Advice: Unemotional Character Annoying?
Anonymous asked: I have a character who, as a result of a traumatic experience in the past, has become emotionally shut away. Just as he is coming out of his decade-long shut-out, his friend dies, and he begins doing this again. Do you think this will make him annoying or unlikeable? Love your blog BTW
When a character’s emotions are suppressed, it’s a lot trickier to get the reader to care about them because there’s not as much for the reader to identify with. That said, there needs to be a good reason behind why you feel this character’s story is important. Storytelling is about peeling back the layers of life to see what’s underneath, so why was this unemotional character’s story important to tell? The reader needs to be able to see that a payoff is coming, otherwise they’re not going to be invested enough in the character to keep turning the pages. So, find what’s special about this character and why his voice needs to be heard, and that should help keep him from becoming annoying or unlikable. :)
WHEN AUTHORS USE WAY TOO MUCH CLUMSILY STRUCTURED BACKSTORY
You've probably already answered something similar but I was wonder what your advice for endings was? I have trouble with them. Do you have any general advice on ending a story well?
As Chuck from the show Supernatural said at the end of Swan Song (season 5 finale), “Endings are hard. Any chapped-ass monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna bitch. There’s always gonna be holes. And since it’s the ending, it’s all supposed to add up to something. I’m telling you, they’re a raging pain in the ass.”
Endings are different for everyone. I agree 100% with Chuck. I have written creative writing assignments that went on for about 10 pages just so I could avoid or find an ending.
Usually all my papers ended with one word or one sentence, usually asking a question. I wanted to prompt my readers into thinking about what just happened and what they read. I wanted them to think about if they agreed with my character’s actions or the outcome of the story.
But mostly, I used one word or one line question endings because I couldn’t think of freaking anything to say that was clever or interesting to end with. You can try the one sentence question thing.
As for general advice, if you don’t plan on writing a sequel to your book or short story, don’t use a cliff hanger. That just upsets everyone if there isn’t a neat ending. You could also always go for a plot twist or even a shocker of an ending. Just make sure your plot twist isn’t “everyone dies.” That’s just cruel.
This is the only example I have on tumblr where I used a question ending. I really hope this helped you instead of confused you. I also didn’t mean to make this so dang long. My many apologies for an essay of an answer.
Endings are just very tricky and you have to go with whatever works for you. Screw the readers until the editing process. You write for you and your endings will be great. -Azula
how do you transport an unconscious injured person if you're riding a horse?
- Create a sleigh to drag the injured person along behind the horse.
- If the person was small, like a child or a very light person, and the person steering the horse was much bigger and pretty strong, you could have the strong person hold the injured person against their chest with both legs to one side and their head against the strong person’s shoulder.
- You could also position the injured person in front of the steering person to ride double. If the steering person was behind the injured person, they would be able to keep them upright on the horse.
- You could sling the injured person over the back of the horse with their belly facing down. You’d have to secure them to the horse, and any injuries on their stomach, face, arms, etc. will probably get worse.
- You could sling the injured person face-down between the neck of the horse and the person steering the horse in the saddle. That way, the person steering could keep an eye on the injured person’s prone figure.
- neverfeedthesarcophagi said: Just a note: it’s unlikely that a saddle would sit in position for the “injured person face-down between the neck of the horse etc” to be plausible without risking strain/injury to the horse.
- If you have two horses, give the injured person their own horse. Lash them to it in a way that will not make their injuries worse.
- spiletta42 said: You’re probably better off to choose the injuries to suit your favored solution than the other way around. That said, I once rode a horse home while suffering severe injuries, and lived, so anything’s possible.
Note: Riding a horse will probably make their injuries worse.
Hey, I'm new here and please forgive my poor english (I'm brazillian), but if I'm writing a historic book, adding for example a school that didn't exist (using as base for description another 50's school) would that make my story fictional? I'm so worried ugh I don't know if every single thing must be for real or if a few details like this could happen :(
Basically, historical fiction is hard, because we’re all walking a fine line between enough accuracy to make the story believable and enough artistic license to make the story interesting, and so much accuracy it’s boring, or so much artistic license it’s just plain ridiculous.
So you are indeed a brave soul. I take my hat off to you!
