better be a damned good reason for that gun to be there. the Hero adapts. No matter what it is. it better go off by Chapter Three -. it not only needs to be addressed.
. it's dead." Perhaps you slam your hand on the steering wheel? "I should just leave you out in the rain and let you rust!" NEGOTIATION ."Oh please car. You go out to your car."Screw you. What causes ANGST? ~~~~~~~~~~~~ (Breaks out the text-book…) Angst is caused by a change of circumstance that produces a feeling of loss. physical. etc.of Angst . Think about how you typically react: What's the first thing you do? DENIAL – "Oh no! No! No! No! Not the battery!" You try to start it again. I had better go call a friend and see if they can get me to work. What would it take to change your mind? That's the level of suffering . And again. Example: The Dead Battery ~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.your characters need. and keep you in perfect working condition…" DESPAIR . And again… ANGER . This triggers the reaction of grief.You're on your way to work."Okay. get a tune up.generated. lights. What's the use?" ACCEPTANCE ." USING the Stages of Grief for the Character Arc ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . You hear nothing but a grind. If the loss is perceived as minor. However. heater. belts and hoses. and then try it again. then the moment of grief will be minimal and barely felt. unresolved and severe loss can lead to mental. and sociological problems. you stupid car! I should have junked you years ago. new tires. put the key in the ignition and turn it on. Cool huh? And everyone deals with one form of angst or another on a daily basis."It won't start. the battery is dead. I give up. You check to make sure that everything that could be draining the battery is off: radio. if you will just start one more time I promise I'll buy you a brand new battery. Think about how hard it is for YOU to change your mind about liking or disliking anyone. The intensity of the grief depends on the importance of loss.
.Consequences ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Character Arc + Plot Arc ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 0 .Reversal 4 – Despair .PLOT ARC is what happens to the characters. CHARACTER ARC is how the Characters react Emotionally to those events. Plot Arc ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 0 .Introduction 1 .Crisis 5 . doesn't it? That's because a new stage has been added the Stages of Grief: Sacrifice.Defiance 3 .Introduction 1 .Defiance 3 .Ordeal 6 . 4 .Reversal <-.Confrontation 0 . If you are writing a Short story. the Character Arc (the Stages of Grief) can be used as an outline for your entire story.Acceptance . Stage One: Denial Stage Two: Anger Stage Three: Negotiation (Sacrifice) Stage Four: Despair Stage Five: Acceptance However.Denial . and a little more complicated.Inciting event 2 .The worst possible thing that could happen.Ordeal 6 .Negotiation .Inciting event 2 .Sacrifice .Anger .Confrontation 0 . you may want to ADD a Plot Arc too.Consequences ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Looks a little different. if you intend to write a full length novel.Crisis 5 .
Consider the following diagram a Cheat Sheet! The Plot Arc & the Character Arc In ACTION! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The movie. lawyer. or their biggest hang-up and make a choice they cannot take back: Go on.' • He uses Physical Pain on OTHERS to relieve his Emotional Pain through disciplinary actions. however.Denial – Instigation Response to Emotional Conflict exposes Issues. Plot arc # . It's the moment they face their worst fear. they both express this in opposite fashions. • She uses Physical Pain on HERSELF to relieve her Emotional Pain by 'cutting. Flight. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Her desire to please him drives her to cut her clothing. 'SECRETARY' The Hero & Heroine's (Semi/Uke) Mirrored Issue: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Both characters feel that PAIN = LOVE. Give up. or Forfeit.Character Arc ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Introduction 0 – Talented & Troubled Boy meets Girl – Mirrored Issues trigger Emotional Conflict ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • A wonderful typist. but otherwise clueless. • He sees this and recognizes her "self-punishment.Sacrifice is the one thing your character does not want to do. but softhearted. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inciting Event 1 . girl becomes a secretary for a dominating. or Give in? Fight." He demands that she stop her self- .
Negotiation – Intolerable Surrender or Unacceptable Rescue Conditional compliance to resolve Dilemma ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Despite the fact that his secretary is blooming right before his eyes. • The secretary discovers that his spanking brings her an emotional release and an emotional connection to her lawyer.) and fires her. she loves her lawyer.Issues Surface ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Desperate to get her lawyer to discipline her. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reversal 3 . • The lawyer's emotional conflict (his growing feelings for her. (she won't let him.Anger – Provoked Issues instigate a Dilemma prompting a Fight/Flight response ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • She goes on a date and is seen by her Lawyer. she realizes that she does not love her boyfriend. and give her the emotional connection she craves. she agrees. He spanks her for a typing mistake. the lawyer sees his behavior as being destructive.Reversal (Worst Case Scenario) Disaster strikes bringing Emotional Consequences . She begins to encourage his discipline by making more mistakes. He decides that he is wrong in his discipline and stops. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ordeal 5 . ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crisis 4 – Despair . and pain at losing her lawyer.Sacrifice – Forfeit & Surrender Desperation forces confrontation of Issues & Emotional Conflict ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Her boyfriend proposes marriage. she mails him a worm. • Out of guilt over HIS feelings for her.) drives him to begin disciplining her at work. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Defiance 2 .destructive behavior.) • The lawyer discovers that he cannot stop disciplining her. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ . (He truly hates bugs. In her wedding dress.
(It's a test. It makes all the stuff the author is trying to say easier to swallow. They belong together. • She insists that it's not – that it's just a different kind of love. I tend to pull a "Mark Twain". I got most of them from Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" the grammar handbook used by every publishing house in America.) He doesn't believe that she could possibly love him. Without them. though not nearly as exciting.Relationship secured ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • She sits at his desk for days. An Unkindness of COMMAS What the heck are Commas for. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ • In her wedding dress. she confronts her lawyer. . and why. dealing with family and friends about her personal choices concerning who she loves. just as he is and for what he is. • Happily ever after – for them. She demands that he love her.Confrontation 6 . He comes for her. I sprinkle them in…wherever to break up the monotony of the sentence. Enjoy! I SUCK at commas big-time. anyway? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Besides abusing the sanity of the writer. and a few overseas. • He demands that she sit at his desk – with her hands flat on the surface -.Bitter-sweet Revelation & Talents Reborn Acceptance of Issues presents solution to Crisis. Just in case you'd like to know who made up all these comma rules. This article is my attempt to hammer the rules into my brain. • He insists that what he's doing is wrong. rather like a train-wreck. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Resolution 0 – A Promise Kept Emotional Conflict resolved .Acceptance .until he comes for her. • The lawyer has been monitoring her progress the entire time and realizes that she does love him. The END. The rest came from my editors. the comma exists to help readers organize information in a sentence. sentence bits and pieces collide into one another causing confusion.
a couple of ticks. explosive vampire queen. and modifiers from the rest of the sentence. and a very slight case of mange. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. or. put the comma there. The werewolf had fleas. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. so. The Court simply could not predict the next activity of the fickle.not behind it! Several vampires were writhing on the dance floor. but. a) The restrictive (essential) clause: Two fallen angels.and some major screw-ups. who frequently dangled from the church tower. the housewife handed him the broom to clean up his mess. but isn't. (Stuff that could be put in parentheses. Commas separate two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction (and. let's take a look at what they are supposed to do -. and a dozen more were scattered about the bar. nor. Commas separate items in a series.. Commas set off non-restrictive (non-essential) clauses.) and the comma goes IN FRONT of the word -. Doing it RIGHT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. Commas set off introductory clauses and phrases.To get a good idea of how commas work. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. Commas set off parenthetical expressions.. hosted the vampire prince's inauguration..) . When the gargoyle crashed through the plate glass window. located in the green hills of Tuscany. a) Non-restrictive (non-essential) clause: Chateau Dracula. Commas separate descriptive modifiers of equal rank. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. phrases. If you can use your adjectives interchangeably and can put in an "and" between them. were throwing rotten tomatoes at the gargoyles.
DON'T use a comma to separate two independent clauses WITHOUT a coordinating conjunction." WRONG: The number of vampires dropped by 3 percent. Instead of a Comma. . Instead of a Comma. you may recall. For the ghosts that haunted the chateau.The werewolf council members. a comma does go at the end of the introductory phrase.. moving the chairs around in the dining room was exhausting work. or. nor. b. the werewolf population rate stayed constant.) The vampire princess decided to visit the protest site because she needed a first hand report. voted themselves a thirty-five percent pay increase last year. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. but the werewolf population rate stayed constant. Commas are used when the absence of a pause can cause confusion. The Vampire Court adjourned.): The number of vampires dropped by 3 percent. having successfully defeated the bill that would have taxed imported medical blood.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7.! If the subordinate clause is being used to introduce the sentence. But.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Doing it WRONG ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. try using a coordinating conjunction (and. but.. The vampire princess decided to visit the protest site (subordinate clause -.> because she needed a first hand report. a. DON'T use a comma to introduce a subordinate clause.. Commas are used to set off participle phrases that modify some part of the independent clause. (Putting a comma before the word "because" is one of the biggest offenders. Doing this makes a "comma splice.) with a comma BEFORE it: The number of vampires dropped by 3 percent. so. try using a semicolon(. the werewolf population rate stayed constant.
Hearing the wolf howl caused Zach to look up in anticipation and delight. . you DO use a comma –. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. (WOW! That's a lot of bodies!) In proper perspective using an m-dash: The archeologists discovered seven bodies -. Gothic music has a distinctly European sound yet it has often received more attention in Tokyo than in Paris." BUT. DON'T use a comma to separate a noun or pronoun from its reflexive (myself.. 3. you are Not expected to turn in your answers!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. the vampire princess decided to visit the protest site. The werewolf king himself will discipline the pack. Teratology the study of deformities derives its name from the Greek word for monster. "How would you like to spend the rest of your existence as a leaky pot?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Exercises: Where do the following sentences need commas? (This ISN'T an assignment. herself). The candidate for court wizard charged that the incumbent was "a charlatan of the lowest order. six medieval knights.Because she needed a firsthand report. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. 2.. and one court jester.six medieval knights.! If the quotation is a full sentence. 4. DON'T use a comma between a word and a phrase to create a "false series. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3." Example of a confusing False Series: The archeologists discovered seven bodies. himself. All roads may lead to Rome but the vampire and his designated victim got hopelessly lost trying to drive there from Naples.in front of it: The incumbent for court wizard asked. DON'T use a comma IN FRONT of a partial quotation. and one court jester.
and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. editor for Loose-Id books: http://darkerotica. I can't.. "Please. The most hard working of all the haunts in the chateau she despaired when others received substantially higher praise. then he smiled. I am overcome." His gaze narrowed.The (Not-So) Quick & Dirty Guide by Erin Mullarkey. That doesn't mean YOU have to. a mere mortal. take what you can use and throw out the rest. 6. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body. Exhausted and penniless the vampire stared at the brightly lit interior imagining a warm fire a bed with clean white linens and a willing Reubenesque victim wearing nothing but handcuffs and a smile. in time with her heart. His fingers drifted upward. overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy. As with all advice. 8. and bury himself in her flesh. Dracula Tower one of the finest examples of soaring art deco yet gothic architecture in America is located in New York New York. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For more on Commas.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Enjoy! Advanced Writing: INTERNAL CONFLICT Note: this is how the professional authors do it.5. the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown.blogspot. You know I can't tolerate such behavior Vladimir. The scene… ~~~~~~~~~~~~ His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. "Why? Why deny your desire?" . 7. She turned away from his kiss. see: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ COMMAS .. The fear in her soul told her to stop. 9. but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. Desire pulsed within her core.com/2005/07/commas-not-so-quick-dirty-guide. toward her breast. It was a charming older home whose medieval decor enhanced its gothic character. He fired her blood more than any other man. His hand pressed at waist. He was a vampire and she.
You sit up from the ground and shake you head wondering what the heck just happened." He moved closer. the reader gets confused. Make a story too difficult to read and they'll go read someone else. 4. Is it their heart verses their body? Their good sense verses their desire? Their career verses their heart's desire? Love for one verses lust for the other? 3) Tell them WHY it's in conflict – what is at stake? . 6. 2) Tell them WHAT is in Conflict. This is pure showing – all action. Guessing what happened. I know. 2) Tell WHAT is in Conflict. Something the size of a fist hits your head. When stories are NOT written in the correct order that events actually happen. "Forgive me. it's a bit over the top. 4) Resolve the Conflict. 3. you go looking for the culprits. but everything seems a little muddied. 1) Show them that there is a Conflict. 3) Tell WHY it's in Conflict. through internal narration or dialogue. "Are you quite sure?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yes. What's wrong? This scene's Internal Conflict is Out of Chronological Sequence! "What the heck does that mean?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chronological sequence is the order in which things actually happen. Wincing. 1. that there is a conflict happening. Want verses want. Anyway… What we have here is a potentially hot scene brewing with a nice little Internal Conflict. exactly what is battling with what. The Chronological Order of INTERNAL CONFLICT! 1) SHOW the Conflict. TELLING the reader. through the ACTIONS & Dialogue of your characters. PAIN! 5. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is a statement.She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her. 2. you look around for the cause and find a baseball. within the character. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Show them. but I want to live. The impact knocks you flat on the ground. to stand but a breath away.
both pro and con. • He fired her blood more than any other man. but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. and bury himself in her flesh. • The fear in her soul told her to stop. overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy. Scene OVERHAUL! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When in doubt of ANY scene – pull it apart. a mere mortal. because…" To make the most tension. I can't. "Please. • She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body. state the Con first and then the Pro.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is another statement. • His fingers drifted upward. but I want to live. • "Forgive me." His Initiating Action: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ." His following Action: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • His gaze narrowed. • His hand pressed at waist. • She turned away from his kiss. • He was a vampire and she.. Pile on the reasons. internally or through dialogue. • I am overcome. in time with her heart. telling the reader exactly what is at stake. HER Reactions: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Desire pulsed within her core. 4) Resolve the Conflict ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Make an Internal decision. and then have the character ACT on that decision. toward her breast. and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. sentence by sentence: HIS initiating Actions: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. then he smiled. because…but I want to. • "Why? Why deny your desire?" Her following Reaction: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her. the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. "I can't do this..
His fingers drifted upward. 2) She reacted. overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy. • His fingers drifted upward. 3) She had reasons to resist. • His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. • He fired her blood more than any other man. I am overcome. and wanted more.. 5) He sought to reestablish contact. 6) She resisted. • I am overcome.. In proper Sequence: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Desire pulsed within her core. 3) She had reasons to resist ~ CONFLICT! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body. (The sentences that belong to this event:) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • He kissed her. toward her breast. He fired her blood more than any other man. • "Are you quite sure?" Actual order of events: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) He kissed her. In proper Sequence: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy. the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. in time with her heart. 7) Closing 1) He kissed her. to stand but a breath away.. and bury himself in her flesh. 2) She reacted. and wanted more.. but set her . His hand pressed at waist. (Internal CONFLICT!) 4) She resisted. toward her breast. in time with her heart.• He moved closer. the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Desire pulsed within her core. • His hand pressed at waist.
" . and yet. 3) Tell WHY it's in Conflict. "Why? Why deny your desire?" 6) She resisted. but death was simply to high a price to pay for his embrace. • He was a vampire and she. In proper Sequence: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (Oh. 3) Tell WHY it's in conflict. 2) Tell WHAT is in Conflict. • The fear in her soul told her to stop. 1) SHOW the Conflict. 1) SHOW the Conflict. and bury himself in her flesh. "Please. but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. she wanted him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ His gaze narrowed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She turned away from his kiss. What is at stake? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He was a vampire and she. the fear in her soul told her to stop. 4) Resolve the conflict. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her. Yes. then he smiled. no. He was a vampire and she. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body. right here to state her decision. 4) Resolve the Conflict. but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. "Forgive me. but I want to live. 4) She resisted. and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body. and yet. the fear in her soul told her to stop.) Yes. a mere mortal. but death was simply to high a price to pay. and bury himself in her flesh. add something." 5) He sought to reestablish contact.palm over his to stop him just below her breast. a mere mortal. 2) Tell WHAT is in Conflict? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. she wanted him. a mere mortal. no! There's nothing to put here! So.
but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. very bad! A break creates a moment where the reader can STOP READING your story.7) Closing. a mere mortal. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ADJUSTED into Proper Sequence: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. He was a vampire and she. the reader's Mental Movie STOPS because you just confused your reader. then he smiled. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body. no. "Please.is a VERY Bad Idea.No matter what. The body reacts faster than thoughts or comments. overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy. "Are you quite sure?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don't forget! -. Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh." He moved closer.and possibly never look at you again. "Are you quite sure?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Conclusion: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Violating chronological order is a Very Bad idea. He fired her blood more than any other man. "Why? Why deny your desire?" She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her. and bury himself in her flesh. "Forgive me. Making the story hard for the reader to PICTURE -. but I want to live. She turned away from his kiss. Enjoy! . This means that the reader has to Re-Read that sequence until they can figure out what the heck just happened in order to get their mental movie playing again. If the actions are out of order. the fear in her soul told her to stop. Yes. His fingers drifted upward. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He moved closer. Ask any martial artist. even in something as simple as an argument. Desire pulsed within her core. Breaks are BAD – very. to stand but a breath away. in time with her heart. toward her breast. I am overcome." His gaze narrowed. His hand pressed at waist. but death was simply to high a price to pay. she wanted him. both Internalization and Dialogue happens AFTER Physical Reactions.. Anytime the reader has to STOP to rearrange the words to FIT their mental movie. and start reading something else -. to stand but a breath away. ACTION always precedes COMMENT.. you've made a break. the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. and yet.
"Ow!" <dialogue/action> I balled my hand . Chronological Order is the ONLY way to write that scene.Writing ACTION Sequences The Plug & Play Method Lets begin with a Review. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The flash of pain exploded in my cheek from the slap her hand lashed out at me. that sentence is NOT how you would have seen it happen. Actual Sequence of events: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) Her hand lashed out at me in a slap. In other words. Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order FICTION = the Plot happens to the characters and then…they react. <reaction>.WRONG! Why is this wrong? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you were watching this scene as a movie. -.. if you visualize the characters doing something in a specific order – you write it in THAT order! WRONG: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The flash of pain exploded in my cheek <Reaction> from the slap her hand lashed out at me. <Action> 2) A flash of pain exploded in my cheek <Reaction> ACTION Sequences = Chronological Order REALITY = something happens to you and then…you react. <Action> RIGHT: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Her hand lashed out in a slap <action>.. Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order If you want the reader to SEE the actions that you are trying to portray. My cheek exploded with a flash of pain.
Who cares what the words look like on the page? Once you have a Mental Movie rolling. What matters is that the Mental Movie -. The confusion comes in because written chronological action and dialogue tends to be rather curt in phrasing rather than poetically stylish. the reader's Mental Movie STOPS because the reader has to STOP READING to rearrange the sentences into the correct order to get the movie back. A break creates a moment where the reader can Put your story Down. Why? Because seeing the Same Scene simultaneously from more than one person's point of view CONFUSES the Reader as to who is thinking and feeling what at any given moment in that scene.ONE Point of View per scene. Play them as a movie in your head and write everything down EXACTLY as you see it. . If you knock the actions out of order. Breaks are BAD. Anytime the reader has to STOP to rearrange the words to FIT their mental movie.Use the POV of only ONE character per sequence. save it for the descriptions. but keep it out of the actions. plus it looks very choppy on the page. memorize these Two Rules: #1 . -.doesn't stop and the reader keeps reading! How to FIX this chronic problem: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ VISUALIZE your scenes as you write them.NEVER put two characters Acting in the same paragraph. Next. What about Literary style? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What about it? If you simply MUST have stylish phrasing in your fiction. They'll be too busy making pictures in their head to notice what words they're reading. #2 .the Story -. Stylistic turns of phrase. very bad. you've made a break. very. be damned! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Making the story hard for the Reader to PICTURE is a Bad Idea. <reaction> Violating chronological order is a Very Bad idea.into a fist and swung for her stomach. and forget to pick it back up again. the reader won't even SEE the words.
! The Evil Nasty Vicious "AS" In school. As far as I'm concerned." Unfortunately. they should still be listed in the order in which they happened so as to make the reader's VISION of the whole event crystal clear. "this happened too.-. However. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ IMPORTANT! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'm NOT saying that simultaneous events CAN'T be written.until you get to the "and". one last reminder on an Action Scene's WORST ENEMY. Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ As all the soldiers marched. "as" doesn't quite work the same way as an "and" in fiction. The only things that can actually be counted as simultaneous in written fiction are groups of things. which includes dialogue. Talking is an Action! Okay."As" means. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ . "things that happened simultaneously. Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ All the soldiers marched." -.. the only place an "as" belongs is at the BEGINNING of a sentence. before we go on to How to Write an Action Sequence.Make a new paragraph every time a new character ACTS. Any group of events listed in one sentence are generally perceived as happening all at the same time -.. -."And" means. the drums and fifes played. they teach you that 'as' is a word used to connect fragments of sentences together. rather in the same way as you would use "and. I'm saying that using "as" is not the way to do it." In Fiction NOTHING is truly simultaneous because the eye READS only one thing at a time.
The vampire crouched over his victim. If "and" doesn't fit right in your sentence. That's bad. How to Grammar Check for "as": ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do a Search/Replace substituting "as" for "and. some readers will not only drop your story. Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The vampire scratched his head thoughtfully as he crouched over his victim. He scratched his head thoughtfully. never to read it again." then go back and read through your entire work. very. 2. very. The chronological way to write this would be: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The vampire crouched over his victim AND scratched his head thoughtfully. A word that marks that something has gone terribly wrong in your sentence structure. they'll avoid anything else you write. What went wrong? -. then it's most likely Out of Chronological Order. Why does this matter? ~~~~~~~~~~~~ A sentence Out of Chronological Order means that the reader has to Stop Reading to reset their mental movie of your story. Do this enough times and your reader will stop reading your story to go find something easier to imagine.In fiction. Think: Which actions actually happened first? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. the word "as" usually marks where a sentence has gone out of Chronological Order. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ . In fact.See? Where "As" goes WRONG… ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I consider "as" a red flag word. Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The werewolf flattened his ears angrily as he faced the hunter. BAD.
