Category Archives: Writing

Don’t Coddle Your Characters

Hello WordPress. Last week was a bad writing week. I was super stressed and didn’t feel like writing at all, so I took a little break from my usual writing habits and I’m feeling better. One thing I thought about a lot while not writing was characters.

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Characters are the forefront of our stories. They’re the eyes and ears of pretty much every story, yet characters are not simple one dimensional  characters. Characters can be hard to create, but I think I’m starting to figure out why it’s so difficult to create them.

Right now I’m speaking to you in my voice. I’m typing out words I normally say. This is how I speak, but my characters don’t speak nor act like me. Some do more than others, yet the characters within stories are not like us. They may do things in a similar way, but they’re different. It’s good to create characters who relate to us, but clearly they’re not like us.

Think about your closest friends. You know how they act. All of their wants, quirks, phobias and secrets. Some secrets at least. The closer you get to someone you begin to act more like them, yet you’re not exactly being them. You’re acting like them in your own way. If you don’t know how someone acts or their thought process you’re most likely not their friend or at least not as close as you thought. Sorry to burst that bubble.

To develop a character you must understand them. You must learn their gender, race, identity etc. You should know what their place is within their world. How will they react when something happens? What are their thoughts on the environment or religion? Do they love dogs or cats? Do they want peace or to rule the world? Why do they think like this? What makes them, them? A character’s thoughts maybe completely different from your own. If you don’t know what makes them tick the chances of writing a 100,000 worded novel or even a few paragraphs with these  characters will most likely not go smoothly.

There is hundreds of characters. Each character has his or her own purpose within their story. Mary and Pippen don’t have the same purpose as Frodo nor Sam in Lord of the Rings. Imagine if Alfred were the protagonist in Batman. Alfred is a cool butler, but him as the protagonist wouldn’t be as exciting as it is with Bruce Wayne. If you write a story and don’t feel you have the correct protagonist or antagonist you may want to do some soul searching. Figure out the physical and mental aspects of the characters personality.

Developing characters is sort of like parenting. You want the best for your child, but if you coddle them too much they’ll grow dependent. They’ll become lazy characters. Don’t coddle your characters. God gave humanity free will. Writers should have the same type of relationship with their characters. Peace out y’all.

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Rainy Days

It’s been raining a lot in Florida and it’s not suppose to let up until the beginning of next week. I like rainy days. Gloomy afternoon’s full of clouds. There is something about it I enjoy. I guess I love it so much, because Florida is within a warm climate, yet I’ve grown to appreciate the warmth. A lot people assume Florida is always hot, but it’s not true. The weather can get cold. So cold it can kill the oranges. Ask my friend Haley and she’ll confirm the chill.

 

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Florida is a beautiful state. There is a lot she offers us residences. From the beach to the magical realm of Disneyworld.  Those who settled within these lands at its origin brought along plants and other neat things  from their countries. Florida truly is a melting pot state. People come from all over the world to either live or visit. I’ve met so many wonderful people from places I’ve only dreamt to visit. When they tell me my home is awesome I feel a little embarrassed. We have so much, yet don’t always see it that way. I love where I’m from. It’s a part of who I am.

 What is the weather like in your neighborhood?

How to Improve Your Writing

What was the first thing you did when you woke up and got out of bed this morning? Maybe you took a quick shower. Rinse and repeat. Then you turned on your phone or tablet and checked out the latest posts on facebook, text messages or tweets. Yon probably sat there for about ten to twenty minutes and got hungry, so you filled up a bowl with milk. By the time you take the first bit out of your cereal you had most likely been awake a few hours. You most likely haven’t written anything except a few tweets or posts which I myself count as writing to some extent.  In two hours you could had wrote 2,000 words or more. You could had completed an entire chapter within sixty minutes.

 

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 I average about 100 plus words per minute. I can reach 1,000 words in just ten minutes and so can you. Writers tend to worry about the bulky number of words required.  It’s not that big of a deal. Back when I went to state college, before I dropped out, I took English 1101. This class was pretty much hell on earth. The instructor was cold blooded. The research was intense. So intense a classmate whom served in the United States Navy thought it was absurd, but we had to do it. I don’t remember the exact total number of words my essay on social media reached, but it was a lot.

I hated that class and the ridiculous assignments, but I still completed them and somehow passed. If I could finish an assignment I absolutely did not enjoy I can complete a story I’m desiring to write. And so can you. We’re no longer in the dark ages. Today we have the internet. We have word documents online and a massive search engine. All we have to do is click on a device and get to work. If you fail congrats! Failure is one step closer to success.




A Kind Stranger

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A crowd gathered around me

Holding sticks and stones

I begged them for forgiveness

But they didn’t listen

The crowd wanted me dead

To get rid  of my sin

Death’s sweet kiss would bit me like a viper

And end my life

But as they prepared to sentence me to death

A man in a dirty clothe approached me

I assumed he desired to cast the first stone

But he only smiled

He told me do not be afraid

then he helped me to stand

And then he looked at the crowd who prepared to take my life

And he told them” Whoever here is not blemished by sin may caste the first stone.”

