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
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.
You totally did, B.B!