Search/Replace: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The werewolf flattened his ears angrily and he faced the hunter. 2. Adjusted: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The werewolf faced the hunter and he angrily flattened his ears. so let's chop that out. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now the "he" doesn't fit. and every object. does it? Why not? Because the werewolf didn't flatten his ears before he faced the hunter. and have a reason to Be There. must be there for a REASON. Which actions actually happened first? ~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. ~~~~~~~~~~~ See what I mean? The word "As" is a devious sinister monster that should be destroyed on sight. The Magic Formula! . every situation. He flattened his ears. FICTION is NOT. 2. on to the good stuff! Writing Action Sequences The "Plug & Play" Method Life is full of random events. One more time: ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The werewolf faced the hunter and angrily flattened his ears. He was angry. The werewolf faced the hunter. ~~~~~~~~~~~ "And" doesn't quite work there. Every element in a story – every character. NOTHING happens "just because" – especially actions. Now.
immediate response-nature.The character has a knee-jerk Physical Reaction to what has just happened. (Reaction) 1) NEW Stimulus -. They DO something about that action. You may SKIP steps. (Action). Or Sam caught it in his hand. How can something this simple be confusing? . Something happens. and the dagger flew harmlessly past him.Stimulus > Physical Reaction > Sensory Reaction > Emotional Reaction > Deliberate Reaction This order is VERY specific. also known as Action > Reaction. but you may not change the order.The character feels Physical Sensations and physically reacts to the sensations.AND THEN they have an Emotional Reaction reflected in their thoughts and/or a comment about what had just happened. Reaction: Sam ducked.AND THEN they Respond. and the character reacts.External Reaction of the OTHER person or an Outside event. (Reaction) 3) Sensation Reaction -. Or something of a similar. Action: Joe threw the dagger at Sam. (Reaction) 5) Deliberate Reaction -. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) Stimulus -.Something happens TO the character. 2) Physical Reaction -. (Action) The Chain of REACTIONS in DETAIL 1) Stimulus – Something Happens! It all begins with: Stimulus > Response. (Reaction) 4) Emotional Reaction -. Or Sam was stabbed through the heart. It's that simple.
Reaction: Sam grinned. many readers will NOT make that assumption at all. physical actions usually happen BEFORE dialogue. The finger pulls the trigger and THEN the shooter wonders: "Oh no. . Reaction: Sam caught the dagger in his palm. Martial artists are TAUGHT to Not Think when they fight -. what have I done?" Most people ACT. ~~~~~~~~~ In real life. a missing piece to an event. Thoughts that come first FREEZE physical action -.not in the literary sense. I'm saying that you have to show the REST of the stimulus > response FIRST. triggered by the obvious question: What happened to the dagger? I'm not saying you can't have that lovely piece of dialogue. for real.No Mind -." 2) Physical Reaction – The Flinch Something happens. because physical reactions happen faster than thought. They duck. Ask any martial artist. they flinch . and then comment. I'm afraid that many.specifically to make their reaction time faster. Fiction should not be any different. Reaction: Sam reached out to grab the dagger. they choke. they pause to process that thought because few people can do both at once. Nope. "My. what lovely weather we're having. what lovely weather we're having!" Too many writers think the reader will assume that the dagger missed Sam. they gasp. Thought happens after the fist has already shot out. Most people stop whatever action they are doing. "My. they dodge. Action: Joe threw the dagger at Sam. ~~~~~~~~~ Action: Joe threw the dagger at Sam. This is a PLOT Hole. they pass out. Your character reacts instinctively. raised his brow at Joe and smiled thinly.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider this: Action: Joe threw the dagger at Sam.
the appearance Sense of Sound . stinging his hand.the aroma Sensation Reaction is BOTH "what they perceived through their senses." (it smelled like. happy. (Physical Reaction to Sensation> He winced. (Physical Sensation> The pommel slapped sharply ." ~~~~~~~~~ Action: Joe threw the dagger at Sam. ~~~~~~~~~ Action: Joe threw the dagger at Sam. Reaction: Sam reached out to grab the dagger. Additionally. ~~~~~~~~~ Notice that Sam gets his own paragraph? 4) Emotional Reaction –"Oh. it sounded like. internal dialogue and narration happens before they make a vocal remark. (Physical Sensation> The pommel slapped sharply into his palm. angry. internal observations.the melody Sense of Taste .the sensation Sense of Scent . lustful…? These emotional feelings are reflected internally immediately after the physical sensations that wracked their bodies with unwarranted stimuli. it looked like. woe is me!" Internal Conflict! Something just happened. What did it feel like. Ahem. "It tasted like moldy socks. it tasted like…) And their PHYSICAL reaction to those sensations. How did that make your character FEEL: scared.3) Sensation Reaction – Cold Chills Something just happened. Reaction: Sam reached out to grab the dagger.the flavor Sense of Texture . physically? How did they react physically to those sensations? Sensory = of the 5 physical senses Sense of Sight . it felt like. after they feel the physical effects of what just happened. and I nearly retched.
So. . (Internalization> He had known Joe was pissed at him.Something happened Physical Reaction . (Physical Reaction to Sensation> He winced. (Deliberate Reaction / Stimulus intended to get a reaction out of Joe. Reaction: Sam reached out to grab the dagger.In that order. but he hadn't thought he was that pissed. ~~~~~~~~~ Action: Joe threw the dagger at Sam.Their body's immediate physical reaction Sensation Reaction . (Physical Reaction to Sensation> He winced. but he hadn't thought he was that pissed.into his palm.. . what is your character going to do next? A deliberate action designed for Retaliation! More commonly known as: Revenge. (Physical Sensation> The pommel slapped sharply into his palm. Just to make things confusing. an Emotional Reaction or a Deliberate Reaction! When in doubt.> He raised his brow at Joe and smiled thinly. had a thought and perhaps made a comment. Dialogue can be a Response Reaction. always put Dialogue AFTER a physical action. stinging his hand.How they responded NEW Stimulus .What happened next. "My. stinging his hand. an Internalization. ACTION! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fill in the blank! Stimulus > Physical Reaction > Sensation Reaction > Emotional Reaction > Deliberate Reaction Stimulus .What they thought about what was happening Deliberate Reaction .. what lovely weather we're having!" ~~~~~~~~~ Ready? Steady.The physical sensations and their effects Emotional Reaction . (Internalization> He had known Joe was pissed at him. your character has felt the effects. ~~~~~~~~~ 5) Deliberate Reaction – Retaliation! Something happened.
and smiled engagingly. "Will this isn't the brightest idea in the world. stabbing his sword toward Jack Sparrow. waggled his brows.External / something HAPPENED ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) Stimulus .. "I don't care. Viewpoint Character's Reaction: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2) Reaction: Physical Reaction / Did they jump? Flinch? Catch the flying object? > . rather than his body.Will flinched back and scowled. I want to rescue her now!" On the Page. I don't know if you noticed. External Reaction of the OTHER person or an Outside event: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) NEW Action: Physical Action/Action or dialogue or Action & then Dialogue. > .."Will this isn't the brightest idea in the world. waggled his brows.Will Turner stabbed his sword toward Jack Sparrow. but there are a bunch of cutthroat pirates in the next cave?" 5) Reaction: Deliberate Reaction / What they did or said in retaliation > . rather than his body.Physical Action / Action. I don't know if you noticed. but there are a bunch of cutthroat pirates in the next cave?" He slid his sword up Will's blade. 3) Reaction: Sensation Reaction / The physical sensations and their effects > . dialogue or both > . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will Turner lunged. 4) Reaction: Emotional Reaction / Internal or Vocal Comment reflecting what they thought about what was happening > .Jack twisted to intercept the oncoming blade with his blade. Jack twisted to intercept the oncoming blade with his blade. Will flinched back and scowled. The swords impacted with a jarring ring. I want to rescue her now!" Get it? Got it? GOOD! .He slid his sword up Will's blade. and smiled engagingly.The swords impacted with a jarring ring. "I don't care.
"When will you make an end?" - The Pope on the painting of the Sistine Chapel "When I'm finished." - Michelangelo. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Okay, so you got this GREAT Idea for a story! - This Great Idea...that births chapter after chaper... - This Great Idea... that you can't seem to finish. (WTF?) Crap. So what do you do now?
HOW do you make an End? Fairytales and Myths were my foundational reading, so they became my base model for how a story should finish -- by ending where you began with a solution. This doesn't mean ending a story in the location it started, or that full irrevocable transformations don't happen, but that the story ties the knot to the Emotional or Karmic place they began. -- The lost find their way, the wicked are punished, the weak become strong, monsters are faced, emotional hang-ups are dealt with, and problems are solved. What is begun - finishes. However... -- Stories aren't just about characters Doing stuff, it's about character's Dealing with stuff and Figuring out stuff about themselves. The really good stories, the ones that grab us and stay in our memories the longest, all illustrate normal people problems and issues, and the SOLUTIONS they come across. No matter how fantastic the setting or characters are, stories are still about people being people dealing with people stuff. It isn't what they Do, it's How they did it, and what they discovered about themselves on the way. It sounds perfectly simple, and it can be, however I despise stories I can guess the ending to, so naturally, I refuse to write them that way. (Insert evil snicker.) I prefer to make my stories a bit more unpredictable.
How? Subterfuge. The Wrong direction is the Right direction! I prefer to write stories that throw the reader completely off the obvious path, straight through the center of the village, and force them into the deep dark woods. I deliberately make every straightforward solution unbelievably problematic! • The obvious answer is the wrong answer. • The simple solution is impossible to accomplish. • What seems to be a easy task has impossible if not fatal complications. Once the reader has been sent careening off into territory they never expected to go, and gotten utterly wrapped up in a plot they never expected - that's when I start tying up ends by way of pulling rugs out from under the reader's feet. Characters reveal motives that change how their base characters are perceived. • The obvious bad-guy isn't the bad guy, he's AFTER the bad-guy. However, he's completely ruthless in his hunt, which is what made him seem like the bad-guy in the first place. • The bumbling fool that merely wants to help improve his fellow man, is in fact completely deranged sociopath that likes to do his improvements with a scalpel. • The person the main character is trying to rescue, not only doesn't want to be rescued, but in fact resents the intrusion. Random events and objects are revealed to have unexpected connections. • The gun on the mantelpiece wasn't merely a decoration. • The strange recluse neighbor turns out to be the one person who actually knows what's really going on. What was accepted as fact is revealed to be something else entirely. • "We're all living in a computer generated dream-world." And in the process of dealing with all that... • Monsters are faced. • Emotional hang-ups are dealt with. • Problems end up solved. • What was begun - finishes. The END Writing DIALOGUE The SECRET to Proper Paragraphing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (NOT a punctuation article.)
Once you know what your characters and doing and saying, how do you get all that down on Paper without ending up with a huge confusing mess? Putting the Story on Paper. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everybody knows that when a new speaker speaks they get a new paragraph, right? In other words, you DON'T put two different people talking in the same paragraph. Okay, yeah, so anyone who has written any kind of fiction learns this pretty darned quick, (usually from their readers.) What nobody seems to get is that the same goes for a new character's ACTIONS. Seriously, when a new character ACTS they're supposed to get their own paragraph -- even if they don't speak! In short, you paragraph by change in CHARACTER -- not because they speak, but because they ACT. Ahem... Dialogue is an ACTION. In other words, the reason you don't put two different characters' Dialogue in the same paragraph is BECAUSE you don't mix two characters' Actions. Okay?
"Wait a minute, doesn't that cut everything into tiny bits, you know, when you cut all the dialogue away then divide up all those paragraphs?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No because Character A's dialogue is supposed to be IN Character A's paragraph of actions. Character B gets his own paragraph of dialogue AND actions. You divide up a story's paragraphs by individual Character -- not by individual lines of Dialogue OR Actions. What you definitely don't do, is cut all the dialogue away from everything and mash all the different characters' actions together in one messy paragraph where no one can tell who did what.
"Where the heck did THAT rule come from?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Strunk & White's Element's of Style, the grammar handbook. To wit… -- "In dialogue, each speech, even if only a single word, is a paragraph by itself; that is, a new paragraph begins with each change of speaker." This is often misinterpreted as "Make a new paragraph at every new line of dialogue."
creeping down her neck. creeping down her neck.. describe it as an action." As long as the Speaker is Acting. "I wouldn't so much say named. If you really. No..'Becky mumbled'. as gave it an identifying word to distinguish it from all the other stuffed cute kitty plushies. Her voice dropped to barely a mumble. every time a new character Acts. whether or not they have dialogue. How this works. SHOW us." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What's Missing? -. really want to add that Becky mumbled her words." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ." < -. Don't TELL us that she mumbled. WRONG: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You named a stuffed animal?" Toby raised his eyebrows. you ARE Changing Speakers -. and Becky's blush grew brighter.this whole line is Abandoned Dialogue. Once you link a character's Dialogue to their corresponding Actions. The key phrase here is "a new paragraph begins with Each Change of Speaker.> Becky mumbled.> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIGHT: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Toby raised his eyebrows. as gave it an identifying word to distinguish it from all the other stuffed cute kitty plushies. "I wouldn't so much say named.even if they don't talk! Therefore. <-.. creeping down her neck. you no longer need the Dialogue tags.Two Characters acting in the same paragraph. Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Becky's blush grew brighter. < -.. "I wouldn't so much say named. surprised. "You named a stuffed animal?" Becky's blush grew brighter. the Speaker HAS NOT CHANGED. as gave an identifying word to distinguish it from all the other stuffed cute kitty plushies. each new character ACTING gets a New Paragraph. surprised. However.Um.This is an unnecessary Dialogue tag.
a blush is an action -. Her reaction was adorable and he couldn't resist needling her some more. creeping down her neck. This is incorrect too: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You named a stuffed animal?" Toby raised his eyebrows.therefore Becky gets her OWN paragraph. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You named a stuffed animal?" Toby raised his eyebrows. surprised..Jas ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Um. but she IS acting -. like:" "You named a stuffed animal?" Toby raised his eyebrows.When a new character ACTS they're supposed to get a new paragraph. creeping down her neck. creeping down her neck.-----Original Message----"What if the next internals and action/dialogue are his." -. -. NO.Toby's Actions / Becky's Actions --> Becky's blush grew brighter." "Then can you lump those actions together?" -. surprised. surprised. surprised.. and Becky's blush grew brighter.Remember this? "…A new paragraph begins with Each Change of Speaker. Actions go BEFORE Reactions Toby was surprised so he commented: "You named a stuffed animal?" He didn't comment and THEN become surprised. "I thought you hated stuffies. Adjusted: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . Adjusted: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Toby raised his eyebrows. You named a stuffed animal?" Becky's blush grew brighter. Becky didn't say anything.Thanks in advance -. and <-.
" Adjusted: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Toby raised his eyebrows. There's ton's of empty white space!" -.choppy on the page. You named a stuffed animal?" Becky's blush grew brighter. "He was just trying to help you." she told him. surprised. Her reaction was adorable and he couldn't resist needling her some more. "I thought you hated stuffies. surprised. She readjusted her bag and said. "Geez. not bothering to be polite. "You named a stuffed animal?" All together now! Original: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You named a stuffed animal?" Toby raised his eyebrows. creeping down her neck." He told her. it looks choppy on the page. She heard another voice.Toby raised his eyebrows. I'm fine by myself. aren't you?" She got to her feet and brushed herself off.. creeping down her neck. Her reaction was so adorable. Another Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Don't help me." . you're pretty full of yourself. He looked surprised and perhaps a little hurt. "I don't recall asking for help. it looks so. glancing in the direction of the newcomer.Hates Empty Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yes. surprised. but its Far More Important that there is absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind as to who is acting and who is speaking. Toby couldn't resist needling her some more. She nearly recoiled in shock.. He crossed his arms over his chest. Another handsome guy. and Becky's blush grew brighter. "I thought you hated stuffies?" -----Original Message----"But when you do that.
" -. He crossed his arms over his chest. Not so fine after all. . I'm fine by myself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Don't help me.Concerned about Observation This seems perfectly fine. or feeling someone do something to them? -." She didn't bother to be polite.in Both Cases. You have two people acting in the same line -. "He was just trying to help you. and internal narration observations.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ By the way. A new voice called out. "I don't recall asking for help. However. right? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He watched her shake her butt. description. you're pretty full of yourself. glancing in the direction of the newcomer. Another handsome guy. He looked surprised and perhaps a little hurt. With actions separated & dialogue attached." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you truly loathe all that white space.When a new character ACTS they're supposed to get a new paragraph. -----Original Message----But what about when someone is watching someone else. once you take this into account: "…A new paragraph begins with Each Change of Speaker. She nearly recoiled in shock. then fill it in with more actions. He felt her skin move against his. aren't you?" She got to her feet and brushed herself off. once you separate each of your character's actions into new paragraphs and reconnect each character's dialogue to their actions. "Geez." She readjusted her bag. you won't need dialogue tags such as "said" because your character's actions are the identifiers for your dialogue.
(Seriously." .When you have an action with a line of dialogue. though slightly sweaty. He felt it. Once you add enough details to paint a whole picture… Adjusted: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From his seat at the edge of the stage. The round. Dialogue tags are only ever needed when you don't have any other way of identifying the speaker. facial massage ever. then you have committed the heinous crime of: Dialogue in a Vacuum . you don't need Dialogue tags.) -. and in the skimpiest bathing suit he'd ever seen. so there are all kinds of details missing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seems kind'a…short eh? That's because those lines TOLD you what happened. such as "he said" -. Tall. he watched her.The way around this little gem of a problem.Also known as "talking heads syndrome. She shook her butt and her skin moved against his. if you have no other way of knowing who is speaking than dialogue tags. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ KILL the Dialogue Tags. is to SHOW the event by character rather than TELL it in one lump. HOWEVER. You already know through their actions WHO is speaking. she moved in close and shook her butt. His cheeks were subjected to the most incredible. instead of Showing you what happened. firm flesh jiggled enticingly against his face.at all. You begin by dividing the actions by Character: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He watched her. svelte.
And even then. they'll get confused. Compare it to a Radio Show with no sound effects. When a reader realizes that what they thought was going on -. Leave Nothing to Misinterpretation. not listen to a radio show.Readers will ALWAYS make whatever assumptions come to mind about what they are reading. I don't know about you.) "But. In other words… What CAN be misunderstood -.unless you SHOW them what you envisioned.Using dialogue tags is Not against the rules. I want to SEE what I'm reading like a movie.. tone.) I choose to write my dialogue without using "said" unless I am actually describing a change in voice. I remember reading one whole page of un-tagged action-less dialogue only to find out that I had two of the characters reversed. (I don't know about you. I try to avoid them. isn't that's what 'said' and other dialogue tags are for?" Just for the record. The mental movie has stopped and only the soundtrack is playing. I use ACTION TAGS. -.A book with nothing but reams of dialogue marked only by dialogue tags means that while people may be talking. Did I reread that whole page to figure out what was going on? Hell no! I tossed the book across the room. (In fact. and occasionally pissed off.WILL be misunderstood. -. but when I go to read a story. but I won't read something that bores me. I use the speaker's actions to define who is speaking to whom. it's still on the floor gathering dust bunnies.it just makes that part of the story BORING. Unmarked blocks of dialogue are painfully EASY to get lost in. Memorize this: Readers always interpret what they read the way they want to see it -.. Dialogue tags are a perfectly viable way to identify who is speaking -.wasn't. or volume in the same paragraph. there is no PICTURE. .
It's in their Body Language. Just for the record. a facial expression. Why? . I truly do love you. When I find that a dialogue tag is . . They clutter up dialogue while slowing down actions." "I love you too. I truly do love you. If it doesn't add to the character or the plot." She dropped her chin and pouted. "Oh yes. Body-language cues the reader as to what is going on in a character's head – in ADDITION to dialogue and internal narrative. I utterly refuse to use them. what's going through the speaker's head. "Oh yes. a spot of description. I've been interrupted.Stories are Mental Movies you play in your imagination.with no intention of continuing with something that's just too much work to get through."What the heck is an Action Tag?" BODY LANGUAGE Language is Visual not just a bunch of words. I truly do love you. I don't believe in putting anything in my fiction that isn't useful. 90% of that conversation isn't in what's spoken. "Oh yes." She turned away and wiped the tear from her cheek." She rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically. and they use up word-count that could be far better used elsewhere." She glared straight at him.To be perfectly clear. A small simple action can tell you right away. I truly do love you. I hate ALL Dialogue Tags inclusively. If I have to stop and reread a section just to figure out what the heck is going on." "I love you too. such as an action. Action and body-language tags on dialogue are Not just for decoration. "Oh yes. it's not JUST the word 'said'. Don't just SAY it! ~ SHOW IT! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I love you too. it gets eradicated. Dialogue tags are too easily replaced by something that actually adds to the story." "I love you too.Because they're wasteful." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WHY I loathe the word "said". or a character's opinions. it's in what they are DOING as they are speaking. I don't know about you. Action tags keep the mental Movie rolling and the MEANING of what is being said crystal clear. Watch the average conversation between two people. One too many interruptions and I'm switching to another story -. but I HATE to be interrupted when I'm involved in a good movie. -. I write extremely dialogue-heavy fiction.
a spot of description.seems to be a HUGE bone of contention. Though text is not comparable to a visual medium such as film.. you can't expand on the little details of the rule. it looks like I'll be left with a lot of one-line paragraphs..shtml Read that. -----Original Message----". I find some way to fill that space with something useful to the story such as an action.. But those are MY feelings on the subject.I'd greatly appreciate it if you clarified this situation. -. it is still something that we have to view with our eyes. or a character's opinions -. also known as: Talking Heads Syndrome.indeed needed in my story to identify who is talking.The way I see it. When that happens. Paragraph Aesthetics -----Original Message----"I suppose the issue I have is with the aesthetics of paragraphing. Nothing is Happening other than talking. When there is no other way to identify a speaker. in a scene rich with alternating action. What about Punctuation for Dialogue? . dialogue tags are indeed a viable option.Your mileage may vary.writing-world.the way the words appear on the page -..com/fiction/dialogue. I see it as a red flag that indicates that all action has come to a screeching halt. Dialogue tags ARE a legitimate form of sentence structure. ^_^ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . your example suggests that I break my text up into a lot of little paragraphs.ANYTHING other than a dialogue tag. a facial expression. . Given this understanding. I suppose that is the trouble with having to jot down the basics. text aesthetics -." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Actually.Go here: http://www.
no one will even notice the words . A story viewed on a browser page carries even less weight.php?g2_view=core. or is there a handy guide I can employ? Obviously.) Hard-cover books use the same size page as a Trade. The standard sizes for printed Fiction are: paperback (4.ca/gallery/main.5" x 11": http://www.75 inches).DownloadItem&g2_itemId=1271 Standard paper 9. I could care less what my text looks like on the page.75 x 4.25: http://www. I quite loyally follow Strunk and White. making the story as clear and easy to read as possible is far more important to me than what the text looks like. I hope you don't mind. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standard Paperback 6.only the story unfolding in their imaginations." are NOT so short or so little once you put them on the Printed page. through experience and trial and error.ca/gallery/main.25: http://www. As far as I'm concerned. What appears to be a lot of short little paragraphs on the "internet page. Only coffee-table books possess printed pages anywhere near the size of a standard sheet of paper. publisher's advice. All you have to do is narrow the window and the text adjusts.php?g2_view=core.yaoi.25 x 6.yaoi.Because Fiction is generally printed on pages HALF the size of a full sheet of paper. As for internet reading.5 x 8.The way a story appears on a standard 9.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=1274 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Personally.5 x 11 inch piece of paper is NOT the way to judge whether or not one's paragraphs are too long or too short.yaoi. Is there a . Why not? -. but did you come up with the rules yourself.Paragraph Aesthetics .ca/gallery/main.Illustrated -.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=1269 Trade paperback 5. Times New Roman font with somewhat 1 inch margins. Visual Aids: ALL examples are 12 pt.25 inches. and trade paperback (5.php?g2_view=core. I'm completely baffled why anyone would care how it looks on the browser page. -----Original Message----"Also. but I don't think it talks about this subject much. If I have done my job well.5 x 8.
you can write it. Rather than waste people's time on theory. However. My writing advice posts are the results of taking all the info I'd crammed into my head and condensing it into small bite-sized. -... REALLY wants to write fiction well. I focus on application. I just can't write them.?" YES . The easiest way is by doing it in LAYERS.(Google is your friend. just about every book "Writer's Digest" has put out.. As far as I'm concerned. through experience and trial and error.Actions ALWAYS go before Reactions. In addition.Unfortunately. -. chewable. If you can imagine it .to all of the above. SCENE & STRUCTURE by Jack. I'm pretty sure I own.. M.. there are two books I can't praise highly enough.Wanna Do a Fight Scene. I've read a crap-load of how-to books. Enjoy! -------. plus editor hounding and long chats with a number of extremely wellestablished fiction authors.Original Message ----------"I can't write an action/fight scene worth a crap. I can usually imagine them. Bickham THE WRITER'S JOURNEY by Christopher Vogler -.book that YOU use?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let's start here: "." -. Not One. As for recommended reads. Mind you. pieces that are easy to remember and much easier to apply. there is no one guide that shows it all. (IMPORTANT! Each CHARACTER gets a SEPERATE LINE.. but these are the two "Must Haves" if an author really. they are VITAL reading for fiction writing.did you come up with the rules yourself. ~ NEVER clump the separate actions of two different characters in the same paragraph or the reader will get confused as to . The Quick and Dirty Method for writing Action Scenes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Start with a list of ACTIONS & Reactions < in that order. and have practically memorized.) There are lots of other books I could recommend. publisher's advice.
