A Short Thought on the Visual First Impression

They say that a writer should research and backstory and take all the notes in the world, then file them all away and only directly reference about 10%, with the rest leaking through in dribs and drabs as the narrative progresses. I begin to think that the people who describe their character stepping into the [...]

From the Notepad: Let It All Out….

The plot doesn’t even deserve the title of vague outline. The characters are not as defined as I would like. My context demands wordcount. Do I write the story? Not directly. Instead, I end up with something like this.
Does it matter that I do not know what Lian looks like, nor Malora?
That the antagonist I [...]

More Characterization Catalysts

Yesterday, I talked about factors that might affect how easily someone can backstory a character. Pretty much as soon as I’d finalized the post, I found a few more.
Minimum requisite information. Some worlds just seem to demand a better idea why people are what they are and do what they do than others. If you [...]

Characterization Catalysts

Over the break, I found myself involved in three new games (long stories, all of them), so I found myself doing up characters for all three in the span of about a week—and all of it was right smack dab in the middle of another noveling attempt, meaning that I was, in different ways, working [...]

Exercise: You Don’t Say!

I stumbled upon (rediscovered?) this exercise looking for a prompt almost two weeks ago. It’s very simple—so of course, it never occurred to me to put it down all the way. Like many of my other exercises, this one is about description and visualization—about getting across what you want to say without saying it directly.
Let’s [...]

Reprise: Secondary Character Exercise: Someone Else’s Story

Originally posted January 27, 2010.
One of the biggest problems people often see with secondary characters is when their creator doesn’t take much of an interest in them. I’m not saying they suddenly need to steal the story, but it helps to spend a little time in their heads, make them more than [...]

Reprise: How Not To Misplace People in a Scene

Originally posted August 12, 2010.
One of the biggest problems with having four or five people operating in the same scene, regardless of its type, is the risk that the better-imaged ones will take over and the less-definite ones will get lost in the shuffle. A couple days ago, UZ asked how to [...]

Reprise: Comparing Conversation and Combat

Originally posted on August 11, 2010.
What’s the difference between conversation and combat?
I found myself asking that of one of my friends, while thinking about UZ’s recent question on keeping all participants in a conversation involving more than four characters at once. I have difficulty with that sort of thing too, so I didn’t [...]

Critic

A tweak here,
A change there,
Question this assumption,
Another consideration,
Why?
How?
What?
Do you truly mean that the way it sounds?
I do not critique because I hate.
Rather, I love,
And love halting, crude, clumsy,
A tangle of hands and bones and emotions,
Love, ill-executed, might be as painful as hatred,
But one cannot help but love, can one?
I see castles in the sky,
And to [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: I Want

It’s fascinating how important a phrase “I want” can be.
In many of the stories I read, “I want” just isn’t a thing. The characters have vague desires, yes, but most of what they end up going for is more “Do not want” than “I want”. Reactive rather than proactive, unless they’re the antagonists. It’s something [...]