The Winner’s Post!

Hi Everyone!

So here’s the blog post from B.B, this year’s winner of the Two-Sentence Story Challenge!

B.B. shared some awesome writing tips with us, and her blog is pretty cool, so make sure to check her out at: https://bbnest.wordpress.com

Unbenannt

Take it away, B.B!

This is my first time ever guest posting, so bear with me while I try to not come off like the ranting lunatic I sometimes tend to be on my blog. After all, I see this a bit like hosting a party in someone else’s apartment: you want it to be fun, but you probably shouldn’t get drunk, take off your shoes and dance on their coffee table either.

Not that I’ve ever done that at parties. I’m just saying.

One thing I see a lot of writers struggling with on the internet is character creation/development and, seeing as this is one thing I’m actually confident on, I decided to arrogantly dole out some advice on the internet. Because, as we all know, only people who know what they’re doing are allowed to do that. It’s a rule or something. So here are a couple things that help me through my process:

1 – Don’t try too hard: 99% of Mary Sues are a product of writers trying to make their characters the most interesting as possible to readers. But trying too hard to make them appealing can send you spiraling down a bottomless pit of Sue. So be careful. Remind yourself that you don’t need to make your characters ‘super fascinating’. You just need to make them feel real enough for the readers to care for them. Which leads me to…

2 – Treat them as people: Don’t look at your character as a set of traits and ideas as opposed to an actual individual. If you can’t see your own characters as multidimensional beings, if you can’t connect to them, what hopes do you have that other people will?

3 – Interact with them: This may sound crazy to some and, honestly, it makes me feels as crazy as I sound, but I talk to my characters in my head all the time. I argue with them about their life choices, try to shame them for their immoral actions as though they were children, and I curse the fact they never listen to a word I say. I also write them a lot outside their actual stories; boring daily aspects of their lives that no one wants to read a book about. This actually gives me a very good grasp on their personalities. It also helps me see them as individuals apart from myself. That way I don’t feel compelled to bend their actions to my will when I disagree with them. Which, in my humble opinion, is not something a writer should do to their characters ever; as tempting as it may be.

4 – Being a sadist helps: The ability to love your characters and yet gleefully torture them is perfectly healthy and it’s a writer’s best friend. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Like I said, this is just what works for me, but maybe it helps someone somewhere. If not, at least I managed not to rant once during this post so either way I achieved something today.

B.B

You totally did, B.B!

C.S. Wilde writes about fantastical worlds, love stories larger than life and epic battles. She also, quite obviously, sucks at writing an author bio. She finds it awkward that she must write this in the third person, and hopes you won’t notice.

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Posted in Fun, Lifestyle, Writing, Writing craft
14 comments on “The Winner’s Post!
  1. Deb says:

    This is good advice. I tend to start off OK, but then with time, the need to create perfect characters just ruins the whole writing experience. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. djmorand says:

    I am dying with laughter here. A friend and I discussed how much of a Jerk we are to our characters and sort of feel bad that they have us for a writer. You couldn’t have said it better. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to interact with my characters until they threatened to sack me as their author. I just let them get on with it now.

    Like

  4. tracijlane says:

    I once read in a book on novel writing that a fun way to play with your characters is to put them in everyday situations and imagine conversations they would have. Fantasy characters shopping at the supermarket or at a laundrette having a chat while they washed their blood-stained clothes was a lot of fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] read a blog post today about character generation and development, and was reminded of some of my early […]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this advice! It’s very Bakhtinian in the way the characters have a life and force of personality separate from the author.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A.B Mood says:

    Ohhh.. Yes, #4 totally explains why you writers torture us READERS! We totally hate/love you for it..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mikemacdee says:

    Kurt Vonnegut Jr was quoted as saying, “Be a sadist” when writing characters. The reason is because your characters are more sympathetic when you put them through hell. Main character has only so much time to run across town to get an important thing that could cost him his job? All right, I feel a little bad for him. Now let’s say his car breaks down, so he has to LITERALLY run across town. Also he has to do it while suffering from a terrible cold; he couldn’t stay home in bed because he needs the overtime pay or he loses the apartment. Oh, and did I mention it’s also the same week his mom died?

    It’s really the opposite of a Mary Sue, who always has everything going for her, and can do no wrong, and no matter what an asshole she is, the universe smiles upon her. Bad things don’t happen to Mary Sues. Really the easiest way not to write a Mary Sue is to give the character flaws and misfortunes. Okay, sure, she’s the ultimate badass and can win any fight without effort. She’s also an unfaithful wife and an abusive mother who leaves a trail of misery everywhere she goes. Maybe one day it dawns on her that her kids need her emotional support, and she finds a reason to try to be a better mom; and maybe she fails, but the effort still causes a positive change. Bam. You already have a story with a character who’s interesting, and more importantly, imperfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. BB is winning everywhere! Go BB go!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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