Jack snorted in derision and caught Will's blade with the flat of his blade. Jack did a quick side-step to stay in front of Will. his sword fully extended in a stab. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You're dead meat!" Will lunged forward.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ .) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Will lunged forward. "Crap!" Jack did a quick side-step to stay in front of Will.who is doing what very quickly. Will turned to the side to avoid Jack's sword's point. He chuckled. keeping his sword's point on target. He smiled. "Crap!" Jack did a quick side-step to stay in front of Will. "Oh really?" Pushing the blade just out of range of his skin. "You're gonna have to do a lot better than that. "Oh really?" Pushing the blade just out of range of his skin. keeping his sword's point on target." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Add EMOTION. Jack slide down Will's blade in a short fast stab. Pushing the blade just out of range of his skin. "I don't think so!" Startled. Jack caught Will's blade with the flat of his blade. "I don't think so!" Will turned to the side to avoid Jack's sword's point. Will turned to the side to avoid Jack's sword's point." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pick ONE POV character in that scene and Add the POV character's INTERNAL Observations. his sword fully extended in a stab. Jack slide down Will's blade in a short fast stab. keeping his sword's point on target. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You're dead meat!" Will bared his teeth and lunged forward. "You're gonna have to do a lot better than that. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Add DIALOGUE. Jack slide down Will's blade in a short fast stab. (More than one POV in a scene is known as HEAD-HOPPING. Jack caught Will's blade with the flat of his blade. his sword fully extended in a stab.
WATCH MOVIES. He didn't like killing those that didn't actually deserve to die. knowing it would piss the kid off. feel free to take what you can use and throw out the rest." He was hoping the kid would figure out that he was out-matched and just bolt. Close Third Person: He had no clue how he got roped into telling this story. please understand that this information was hammered into my head by my editors. That doesn't mean you have to follow it! As with all advice. his sword fully extended in a stab. keeping his sword's point on target. "You're gonna have to do a lot better than that. "I don't think so!" Startled. This is what I had to learn to see my work published. Will turned to the side to avoid Jack's sword's point. (Diaries and letters are commonly written this way. Pushing the blade just out of range of his skin. but he was telling .you can write it. if you can imagine it . Jack slide down Will's blade in a short fast stab. "Oh really?" The kid certainly had guts. I am telling the story to YOU. Enjoy! DISCLAIMER: Before anyone starts screaming about this article not emphasizing the Creative aspect of writing. He chuckled. First Person: I am telling the story. Jack snorted in derision and caught Will's blade with the flat of his blade. "Crap!" Jack did a quick side-step to stay in front of Will. Having problems imagining it? . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pesky Point of View ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is Point of View (POV)? -. He smiled. Too bad he didn't have the skill to go with it.It's the view of the person telling the story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seriously. Second Person."You're dead meat!" Will bared his teeth and lunged forward.) Third Person: He is telling the story.
This is the POV used in plays and movie/TV scripts. and by god. AKA: Storyteller's POV.) Note: The stories currently being published in America most often use Close Third POV and First Person POV. Attitude + ACTION: .that character's voice. (No internal narration what so ever. Oscar would not sit there and contemplate the roses.and that's totally wrong for this character. Attitude Alone (AKA . POV = ATTITUDE + ACTION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Close Third POV = the POV Character's Voice. the way you would write the description of those roses would reflect how he saw them.) Omniscient Close POV. When you are in Close Third POV. He could almost stand something that closely resembled a heaped snarl of barbed wire. he would make faces and say something snotty. if it weren't for those eyesearing explosions of hideous pink. AKA: Author Intrusion: When the author expresses their opinions on what is happening in the story. as are Fairy Tales and many Japanese novels. NOTHING is happening -.Technically. You only know what the camera sees.it. He seriously considered heaving. If you are in Oscar's POV. At least they were roses. what is going through his head is not going to resemble what would be going through Big Bird's head. To make matters worse their stench was overwhelmingly sweet. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What's wrong with this snippet? -. nothing other than it's BORING. If Oscar the Grouch is looking at a bed of roses. just to have something more comforting to smell. everything the main character sees and experiences should be flavored with that character's Attitude -. they better listen up! Omniscient Distant POV: The camera's eye view. He just knew that it was going to take a whole week to get the smell out of his can.Oscar could not believe that someone had the gall to drop his comfy garbage can in the middle of a disgustingly bright mound of flowers.Internal Narration): ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. (The Lemony Snicket books are written this way.
and they usually end up dead. Robert Jordan and Terry Pratchet are authors that use multiple subplots – multiple stories within one bigger story. I'm surrounded. Pet Peeve of mine: TOO MANY POVs! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your mileage may vary. "It's gonna take me a week to get that stink out'ta my can!" He felt his gorge rising. At least it'll smell better. if it weren't for those eye-searing explosions of hideous color. only then do you need POV switching to show the full scope of the story. there is only ONE legitimate reason to have more than one POV -. horror stories and suspense. What are these? Roses?" He could almost stand something that closely resembled a heaped snarl of barbed wire. "I think I'm going to be sick. Jane Austin. Since another story is being told within the first. When you have a large cast of characters.. "Pink. they use the first POV Character that appears in the book (that is not killed by the villain. making more than one story thread going on. nine times out of ten. eww! The smell!" He slapped a fuzzy green hand over his fuzzy green nose. Serrated green leaves waved among slender and barbed branches around the mouth of his home. I hate pink. "What is this disgusting mess?" He leaned out and looked around in disbelief. The next POV character is (normally. But…! But…! But…! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . Somebody put my trash can in a revolting pile of. the main POV character may or may not ever be involved. but… -.As far as I'm concerned. Steven King. "Oh.Oscar the Grouch popped out of his trash can. and even they stick to ONE POV per subplot.*) * In most mysteries.SUBPLOTS. When they bring all the characters together in a story's final confrontation. the very first POV character is usually someone dealing with the Antagonist – the villain of the piece. He gasped in horror.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. This makes another POV character a necessity." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not quite so boring this time." To make matters worse the stench was overwhelmingly sweet.. "Oh ugh. He curled his lip.) the story's leading Protagonist.
Handling First Person POV is tough enough. -.) 2) Poor grammar skills.. until you know how to STAY in that one person's head.. (often in the same paragraph. Obsessive Head-hopping normally happens for these reasons… The Author is still at the learning stage.sometimes every few paragraphs.The most common reason for obsessive head-hopping is that they don't even KNOW that they are head-hopping. POV Problems & Cures ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Horrors of Head-hopping -.. Seriously. and changes. I know a lot of published authors who have a rough time with that POV.what they're doing AS they speak. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you have multiple characters to choose from for a particular scene which one do you pick? Who has the most to LOSE? Who is going to be the most tied up in knots? Who is going to get the most frustrated? THAT'S your POV character for that scene. sometimes every few sentences. Dead Give-Aways: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) Every character's opinionated view is presented without any form of scene breaks. This means that if you want your reader to guess right -. and changes. then attempt Close Third person.or wrong -. and changes. Who's POV? When you have more than One POV character in a scene. You read their Body Language.you put in the speaker's body language too -.Head-hopping is when the Point of View changes. Don't rush into Third Person after one try..-. Taking one . Once you know how to STAY in one person's head. You GUESS by reading into what they say and what they do. POV switching will be much easier to master."But how will the reader know what's really going on in the other characters' heads?" The exact same way YOU know what's going on in your friends' heads. My advice to Beginners: Write in FIRST PERSON.
They did it on purpose and don't see anything wrong with it. but related.Their name is Nora Roberts. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. 5) The second (and preferred. (My editor b*tches about this ALL THE TIME. 2) No real subplots. The Author thinks they are enriching the story. This makes the second (and preferred.) POV character defeats the Villain – not the official lead character.) . This problem normally takes a very firm publication editor to fix because the author will often refuse to fix it for any other reason. and has point blank stated that she sees no need to fix it since they're going to publish her anyway. they will often pop in and out of their 'favorite'. When the author becomes fascinated by a character that is not the official lead.A lot of obsessive head-hopping is caused by the author's emotional connection to a character that is NOT the protagonist – the official lead in the story. They simply cannot bear not being in that person's head.The author is convinced that both leading characters are interesting. Dead Give-Aways: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. no secondary stories about different. This shows up chronically in Erotic Fiction of every stripe. the Official Lead.Their editor isn't about to risk pissing off an author that makes the publishing house THAT much money. Dead Give-Aways: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) ALL the characters are involved in only ONE plotline. They are attempting to provide the reader with a ringside seat to BOTH sides of the story.step at a time will save you a LOT of grief in the long run. (She even ADMITS to head hopping. They're a multi-million dollar author. 4) The official lead character does not affect the plot in any major way. sets of characters.) POV character the Protagonist. 3) The POV characters are narrowed to only two or three people.) Emotional DETACHMENT from the Official Lead Character ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.
it does not take much effort for the reader to guess how the story will end by the third chapter. The author did it on purpose. including the villain's. Why should the reader bother continuing to read a story they already know the ending to? And by the way. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. (Seme > Uke > Seme > Uke…) 3) Events are often repeated. Dead Give-Aways: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) No real subplots. Look at it this way. once one already knows how a story will end. 3) Its deliberate. one successive paragraph after the next – from one end of the story to the other. displayed in one POV and then the other.The point is.Dead Give-Aways: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) Only the two main characters have a POV. 2) The POV switch happens without breaks.. but merely observers because they already know what's coming. The Author thinks they're making SUSPENSE.The reader has NO REASON to finish the story. Why is this a Problem? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.The author is convinced that the entire cast is soooo interesting. The author did it on purpose. is revealed by the third chapter. they are Distanced from the characters' joy and pain. They completely miss that by allowing the readers a peek into each of the character's heads. Scene One -~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . where's the suspense? I have heard loud cries of – "But they don't know HOW it all falls apart!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. that once the reader knows it's going to fall apart. they MUST be revealed to the reader.. 4) Its deliberate. They are no longer participants in the drama. 2) The entire plot and every characters' motivation.
See the difference? Quick & Dirty Head-hop Proofing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Try writing it in First Person POV then do a Search / Replace." "One needs to be sure before one acts. • He/She = Her/Him. Enjoy! The Art of VILLAINY ~ Making Realistic Villains for your Fiction ~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "People will do far more to Avoid Pain than they will to Seek Pleasure. Scene Two -~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. (Need a gender-neutral word? I use THEM or ONE. • "I" = Character's Name at the beginning of a paragraph.what? You smile.Someone leans close to you and says: "Watch this.Someone else leans over and grabs a different kid. yelling: "TICKLE!" -.CIA Profiler Gavin DeBecker on Human Nature True Predators ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . then you'll need to use both names to keep the reader from getting confused as to who is doing what to whom. because it was totally unexpected.You -.-.") • "My" = her/his. If so. -." -. -.And you do . • "Mine" = Their Read your story line by line correcting and adjusting as you go until the story reads properly in the third person. I'm gonna yell Boo in that kid's ear!" They yell. everywhere else in the paragraph. "He didn't know what to tell them. maybe you laugh.jump out of your skin.unless they are directly interacting with another character of the same gender. You only need to use a character's name once per paragraph -. maybe even shout.The kid jumps.
I go out of my way to make darned sure that my fictional villains are as realistic as the villains we face in real life. a human predator operates?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ YES. That reason is ALWAYS driven by a very human issue triggered by an unfulfilled and essential human need.always has a reason behind it. Even mass murderers have reasons (however twisted) for doing what they do. I begin by giving them ordinary human Issues.Let's begin with a list of the most common pattern of personality traits found in your average psychopath: * Glib and superficial * Egocentric and grandiose * ! Lacking in remorse or guilt * Deceitful & manipulative * Impulsive * Thrill-seeking * Lacking responsibility * Emotionally shallow List acquired from Predicting Violent Behavior by Psychiatrist John Monahan . Key Human Issues: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * Desire for Connection * Fear of Loss * Fear of Rejection * Desire for Recognition & Attention * Fear of Ridicule & Embarrassment * Desire for Approval * Desire for Control "Is there a specific pattern to how a Villain. Within every villain (fictional and non-fictional) there's a human issue at core that drives them to BE villains in the first place. but the action -.no matter how twisted -. NO villainous action is RANDOM.When I craft a villain. The victim may be randomly chosen. there is! -.
"Do I feel Justified in committing this act?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.Seduction and manipulation into being given what they're actually after is usually the first technique they try. however the key trait necessary for a true human predator is "Lacking in remorse or guilt.It can be as simple as feeling that they have been provoked.This is the projection of a shared purpose or experience where none exists. "Do I have the Ability and/or Opportunity to commit this act?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. "Are there Alternative ways to get what I'm really after?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. to as complicated as looking for an excuse to start an argument to validate an angry response. 2. The truly dangerous predators do what they do because they WANT to.Do they believe they can successfully carry out the deed? Once a predator feels that he has satisfactory answers to these four questions the next steps are these." True predators have no compunction about what they do. four questions go through his mind: 1. 3. as an act of revenge. such as extremely clever lawyers? Have they been hired specifically to commit acts of violence. justification for their actions usually comes after they've already chosen their victim. It is a sophisticated . unless committing an act of violence is their actual goal. Violence is normally a technique of last resort.Can they successfully hide the evidence of their deeds? Do they have support from others. Choosing a Victim -. and commonly in this order… Forced Teaming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. such as being part of a military unit or the police? Are they so far above reproach that no one will believe they are even capable of committing such an act? 4. In fact. or to whom they do it. "Can I deal with or discount the Consequences of my actions?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.Most people have a few of the above traits in lesser or greater degree. such as in a mob scene or a gang situation where everyone around them is committing violence too? Do they have some form of protection that will shield them from repercussions from their actions.When a predator chooses his prospective victim.
using a "we're all in the same boat together" attitude. and/or control through allure or attraction.This is a manipulation technique where the predator labels their victim in a slightly negative manner. too much of a snob to talk to me. These two techniques are used specifically to gain much of the information they will need to evaluate and then control their prospective victim. Typecasting ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. "You're probably too rich." This style of manipulation is very difficult to rebuff without being rude -. Key phrases include the word: "We" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * "Both of us…" * "We're some team…" * "How are we going to handle this one?" * "Now we've done it…" The most effective style of this technique plays on the victim's sympathy and makes the victim WANT to participate. "No I'm not!" they've placed themselves squarely in the predators hands. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. is overwhelming their victim with nonsense chatter in order to get physically closer. .which is precisely why they do it. "You'd do the same for me. Charm & Niceness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. to induce the victim into acting the opposite just to prove them wrong.manipulation technique for establishing false trust. too important. too pretty. and intent.that mean nothing. A smile is the Number One most typical disguise used to mask emotions." The instant the victim snaps back.Charm (verb) and Niceness (verb) are manipulation techniques used to compel. What they are doing. Too Many Details -. too proud.This is a manipulation technique a predator uses to convince their victim that they are harmless and familiar.
of.fear. -.such as inside the victim's home. "I'll just walk you to your doorstep and leave. A predator may use only a few of these techniques or all of them. but the target result is to manipulate their victim into a corner which the victim feels they cannot escape -.Edward Gorey The Unsolicited Promise ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.cnn." The proctor buys a pupil ices And hopes the boy will not resist.truth in their characterization. that's how you GET true depth of character . ignoring the word outright.com/books/beginnings/9808/gift.Loan Sharking ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. When he attempts to practice vices Few people even know exist.A manipulation technique designed to convince the victim that they are trustworthy. actions and speech . I promise.When this word is spoken by the victim.A manipulation technique where the predator deliberately does the victim a favor specifically to place the victim in their debt. My textbook for crafting realistic villains: The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker http://www. should NOT sympathize with the villain too much." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. I promise. up to and including. This is to gain back their momentary loss of control over the victim's actions. the predator's immediate response is to use every manipulation technique in their arsenal to convince the victim in that they don't really mean "no"." Discounting the word "No." "I won't hurt you.cnn Sympathy for the Fictional Devil ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As far as I'm concerned the author SHOULD sympathize with the villain. unless you intend . I promise." "I'm completely harmless.but the Viewpoint Character and the Reader. "Let me help you.
ever. EVER put my villain's Point of View into a story -. where's the surprise? I don't know about you.to redeem the villain.redeem the villain.and they get royally pissed when you knock him off. The Villain's Point of View. they vehemently protested his upcoming demise! To satisfy my readers I had to cut the whole second half of the book off and write that villain a whole new story where he WAS the hero. . To me STORY comes first. and then I kill his butt to serve the plot and the premise. tweak his history and then craft a whole New story around him to do just that . such as their MOTIVES. REALLY like this character and want to save him regardless of the story in progress. if I really. I leave his character intact but change his name. or cause massive angst to your main character – and your readers. but redemption does not serve the plot -. "Murder your Darlings!" ~ Hemmingway ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Under normal circumstances.I DON'T save him. but I want my readers to be as surprised as the viewpoint character when they get to the end of the story and finally discover why the Villain did all those dastardly deeds. NO ONE complained when I killed the villain that time.unless the Villain is the main viewpoint character. But. I do save him – in a Whole Different Story. The villain's POV has a tendency to reveal too much.. Fair Warning: Too much sympathy for the villain drives the reader to think that you intend to save him -. It has happened to me! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. When I rewrote my original story. Why Not? The villain's POV KILLS the surprise.My test readers totally misread a story I was in the process of crafting and assumed that the Villain was the Hero! Because of this. I had learned my lesson.? HELL NO! Don't Kill the Thrill ~ Damn it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I never. if I accidentally craft a Redeemable villain. It gives away the punch-line before the joke is done. I rework him to be less sympathetic. and answers too many questions that ruin the Mystery for the reader.. such as "Why is this happening?" Once the reader knows what's really going on.
they know MUCH less than the actual villain's ideas. In my older stories. am I glad my newer villains aren't quick to give away a plot. I suppose such poor suspense techniques are to be expected from Suspense novels as they are technically mystery-flavored novels. opening up a possible window of either clues or ideas to what's going on. However. whatever that viewpoint character knows . not true Mysteries. if used too often or explained too much. *caughTomClancycaugh* They're CHEATING the reader using a rather nasty technique known as "Illegitimate Third Person POV". though only hinting ideas at first to what was possibly going on in the villains' heads. If that POV character looks at it. hell. I refuse to read books or stories written with "Illegitimate Third Person ..that includes SECRETS! On a personal note. if done right or give away the entire plot.~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ew. I pretty much spilled the whole plot of what the bad guys planned to do. If there is no lackeys to exploit the above. If that POV character thinks it. I remember doing this a few times in my older stories. Worst comes to worse. A word of advice for villain POVs. the way Futuristics usually have very poor world-building as they are science-fiction-flavored. do it from the (possible) lackey's side of the story.Arctic-Master ~~~~~~~~~~~~ "But other published authors do it!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.the Reader knows. And even that is a gamble because the past can also expose plots. EVERYTHING that is in the POV character's head is revealed as it is seen and felt. if you ABSOLUTELY HAVE to do a villain POV. When the "Point of View" is done correctly. you're better off just avoiding villain POV completely. then the Reader should see it too. . unless it's to get into character.. not true Science-Fiction.__. there are a number of NYT bestselling Suspense and Romantic Suspense authors that hide the Villain's more revealing information by cutting the reader off as soon as the Villain has an interesting thought or view. I did it once in my most recent stories. God. It can keep the reader guessing. even if I DO pull a small POV of their point of view.Yes. then the Reader should be aware of it . even sometimes giving an idea to the reader that something might happen and then have the villain go an entirely different way due to the circumstances. X_x -. something actual Mystery writers wouldn't be caught dead doing.