I closed my eyes expecting them not to listen

Three seconds passed by and nothing happened

Two seconds later they dropped their stones

And scattered

I looked into the kind strangers eyes

And he looked again at me

He then placed his hands on my shoulders

And told me to go and sin no more

And I listened.

Developing Characters-Motivation

So you want to write a story. Maybe to be published or to share  among your friends and family. If you want to write a story you’ll need  few characters. To create characters you will need to develop them, but how? Creating characters may seem daunting at first, but it’s not so hard.

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My first suggestion is to study psychology. I’ve been researching psychology for a few days and it’s expanded my knowledge on humanity far more than any self help book on writing. Seriously why do so many writing instructors fail to entice young and hungry writers to explore the human mind? A majority of characters are based on humans, so if we desire to create characters why not figure out what makes us tick?

There are many scopes to psychology, so I suggest getting the basic down first. Check out the crash course videos on YouTube. They’re fantastic! Anyways developing characters can be broken down into three categories: Want, Need, and Goal. In today’s post I’ll share the aspects on want.

 Another lovely term for want is motivation. Motivation is what we want or desire. It makes us do something. A boy wizard isn’t going to fight the darkest wizard of all time unless he’s motivated. The concept applies to basically everything we say or do. Say you’re driving home from work and are hungry. You want to eat, so instead of taking the shorter route home you stick to the highway and get a burger and fries plus a milkshake from Mcdonald’s or Burger King. You  wasted some gas, but at least you’re no longer hungry. Hunger has been solved until this dude gets hungry again in like four hours. In this aspect the motivation was hunger, but it can be whatever you want!

Motivation drives us toward our goals. Without proper motivation we will surely fail or somehow succeed without a plan. What motivates your characters? The bigger the want the more motivated a character will be. The stakes also will rise to the occasion, but I’ll leave that topic for another day. #Psychology

 

 

Word Count

Word count hindered my writing for a very long time. It was something I didn’t understand and no one seemed to know how to teach me until now. This passed week I purchased a book on Kindle titled 5,000 words in one hour. When I first read the title I was like” Wow. This guy is saying he can teach someone how to write 5,000 words in a short period of time. It may not work for me, but why not try this out?” so I purchased this book for about $3.99 US dollars. It’s about 70 pages so it didn’t take me long to read the entire  book. Now the first day I read the entire book I didn’t fully understand it, so I re-read the first chapter on how to write words fast. Then it clicked!

 

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Basically you write without stopping. This sounds simple enough, but when I first tried this out I stopped, check how many words I’d written and how many minutes passed by. I skipped the first step. Calculate how many words you write per minute.

Last night I was watching TV. As usual a couple ideas sprang into my mind, so I turned on my Ipad mini and started to write, but I did something different. I’d read from this book to write for five minutes, so I wrote for five minutes without stopping. After those five minutes were over I stopped and checked how many words I’d written. It was about 166 words. I wrote a story about a young woman who was at work. She was hungry, but couldn’t leave her office. When I stopped she was about to leave her desk and go to the vending machine to get food.  Here is what I wrote in five minutes.

I’m so hungry. I haven’t ate anything all day except for a blueberry pop tart and a banana, but that was it. It’s three thirty. I’m still at work, trapped in my office without food. My stomach is so empty. I need to get food, but Mr Ramone won’t let me go home early. I’ve missed several days already even though it totally wasn’t my fault. Not entirely at least. He’s kept his eye on me all day. If I tried to walk down the hall to get a snack from the vending machines he will know and I will get in huge trouble. He might fire me. Nah, that won’t happen. Would it? I’m tired of being hungry. I don’t care if he fires me. I can find another job although I’ll make hella less money. So long cute new dress I’ve been looking at online. I won’t be able to afford you without a income and my income totally sucks. Ok time to get food.

I wrote all that without thinking. I just got the idea and wrote for five minutes. Impressive?

Next I wrote for a single minute. I did this twice. Both times I wrote around 60 to 65 words. That is it. 65 is the number of words I wrote in a single minute. If I multiple 65 by 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes I can see how many words I write in the period of time. That is awesome!

 This works for any type of writing. I’ve been writing flash fiction. I can complete a flash fiction story within 10 minutes that is if the flash fiction was suppose to be under 750 words. It comes down to how many minutes or hours you put into writing. It’s also a matter of what you’re writing like if it’s an essay on germs I’d probably be bored out of my mind writing that. At least I have word count figured out.#Finally

A Short Short Story

Grandpa slammed his fist on the table. He jerked in his seat and sighed” Dennis, you sunk my battleship. That is four games in a row you’ve won. How did you get so good at this game?”

I smiled at him and paused. Then I glanced into his blue eyes and said” Grandma taught me. She said you and her used to play battleship together when you were kids. She knew every move you made.”

 

 Grandpa laughed” That she did. Gosh, I miss that woman. And I want a rematch,”

Dennis smirked” Bring it on!”

 

May Day

 

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Happy May Day WordPress. A new month has begun. A new journey is set to begin.  Here is how mine will begin.

