Create great characters not great heroes

Don’t worry despite the title your characters can still be great heroes but behind every hero is a person and here I am planning to help you flesh him/her out.

I believe everyone reading this already know this but I’m saying it again.
Your character is not allowed to be perfect.
Your characters isn’t allowed to be loved by everyone or allowed to be able to do everything perfectly.
What your character is allowed is human traits such as flaws, fears, past failure and so on.

Since this post is supposed to be on creating characters I think I won’t give you a speech on characters and instead simply share how you can go about creating them.

This is my method. (I call it building bridges)

Past
Everyone has a past and it doesn’t even have to be a messy one to be significant. It can range from having your parents murdered to being middle child in a house with too many children.

Now I build a bridge and see how it affect the characters personality.

Fears
Fears can come in packs it starts with the big fear which creates the smaller fears.
I decide on the great fear by looking at the characters past.

Using the example of parents being murdered we can say the characters fear is being helpless which can lead to smaller fears such as fear of being sick.

Using the middle child example we can say the big fear is being underappreciated which can lead to the smaller fear of losing.

( it isn’t so much the fear that matters it’s how it is handled)

Now I build another bridge

Flaw
Flaws are not always a weakness it is simply a part of being human .
Flaws can come in packs like the fears one big one with a few smaller ones.

Now again using the character whose parents were murdered and whose fear is being helpless we can say that because he fears being helpless he feels the need to do everything personally and thus his flaw is being a control freak and not letting people help him.

Using the middle child who fears being underappreciated we can say that because of his fear he is very competitive and treats everything like a contest.

Hopefully you understand the method by now.
It is basically everything is made out of smaller things and every action has a reaction.

The minute you understand this you can use it for the rest of your character which includes a quirk  and how they treat people , what drives them and so on and so on.

It’s a trap!

People often talk about voice and your writing style how you could develop it and how to use it more effectively.
If you are a new writer do not fall into this trap.
Yes people use different writing styles and yes everyone has their own voice but the secret is that it normally develop itself and when your new and still struggling with the story you should focus on character, setting and plot.
( I will blog about all three when my Internet is stable again.)

Remember to prioritise character, setting and plot and not style and voice. You can only worry about writing after you have a story.
(Unless you’re a free writer.)

Conclusion : setting

This past week I have tried planning a my little project novel but no mater what I did I couldn’t’ come up with a interesting plot. I know my characters and I know what I want to make happen but no matter what it just wouldn’t fit.
Searching the internet I realized my mistake, I didn’t have a setting.
As I said before this story is not my normal heavy fantasy so my head immediately put my setting in the easy do latter pile.

I went and created my setting today and just like that I already have two scenes planned and my creativity juices is flowing again.

So basically no matter what genre or or how long your story is plan your setting almost before anything else.

Skullduggery pleasant coming to an end

When I was 10 my father came home with three particularly thick books and left them on his desk.
They caught my eye because they each had a skull on them and since I didn’t have anything better to do I read them.
It was the first real fantasy books that I read and since then I have waited year after year for the next one to be published.
It is the books that got me into reading and reading in turn was what got me into writing.
Today I finished reading the newest and and unfortunately the last book of the series and two realizations hit me.
There is no next one for me to wait for.
I will never be able to read this series for the first time again.

I’m going to miss the wait and constant unanswered questions but at the same time I feel inspired for this is the kind of book I want to write.
One that can get someone to read and keep reading even if they have never opened a book before in their whole life.

Taking up a writing project again.

I am planning on writing a novella about thieves and shall see how it goes since it will be my first writing project in third person, also it won’t be on my normal fantasy level.
So basically I’m stepping out of my convert zone to stretch my writing ability.

Villains

As a new writer I myself have fallen into the trap of creating a two dimensional villain. A villain who is evil simply for the sake of I need a villain for my hero to fight.

The problem with this is a story is almost as much about the villain as the hero. The villain is the evil that versus your heroes good and just like your hero needs flaws and faults to make him human your villain needs morals and reasons to make him human.

It is hard but if you can make your reader believe that your villain could do good  or at least let your reader understand why he does what he does that is when you have a good villain.

My practice run on third person writing.

Edited note- I wrote this while I was still practising to write in third person POV.

The new order

The people stood in a circle around the children uncertain of what else to do and only hesitantly letting Wanda pass. These were children they knew not just another rumour running around.
The people parted before Wanda but here and there a few seemed to hesitate, considering standing up for the children, but they too stepped out of her way, their fear of the order overcoming their loyalty to the children.
Wanda stepped into the open area in the middle of the circle where three children stood, the younger ones, a boy and a girl clinging to their eldest sister who was trying to look brave even though her bottom lip shook.
Poor thing must be scared half to death.
Wanda lowered her hood and crouched by the children a open smile on her face.
“My names Wanda.”
“Are you here to take us away?” The little boy asked.
“Yes,” Wanda said offering her hand to the children.
“You aren’t taking us anywhere,” the eldest girl said defiantly.
Wanda looked her over. With all the signs of starvation the girl made a very frail, but determined, wall between the witch and her siblings.
“There will be food and warm beds for each of you.” The younger children eyes lit up but the eldest glared at Wanda, her fear of the rumours she had heard overcoming her hunger.
Sighing Wanda unslung her bag and dropped it on the ground in preparation of her own little ceremony. Not one of the orders corrupt ceremonies.
Wanda called for water and started cleaning the cobbles with a hard brush.
With her butt in the air the witch was well aware of the people eyeing her but kept cleaning the street in front of the children’s feet .
Once it was sufficiently cleaned Wanda took a blanket from her bag and opened it on the ground. Upon it she laid out a set of clean clothes for each child as well as new sandals. She then had the villagers bring buckets of water and some soap and towels.
Standing up Wanda addressed the crowds. ” In past years there have been many things said about the Order that would be considered treasonous yet true.
“But the days where you can’t trust witches or wizards are over and a new order has risen ,not one of is known for corruption and cruelty, but one that shall be known for kindness and second chances”
She turned to the children and said in a quieter voice, “if you trust me I’ll show you.”
There was a moment silence then the eldest girl nodded and the children let Wanda wash their feet and give them new clothes.
Later they let her feed them and put them to bed, and while they saw it as her helping them she saw it as them helping her redeem herself.