. you might grin. Why? -." When you see the kid jump. the Villain is leading the book. Why not? Because you weren't surprised.and the reader . grumble. The Author has focused on the WRONG main character..POV". See? The REAL way to keep suspense going is by presenting CLUES about the villain and his nefarious plans to the main POV character . Seriously. The Villain's POV KILLS the Suspense. but did YOU jump? No. If the villain is leading the book. grumble…) "But I thought the Villain's POV Increases the Suspense?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Um…No. then it's time to rethink the plot. dialogue. because if "I" can write suspense scenes without cheating. redo the whole thing . Do you jump then? Yes. Instead of the Hero and Heroine (semi/uke) in the lead. Why should you be? You KNEW it was coming. and discoveries. "I'm gonna yell 'boo' in that kid's ear. THEY CAN TOO! (Freaking lazy-butt writers. Someone yells "BOO!" in the ear of the guy sitting next to you – without any warning. It's like someone whispering. then it's very possible that there's a deeper more serious flaw in the story.Because while one might think suspense is being generated by the reader knowing that the main viewpoint character is in extreme danger (when the POV character doesn't. "But I need it for the Plot!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If the author can't write the story WITHOUT including the Villain's POV.) what it actually does is Totally KILLS the Impact when the main viewpoint character finds out how much danger they are actually in.by behavior. Grumble. and I'm merely an erotic romance author.
is guessing what they'll do next! Enjoy! Basic Plotting ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A plot is the pattern a story follows. but all of the stories read or told often enough to remain in the popular mind of any culture have a pattern. • He died in the middle of a glorious battle to defend his land. and became a legendary figure that would never be forgotten. American Dream Version: • He came. a plot. Here are some examples of simple plot patterns… Traditional: • He came. sometimes it's complex.but that doesn't mean your Reader should know what's going on in their heads. Sometimes it's simple.giving the villain the lead. I know LOTS of readers who love a good book entirely from the villain's POV! In Conclusion… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When one is writing Villains. .Beginning -. • He conquered. More than half the fun of a really good Villain.Middle -. • He conquered. once should know how Real villains think and act -. writing it from the Villain's POV from beginning to end. • He saw. • He became the leader of his people.End All successful (read: popular) stories have patterns. The Heroic version: • He conquered. • He became very rich. the most common being: -.
Your basic Romance plot: • The lovers are thrown together. • The lovers are forced apart. • The friends rise from their individual defeats to team up on the Villain and win the war.Erotic Version: • He saw. Aristotle's Elements of a Greek Tragedy . • Act Four: He fixed his mistake and rose again. and wins the war. • The villain corners them individually and defeats each one. Aristotle's Elements . It's not the plot.American version: • Act One: He rose to glory. • Act Three: He crashed and burned. • Act Two: His pride drove him to make a foolish but costly mistake. but what you do with the plot that makes it creative. Your basic Adventure plot: • Hero meets Villain. • He conquered. • He came. • Act Two: His pride drove him to make a foolish but costly mistake. • The lovers go against the odds to get back together. Your basic Yaoi Romance plot: • One lover seduces the other. • The hero rises from his defeat to battle the Villain again. • The lover that misunderstood chases the other lover down to beg for forgiveness. • They fight and the Villain wins. it's what you do with it. Your basic Manga Adventure plot: • A group of friends meet a Villain. • A misunderstanding drives one lover away. • Act Three: He crashed and burned. I can already hear the whining… "But that's so…formulaic! Where's the creativity?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Creativity is Overrated. Ever hear the phrase: "It's not what you have."? This is especially true when writing stories.simplified: • Act One: He rose to glory. .
The Heroic Mythic Cycle: (Paraphrased to avoid copyright issues. Friends & Foes Battle at the Crossroads Act Three – Crisis Into the Labyrinth Temptation & Betrayal Anger ~ Despair ~ Sacrifice Inheritance / Blessing / Curse Treasure & Celebration Act Four – Climax Escape / Expelled from the Labyrinth The Hunter becomes the Hunted Rescue & Loss of Paramour / Side-kick Battle at the Crossroads to Home Death / Rebirth Delivery of Treasure & Just Rewards A great many people who write quite successfully 'by the seat of their pants. some of the hottest blockbuster movies including 'Star Wars' follow one of the oldest plot patterns in human history -. as codified by William Campbell.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Act One . has been trained from childhood to EXPECT a story to follow some sort of pattern to take it from Here to There. Everyone. in every culture. for a story to be enjoyed by the widest possible audience.No matter what those Creative Writing classes teach. Why? Because a story without some sort of plot pattern reads…wrong.' may tell you that .Chosen Humble Beginnings Destiny Comes Knocking Shoved into Adventure Sagely Advice ~ Paramours & Sidekicks Act Two . and make some sort of point too. a pattern -.Challenge Leaving the Known World behind Challenges.the Heroic Cycle. it needs to have some sort of structure.a plot. In fact.
It's merely a way of keeping track of where you are. of the 1997 Batchelder Award. He or she appeals to the reader's emotions rather than to the intellect. we stress clarity. That doesn't mean their stories don't follow a pattern. A note on Japanese stories… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From: 'Eight Ways to say You ~ The Challenges of Translation' By Cathy Hirano The most obvious differences between Japanese and English writing styles are organization and tone. in turn.without even knowing they're doing it. and that a statement should be supported by a logical explanation. you'll actually get there. In English. a book works toward a climax and then a conclusion. is quite capable of taking great leaps of imagination to follow the story line. Even in literature. from introduction to body to conclusion. How to Use a Plot "What is plotting good for anyway?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well. In short. sooner or later. if you know where you're going when you start out. In contrast. it is very different from how I learned to write in school. Straus & Giroux. they just…write it from beginning to end. It's merely that the plotting pattern they use is so ingrained into their subconscious they follow it instinctively -. winner. and although it has its own logic and organization. I have to work everything out on paper or I get lost in a hurry. My English composition classes in high school taught me that English is supposed to flow in a linear fashion. Unfortunately. that's not a talent I possess. and where you should go next. In Japanese subtlety is preferred. The Japanese writer dances around his theme. The Japanese reader.they don't need to plot. by knowing where you intend to end up. . the best use of a plotting pattern is so you don't get lost in the story. Japanese composition appears almost circular. implying rather than directly stating what he wants to say. Cathy Hirano is the translator of The Friends. for Farrar. and tries to create a rapport rather than to convince. Knowing your basic route ahead of time also makes it much more difficult to get lost on a back road or trapped in a cul-de-sac. Think of the plot outline as a road map marking out the most direct route from Here to There. leaving it up to readers to discern that for themselves. This doesn't mean you can't take side trips to sight-see or visit friends along the way.
Do I need to tell you what she said?" "No! No. you don't. but where they intend to end up.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Go HERE to read the whole article: http://www. I have your lunch!" "Ah. Yuuko-san.asp ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Conclusion… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. the writer can keep track of not only where they are in their story. Watanuki-kun!" "You are very welcome." "I see. do you really NEED Description too? What is the difference?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Layers of Fiction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dialogue Only ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Himawari-chan.hbook. Watanuki-kun!" "Here you go Himawari-chan!" "Thank you. Himawari-chan. and I don't want to hear it! I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!" "Yuuko thinks you do.com/magazine/articles/1999/jan99_hirano." "That's her! Not me!" .By using even the most basic of plot patterns. Thank you. Of course. This makes it very easy to avoid the most common pitfall of fiction writing: "The story's halfway done and I have no idea how to end it!" Enjoy! ------Original Message-----"If you have Action and Dialogue.
Kimihiro felt the small hairs on his arms lift." There are no dialogue tags. grunting into it. I have your lunch!" Himawari looked over at Kimihiro smiled. Himawari was already at their chosen spot. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ACTION with Dialogue ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lunch time found Kimihiro walking around to the back of the school carrying the three lacquered wood bento boxes. NOT take orders from you!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is "Talking Head Syndrome. "Ah. Kimihiro couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice. not. He turned away to unwrap the bento boxes and . or rather. because I don't use them. Kimihiro sighed." "What? No! I said I don't want to wait…!" "You gonna eat that?" "Yes I am!" "Tea."Are you a fortune-teller?" "No! Of course not!" "I'll come get you after class. Doumeki's gaze found Kimihiro's and his eyes narrowed. He waved." "I do not. He was talking on his cell phone. Watanuki-kun!" Doumeki came from around the opposite corner of the building. "Himawari-chan.
Watanuki rolled his eyes. Himawari took the box from Kimihiro without making any physical contact. "That's her! Not me!" Doumeki's gaze narrowed to slits. "Yuuko thinks you do." He turned away to pry open his lunch box. Doumeki took the box from Kimihiro's hands and his gaze narrowed on Kimihiro's face. you don't. Yuuko-san. "Thank you. seating himself between them. Doumeki turned and his gaze locked on Kimihiro's. Doumeki snapped the small phone closed.offered Himawari a box. "I see. The iced tea he was pouring spilled slightly over his hand. "Do I need to tell you what she said?" "No! No. He settled cross-legged on the blanket with a grunt. Kimihiro shoved the bento box at him. Doumeki strode up to stand before Kimihiro." Watanuki sighed and pulled out cups. "I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!" He pried open his bento box. He grabbed for a paper napkin to wipe at the small mess. "I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice. "Here you go Himawari-chan!" Smiling. "Are you a fortune-teller?" Kimihiro stared at him. He scooted back. Himawari-chan." Kimihiro looked up and his mouth fell open. Thank you. Doumeki moved to Kimihiro's immediate right and stepped into the space between Kimihiro and Himawari." Kimihiro felt his hackles lift. and I don't want to hear it!" Kimihiro turned away and flopped cross-legged onto the spread blanket at Himawari's side." . Watanuki-kun!" "You are very welcome. and tucked it into the front fold of his gi. "No! Of course not!" "I'll come get you after class. He held out his hand. Of course.
Doumeki continued to hold out his hand. Doumeki's gaze drifted down to his teacup. "You gonna eat that?" He pointed at Kimihiro's full bento box. "I do not." Kimihiro reached for the thermos and a tea cup then froze. he shoved the piece of food into his mouth and chewed. "Tea. He jerked his gaze away. "What? No! I said I don't want to wait…!" Doumeki picked up the chopsticks and started shoveling food into his mouth with one hand.Kimihiro stared at him open mouthed. Doumeki turned to face Kimihiro. He turned to glare Doumeki. and the slightest of smiles curved his mouth. He plugged the ear on Kimihiro's side with the pinky finger of the other. Kimihiro handed him the cup of tea. Kimihiro grabbed for his food. NOT take orders from you!" Doumeki's reply was yet another smile. Doumeki took the cup of tea. A hard shiver skittered up Kimihiro's spine. Himawari giggled. his gaze unwavering. Himawari burst into giggles. Doumeki continued to eat with one ear plugged. not. and even tried writhing on the ground. . Doumeki held out his hand. "Yes I am!" He snatched up his chopsticks and stabbed it into his box. Kimihiro ranted and raved until he was red in the face. Glaring at the larger boy. and announced what he'd like for tomorrow's lunch. Tanpopo chirped. Kimihiro added kicks and gestures to his gripes and complaints.
"Ah. His short-cropped black hair gleamed blue in the sunlight. archery club uniform. I have your lunch!" If only she didn't have that…condition. the smirk was worse. it was downright disturbing. an almost-scowl. Kimihiro couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. Tanpopo. neat and prim in her stark black skirt and white summer top. if he had an expression. and she was just as sweet as she appeared. or rather. He was dressed in the white keiko-gi top and ground-sweeping black hakima trousers of his Kyudo. Of the two. he'd spent the last period at the archery range. and the thermos of chilled jasmine tea in the other. grunting into it. Himawari looked over at Kimihiro and her smile was as bright as the sun. Shall we put it on the Big Screen? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DESCRIPTION with Action. "Himawari-chan. Two small coiling tails bound with yellow bows framed either side of her impishly sweet face. & Dialogue ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lunch time found Kimihiro walking around to the back of the school carrying the three lacquered wood bento boxes wrapped in a large cloth in one hand. broad-shouldered. His gaze was somewhere off in the distance and lips were turned slightly downward. That was Doumeki for you. He waved. She knelt on the small picnic blanket. you could HEAR what was happening. So cuuute! Himawari was everything a pretty girl should be. . like a black and white TV. or an almost-smirk. The ultra-feminine black coils of her sumptuous mane spilled down her back and tumbled down around her lap. Dandilion. He was talking on his cell phone. Watanuki-kun!" The tall. like a Radio Show. Himawari was already at their chosen spot under the tree.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the first one. In the second one you could HEAR and SEE what was happening. He appeared to only ever show one of two expressions. Apparently. Kimihiro sighed. and pointedly masculine form of Doumeki came from around the opposite corner of the building. while talking cheerfully to her tiny bright yellow bird.
Doumeki strode up to stand before Kimihiro and his voice deepened to a base growl. Himawari-chan. He knew. He turned away to unwrap the bento boxes. controlling. Kimihiro felt the small hairs on his arms lift. adorable. Thank you. And he does it all the damned time!" It sounded stupid even in his thoughts. That conniving. and offered her a box. completely predictable Himawari was the highlight of his entire day. On top of that. he wants to hit me or do something…else. it's worse. slapped on a sunny smile strictly for Himawari. he grabbed for a paper napkin to wipe at the small mess. over-protective… Doumeki snapped the small phone closed. Watanuki-kun!" "You are very welcome.Doumeki's gaze found Kimihiro's and his golden eyes narrowed. Himawari took the box from Kimihiro without making any physical contact. Of course. It's like. "What don't you like about Doumeki?" Kimihiro couldn't very well tell her… "Because he stares at me like. Selfish bastard… Furious. "Thank you." Kimihiro looked up at his nemesis and his mouth fell open in shock. and about to do something vulgar. Yuuko-san. Startled. he just knew. Yuuko had told Doumeki to walk him back. It was enough to very nearly sour Kimihiro's appetite. Yuuko had once asked him. He's staring at me in that creepy way again. something embarrassing and vulgar. Doumeki took the box from Kimihiro's hands and his gaze narrowed on Kimihiro's face. when he actually talks what he says never goes with the look on his face. "Here you go Himawari-chan!" Smiling. When he smirks. Kimihiro shoved the bento box at him. he's laughing at me. Lunch with sweet. and tucked it into the front fold of his gi. "I see. Doumeki was talking to Yuuko? The iced tea he was pouring spilled slightly over his hand. clearly asking for the bento at Kimihiro's side. "Do I need to tell you what she said?" ." Watanuki sighed in contentment and pulled out the small plastic cups for the tea. He held out his hand.
would not. away from Doumeki's unnervingly warm presence. "I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice. "Yuuko thinks you do. The scent of soap and temple incense drifted from him."No! No. "What? No! I said I don't want to wait…!" Doumeki picked up the chopsticks and started shoveling food into his mouth with one hand. However. seating himself between them. Watanuki rolled his eyes." Kimihiro felt his hackles lift. "That's her! Not me!" Doumeki's gaze narrowed to hard gold slits. Doumeki continued to eat with one ear plugged. He was so close Kimihiro could actually feel his body heat. He would not." He turned away to pry open his flat black lunch box. you don't. Watanuki knew for a fact that Doumeki had done it simply to annoy him. which would trigger Himawari's rather volatile and highly dangerous condition. "I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!" He pried open his bento box. and I don't want to hear it!" Kimihiro turned away and flopped cross-legged onto the spread blanket at Himawari's side. and even tried writhing on the ground. Doumeki moved to Kimihiro's immediate right and stepped into the space between Kimihiro and Himawari. determined to eat and enjoy some cheerful conversation with Himawari. . One might suppose that Doumeki was merely keeping the two from coming into accidental physical contact. He settled cross-legged on the blanket with a grunt. What the hell…? "No! Of course not!" "I'll come get you after class. Kimihiro added kicks and gestures to his gripes and complaints. Doumeki was not listening." Kimihiro stared at him open mouthed. Clearly. He scooted back. Doumeki turned and his golden gaze locked on Kimihiro's. "Are you a fortune-teller?" Fortune-teller? Kimihiro stared at him. He plugged the ear on Kimihiro's side with the pinky finger of the other. Kimihiro ranted and raved until he was red in the face. look at him.
but many. MANY of the same authors forget that the POV character's physical observations -." Kimihiro reached for the thermos and a tea cup then froze. He jerked his gaze away. his gaze unwavering and clearly expectant. "You gonna eat that?" He pointed at Kimihiro's full bento box with his chopsticks.! Who does he think I am. "I do not. Kimihiro handed him the cup of tea. Kimihiro grabbed for his food. Doumeki took the cup of tea. Most authors include Internal Narration. his damned wife? He turned to glare at the overgrown pain in his butt. and in a completely emotionless voice. "Yes I am!" He snatched up his chopsticks and stabbed it into his box blindly. he shoved the piece of food into his mouth and chewed with extra emphasis.Doumeki turned to face Kimihiro with absolutely no expression on his face what so ever. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Why did I not include Internal Narration until I got to the Description layer? Because Internal Narration is the POV character's opinion of the events happening around them. he announced what he'd like for tomorrow's lunch. A hard shiver skittered up Kimihiro's spine. Himawari burst into giggles. Still completely expressionless.belongs in there too. Glaring at the larger boy. NOT take orders from you!" Doumeki's reply was yet another of those smug half-smirks.. He hated it when Doumeki looked at him like that.. and experience -. Doumeki held out his hand. Doumeki continued to hold out his hand. Son of a. and the slightest of satisfied smiles curved the very edge of his mouth. "Tea. like he'd done something both pleasing and perverted at the same time. Himawari's giggling and Tanpopo's amused chirping did not make Kimihiro feel any better. Kimihiro very nearly threw his bento box at him. . not.what they see. Doumeki's gaze drifted down to his teacup.
Top to bottom = friendly -. He stood with his booted feet apart and his . arms.Hands (weapons) to top to bottom = fearful/threatened THAT'S how it should appear on the page because THAT'S how it will appear in your readers' imaginations. in the order that the eye notices them. not even college. that action ALWAYS comes first. -.In that order. (walking. Face. twiddling a pencil. In order to make my stories crystal clear in my readers' imaginations. etc…) or the feet. hands. Go to the mall. such as a hand (grasping. when describing a character. Description allows the reader to step into your characters' skin and become a participant in the story. hair. Next. then over all impression. you add depth perception. I describe them from top to bottom. <-. legs. Pay close attention to what you notice first then next. PLUS in the order that the eye sees it. the way one writes fiction is almost the complete opposite of everything I learned in school about writing. slapping. I write in precise Chronological Order. Case in point. etc…) When someone is doing an action. and tightened his full mouth. UNLESS a body part is doing an action. His shoulders were stiff with tension under his dirty white t-shirt. feet. someone who can hear and see what's going on like a movie. Try it yourself.not just what they thought about it. jumping. running. Instead of the reader merely being an observer. watch a movie and look at how the camera pans across someone. kicking. and LOOK at the people around you. His red hair spilled in messy finger-combed spikes across his brow and down his back. then lower body.Bottom to top = sexual -. Once you add Description to your Dialogue and Action. narrowed his green eyes. upper body. In fact. or any other place where people gather.Example: He flipped up his middle finger. -. Get it? Got it? GOOD! Enjoy! On Basic Sentence Structure for Fiction (Grammar Nazis BEWARE!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything I ever learned about writing Fiction DIDN'T come from school. in the order events actually happen.
These are all the reasons why it's important." The Evil "As. See the difference? One of the greatest enemies of fiction that one is actually taught in school is the use of the word: "as. 3."As" means. What happened after. Tell them in detail. Essays are NOT written in Chronological order. -. This is why it's important to You. Tell them why you told them." Unfortunately. What happened next.Example: ." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In school. Essay: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1." -.jean-clan knees slightly bent as though braced for a punch. This is Important! 2. And yet… -. 2. rather in the same way as you would use "and. they're written in order of Impact. 3. Story composition: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. What happened first. "as" doesn't quite work the same way as an "and" in fiction. Tell them what you're going to tell them. -. "this happened next. This is because the basic composition of an Essay <-. "things that happened simultaneously. Essay composition: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.what they teach you to write in class. 2."And" means. The only things that can actually be counted as simultaneous in written fiction are groups of things. they teach you that "as" is a word used to connect fragments of sentences together. isn't anything like the composition of a Story.Writing in chronological order means that your sentence structure can't always conform to the 'proper grammar' rules. 3." In Fiction NOTHING is truly simultaneous because the eye READS only one thing at a time.
-. then reset their imagination. Every time this happens. In fact. However. He scratched his head thoughtfully. very. The vampire crouched over his victim. they'll avoid anything else you write. it makes your story more Work than Fun to read.") Edit: I'm not saying that simultaneous events CAN'T be written. the only place an "as" belongs is at the BEGINNING of a sentence. some readers will not only drop your story. never to read it again. it's that using "as" is not the way to do it.All the soldiers marched. 2. very. the reader has to stop. Why does this matter? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. .Example: The vampire scratched his head thoughtfully as he crouched over his victim. -.In fiction.Example: As all the soldiers marched. What went wrong? -. That's bad. Any group of events listed in one sentence are generally perceived as happening all at the same time -. As far as I'm concerned.until you get to the "and". the word "as" usually marks where a sentence has gone Out of Chronological Order. A word that marks that something has gone terribly wrong in my sentence structure. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ See? Where "As" goes WRONG… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I consider "as" a red flag word. (And I didn't even need an "as. Do this enough times and your reader will stop reading your story to go find something easier to imagine. Think: Which actions actually happened first? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. BAD. The chronological way to write this would be: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The vampire crouched over his victim AND scratched his head thoughtfully.A sentence Out of Chronological Order means that the reader has to Stop Reading to reset their mental movie of your story. In short. they should still be listed in the order in which they happened so as to make the reader's VISION of the whole event crystal clear. reread. the drums and fifes played.