In a couple hours I’m venturing to the local mall to see Avengers Infinity War. I’ve kept myself from viewing any of the spoilers. This movie sounds fantastic and will leave me excited for the next installment cause Marvel is gonna milk this cow until the end of time. I’m also hopeful to stop by Books a Million and scroll through a few books. Plus to smell them of course. When I return home I’m hopeful to jot down some notes for my latest WIP. I watched a film on Netflix called Candy Jars. It’s exactly what I needed for inspiration cause the premise is similar to my own. I’ve had this idea on my mind for a while now. I’m still not entirely sure which genre it fits into, but I have a seed and it will grow.

Anywho those are my plans for today. What are yours? How is your stories coming along? Got any exciting plans for May? Let me know 🙂

 

Point of View

 

My last two attempts at creating a blog post today were down right travesties, so I decided to create  a video instead. This is a little clip into my opinion on point of view. I did pretty well with this video. I’m getting the hang on creating content for YouTube. Plus Lauren Rihimaki followed me on Instagram and her channel is pretty well known, so I must be making someone’s day. Enjoy and comment below what POV you enjoy writing from. Thanks for the support guys. Have a fantastic day!

New Writing Inspirations

Good news. Writers block is over. Procrastination hit me hard, but I’m getting back into the swing of things. Instead of forcing myself to write I took a few days off and relaxed. It’s so weird, but I can literally feel my brain calming down. As I took a minor break I realized some issues with my writing. Issue’s I won’t forget.

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Less binge- reading.

I’ve been reading too much. I’m a total binge reader. I pile a stack a books around the house each month and try my best to read a majority of these books, but I’ve decided to change this tactic. From now on I’m going to keep my attention on certain books. If I started reading this book toward the end of the last month or the first week of the present month I’ll try to complete this book by the end of this month, but if I haven’t finished reading it by the first of May, June, July I’ll screw it and move on to another book. Wow. That was a lot to say in one sentence, but back to the point. I’ve been reading way too many articles, novels, short stories etc. It’s a lot of fun, but time consuming. The last few days I’ve read bits of Joyland by Stephen King. My mind is focused on a single book not hundreds. If i can read the entire Harry Potter series in two weeks surely I can read any other novel in lesser time if I have my thoughts wrapped around a single book. If I can’t read it in a month then I won’t read the book. It probably wasn’t for me.

2. Genre

I pretty much understand the basic’s of genre. Instead of reading from books which genre and theme’s have nothing to do with the WIP I’m working on I’ll skip those books and scroll through novels similar to my own work.  If I’m writing a mystery, horror with a hint of coming of age a dystopian romance won’t be beneficial.

3. Hitting the Reset Button

The same tactic will be applied to my next goal. I have many word documents. Some I haven’t checked on in centuries figuratively speaking. Out of my bundle of joys I haven’t completed a single first draft.  My plans are to get an idea for a story, keep my attention on a single idea and craft it until it is complete or if I can’t complete the first draft out of three months I’ll nip that doc in the bund, because the chances of the idea ever blossoming into a flower are null. Writers are always worried about losing their docs or are afraid to let the past go.  As Stephen king once said,” Kill your darlings.” Words are words. They’re replaceable. Perhaps those stories aren’t  meant to be written yet.

4. Discovery Myself

I’m a discovery writer. No disrespect to my outlining friends, but that road isn’t for me. I start with a character, put him on a journey and see how it goes. Outlining is helpful and necessary to some extent, but it usually leaves me complexed. When I read the term” put flesh on the skeleton by.” I run and hide. In modern times stories are about how it happens. We have to entertain and fulfill our promises. The short stories I upload on WordPress are normally written in a single day. A week at the longest. I don’t get worried to upload those stories. I’m excited to get them out here and see how much you  guys enjoy them. When I try to write a novel and outline I tense up and feel like what the heck am I doing. I’ll apply my short story tactics to the big boys.

6. Enjoying your muse.

Authors like Stephen King are said to be writing genius. I think if you told Stephen King he’s a genius he’d probably laugh at you. I believe it has less to do with intelligence and more to do with creativity. As I read through Joyland and other books by Mr. King I see his love on the pages. He was enjoying every second he wrote those books even those terrible days when procrastination hits like a brick wall. Stephen King isn’t Superman. He’s figured out a way that works for him and enjoys every second of it. Joy is something writers must find.  Joy overcomes all the pain. Joy doesn’t last, but when in joy allow yourself to write and enjoy the process.

7. Don’t Write

Lebron James is the greatest basketball player today, but does he play basketball every single day? Emma Watson is a brilliant actress, but does she act every day? Monsters and Men are a wonderful band, but do they preform music every day? No! If those people or groups don’t do their thing every day why are writers expected to write every single day? We’re not slaves to our passion. We do this, because it brings us joy, but I’m not going to write everyday. Maybe sometimes when I feel really joyful, but that isn’t every day and that is ok.

So those are my latest inspirations. Maybe they’ll help you out or not. Thank you for reading!