~~~~~~~~~~~ . angrily flattened his ears. 2.Example: The werewolf flattened his ears angrily as he faced the hunter.One more time: The werewolf faced the hunter and angrily flattened his ears. If "and" doesn't read right in your sentence. 2. ~~~~~~~~~~~ "And" doesn't quite work there. If you need a second "and. does it? What's wrong? -. Which actions actually happened first? ~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.How to Grammar Check for "as": ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do a Search/Replace substituting "as" for "and." -.As written. then the sentence is most likely Out of Chronological Order. ~~~~~~~~~~~ See what I mean? Rule of Thumb on the use of "AND": ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One "and" per sentence. -. -. and growled. so let's chop that out. He was angry. -. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Now the "he" doesn't fit. He flattened his ears. The werewolf faced the hunter. ~~~~~~~~~~~ -." then go back and read through your entire work." pull out the first one and use a comma.Search/Replace: The werewolf flattened his ears angrily and he faced the hunter.Example with comma: The werewolf faced the hunter. that sentence implies that the werewolf flattened his ears THEN faced the hunter -which is Not what happened.Adjusted: The werewolf faced the hunter and he angrily flattened his ears. or use "then.
. Believe me. gleaned from one of his critiques.Fiction should ALWAYS be written in Chronological Order. was also a literary critic. 4) All done that should be done. 3) With words restrained in style and tone. a short story should be structured: 1) To be read in one sitting. then growled. to the fullest extent. even when the grammar rules say that you don't have to for your readers' Visual CLARITY. and lunged." replace all but the last with commas. -. These are bits of his wisdom on writing short stories. He lunged and snapped. 2) Using a deliberate number of characters and incidents.Example: The werewolf faced the hunter.-. by the means most advantageously applicable…" -. angrily flattened his ears." then it's time to cut it into two separate sentences. with nothing done which should not be.Example: The werewolf faced the hunter. growled. ~~~~~~~~~~~ If you need three "ands. ~~~~~~~~~~~ In Conclusion… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. -. angrily flattened his ears. celebrated as one of the finest short fiction writers of all time.Poe Poe's Prerequisites -.Example with "then": The werewolf faced the hunter. ~~~~~~~~~~~ If you need more than three "ands. angrily flattened his ears.in a Nutshell: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To deliver fullest satisfaction. and growled. "The true critic will but demand that that the (story's) design intended be accomplished.1837 Edgar Allen Poe. they'll appreciate it! Enjoy! Essentials of a Short Story ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Quotes raped from a critique of Nathanial Hawthorn's Twice Told Tales by Edgar Allen Poe .
If his very initial sentence tends not to the out-bringing of this effect. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Were we bidden to say how the highest genius (of the short story) could be most advantageously employed for the best display of (the short story's) own powers. we should answer." – Poe Translation: -. (15. then he has failed in his first step. this means no more than 15k.Poe's Prerequisites -. "What do you mean by…purpose?" -. but having conceived.Plot with a Purpose in mind. a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out. and only that purpose. he then invents such incidents. with deliberate care. a Premise.) 20k. and write your story to carry out that purpose. are counted as 250 words per page. he has not fashioned his thoughts to accommodate his incidents. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2) Using a deliberate number of characters and incidents.he then combines such events as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect. If wise. If you're writing a novel you can add other 'purposes'.000 words) or 20 NY publishing formatted pages.How much can YOU read in an hour or two? THAT'S how long a short story should be. on an 8. is considered a Novella." – Poe Translation: -. but when you're writing a short story you don't have the room for more than one. (60 pages at 12 point courier font. or 80 NY publishing formatted pages. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "A skillful literary artist has constructed a tale.in the composition of a rhymed poem. (5. without hesitation. According to most publishers. not to exceed in length what might be perused in an hour.in DETAIL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A short story should be structured: 1) To be read in one sitting.5" by 11" page with 1" margins.Very simply… What are you SAYING with your story? What are you trying to Show or Prove? • The reality of Love? – Romeo & Juliet • The pain of Jealousy? – Othello • The results of Revenge? – Hamlet .000 words) or 60 NY publishing formatted pages. regardless of actual word count. Magazine publishers tend to look for 5k stories.
revealing the character's talents and setting.Julius Caesar Plotting is essential in all forms of fiction for cohesion.Confessions. ending in hope or ruin -.Happily ever after…? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3) Using words restrained in style and tone. it can be a short list of just the important bits: A Plot Arc ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Introduction Early trouble. such as: a beginning. -.crisis after crisis -.Motives & all other angsty secrets are uncovered. a STORY.• The path of Ambition? . and an end.Boy meets Girl.Does it fit with the theme of what you are trying to accomplish? •If it does – GREAT! Is there enough room for it? (What kind of word-count limit are you dealing with?) •If it doesn't – GREAT! You have the makings of a whole new story! (Chop it out and make a whole new document file just for it. and begging for forgiveness… Denouement Resolution -. revealing the REAL problem. bad-guys in general… Falling Action All plot threads unravel leaving only one solution.Something happens that REALLY pisses one of them off such as misunderstandings. -. Side-tracked by a really cool subplot? -. (Adversary meets Proponent…) Rising Action Increasing tension . . -.One succeeds in seducing/defeating the other. forced seductions. Plotting ensures that your story has all the important bits that make a story.) However. It keeps you from missing something vital – or putting something in that does not belong. fights. Confrontation Final choice. Plotting does NOT have to be a chapter by chapter outline. Climax / Reversal Point of highest tension & the story's turning point. rivals. a middle.
For Beauty can be better treated in the poem. They not only want to SEE it. lust.two at the most. joy. the average book-store browsing Reader (or the fan-fiction reader. they're used to their stories being action packed. texture. view – "I stared with horror at the dilapidated. sound.and compete with the next program they plan to watch. they want to FEEL it too -. TV-addict readers are trained (by their TV-watching. only the college-heavy teacher-types read literary prose for pleasure.) to be VISUALLY stimulated. or a multitude of such other points. directly to the point. love. Think I'm kidding? In this very article. Why? Because in this day and age. so every word must count! Description should be trimmed down to: • Distinct nouns rather than vague nouns . misery – "The bitter ache in my weary heart…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . the average Buying Reader reads with a TVWatcher's attention span (about the same as a 12-year old). taste. Unlike Poe's readers. ALL of your readers grew up watching TV.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "The author who aims at the purely beautiful in a prose tale is laboring at great disadvantage. • 1 Adjective per Distinct Noun – The red Toyota • 2 Adjectives per Sensation – smell. Actual programs are an hour ." • 2 Adjectives per Emotion – anger. As a rule.Our modern-day. Not so with terror. DESCRIPTION is a MUST in Modern Fiction! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.Hunks of sweeping. or passion. red Toyota. no matter what genre you write. or horror. emotionally blissed-out.How long is a TV program? Sit-coms are half an hour. Everybody else (the BUYING public) reads pulp fiction. how many of you have been skipping over Poe's literaryheavy quotes to get to the Translations? (Rhetorical Question! You are not expected to answer!) Seriously. and expect enough description to be able to make those mind-pictures crystal clear – AND emotionally visceral." – Poe Translation: -.Toyota instead of car.) does not have the patience to read fancy prose.but they don't have much of an attention span. Because of this. How much can YOU read in that amount of time? That's how short. How short? -. These readers PICTURE their stories as they read them. Your story has to fit into a TV-program slot -. text is generally SKIPPED in favor of: "What happens next?" The only place for fancy words is in Description. and SHORT.
"If a mysterious artifact is shown in the living room in Chapter One. the mysterious artifact had better cause chaos by Chapter Three – and there had better be a damned good reason for that chaos to happen. and 15. event….000 words. If the character trait or object does not matter to the plot – skip it. a picture is at length painted which leaves in the mind of him who contemplates it with a kindred art. direct or indirect. And by such means."If a gun is shown on the mantelpiece in Chapter One. This is more commonly known as: The "Gun on the Mantelpiece" rule of Fiction: -. 3) For a TV-watcher's visually oriented (12-year old) attention span. If that detail has no bearing on the plot." Applied to Sci-Fi: -. is whether or not you intend to actively USE it. is not to the one pre-established design.Make every character.4) All done that should be done --With nothing done which should not be. do double duty."If a Kiss is shown in the living room in Chapter One." –Poe Translation: -. you don't need it. Make that piano. Sex better happen by Chapter Three – and there had better be a damned good reason for that Sex to happen. or a piano in the living room." The trick to knowing what to include in any story. or that sex scene IMPORTANT to the story. so the only details that you need are what actually changes the plot -.even character details.) you don't need to include it.000. and a Point in mind. object. If it doesn't Actively MOVE the Plot. (even a teeny bit." Applied to Romance: -. Make something happen because they had sex. of which the tendency. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Poe's Prerequisites – Translated ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. it better go off by Chapter Three – and there had better be a damned good reason for that gun to go off. 2) With a Beginning. . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "In the whole composition there should be no word written. End.A short story should be Plotted: 1) Between 5. Make something happen because they played the piano. Middle. The shorter the story the LESS room you have to work with. with such care and skill. a sense of the fullest satisfaction. Don't just throw something in the story for decoration like a sex scene.
.. the readers either love them or hate them.. Interestingly enough. Usually by either those seeking to deal with such an emotion. the scanlated Japanese novellas that I've been reading seem to be almost . loss.Curious Kitty ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A note on: -. http://bau2. it is notable that the internal monologue stories that are sought out most frequently tend to focus on a profound emotion of some kind: grief. they are also looking for a solution.from my observations and experimentation. by Edgar Allen Poe. rather than a whole story told in monologue form. as a kind of therapy. heartache.Interior Monologues ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Whether you are considering adding a lengthy monologue to a story.) I'm an escapist by nature. Go Here to read the entire critique. (You really don't want the hate mail that will come when the readers are left hanging. or by those that have never felt such emotions. a way back out from under these feelings. an action scene flavored by internal narration. long passages of reflection?" . I prefer my emotional deep thoughts mixed in with the character doing something. grief. so dwelling on them (reading long emotional passages.. There's no in-between. or intend the monologue to be the story itself where the focus of the entire story is on one character's thoughts and feelings with very little action -. Being older (in my 40's.html Enjoy! "I was just wondering what you think about interior monologues.4) Using only what is needed to make your point. and complete the story. on a far too personal basis. not only does the reader seek to submerge themselves in these profound emotions. so I fall into the other category -.uibk. (Strong emotional stories are extremely popular among young adults. one shouldn't try to tackle something like this unless one already has a solution to the story problem in mind.) In both cases.ac.those that can only handle interior monologues in extremely tiny doses. heartache. loneliness. death.) isn't something I'm comfortable with.) I've actually had to deal with these sorts of emotions. In other words.at/sg/poe/works/criticis/twice_to. However.
go back and put in all the rest. a beta-reader is your best bet at seeing where you skipped something. the Subaru. or merely a sign of the scanlators' preferences. Instead of: the door.. Enjoy! Tricks for Writing DESCRIPTION ------------. I'm always too intent on what my characters are thinking. However. However. the Victorian cottage. the . the sword.. or doing. you just might want to consider sprinkling bits of light action among your passages of deep thought to keep it from dragging down the pace you've already set for your story. the tree. Write: the French doors." -. the robe. If you're writing a story steeped in emotional upswings such as a Romance. the hat. the claymore.Original Message ----------"I think the biggest problem I have is lack of detail. or about to do to remember to add the details necessary to paint a really clear picture of where they are and their environment.Use a Specific Noun rather than a simple and vague noun to automatically pop in description. the car.Wanna Rite Reel Gud The way to deal with that is by writing what you can. In Conclusion… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When deciding whether or not your monologue is appropriate for what you are writing. the oak.solid immersions into emotion with action sprinkled in to give it a sense of motion -. but other than the general surroundings. consider your target Reading Audience. so there's no way to tell of this is a common Japanese style. They're chosen for their appeal to the English-reading folks scanlating the story. one should take into account that scanlations are extremely subjective. the house. Also. I can see things in my head. in situations like this. When you're done. if you're writing something with lots of action such as an Adventure. As for What to describe and How Much to describe… Getting the IMAGE on Paper ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Avoid Simple Nouns: . lengthy monologues steeped in strong emotions will probably fit right in. the yukata.even if the motion is merely circular.
Taste.Her expensively tailored scarlet Kaspar suit Soldiers . The glaringly red French doors.His shimmering black Armani suit . for many scenes.The red-coated British soldier .moderation. the nubby white dishcloth. the creamy bite of yogurt..Sight.Literature Aficionado Absolutely! Using a direct noun with only one or two adjectives can create an entire image.The run-down Victorian mansion .The Roman centurion . ------------. give soldiers rifles or spears depending on the era and place.ADD an Adjective to a specific Noun.The gleaming steel and glass skyscraper . One adjective per Noun: .are all perceived through the senses." -.The rustic Japanese sukiya cottage The Not-So Dreaded -ly and –ing Words: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ .Adjectives give your objects and locations emotional flavor and impact. Texture.Every once in a while you will hear someone whine that you shouldn't use words that end in –ly . the blood-stained yukata. Adjectives are your Friend! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . the gleaming claymore. the quaint Victorian cottage. the rusty Subaru. The ornate French tapestry.moderation .Original Message ----------".The towering Chinese pagoda . The trick is not to over-do it! Moderation .fedora. Sound.The woad-painted Celtic warrior . Members of a corporate meeting: . They will garb members of a corporate meeting in dark suits.. Still. and so on.I think that particularly striking or important items deserve a few sentences to sketch them in and give the appropriate details. the gray fedora. Two adjectives per Sensation: . most readers have enough 'stock imagery' in their memories to supply a working interpretation..The Viking Buildings .. Scent . the pungent musk of wet dog. the seductively throbbing jazz.
assailing. onslaught. offensive. strike. where do you get those passionate words? From Trained Professionals: Other Writers.attack. and other boring. charging. education-related. incursion.If you can find another word that says the same thing without ending in -ly. then use what you have.grammar that was intended for NON-Fiction. invasion. salacious humor carnal gratification languorous bliss shrieking culmination disconcerting stimulation brutal carnal rapture exquisite torment lustful cravings irresolute yearning skittish laughter (It's Not plagiarism unless you are copying whole paragraphs word for word. The "No -ly or –ing Words" rule DOES NOT APPLY to Fiction! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . Fiction THRIVES on description. texture. If you can't.) I also dug through my thesaurus and made another list of all the adjectives I use over and over and over. onset.. description-less. The "No -ly or –ing words!" whiners are usually the same people that say: "Don't use Adjectives!" Think people. sight. Assault . advancing.or -ing. I pulled out my favorite trashy novels and hunted down phrases that really caught my attention and then I made a list of all the PRETTY words. scent…. .This rule comes from Basic School Grammar . ruinous. inundated. taste. Making the Reader FEEL the Passion -. violation. tempestuous. overwhelmed.Sensually-Descriptive words are the key to Passionate and Romantic fiction. If it implies a Sense: sound.. you're halfway there! So. such as reports. Still Feeling Guilty? . or business-related writing that doesn't require description. use it. aggressive. how the heck are you supposed to describe something without adjectives? You CAN'T.Make the prose PURPLE! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . essays.
Original Message ----------"I'm surprised the purple prose avocation didn't have people up in arms.aching. sublime. resplendent. Oscar the Grouch is not going to see . serious. a word here or there." -. caustic. dreadful. charming. urgent. alluring. dire. severe. vulnerable. divine. but I think there's a difference between bad/overly done purple prose and vivid description. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Looking for an Online thesaurus? http://thesaurus. appealing. biting.reference. marvelous.) of Yoda is not going to resemble Luke Skywalker's. terrible. exquisite. pleasing. sensitive. wicked. delicate. agonizing. terrible. threatening.admirable. Purple prose is a lot like candy.alarming. Darth Vader's opinion (and description. splendid. mortal. inflamed.a field of roses the same way as Big Bird. fascinating. Dangerous .com/ Thesaurus. radiant.DESCRIBE IT! Picture the scene in your head like a movie. Used in tiny amounts. enticing. treacherous. arduous. grievous.Description should always reflect the OPINION of the Viewpoint Character. graceful. dazzling.Com Just put the word you use too often in the search bar and pick a new one from the list that pops up! ------------. sharp. distressing. delightful. extreme. Rule of Thumb #3: . formidable.it belongs on the page. burning. malignant. grand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How & When to Describe It: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rule of Thumb #1: -. menacing. elegant. fatal. throbbing. ravishing.or describe . can add emotional punch to an otherwise clinically dry scene.The moment the Viewpoint Character notices it -. angelic. precarious. Rule of Thumb #2: -. impending.Fan-fiction Writer I think the main problem with purple prose is when it goes on to the point of being ridiculous. raw. That's normally frowned upon here. piercing. tender. bewitching. magnificent. If it shows up in your scene .Beautiful . pressing. perilous. nasty. Painful . excruciating. gorgeous. tormenting. awful. critical. Too much and it will make you sick to your stomach. stunning.
In most sci-fi's and fantasies. every new place they arrive at . every new view.Every time the scenery changes: every new room. No more than 60 words max. Note: Fantasy Characters should get the opportunity to show off the full extent of their powers at least once because those powers are Relevant to who that character is. such as keeping to specific nouns. Rule of Thumb #4: . then describe it in loving detail. * If it's only incidental.. than only the tiniest sketch is needed. so the reader can see it. If your story is based in the normal world. How do you tell what's relevant & what's not? How IMPORTANT is it to the story? Will this object/setting/character matter later? * If it's Important.gets described. rain has more of an immediate effect on characters than would sunshine . Note: Fantasy and Sci-Fi Require MORE description. because that's about how much the average person can catch in a single look. Locations get 30 words max. but aren't in the normal world. A small clue here and there. Location Changes . The rest of the details should be mixed in between the actions and dialogue as the character gets a better look around.Every new scene should open with a snapshot of description that details the stage the action is about to happen in.Limit your detailed descriptions to stuff that is Relevant. For example. . you don't need to keep describing them -.such as things that are possible in a Fantasy setting. WHAT to Describe: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Scenery .but you have to continue to add more description as the characters move through the world.unless they're a vampire. then the setting only matters in their immediate location and how it affects them directly. . and experience it too.splice it into your Action.Moderation! Moderation! Moderation! Once you have described a setting or a person thoroughly. will do. the otherworldly SETTING is just as important as the characters because the differences between Fantasy & Reality actually affect the plot -. and only the characters are fantastic. The snapshot at the beginning of every scene is still the same length (60 words) . and vice versa. If you need more than that to describe your setting .unless they change.
I would have never bought and read the 'Yu Yu Hakusho' manga series or the 'Full Metal Alchemist' series if I hadn't first read some rather compelling fan-fiction. thread the rest in with the dialogue and action. THAT'S how you describe the people your character sees. No one resource will ever cover it all..com are for.Original Message ----------"While it may be convenient and easy to describe someone from head to toe every time.Original Message ----------"It's also a good idea to visit a place that is similar to the scene of the happenings.Word Scholar Nothing can replace first-hand experience for describing something.Think of how you see characters in a movie -. It implies that the person being viewed is an OBJECT. but when I'm reading a story. Start at the top and describe down.Literature Aficionado No argument there.Original Message ----------- . if you can of course. only tiny reminders are needed. ------------. You can't well describe something you don't have an idea of. but then that's what browsers such as Google.YES! YES! YES! I don't know about you.the way that the camera pans across the characters. ------------. However. Journal blogs written by travelers can also be a really good resource for those writing about places they have never experienced.. I wanna know whose head I'm in as soon as I'm in that head! And I want to know what that person LOOKS LIKE! (Damn it. If you need more than three sentences. People get three whole sentences max. it's a good idea to describe the characters and their settings at least ONCE.Yes or No? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Describing the Viewpoint Character . After that.) NEVER assume that the person reading your story is familiar with the fandom! For example.." -. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ People . but one should never underestimate the power of the Internet." -. their feelings are of no consequence to the viewer.. preferably when the POV character first lays eyes on them. it gets dull after the second or third such 'shot'. Just about any place in the world is available for your viewing pleasure from photographs and interactive panoramas to maps and floor plans. Bottom to Top description implies that the Body is more important than the Mind.------------.
The cloth was to keep from accidentally frightening anyone when he invoked his beast and his third eye became visible. He dragged on the black y-back muscle shirt. He zipped the fly but left it unbuttoned at the waist. It was one of the few shirts that would allow for his wings. black hair. if that's all you have then use it. he wound the scarlet cloth around his head to cover his brow. In this style the story-teller is a character too. or other reflective surfaces. Carefully. easing the tension in his limbs. It was as though nothing had happened. This includes their own appearance. eventually. Blood and hell. scarlet bandanna. As the character goes through the motions of whatever he happens to be doing. soothing his mind. . as energy rather than matter. He smeared the steam from the mirror on the back of the facility door. It would go away. Each new Action brings other parts of the character into focus until you've described the whole character -." -. or that. Try to avoid using mirrors. Only if you are using an omniscient POV. such as in the Lemony Snicket books. He turned his back on the mirror. but sparingly! Rather than describe the character in one lump paragraph. they 'notice' this part of them selves. No visible changes.Fan-fiction Writer Actually it SHOULDN'T be.. it felt good to be back in clothes. This technique has seen far too much use and abuse even by professional authors. strictly.his usual appearance. He flexed his fingers. then stepped into his butter soft black leather pants. scarlet eyes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Describing the Viewpoint Character. black clothes -. The "story-teller/ fairy-tale" style of writing is completely different.".Vincent picked up his leather glove. He stared at his reflection. calming his heart except for one small corner that ached. The ONLY one who should be noticing anything and have an opinion on what is being viewed should be the viewpoint character. It was nice having full use of his hand again. Oddly. because of the way his third eye perceived the world. He slid his left hand into the fine leather and smoothed the sleeve up his forearm. and they were there".without bogging down the story. and express an opinion. basically written with no emotional impact at all. the Camera's Eye viewpoint should those descriptions be cut and dried. However. the technique I prefer to describe my POV character is to have the character DOING something. Quiet wafted through him. "this is this..I'd like to emphasize that you wrote "viewpoint character" since that's different than when the thing or person is first introduced. the eye had no problems seeing right through the cloth. not bothering to move his long black hair out of the way. He pulled on some black jockeys. EXAMPLE: from DIABOLIC -.
He slid his padded arm into the armored sleeve and set the spaulder on his shoulder joint." Cloud dropped his chin and his eyes narrowed. He slid his left arm into the sleeve. He buckled the back panel to each side panels at the very bottom. He drew the front of the padded jacket across and buckled it closed on his right side. He didn't want to spread his wings wide in front of Cloud. Hopefully. . refusing to meet Cloud's angry blue gaze. and half his height in width. He'd clearly just gotten out of bed. It was kind of sweet." He'd hoped that Cloud had gone back to Midgar. "I escaped. The end. Vincent very nearly smiled.. "Vincent.He set the towel around his neck. He picked up the towel around his neck and set to scrubbing at his damp hair. each wing spread fully his height and a half in length. The farmhouse was Cid's technically. Cloud. Cloud would take the hint that he didn't want to talk about it. However. back to Tifa and the children he'd chosen to watch over. Although invisible to the average human eye. The jacket was strictly a layer of padding for his armor and stopped right at the bottom of his ribcage. leaving the clawed hand gauntlet on the bed. "Care to tell me what happened?" Vincent strode to the foot of his bed and picked up the single-sleeved leather gambeson jacket. on the other hand. and opened the facility door. "It was a personal matter.. The kid worried. his brows were low over his neon blue eyes. and his arms were crossed. Cloud's lip curled. "Thank you. his lips were drawn in a tight thin line." His words were soft. However. it was really obvious that you were kidnapped. He didn't want to take the chance that Cloud's physical enhancements would make out that something was there. His gaze flicked to Cloud's then dropped." He looked away giving his complete attention to fastening the chest harness that supported the entire articulated arm. "Welcome back. turning his spiked blond hair to soft gold. a place to stop over on their way to other destinations. seemed to assume that his friends' problems were his problems too. Cid made a lot of noise. it was pretty much their personal way-station. "No?" Vincent shrugged to settle the loose back panel between his folded wings. "No. but Cloud was the last person he wanted involved in this. Any of them could be there at any given time. Sitting just outside of Midgar. but he wasn't one to actually pry. Wishful thinking on his part." "Personal. It wasn't a smile.. Cloud was sitting on the edge of Vincent's bed facing the facility door. he hadn't expected Cloud to still be there. but vehement. his hair wasn't completely dry.sordid affair. He offered Cloud a quick smile. The kid knew too much about him as it was.. but it was an open house to the whole team. Early morning sunlight poured through the window on the right. "You were gone for three whole days!" Vincent lifted his articulated arm with its chest harness. back to his new courier business. He was dressed in loose black sweatpants and a sleeveless gray sweatshirt.?" Cloud choked." Vincent stiffened only slightly.
"He is most definitely dead. when I was a beginning writer of Smut.but I hadn't ended it right. and the crux of the whole problem. almost feline in nature. "What did he want from you?" Vincent lifted his clawed gauntlet. DESCRIPTION ~ NOT just for pretty Pictures.. and then lower arm vambrace. "World of Grim Darkness" werewolf erotica story. Cloud was clearly in the mood to be stubborn and wasn't about to take hints. Then one day I got a lovely letter gushing on how much they liked my story.as an erotic Comedy! Talk about your total author disillusionment. His cheeks heated." Vincent snorted. Where was the punch line? The PUNCH LINE?! Yes.!" Cloud lunged off the bed and paced along the side of the bed on bare feet. ." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yes. my serious "World of Grim Darkness" werewolf erotica had been completely misinterpreted . Vincent. His movements were smooth and economic. However. I DID use a mirror in this snippet. I got a lot of letters telling me so. "Is he dead?" His voice deepened. You will hear many people say that describing a character in First-person POV is difficult. fellow writers. Sephiroth had been dead to begin with. If he'd actually been a cat his tail would have lashed angrily.. It's no more difficult than describing them in Third-person Close POV. I wrote a kick ass. He gave his arm a shake to make sure the elbow couter settled in the right spot. It was so funny! They went into detail explaining exactly how pleased they were and how witty my story was in so many places . He adjusted the straps to his upper arm rerebrace. WARNING! ~ Missing descriptive cues can cause: Author Angst! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once upon a time. All the same techniques apply. that was only to describe Vincent's eye color and hair color. I had a right to think the story kicked ass. The rest of his physical description was handled by the act of getting dressed WHILE he spoke with Cloud. Actually. He stopped and glared. "He wanted something I wasn't willing to give. He slid his leather-gloved hand into the armored hand and worked the buckles that held it to the underside of his vambrace."Damn it." Vincent sighed. A new body. "Tell me you killed him. It was the absolute truth. And my body too.
(Sigh. Translation: You could tell the whole story with ONLY these Three Characters.counter to their true feelings.. the Ally -. perhaps not with any real detail. though seldom named is a Third character. if not always.the Companion to the Hero or Villain .) but I had left too many other cues out. There may be any number of side characters..) the main conflict is usually.. I didn't have enough of the POV character's feelings displayed through inner dialogue or body-language cues for the reader to pick up what I was really trying to show. If this advice does not agree with your style of writing. but you could still do the entire basic plotline. In Conclusion. by all means. THREE Characters? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'm sure you're familiar with the names Hero & Villain or Antagonist & Protagonist already. and Romances of every stripe (erotic or not. always there. take what you can use and ignore the rest. to this reader that my characters were speaking sarcastically ... I DON'T make that mistake any more. (a trademark in all my stories. a TRIANGLE of complimentary opposites.This misinterpretation happened because I had written strong sarcastic dialogue. However.The description word counts limits I include in here are meant to be GUIDELINES not exact amounts. For the record. 'kay? Advanced CHARACTER Creation ~ for Fiction Hero ~ Villain ~ Ally ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are three essential characters in every story. but in traditional Adventures.) And that's how I learned the most important rule of fiction: What CAN be Misinterpreted WILL be Misinterpreted. DESCRIPTION is the Only way to get your imagination across to the Reader. In short. Those are pretty darn standard. It was not apparent at all. and for those looking for a few short-cuts to jump-start their writing. -. Enjoy! ~~~~~~~~~~~ DISCLAIMER: These instructions are intended for Beginners. According to my current fan letters.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you want your readers to see exactly what you saw when you envisioned your story.
usually by needing to be rescued. When dealing with a story with a large cast. PLOT. they were known as the Victim. they change places at Every Scene Change ~ BUT ~ each scene still only contains. That doesn't mean you can't have other characters. three main characters. the Longer the Story. generally by getting in the way. though it's rare. you are in effect creating a whole new story that MUST be concluded IN ADDITION to your lead characters' story. the Ally is also the story's narrator. and tons of movies. the nay-sayer that presents an opposing view to both the Hero and the Villain. Main Characters: Hellsing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Protagonist: Alucard Antagonist: Sir Integra Hellsing Ally: Seras. those are the parts they play. Here's the tricky part. Memorize this: The Larger the Cast. (often a younger sibling). the three characters swap out. In ALL cases. all you need is an Ally. if you already have a Main Character and a Villain. Okay… So. the Ally's fate turns the plot at the Climax. you need to keep the story focused on your main three characters. Sir Integra plays the Protagonist and Alucard the Ally. In Romances. Alucard plays the Protagonist and Seras the Ally (and narrator of the scene. when Alucard & Seras Victoria are in a scene together. The Ally is the Obstacle Character who adds complications to the plot. when Sir Integra Hellsing and Alucard share a scene. this character is the Love Interest. However. this is the trouble-inducing Best Friend or Interfering Relative. it just means that . In other words. In comic books. and more often than not. Victoria When these three Hellsing characters occupy a scene TOGETHER. the more plot-threads you'll need to tie up at the end. On the flip-side. they're the Side-kick. Whatever third character shows up usually plays the Antagonist.) with whatever third character being the Antagonist. In modern mainstream fiction. a trouble-maker to stir the pot…err. Confusing isn't it? It gets even more so when the cast is as large as that of Naruto. or the Viewpoint Character. Why is this so important? The more people you involve in your story. making matters worse for both the Hero and the Villain. or Lord of the Rings. This means that if you only plan to write a short story. every time you switch your triad of characters.The Invisible Character: the Ally ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Ally's function is to be the Middle-Man. In traditional fiction.
What is the worst thing that could happen to me? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The first question. how do you make them work together? By figuring out what makes each character tick… The Quick and Dirty Method: THREE QUESTIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Borrowed from Paperback Writer: http://pbackwriter. Example: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1 . Who am I and what do I do? 2.Give me control of a creature more monstrous than any monster out there -. Advanced Character Development Traits & Flaws ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . 1 . 1 . 3 . 2 . The second question.I am on a holy crusade to destroy the unholy monsters that prey on humans. What do I want? 3.I am an heiress and a Knight to my Queen.blogspot.those extra characters shouldn't contribute to the story as anything more than window-dressing or props. Once you decide on your Three Main Characters. 3 ." this should give you the big reversal. 2 .I want to save lives.Make me so monstrously insane I have to voluntarily choose to be enslaved by one who can control me. by combining the answers to "…the worst thing.Have me discover that the vampire that made me is dangerously insane. the story's darkest moment at the center of the story. 3 .I'm a Vampire that preys on other vampires.and make me like him as a person.com/ Have each of your three characters answer these three questions: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. 2 . "What do I want?" gives you their motives.I am a Cop that became a vampire. "Who am I?" should clue you in as to what each characters' greatest weakness is. This method works especially well when you have three excellent characters but you're not quite sure what kind of story you want to write for them. As for the third question.I want sanity.
use this character sheet for Each of your three main characters. Character Sheet ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Name: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Designation: "I am a…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Positive Trait: "I'm liked because…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Negative Trait: "I'm disliked because…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Ego flaw: "Makes me great yet could destroy me…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Ambition: "I want…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Motive: "I'm doing this because…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Internal Conflict: "I am troubled by…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • External Conflict: "I am thwarted by…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Secret: "I don't know or I am hiding…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Ordeal/Reversal: "Last thing I ever want to happen…?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Epiphany: "I will discover…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Bio: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . This method is particularly useful when you intend to write something the size of a novel.To thoroughly understand what makes your characters tick.
They can be fun and often fascinating. I freeze when I have to decide which way things are going to go. Both of these methods should prove handy to do just that whether you are working with known characters for a fan-fiction or creating new ones for something entirely original.. such as a movie character or actor. and warping them to suit your needs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The middle is DANGEROUS territory. middle. This was done deliberately.You'll notice that I left out some of the more obvious things found in most character sheets: jobs. In short: get you Lost in your own story. skills.. It's the Slough of Despond! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -----Original Message----The Middle is where I usually fizzle out. they never bring you anywhere close to where you plan to End. and how. and a million-and-one ways to really show off your writing skills. where you have a million-and-one opportunities to really screw up your story for good. you're free to use the SAME character in other stories under other names. In Conclusion… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The fastest way to make characters is by starting with a familiar character. Why? Because the Middle of a story is where you have a million-and-one options. Details and points of logic start tripping you up. You KNOW you're Lost when you hit that point where you're not sure what to do next. . situations. and points of view start evolving all by themselves. Opportunities that will send you spiraling into ever tightening circles that eventually jam you into a corner you can't get out of. but for some reason. By using a character sheet that maps out only the Heart and Mind of your character. middle. a million-andone directions to choose from. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -----Original Message----Middle. and other technical data. and that happens during the middle for me. physical descriptions. The Middle is also. Characters. Enjoy! The Trackless Wasteland known as: The MIDDLE -----Original Message----The middle (of a story) KILLS me.
but that's me. They could care less about how the author pissed themselves. it's Not Simple. answer privately and discreetly. right? "But what if it's already posted. Basically. If someone asks. I advise Finishing the story COMPLETELY -. weeks.before it gets You. and secrets such as the Master Bad Guy. No plot. is Choose a Destination -. it's very often PAINFUL. no outline. Basically. This type of Middle is most often seen in high adventure stories and comic books. Once you've figured out where you want to go. or months on simply because that stuff is no longer relevant to the End you have in mind. don't post a public apology! No one wants to read that crap! They're there to read a Story.and that's it. The Fastest way out of any wasteland. Okay. In cases like this. which kicks the story straight toward the climactic end. AKA: Writing by the Seat of their Pants. tear the whole thing down and repost the whole thing back up in one night.without posting! Then repost the whole thing in one shot. they plunked themselves down in front of their word processor and started writing -. no plan. So what do you do with all that text you no longer need? You SAVE it as its own document and use it later for its own story -. break out your trusty roadmap to figure out where you are and what major highways are closest to you that will take you there. especially a bogged down Middle. And for God's sake.a story you WILL have an end for before you begin this time. no? Actually no.You did plan an End right? The #1 Reason why writers lose themselves in the Middle is because they started writing without a solid idea of exactly where they wanted to END. The fallout from the glorious Middle event uncovers special powers. In fact. here are some ways to get through the MIDDLE -. Simple. like on a story site?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There's a reason I only post when I know the end is in sight -. and no clue about what direction they wanted their story to go in. Just about every comic-book movie that's come out has a huge Middle Confrontation that forces .an END. Choosing a destination when you're already halfway through often means hacking out huge reams of text you've spent days. The Confrontation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the huge dramatic Confrontation with plenty of special effects and narrow escapes that happens right at the very end of the Middle.
but in the Middle they take over to add important information and/or tools that kick the main characters straight for the Climax in the most entertaining fashion possible. Comic Relief ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Right there in the Middle. It was very common in the turn of the century stories. This invariably brings them to be noticed by the Master Bad Guy. They only have cameo shots elsewhere in the story. It's a little story wholly contained in the Middle designed to expose characters and situations that are vaguely relevant to the main plot. the Sudden Subplot generally introduces you to some new characters and/or a new threat. Once that's solved. Edna Mode of The Incredibles is one of the more obvious of these characters. The Star Wars movies ALL had a Sudden Subplot jammed in the middle.the main character to use their Special Powers. It's connected to the main story. The Mini Arc ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Mini Arc is a whole little storyline of its own plopped smack in the Middle. Contained completely in the Middle. Suddenly Sub-Plot ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Sudden Subplot is a watered-down version of the Mini-Arc. the main character leaves those characters and that situation behind to go on with the rest of the story. . a flamboyant new supporting character tromps out onto the stage. which in turn heads them straight toward the movie's climactic battle. Another example would be the mechanical genius that supplies James Bond with cool new gadgets right there in the center of the movie. the most infamous of the lot being the Pod Race in The Phantom Menace. Jane Austin's romances all have a central Mini Arc where another whole set of characters goes through their own romantic adventure with the main characters only slightly involved. but not used much in modern tales as it takes an awful lot of attention away from the main characters. Traditionally they're known as the Comic Relief character and most often seen in old-time theater and older movies. The Mini Arc is actually something of an antique style. JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series was pretty much a whole pile of Mini Arcs threaded together. but the focus shifts onto a different set of circumstances and characters. It's a situation that suddenly develops and has to be dealt with without actually being a major part of the story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Middle can be the most horrifying part of your story to deal with.though no one believes him. or more) for a big fan fiction or OC fiction.for bigger fictions (maybe 10-20 chapters. or captured only to have him escape.? -. ends up knowing a vital piece of information. the Middle can become the central Masterpiece that makes the whole thing worth reading. The methods I've listed are best chosen during the planning stages of your story.Wanna Rite Reel Gud ~~~~~~~~~~~~ How much do I plan out for one of my novels. the main characters make it to their goal -.. how much do you plan out?" -.. The Reversal ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Reversal is where the Worst Possible Scenario happens and everything goes to hell in a hand-basket. In Conclusion. Basically. I want to know the world so well. I can simply step into the mind and skin of my main character and LIVE the story. or accidentally gains the missing object that everyone is looking for -.. Seriously. In other words. . I believe in a Total Immersion style of writing.. but they can be applied after the fact with just as much success -. -----Original Message----". This type of Middle is most commonly seen in Horror stories where the monster is successfully killed only he's not dead. the Middle is where Costello has a whole scene to himself where in his fumbling he discovers who the real bad guys are. Enjoy! RESEARCH is your Best Friend. Only now. Not that any of that stops him from trying again and again. the monster is pissed off and goes directly after the main characters leading straight to the Climax...only to have their hard won victory snatched right out of their hands. Every single success that Indy has is not only taken from him it triggers a situation that he barely escapes with his life. but if you PLAN for it.In the old Abbot and Costello movies.I detail everything.as long as you don't mind taking a hack saw to your story.. The Reversal is damned near trademark for the Indiana Jones movies..
. Believe it or not." --I'll have to thrash out either a way around it or find a whole new location--or a new Time Period. TV shows. I sketch out the major support characters. I map out the LOCATIONS I intend to use. Sci-Fi's and Fantasies need moments of wonder.. so their actions/reactions will mesh in the way I intend. jobs. and/or TV shows were popular during that time. Next. I break down each of the Three Main Characters: Hero/Ally/Villain. (Ahem. plus a few other less than savory--and still hotly debated--skirmishes in Korea. I seriously thought about writing a story that took place in Early-Industrial Japan. plays. This gives me a rough plot outline to work from. songs. and what I've based their personality on. check out your Mom's or your Dad's high school years. Now consider how much those thing STILL influence you today? (If you're still in school.? Weather and social conditions are vitally important because these conditions will make or break all the plot points caused by Setting. Just names. Then I discovered that Japan was in and out of war with Russia and China that whole period because of WWI.? I start with a basic plot formula and extrapolate on certain points as needed. (Scorpio and an INTJ?) or who. Gothics need psychological breakdowns. on that day. Then there was the Kanto Earthquake and hundreds of massive city-wide fires. songs and Movies were out during that time. movies... I also look up the four years they were in High School (if it existed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is to make sure that they are 'psychologically' in sync with the Plot and Each Other. If one location won't work-. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Location Research is especially important if I'm writing a Historical piece. Case in point. Horrors need room for monster attacks. read: Advanced CHARACTER Creation If I'm doing a Historical. Think I'm kidding? Look up your own high school years and check out what books... Did riots break out the summer my story happens? Was there a killing snowstorm that winter? Droughts? Floods? Fires.. their Justice . I begin by researching the NEWS local to that area.. That their personalities will clash nicely."Oops.. there's a riot on that street..) and check out what books. Also. physical descriptions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Romance needs extra doses of lover's angst. (Riddick under a new name?) Why not detail the Support characters too? Because I don't want to find myself attached to a character that ISN'T who the story is about. The results will be shocking!) Once I get my main characters down. Then. those are the most common foundational points in most people's personality.How do I do that. Quakes.) For more details on this. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don't go into detail on them.
. You name it. -. Could you imagine how different the world would have been if it had come into use back in the 1800's? It also pays to know what current science says is possible in the future. Did you know that the earliest computer was designed in 1837? It was called The Difference Engine and it ran without electricity.etc... Shamanism. it's simply a matter of taking notes on the mundane details of whatever location I plan to use. inventions. Shintoism. In the course of writing. It's frikken HUGE but it quite literally covers Everything. because of the expense to make it--each gear had to be precision made--only a small model was built of it back then. it's out there only a Google search away. an Education system.? How many hours in a day. Did you know that a form of anti-gravity already exists? I normally find major inspiration during these research sessions.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If I'm doing a Sci-Fi or SteamPunk. Next is GENRE SPECIFIC Research. Buddhism. . Also needed is a political system and history for that country or set of countries for that last 200 years--or more.. and just about every mythological creature out there. It was gear-driven.. And then.? (Is there a moon on this planet--or two?) How long is a year? Then comes. or a month. For those of you who don't have a ready personal library. more than a little after it's time. but if I'm writing a fantasy.system was NOT Just. -. For ALL the gory details on making your own world from scratch. I take one last look at my plot outline then set it aside and begin to write. days in a week. If I'm doing a Paranormal or Fantasy story.Since I've got quite a home library on these subjects. some plot points will work and some won't. and/or magic system. If you didn't--you weren't. I do Mythology. it was waaaaaaaaay. Then there's the WORLD. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If I'm using this world. I do Invention and Science research. A full-sized working Engine was finally built in 1991. this is just a matter of pulling a book from a shelf.) In short. a money system. what occupations are available. Sometimes a whole new character will step onstage and become the Ally to the main character or the Villain INSTEAD of the one I mapped out.. (If you had money.. a medical system. Sadly. or sci-fi.. Magic and Paranormal research. Satanism. demons. There are almost as many sites on magic too: Wicca. I suggest: Patricia C. you were innocent.. too much work to thread my little story in the middle of that mess. Some locations won't offer quite the right atmosphere I intended for a scene.? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After all that is done. angels. Wrede's Worldbuilder Questions.It always pays to know what actually existed during a certain time period. there are a million and one sites all over the 'net on ghosts.
When that happens, I take a few moments to extrapolate how such changes will affect the story. If the ending doesn't change--or a better one suddenly crops up, I go with it. I DON'T stick that hard to the plot outline. I change as needed to make the STORY better--not my ego, or worse, my Character's ego. And...that's pretty much it. Enjoy! High-Speed STORIES When you absolutely, positively, HAVE to get the story done. The trick to speed-writing is to Plan the story out first, more commonly known as PLOTTING. "Diabolic" was written in 30 days -- all 15 chapters at 2500 to 3000 words per chapter, adding up to around 80k (thousand) words. A novel is 90k to 100k. I was able to do this because I already knew my main characters really well, (Vincent and Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII,) and I knew where my story ENDED. Basically, once I knew where I wanted to go, all I had to do was figure out how to get there. Note: If you're interested, DIABOLIC can be found at Media Miner. The 'Search' feature is your friend! The plot outline I used only had 5 points: 1. Beginning - The Main Character gets involved with the Villain or Lover. 2. Complications - The situation worsens. 3. Emotional Turning Point - Panic Attack! Fear and/or Guilt vs. Desperation 4. Reversal - The worst possible thing that could happen -- happens. 5. Outcome - The absolute last thing the Main Character wants to do. If you can fill in these five slots, you can write any story. Seriously. Where did these five points come from? Basic Plotting. For those of you that have taken some writing or literature classes, does this look more recognizable? • Introduction • Conflict • Ordeal (Dark Moment) • Climax • Resolution
"Plot the story out…? But that's so … Uncreative!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EVERY story follows the same basic pattern, from Aristotle and Shakespeare to Underworld and Constantine. It's up to the individual author to do something Creative within that pattern, up to and including, going back and forth between points before progressing onto the next step. Also, just because you've plotted your story out doesn't mean you have to do exactly as planned. View it as a guide, a roadmap that tells you where you are verses where you want to be. There's absolutely no reason why you can't take alternate routes. "I could take this left-hand turn in Albuquerque…?" However, if you don't know where you want end up, right from the beginning, you'll NEVER get there.
High-Speed Plotting - The Magic Formula! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Answer these three questions FIRST! • Who, What, and Where I am I? (Your Main Character) • What I want? • The worst thing that could happen to me? (Borrowed from PaperbackWriter: http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/) Okay, now that you know have some idea of where you're going, answer these questions to get there. 1. Beginning The Main Character gets involved with their Villain or Lover. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -- Hero meets Villain or Lover. 2. Complications The situation worsens. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -- How does this Villain or Lover cause difficulties in the Main Character's life? -- What secrets are in danger of being revealed?
3. Emotional Turning Point Panic Attack! Fear and/or Guilt vs. Desperation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -- What Situation, Fear, or Emotional Burden/Guilt is keeping the Main Character from making a decision about what they should do? 4. Reversal The worst possible thing that could happen -- happens. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -- What terrible thing suddenly happens or secret is revealed to make the situation even worse? 5. Outcome The absolute last thing the Main Character wants to do. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -- What conflicts must they overcome to make their goal happen? -- What happens after? Not a whole lot of details, are there? That's where you get to be Creative! REMEMBER! -- A Plot is just a MAP. You don't have to follow it exactly. Feel free to skip or change things as you please. The idea behind Plotting is simply to give yourself a place to end up and an idea of the direction you need to go in to get there. Adventure Plot in a nutshell: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He came. He saw. He conquered. Erotic Plot in a Nutshell: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He saw. He conquered. He came. Simple, ne?
plotting out the major turning points in your story is a far. Slipping on my Hakkai mask.subreality. A Mary Sue/Gary Stue is a primadonna (usually.com: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "The Mary Sue <Gary Stue>.com: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Mary Sue / Gary Stue is any original or deeply altered character who represents a slice of their creator's own ego. they are treasured by their creator but only rarely by anyone else. is the highest form of fannish devotion to a series. Most fan writers are content to do this by sneaking in under cover of one of the canon characters. You like it so much you want to come play in it yourself. as someone said." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.In Conclusion… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you're on a time limit.com/marysue.) who saps life and realism out of every other character around.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Mary Sue/Gary Stue "Self-Insertion" in Manga Fan-fiction: According to Aestheticism. but not always badly-written. far faster method than simply waiting on the muse for inspiration. I jump in the jeep and set out for the west with Sanzou and the . taking over the plot and bending canon to serve their selfish purposes.For more details: http://www. Enjoy! Is your Special Character TOO SPECIAL? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Are you indulging in a few too many "special traits"? Is your story really an excuse to show off your Super Special Character? Are you committing a MARY-SUE/GARY STUE? --> Dead give-away: Your favorite character is YOU only BETTER! Who is Mary Sue/Gary Stue? According to SubReality.
pretending all along that it's Hakkai telling the story I'm writing and not me at all.aestheticism.com/burn/index. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ While not every "super-special!!!" character is actually a Mary-Sue/Gary Stue. In fan-fiction.com/visitors/editor/jeanne/shameless/index.katfeete.kalime. *Of course* it's me and not Hakkai…" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. they fall under the same rules because when one makes a "larger than life" character.net/writing/marysue.For more details: http://www.html . they are a royal pain in the ass.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Think: How many 'special' traits does your pet character have? Let's find out! • Take this test: http://www. They're perfect little characters with no real flaws that can do whatever the hell they like. Where's the fun in that? Where's the challenge? Where's the surprise? Where's the suffering? This is also known as Godmoding.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Too many Special traits spoil the Character. • Hero wins. they're boring. • They fight. In PBEM.For more details: http://www. you might as well write: • Hero meets bad-guy. The end. No one can contradict them or oppose them because they're always right. they tend to be unbalanced and quite frankly. Think Superman without Kryptonite. According to Burning Dumpster: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. Also known as an 'avatar'.Godmoding: "Take the Mary Poppins slogan "Practically Perfect in Every Way" and remove the 'practically'. Havers." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. no fun to read. When you have a character that never loses.guyz.
There's no way in hell his bike can surpass David's. "You don't have to beat me.but don't fall in! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Story is nothing without good strong characters." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is Michael feeling through all this? The Matrix: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . God-mode Mary Sue/Gary Stue characters AREN'T necessarily a bad thing. but if you can't use yourself. So what do you do to keep your characters from falling into the black hole of Mary Sue/Gary Stue-ism? Exercise your experience . Key word: Begin -. In fact.but you don't BECOME that character.you recall how you felt under similar circumstances -. You just have to keep up. Michel's motorcycle is only a dirt bike. Examples… The Lost Boys: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael is watching the girl of his dreams climb onto another guy's motorcycle. David smiles.Despite all this.not End. She doesn't look happy about it. Mary Sue/Gary Stue (especially under the thin veneer of a favorite Manga character) only becomes a problem when one posts them on the Fan-Fiction sites where Readers can see them and Flame them for being too unbelievably perfect to identify with and/or too Out of Character (OOC). how do you write about the feelings of someone else? You Empathize -. Mary Sue/Gary Stue is an excellent way for a beginning writer to experiment with storytelling. God-mode. In fact. but she does it anyway. David turns to Michael and invites him to come along. The other guy. it's the most common way a writer begins writing anything at all.
and no more. he's running for his life from things galloping after him on the walls and ceiling. The hero and the villain should change and develop as the story progresses to allow the hero a toe-hold chance. Then it opens. "Neo. He escapes into an elevator and the door closes. to win. this is Morpheus. Out of nowhere. but the hero and the villain must." Suddenly. Both the hero and the villain should suffer emotionally and physically . The rest of the cast may or may not have personal growth. bullets rip into the guy right in front of him. • A sidekick to add complications and make matters worse. The guy falls forward onto Michel and bites him. A guy he's never seen before in his life smiles and says: "Hello Michael. This is where dramatic tension is generated. Moments later. Changing takes suffering. Now. The weird guy bursts into laughter. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is Michael feeling through all this? Making the Characters work WITH the Plot. and then when he goes home. He answers it. There was a shooting at the train station. he finds a really beautiful and incredibly strong girl who immediately tries to strangle him in his apartment. • A Villain that the hero absolutely Cannot beat when the hero first enters the fray. He's looking at it when it starts to ring in his hand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are roughly three essential characters in every story: • A Protagonist with character traits designed to work AGAINST the plot. the strong girl comes back and drags the weird guy off of him. You have to get out of there." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is Neo feeling through all this? Underworld: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael has had one hell of a day.Neo has just received a Fed Ex package with a cell phone in it. and crap at his hospital job.
to the point that they keep risking their lives so he has to keep saving them. not fantasy. Both are bound and determined to keep all of humanity deaf. • A Villain that the hero absolutely Cannot beat when the hero first enters the fray. . Michael does not believe in Vampires. Smith is a replicating Virus. Think about how hard it is for YOU to change your mind about something important to you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Neo is a quiet computer hacker. it's not what you HAVE it's what you DO with it. That's the level of suffering you need. If this seems a little formulaic. • A sidekick to add complications and make matters worse.Urban Fantasy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • A Protagonist with character traits designed to work AGAINST the plot. He's not an action kind of guy. • A sidekick to add complications and make matters worse. The Lost Boys – Vampire ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • A Protagonist with character traits designed to work AGAINST the plot. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Both Morpheus and Trinity believe in him.to allow for their personal changes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael desperately wants to fit in with a motorcycle gang that rules the entire town because he likes the girl that hangs with them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael absolutely positively cannot defeat an entire gang of Vampires. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael has a nosy younger brother who is terrified of vampires. He deals in facts. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Matrix is a sentient mega-verse. and blind to what's being done to them. • A Villain that the hero absolutely Cannot beat when the hero first enters the fray. but everyone thinks he's supposed to save the world. Let's look at two different movies: The Matrix -. remember. He thinks they're wrong. Mr. dumb.
This is more commonly known as SHOWING vs. TELLING. birds molt.VISUAL writing?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.Telling them?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -.Visual writing is when the reader can SEE your story unfolding in their imaginations just like a movie. not the Excuse for your story.The problem lays with Reader interpretation. "What's wrong with just. give them heartache. * Telling: It was a dreary day. When you were .In Conclusion… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Make your Characters part of your story. For example: She was woefully depressed. * Visual: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky. and make them face their fears. Give them pain... * Showing: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky. Abstract (poetic) words and ideas rely on the readers' interpretation of what those words mean to them personally.. Consider: * How does Big Bird act when he's woefully depressed? * How do YOU act when you're woefully depressed? Is there a difference? -..Well yeah. They lose all their feathers when they're depressed. * Non-visual: It was a dreary day. Anything less cheats the reader out of some good healthy angst! Enjoy! Writing Emotions VISUALLY "What is .
she means describe the physical characteristics of the emotion you're trying to convey.. (I did.' Get beyond the pounding heart and clenched fist. "is tapping into your 'emotion memory. Don't say: "she was sad. Let's go back to Depression.. fiction writers must employ description that accurately expresses a character's feelings. It's as simple as describing the character's body language in addition to describing what they feel physically. sentimental. -. did you lose all your feathers? (Do you have feathers?) If your definitions of those feelings don't match with the reader's definitions -. write it as he "feels" it". Think I'm exaggerating? -. how do you SHOW emotions in writing? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ According to Dianna Dorisi-Winget in "Let's Get Physical!": ".Do you remember what you felt like physically when you were depressed? That's what you write. and the way her heart feels in her chest." Emotion Memory is simply remembering how you felt when you were experiencing the emotion your character is going through." Dorisi-Winget says. Now consider what depression looks like. Do it too much and the reader will stop reading ANYTHING by you.you're screwed.. What did you do when you were depressed? . never to pick it up again.. poetic words.Get on one of the book/author fan-lists and ASK. According to James Scott Bell in his article "Leave Them With Hope": "..woefully depressed. the moment you and the reader come to a strong enough 'difference of opinion'.. "The trick.. In other words. they'll stop reading and put the book down.) So." She's not talking about flowery.. AKA: purple prose.the author must experience the emotion and describe (the emotion felt) with the five senses. How does one DESCRIBE feelings and emotions? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Emotions appear as Body Language." describe the way her tears feel as they run down her cheeks.
Some eat a lot of food. it gives what you are describing emotional impact.) some only hurt themselves. it just kept beating. and others refuse to say even one word. ever again. staring at nothing at all. How would YOUR character react? Describe the feelings AND the actions. Show them being depressed in all their torrid glory. Depression affects different people very differently. some get violent and hurt others. When used in Dialogue.internally. * Hand both versions to your beta readers and see what they think. yelling at anything that gets too close. Exercise: * Write a scene where you tell what the character is feeling and doing using as many flowery words as you can. or out loud.Hold that thought because THIS is where characterization gets tricky! While depression pretty much feels the same for everyone. Don't TELL it: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She was woefully depressed. Some get very quiet. She was long past pain and well into numb. it gives your characters flavor. how people react to it is another whole bowl of kimchee. * Write the same scene describing what the character is doing and feeling. (picking fights. SHOW it: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She leaned to one side against the wall with her shoulders slumped. When used to flavor descriptions. but somehow. and never feel anything at all. By the way. Some throw loud temper tantrums. Her eyes burned with tears that wouldn't fall. it's perfectly okay to use one or two flowery decorative words in addition to your physical descriptions. some stop eating altogether. and in Dialogue -. (cutting). If only she could stay there. . Every beat of her heart seemed to take more effort than it was worth. TELLING the reader what the character is feeling is not nearly as effective or powerful as SHOWING them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Believe it or not.
Hell. the only stuff in the Literary style being bought by the general public -. stuff that was NOT considered Literary in their day.? (www.) Stuff that was published a hundred years ago or longer. so naturally that's what they teach in college. Dickens' novels. Jane Eyre. not magazines or anthology publications that will only pay you $100. Outside of poetry.?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ London Times Publishers toss Booker winners into the Reject Pile by Jonathan Calvert and Will Iredale . (Sherlock Holmes. (Wuthering Heights...00 flat fee and No Royalties. We're talking stuff that were originally called Torrid Romances.. literary writing was how one got published.. there's always the 'self-publishing route. even the EBook publishers won't take literary stuff.) Pulp Fiction. but that won't get you published any more.. stuff by authors that are currently DEAD. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Is this advice Cramping your LITERARY STYLE. Edgar Allen Poe's works. They are making money off of YOU.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The following is for those looking to get published.. or dead? Once upon a time. (They're all looking for Erotic Romance.) Of course.. I'm talking BOOK publishers. Keep in mind. I got news for all you literary students going to class to become fiction authors: Euphemistic and/or literary writing is all well and fine in Creative Writing and Fan-Fiction..? "What about all those flowery literary phrases that everybody else uses?" AKA: "But Anne Rice does it. Frankenstein.) and Penny Dreadfuls (Dracula.. are Classics. and high-brow literary journals. "But! But! But what about the great literary authors still alive today.and publishers today. feel free to skip this part.. If you're just writing for fun and not profit...lulu.com) They could care less what you write. why can't I?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Who is everybody else? Are they alive and still publishing books. HG Wells' novels.
a London literary agent.Outside of poetry. expressed an interest. Don't want an editor? No one will argue that either. and that was for Middleton's novel. She was unimpressed by Naipaul's book. how come Anne Rice can get away with her florid and rather literary style of writing? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Because she's ANNE RICE. thought it was quite original. forget the expensive literary writing courses. . were sent to 20 publishers and agents. or how she writes it. In the end though I'm afraid we just weren't quite enthusiastic enough to be able to offer to take things further.. So. just ask Steven King. NO ONE is going to argue with an author that can sell a million copies with their name alone. She wrote: "We . Only Barbara Levy.". if you want to be published in this day and age.. Consider this. you'll be able to write any gosh darned thing in any gosh darn way you care to because absolutely no one will argue with you.. In short." Read the rest of the story? -http://www. -. and high-brow literary journals. no matter what she writes. Of the 21 replies. Take a nice cheap class on commercial copywriting because that is the style of writing publishers are looking for today.00. When you can sell a million copies on just your name alone.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As I said before. No one appears to have recognized them as Booker prizewinners from the 1970s that were lauded as British novel writing at its best. are Classics. you're just going to have to follow the publishing house rules just like the rest of us not-quite-famous authors.uk/article/0. the only stuff in the Literary style being bought by the general public and publishers TODAY (not 20 years ago).. .timesonline.. all but one were rejections. Is your name Anne Rice? No? Then.co. .2087-1965623. she's going to sell a million copies. Holiday. by Stanley Middleton.Typed manuscripts of the opening chapters of Naipaul's In a Free State and a second novel.
or even how to begin! Help?! -. to Think About.. egg." "The Quicker Picker-Upper.Newbie Writer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So when you wanna write a story. to Study.anything you might have seen. skate-boarding. mythology.. Not Sentimentality.-Not-Sentimentality. done."Copywriting. or particle physics your passion is where you will find your most unique and powerful work.?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -. to Talk About.? Isn't that for Advertising.Yes it is. history. in Fiction By Vivian Gilbert Zabel http://ezinearticles. Make a list of all the things you know well and all the things you've done -.. sewing.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Parts unashamedly raped from: Create Emotion.. what does Advertising do? It delivers its message with as much emotional impact and persuasive power as it can jam into One Sentence or less: "Got milk?" "The incredible..seriously! Mythology. where do you begin? With your PASSION! Write what you KNOW & LOVE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What do you KNOW. . horses. or studied.-in-Fiction&id=160141 Enjoy! Story Writing for BEGINNERS -----Original Message----I want to write a story. really? What do you love to Do. ghost legends. Just think what that style of writing could do for your fiction! (It's done wonders for mine. edible.com/?Create-Emotion. Think.. I have a couple of ideas. any retail jobs you might have had -. but no idea what to do with them. model trains.? Whether it's cave-diving." Copywriting teaches you to deliver the Most amount of information in the Least amount of words.
never to look at it again. Worst of all. Character Creation 101 ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The easiest way to make an original character is by modeling your character on one you already know. someone who has never kissed isn't going to be able to write a kissing scene as well as someone who Has. you can find one of your particular world on somebody's website somewhere. RESEARCH is your friend! www. you have a LOT more work to do. More often than not. Once that happens. If you insist on writing about something outside of your personal experience. that's where Google comes in. game.com can be your best bet.com & Wikipedia. Wiki has a listing for just about every manga. If you need a map. Favorite characters I like to use: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ .Sticking with your passions and your personal experiences also helps you make fewer MISTAKES.Wikipedia.Google. and anime you can think of complete with character lists and bios.com can be extremely helpful. If you're writing an Original story.com are your friends! Next? KNOW your Characters and the World they live in THOROUGHLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you're writing fan-fiction. Case in point. This is ESSENTIAL for Active Writing. someone with experience will know IMMEDIATELY when the writer doesn't know what they're talking about. but www. Out of all the movies you have seen. what fictional character is most like what you need for your story? You want a movie or animated character because you need to PICTURE your character as they move through your stories. Google. do your RESEARCH thoroughly. they're closing your story -.
-----Original Message----"But what if I only want to use two characters?" Then use only Two: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Proponent: The one trying to Keep things the way they are. using only Two main characters will make it harder to tell the whole thing. You should have THREE Main Characters to tell a whole story: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Proponent: The one trying to Keep things the way they are.Sandra Bullock from Miss Congeniality and Speed .Keiffer Sutherland from the Lost Boys & 24 .Robert Carlyle from Ravenous and Plunkett & McLean . Antagonist: The one trying to Change things from the way they are. there'd only be ONE vampire novel in existence--and it wouldn't be "Dracula".Only if the character still has the Same Name and the Same Physical Description. Think! If no one ever borrowed characters. Antagonist: The one trying to Change things from the way they are. Change those and it's not.intact! "Wait! Isn't using someone else's characters' Plagiarism?" -. and usually telling the story.Riddick from Pitch Black The trick is to change their names and appearance enough to disguise them while leaving their base character traits -.Johnnie Depp from Sleepy Hollow and Sweeny Todd . you need to make a world to put them in..Wolverine from the X-Men .Trinity from the Matrix . Ally (buddy or lover): The one caught in the Middle.and dialogue style -.Selene from Underworld . However. . Don't be surprised if a Third character sneaks their way in to help you! WORLD BUILDING 101 ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Okay now that you have your Characters.
larseighner. If you're determined to build your world from scratch. • "What do I want?" is what puts your characters in opposition. . CHEATING is your best option. ask each one these Three Questions: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Who am I and what do I do? • What do I want? • What is the worst thing that could happen to me? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (Borrowed from PaperbackWriter: http://pbackwriter. Your Villain doesn't want them to have it because it gets in the way of their Goal. there's RESEARCH. • "Who am I and what do I do?" is your introduction. Just make sure you separate Fact from Fiction! And for God's sake. Your hero has a Goal. Once you have all three (or two) characters. and scientific data it would take you YEARS to uncover. you pretty much have your whole story. Wrede's Worldbuilder Questions http://www. • Your main character's 'Worst Thing' is the REVERSAL to your story dead center in the Middle. or a sci-fi world for your first story. Find them and READ them.blogspot.com is invaluable for finding pictures of places you've never been and journals posted by people living there. let's go the simple route. a historical world. then here is the absolute best guide on world building there is: Patricia C.html Making your story HAPPEN! PLOTTING 101 ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rather than make this complicated.The easiest place to put your characters is a place you already know. Google.com/) Once you know the answers to all of these questions. For all other places. fantastical.com/world_builder/index. There are a million and one Gaming Books and Gaming Sites featuring all kinds of historical. CHANGE what you Can! You don't need people screaming at you for copyright violation. If you're building a fantasy world.
• The Villain's 'Worst Thing' is the main CLIMAX close to the end. It's the turning point that allows your Main Character to win. The End. Simple, ne? So where do you begin Writing? ~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOT at the beginning! Open the story within one page of Hero meets Villain, (or Lover meets Beloved) with the story already in progress. Action scenes and snappy dialogue are the best hooks for snaring your reader, but hints of Mysterious things yet to happen works well too. I also set the stage for the story about to begin with a few lines of Description so that the reader can SEE everything as it happens. The trick to not boring them is: Don't Tell them ANYTHING! Give broad hints, but don't Info-dump. Use Dialogue to hint at clues to the secondary character's back-story. This way you make the reader an eavesdropper who MUST read on to find out, "What the heck is going on?" The easiest way to keep your reader from figuring out what's going on -- and how your story will end -- is by telling the whole story from One POV (point of view.) MAKE the reader discover from INSIDE your main character why this vampire hunted this particular guy down, and why he isn't running in screaming terror. MAKE your readers put two and two together and try to come up with the right answer.
Tricks to keeping your story SHORT! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Keep the number of characters to a Minimum! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The larger the cast -- the longer the story. This is because each and every character you use must have their story problem FIXED by the end of the story. If you don't, you create a PLOT HOLE that your readers WILL notice, and call you on.
Keep the Point of your story firmly in mind. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What are you trying to Show with your story? Love Conquers All Greed makes one Greedier Love = Insanity Love doesn't always mean Happiness Love isn't always Nice You Reap what you Sow Destiny is a B!tch You can't escape Yourself A Snake will always be a Snake Sometimes, Love means Letting Go Sometimes, Love means Giving In Appetites will find a way to be Filled Revenge only brings Misery In short, know what you want to say and how you intend to END the story before you begin!
Only put in what you intend to USE. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If it doesn't affect the Plot, the Characters or the Point of your story, you don't need it. This includes Description. In a short story, everything is pared down to the minimum, so you only need to describe the characters your character directly interacts with, and their immediate surroundings, no more, but no less either. You want to make sure that your Reader can SEE what's happening, but you don't need to go into detail about every babbling brook and tree.
Once you've finished your story, Read it OUT LOUD to yourself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This will allow you to catch most of your mistakes before anyone else sees them. • If you have to stop to take a breath before you finish a sentence -- the sentence is Too Long. • If you have to read a line twice to figure out what you just said, so will your Readers. Any time you have to reread anything, something is WRONG.
• If you find your attention drifting from the story you are reading out loud -- so will your Readers. • If you find yourself skipping parts to get to better parts -- so will your readers. • If YOU don't find what you're reading interesting enough to keep reading, neither will your Readers.
In Conclusion... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Writing a story isn't all that hard or even complicated. It's what you put into your story that makes it complicated -- and uniquely yours. Enjoy! Defining FEMALE Behavior ~ for your Fiction What makes Women do the things they do? By OokamiKasumi & SumiHatake (Kiterie) & Lithium-Delusions (Kita the Spaz) Warning! Naruto series SPOILERS! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "...I never feel comfortable writing for female characters and they tend to always come out cutesy or bitchy if I try giving them personality. ... Somehow, the moment I think 'female' I screw up. ... my stereotypes end up negative and females in general alien. Just reading the differences doesn't seem to form the right image in my head. There's sort of a hole when I try thinking. ... Is there anything you can recommend that could help me out of my box?" -- Frustrated Guy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Defining female behavior... Oh boy, that's actually a VERY tall order. -- Just so you know, it took reading a LOT of human behavior books to break through the mystery of my own gender. (And I still had to go to two of my friends to help me with this!) Disclaimer: Just for the record, this is meant to be a Broad Generalization! This is NOT meant to be taken as the be-all-end-all on female behavior. This is merely what "I, SumiHatake, and Kita (Aleene)" have observed and come up with. In short, this is just OUR OPINION. Okay?
in reality she was the former. such as our stories. the most worthy of help and most protected from criticism. When NOTHING gains approval. to her girlfriends . Wholly aggressive behavior results in people like me who could care less if anyone approves or not -. by pretending to be the perpetual victim she asserts her dominance over the environment. there's a third kind: the woman who will emphasize her victimhood and use it as an emotional cudgel on any and everyone around her. What is approved of. there are varying degrees in between. playing the 'helpless female' card from the bottom of the deck to achieve her goals. People are funny that way. I dated one of these once and found that while she portrayed herself as the latter (doormat). (as in my case. Normally anyway." Monday morning.") The Passive-Aggressive behavior pattern in females tends to result in either the dolled-up BitchQueen who will PROVE that she's better than anyone else at something (even if it's only their grades or their fashion-sense). Like a little sister who picks fights and runs crying to daddy."You don't have to open the door for me.) people tend to either go Passive-Aggressive (determined to be Good or the Best at something to gain that approval. What is not approved of.and are completely flabbergasted when we get approval for anything at all. She'll race to the bottom of the social food chain and portray herself as the most needy. or the Ultimate Door-Mat who will do ANYTHING to make those around her like her. *wink* Of course. She would set up situations asserting her strength and then complain about not being sheltered.What makes Women do the things they do? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First thing you need to know is that 90% of most human behavior Male & Female is LEARNED by copying those around us . to me . The typical pattern was: Friday night.male or female. we do less. ("Screw you guys! If I can't make you happy.) or Wholly Aggressive. we do more.AKA: Social Conditioning. This means that one can have PassiveAggressive traits under some circumstances and Wholly Aggressive traits under others."He wouldn't open the door for me!" . I'll just make myself happy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In my experience. NO ONE is completely consistent -.
. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PAF = A scowl and a snarky remark about his masculinity apparently being threatened by her (even if she likes him. then hold it for him to let himself in -.Another Frustrated Guy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EXAMPLES: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Passive Aggressive Feminist (PAF) "You will acknowledge me.) SSB = A blush and a thank you -. different traits mix and match according to the situation at hand." ~ Sakura of Naruto ~ Rukia of Bleach ~ Tifa of Final Fantasy VII Submissive Social Butterfly (SSB) "Acknowledge me." ~ Tamari of Naruto ~ Soi Fon of Bleach ~ Yuffie of Final Fantasy VII ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Examples of common Reactions: Man opening a door for her.while internally .. please?" ~ Hinata of Naruto ~ Orihime Inoue of Bleach ~ Aerith of Final Fantasy VII/Kingdom Hearts Wholly Aggressive Tomboy (WAT) "I don't care if you acknowledge me. as you suggest (or I at least infer). -.But.while internally thinking "YEA! He noticed me! WAT = A rush to open the door first.
she feels inadequate and secondbest. that is).the woman who absolutely must have her little social lunches with her friends.while internally calculating the amount of social status she has gained or lost by what she wore and what appropriate action is required (generally better clothes either way. However. and a stammered out thank you -while internally wondering why the other female even noticed her existence. These are merely 3 of the most recognizable.. Women want to be noticed and appreciated.. the center of power. Woman of equal rank in social standing remarking on her clothes. more permutations of female behavior. Men are . that's what it really comes down to. power and the like. the more she desires <social connections>. but in the darkest corners of their hearts. Consider the cliques in high school . plus a backhanded remark about how she looks nice too -. The "bitch" has to be the center of attention. That behavior tends to carry on in her latter years -. women are far more prey to it than men. WAT = A look of blank astonishment then a hesitant smile. I've observed. Social Status .. Like a banished pack female. paying attention (homage) to them.. Without it.) SSB = A blush and a thank you. she will lurk around the edges and do her best to worm her way back into a position of power. The younger a woman is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PAF = A slightly snide or haughty smile. The Social Factor ~ By Lithium-Delusions (Kita the Spaz)~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Women." They can pretend otherwise.congratulating herself on successfully avoiding being treated like a common female. Because of this. a female's social standing was determined by which clique they belonged to. are social creatures (most of us. is a strong motivating desire. Sort of like the pack struggles between the alpha female and the lesser females. many... because (due to our gender) we tend to be the ignored ones. Keep in mind that there are many. or host little parties for her friends = "Look how successful and pretty I am. They desire the feel of people around them.while internally congratulating herself on meeting the social requirements. The desire for acceptance and acknowledgment drives a lot of people. plus a compliment telling the woman how wonderful she looks (even if she doesn't) -.
Sorry to go all cave-man (cave-woman?) on you.? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sex = Pregnancy and Pregnancy KILLS -. and you have a woman even less capable of defending herself or doing the hard labor it took to provide food. and Protection. this need for gathering into social groups and the accompanying drive for social status may seem silly. Many didn't.that is IF she survived the birth. In short. They gathered together often under the same roof for mutual help and protection while the men were gone for months at a time either out hunting. the key to defining the core of female behavior is purely BIOLOGICAL. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On the outside. or to make war on another tribe. Females are hard-wired to think SURVIVAL & Babies. Why Survival & Babies. but Social Services has only been in existence since the 1960's!) . A pregnant woman and/or new mother NEEDED a partner to help her or she DIED -.unless certain conditions are met: Food. The female need to gather in social groups goes all the way back to the Ice Age when women lived in close-knit communities. while the female gender has to struggle for it. That's as true now as it was 50 years ago. However. yes. However. (Yes. Add a newborn to the mix. Let's begin here..used to being the ones in the limelight and come to expect it as their due. Sex = Pregnancy = Potential DEATH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A woman that is pregnant isn't physically capable of defending herself against an attacker. Social status decided how much food a female would be allotted for herself and her children. this is the root of all female behavior. less than 50 years ago it just wasn't possible for a pregnant woman alone to do all the hard labor it took to provide a roof over her head AND food. the instinct behind it is far more grim. currently there are hospitals to help with the birth survival rate and Social Services that pick up the food and shelter slack.... Shelter. Starvation for both mother and child was a very real threat. but honest to God.
"But Sex doesn't = Pregnancy now a days!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yes it does -. The pill was only available to the VERY rich until the 50's -. Back then. Plenty of people (especially from the older generation) still think that enjoying Sex makes one a SLUT. Add to that.. In short. such as the average teen who's mom won't let them have it thinking that it will only encourage them to have sex. Unfortunately. only MEN were allowed to enjoy sex.) but it wasn't until the 1960's that it was OKAY to choose Not to get pregnant -.! -. it wasn't until the 1940's that women could choose Not to get pregnant (via the condom.less than 50 years old.Guess which one the female subconscious reacts to? You have to remember that while birth control (the condom) existed in the 1700's. socially acceptable Birth Control is NEW -.and that was limited to UNMARRIED women. Women who enjoyed sex all by itself were SLUTS. Married women who didn't want to get pregnant and have babies were considered ABNORMAL and treated as social outcasts. The use of birth control (the condom) by WOMEN only gained social approval in the 1940's -. this wasn't as widespread as one could hope.and some churches STILL don't approve of birth control today! *cough*CATHOLICS*cough* In addition. However. NOT having birth control NEVER stopped anyone from screwing! On top of that. In fact only ten years earlier in the 1930's.not Sex. What does any of this have to do with Survival and Babies? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The idea that one Didn't have to get pregnant when one had sex is NEW so the idea of Sex = Babies is still very much on the average modern-day female mind. I got news for those moms. -.. never mind all the deadly diseases that sex alone can bring. and you get: Sex .Women STILL die from birth complications today.for anyone Not using Birth Control. Women were allowed to like Babies -. it was only used by MEN. the female instinct for survival goes back to before the Ice Age. ANY woman who dared to use Birth Control was considered immoral because they were clearly after the pleasure of sex. that pregnancy can bring DEATH.when the laws changed allowing prescription birth control. In the 1960's we had the sexual revolution where many women decided that liking sex didn't make them sluts.
and Protection = Rich Spouse. Less than 50 years ago.Let me give you a better clue: The average YUPPIE. estrogen is the chemical that forces us females put up with an amazing amount of . a wardrobe equal to or better than the spouse they wish to attract. The female survival instinct is hardwired to think: • Sex = Food. and Perky. and the correct level of Gender Acceptable behavior: warm. To gain a Sex one must look and act Sexually Attractive to the type of Sexual Partner they wish to have. this behavior pattern is extremely limited and very. Most females snap out of this when they hit 40 because their estrogen level begins to drop. kind. this translated to: SPOUSE In this day and age.. this translates to: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Food & Shelter = MONEY > Good paying job • Protection = HEALTH > Martial Arts or Athletics / Sports • Sex = Live-in Partner with a Good paying job to pick up the slack Many females still prefer to take the shortcut: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Food. a wardrobe equal to or better than the people they intend to blend in with. What does any of this have to do with MODERN Female Behavior? Consider this. and the correct level of socially acceptable behavior: friendly. SEXY and Forgiving. Yes. This includes the correct level of education. This includes the correct level of education. the correct Social Contacts. Shelter.. yet far too many women try to do this anyway and go into deep depression when they realize that it's just Not Possible to be that way 24/7. Shelter.triggering the SURVIVAL INSTINCT. Just so you know. generous. generous. and Protection. friendly. kind. Are you getting the picture here? -. To gain a Job (food & shelter) one must look and act like someone that others want to hire. very unrealistic.
Examples. and has a good job to pick up the monetary slack..) make me feel good about myself. Can you see the pattern now? THEN there are people like me determined to do the whole thing myself and NOT have kids eating into my finances. A modern socialite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ • Food & Shelter = A high-paying job & a nice condo • Protection = A gun and/or karate and/or athletic skills. Once that chemical drops low enough.. This onset of aggression and loss of patience. and Protection. (LOTS of yuppies jog daily.) • Sex = The best looking someone I can find that will make me look good (in case I find someone better. Shelter. So. A Princess: ~~~~~~~~~~~ • Food & Shelter = A castle and the surrounding farms. all you have to do is find a way for your female character to Interpret how she intends to handle those things. • Protection = An army. (menopause) the patience we had for crap goes with it. • Sex = A prince that can provide all of the above and/or help me protect my assets. is actually part of the female biological hardwiring = Menopause > No longer able to make babies > No more need for a partner to protect said babies > No need to waste money & resources to feed & shelter said partner > Chase expartner out of the house. . how do you USE all this in Writing? Now that you know that basic drive of EVERY Female is: Sex = Food.crap because it's an Aggression Inhibitor. A thief (or ninja): ~~~~~~~~~~~ • Food & Shelter = Money & concealed home/base • Protection = Karate & Weapons • Sex = Birth Control and a lover that can't threaten my income or my body.
(Yes. Character + Event = Reaction Tsunade + death of Jiraiya (the frog returns and tells her of his death.) The Character Emotional Scale Where is YOUR Character? ~ By SumiHatake (Kiterie) ~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Character + Event = Reaction Reaction Scale: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 01: Submissive Social Butterfly (SSB): Compliant and Sweet (Doormat) 05: Archetypical Female (AF): Independent but Compassionate 10: Passive Aggressive Feminist (PAF): Egotistical and Manipulative (Cold Bitch) VERY few women are a solid 1 or a solid 10. They feel unworthy and so as a way of being less of a drain on the people helping . The key is deciding where your female character is on the scale. Possibly considers her life to be over now that he is gone. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Breaks down in tears and starts bawling about how she should have told him how she felt. An SSB character would be reliant on others to help her through the pain of losing somebody. and decide the point on the scale that they belong.) The Character Emotional Scale: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) SSB Reaction: Devastated (inside and out). • Protection = Martial arts & weapons • Sex = Birth Control and a lover that leaves after I'm done with him. Her reliance on others and often a feeling of unworthiness at their assistance is usually what drives them. Once you know where they are on the scale you'll have a much better idea of what their reaction would be. I really am that cold. Take what you KNOW for a fact about the character.My pattern looks like this: ~~~~~~~~~~~ • Food & Shelter = A job I don't have to leave home to accomplish.
does not contemplate suicide. only the smallest amount of emotion would show and only if they're looking. She can't allow that. she does make snide remarks about Jiraiya's books. She is now. she can't be weak.for writing degrading porn about women'. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Frowns and berates Jiraiya for being an idiot for getting himself killed. so even fewer people would get to see that. (debatable here since she is Shizune's teacher and showing weakness in front of a subordinate would be weak and she may just hold it in. can function with support. A 10 on the scale would mean that she hated him -.. That's key to how she thinks. 10) PAF reaction: Doesn't care (inside and out). or simply where nobody will find her and crying while getting drunker than a skunk. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Is unsure of what she should do. We know she fell apart when Dan died but it was in front of her team and she wasn't Hokage. everyone will believe that she is incapable and things will get worse.) possibly Kakashi or Iruka who appear to be close to Jiraiya. She would push aside personal pain to function and get things done because she HAS to. She feels as though she can't fall apart because if she does. and Protection -. they would eventually move on or commit suicide. -. It's a matter of pride for her. Shelter. She is very strong emotionally. An important thing to remember in this step is the character's relationship to the other character(s) and the event. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Conclusion. Doesn't see things as having changed much for herself. Plus she gets along really well with Jiraiya. At the same time she's known for her violence. In her case I would say she probably broke down in front of the frogs. but functional. -. More than likely I see her going off by herself to either some place that reminds her of him.EVERYTHING a female does is instinctively for Food. He was just some guy.The reason being that she loved her fiancé and does cry over his death. and she's quite vain about her looks.) makes them act in ways that DOESN'T add up to any of the above.even if their socialization (the way the society around them TELLS them to behave. possibly Shizune. I would rate Tsunade about a 7. She isn't cold.. 5) AF Reaction: Emotional wreck (inside and out).them. I can see her falling apart privately but refusing to let it show in front of anyone except her closest friends. In front of others. .
It all depends on what the female in question Decides she needs to do to Survive. Yaoi Writers: MASCULINE? by *OokamiKasumi Yaoi Writers: Are Your Male Characters MASCULINE? Is your favorite Yaoi character YOU as a guy -. I jump in the jeep and set out for the west with Sanzou and the guyz..com: "The Mary Sue . and talk in a feminine way.. A common error that every beginning Female writer makes is that they assume that their male character will feel and react in the same way they would.not Male. her audience will get annoyed . The same is true if a male writer's female characters don't think or act or talk like real women. while the female writer may miss this.. their Readers WON'T -.even if they don't understand why. You like it so much you want to come play in it yourself. act. When a female writer's male characters think.Hakkai shows Female Behavior -. Unfortunately.. Slipping on my Hakkai mask.only BETTER? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Are you committing a MARY-SUE/Gary Stu? According to Aestheticism. They show them talking..as females. is the highest form of fannish devotion to a series.especially if those readers are Guys. Most fan writers are content to do this by sneaking in under cover of one of the canon characters.. (And I know you've all seen examples of that!) So how do you keep this from happening to Your characters? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Check-List: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A convincing masculine character WILL: . thinking and behaving not as guys." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Except for one BIG problem. pretending all along that it's Hakkai telling the story I'm writing and not me at all. -. but as they would react if facing the same situation -.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The REAL differences between Males & Females: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Men see life in competitive terms.Men see compliance (going along with what someone else wants) as submission. especially with emotional issues Volunteer information about his feelings Ask about others' feelings Ask for validation Now that you have your answers. . Women see it in cooperative terms. especially in a professional setting Get bogged down in introspection or self-doubt Ask for help.Be direct Be issue-oriented Be analytical Act casual even in serious discussions Interrupt Make statements Use short sentences State his preferences clearly Talk about concrete issues Verbalize only things that he sees as important Give advice Ask specific questions Choose to sit at angles from the person he's talking to A convincing masculine character will NOT: Ask lots of questions Ask leading questions Turn statements into questions Invite a "just talk" situation Speak in euphemisms Use understatement Downplay his ideas Let his sentences trail off Make agreeing noises Volunteer his reasons Hold eye contact for significant periods Say "I'm sorry" unless he really means it Tell stories about his failings Use personal anecdote to make a point. here are the reasons behind them. women see compliance (going along with what someone else wants) as cooperation. -.
Women talk about problems.When a man is protective toward a woman. Men listen to other people in order to give advice. he's taking care of her. it is to show that she cares about him. -. Men see themselves as protectors of women. as though he's a child. men are blunt. Unfortunately. they often feel they're being challenged or checked up on. -. and focused on concrete issues and events. Men's actions and body language often do NOT reflect their feelings. women make suggestions. women interrupt with .Men tend to make statements. Men see eye contact as challenge. slouching. Men try to solve problems. episodic. men may attempt to distance themselves by avoiding eye contact. When a woman is protective toward a man. Women's usually do. Men are direct.Men don't like to 'just talk.Women sit closer and look at people directly while talking to them. Men make decisions. Their conversations tend to be brief. -. -. Women form a consensus. Women see eye contact as concern. or turning away. Women focus on emotion. Men don't volunteer reasons. When forced to discuss emotions. Women are indirect. especially about serious subjects.' They see conversation as a way to relay information. Women use understatement and speak in euphemisms. Men interrupt.Men interrupt in order to change the subject or to express their opinion. and to illustrate status. Men sit at angles to each other and look at other things. almost never directly into each other's faces. -. to show independence. and when asked for reasons. -. it is to show that he feels responsible for her safety. They feel as if the other party doesn't trust them.Men are direct when talking about concrete things. but indirect in talking about emotional issues.Men focus on action. women make their preferences known and often add reasons for their requests in an attempt to convince the other party. -.Women listen to other people in order to give support. he's likely to interpret a protective act as condescending. This is because being affected by one's emotions is not considered masculine. -. Women wait their turn. and Women as protectors of children.Men state what they want.
men make a telephone call to accomplish a specific purpose. women see talk as interaction. Women are more specific with information. -..Women express emotion relatively easily. Women say "I'm sorry." Men say "I apologize. and so men have interactions that are ostensibly about something else but really about that." -.Literary Guy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Women figure out how they feel . Women are more likely to make a telephone call just to talk.Original Message ----"Men have no less need to deal with emotions just because they're not allowed to admit they exist. even in public . will appear as one of the other allowed competitive (safe) interactions. women to boast privately. -. "Uh-huh" are all feminine mannerisms.. unusual.except for anger. Women invite it. not necessarily to indicate agreement. Women are more critical. "I understand". thinking what he's going to do about the problem. "Yes.". Men don't nod or smile or make agreeing noises unless they actually agree. ----. "Really?". Men are more action oriented. -. Men ask questions to get information. Men listen in silence. the interaction will seem off-topic. which they tend to repress at all times.Men tend to boast publicly.. Men generally do not express any emotion other than anger in public.Men see talk as information. .Women are more likely to sit down and think through the whole history of a problem. -. A casual observer won't notice.. Women ask questions to further the conversation.." -. and even an insightful observer would not notice because that singular interaction/conversation .supporting noises or to avert conflict. Men are more approving of their self image. Women make agreeing noises when they're listening. -. almost as if one (or both) men isn't the same person as in the other encounters.by thinking about it. Women nod and smile and make agreeing noises to show that they're listening and to invite further conversation. Men avoid discussion of emotional information. men tell stories that make them look good. while "I apologize" indicates regret that there's a problem without necessarily accepting responsibility for causing it."I know". Women tell stories about their failures."I'm sorry" implies taking responsibility.by talking about it. But viewed in the wider context of how those two men interact previously and after . if at all. Men figure out how they feel .
A man can go from angry to amorous much faster and more believably than a woman. Women share secrets to build rapport. men do not. -. men see the ability to fight as a sign of intimacy.Men generalize. Enjoy! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REFERENCES: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . Women see challenge as destructive. Men see it as a protective measure to get to the real point of the question.Women see disagreement as threatening. He'll say it's blue. Men react to the message. Men see challenge as constructive.. Women are most comfortable talking when they feel safe and close.Women see talking to outsiders about their relationships as part of friendship.She'll tell you a dress is robin's egg or teal or aqua or periwinkle. but they have different justifications for doing so. fears. Men see talking to outsiders about their relationships as disloyalty.She tells him everything. What you add to that base -.motives. Men are more able to compartmentalize and separate issues. because only those who are intimately involved with each other argue. Women are more likely to let feelings in one area spill over into another area. this is merely a list of Traits for the Adult Male ARCHETYPE. Men are most comfortable talking when they need to establish and maintain status. (I've actually seen my 17 year old brothers cry or throw full screaming-kicking tantrums just to get their way!) Consider this a basic model to build upon. -.. Men hide secrets to maintain status. NO man acts 100% this way. likes and dislikes -. Teen-aged boys in particular are considerably more emotional -until they learn to control it. Women find raised voices and arguments upsetting. Women intend it as a helpful and caring measure to get to the real point of his question. -. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before anyone starts screaming. In Conclusion. -.Both men and women have a tendency not to answer the question that was actually asked. An argument or a bad day will be more difficult for a woman to set aside when getting into bed. -. He tells her what is important to him. Women interpret the meaning. -.is what will make your characters unique. dreams.
Women and Sex" .D "Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives" .James Dobson "Men.by John Gray.D "Yes. Ph.Frank York .Margaret Paul. Sex Does Matter" . Ph. Biologically Speaking.Karen Young Kreeger "Gender Differences Are Real" ."Men are from Mars Women are from Venus" .