Really, it depends on what you’re writing, but in general I’d say go for the details and the feel of the era rather than the exact truth of who/what was real and who/what was not. For example, having a colour TV way before it was invented would be a much bigger problem than, say, making up a school that didn’t really exist. Do you see?
I totally wouldn’t stress out over this, honestly. There aren’t many historical novels that are even 80% accurate (unless they’ve been written by Phillipa Gregory or Hilary Mantel or someone like that). Just don’t do a Dan Brown and make everything up, okay?!
Here’s some cool resources I’ve managed to find for ya:
- The Lying Art of Historical Fiction(article by the Guardian, so it’s pretty good)
- Research and Accuracy in Historical Fiction
- Writing Historical Fiction: a Beginner’s Guide
- Write Aide: Historical Accuracy in Historical Fiction
- Historical Accuracy in Historical Fiction (discussion thread)
- Ahistorical Historical Fiction
- What do Authors of Historical Fiction Owe to History? (this is actually a really great article, you should take a look)
- Debates about Historical Fiction
I hope this is helpful! Good luck =]
how does one write about a dancer preforming? i'm having a hard time writing the movements of my character without it sounding robotic (also like i have no idea what i'm talking about - which i kind of don't) or repeating words too often.
1. Use strong action words; slice slither, melt, propel, dancers swoop, fall, run, crouch, dive etc.
2. Interesting adjectives: tangled limbs, piercing leaps, floating turns
3. Colorful adverbs: leaned heavily, tumbled fluidly, scampered briskly
4. Avoid overused adjectives: nice, good, wonderful, beautiful
5. Avoid hyperbole: the worst, the best, the most
6. Use active rather than passive voice:
a. Active: The dancer strained against invisible binds as the music changed tempo
b. Passive: As the music changed tempo the dancer could be seen staining against invisible binds.
Also, if you’re writing from the dancer’s POV, focus on what they’re feeling while dancing, or the feeling of dancing itself, the emotion, add some sensory details. Same with those watching the dancer perform, write that they see of the dance, how it is- it also depends on the type of dance, you’re not gonna describe hip hop the same way you’ll describe a tango; tango is passionate, isn’t it? it looks like it, you need a way to capture that emotion, make the reader really feel there’s a hot as hell dance going on. Use the right verbs and expressions for it, and focus on the emotions as well.
I would like tips on writing a subtle "love scene." Please. I just don't want to come out and say my characters did it, because I feel it will turn my story smutty.
Okay, so we’ve had some similar posts before, so I’m going to redirect you to that and help elaborate a bit.
I’m redirecting you to these because reading up on how to build the tension will help when you’re insinuating that your characters are doing the deed/have done the deed.
The BEST way for this to happen is to wait for the closing of a chapter/big event so you can leave a cliffhanger to the next chapter.
Example of building up some tension (using my own writing here, please don’t make fun of me, aha. And I am trusting you all. This is probably the one scene I am proud of in my novel thus far, so don’t make me lose your trust):
The mac and cheese disappeared over conversation about childhood events that we’d never forget- an incredible jump sledding for him and when my mom first discovered I dyed my auburn locks- slowly letting the scenes of the movie pass us by as if it had never started playing at all. I put our bowls on the ground by the TV, and Rawler placed his head in my lap. I removed the hat he always had on and ran my fingers through his long black hair. “You’re beautiful, but I think you already know that.”
"No, I really didn’t… but thank you," I whisper after a few moments of silence.
"Here, switch places with me," he says as he sits up and allows for my head to be in his lap. Rawler begins to wrap a ringlet around his index finger as I look up at him. And as slowly as those movie scenes went by, his face came to mine even slower. "I’ve always wanted to do this you know."
"So have I." I smile right before his lips touch mine.
Subtlety is great and less is more.
Hope this helped some! If not, come back and ask for more help! REALLY look at the links though. There are SO many helpful sources!
I haven't ask this before but I have a character that's a blacksmith and I wanted to know if you could assist me by finding links about how they do their blacksmith work? I can't seem to find much information on it, unless I'm not using the proper keywords or right search engines.
Hiya, sorry this answer has taken so long. I have no excuse except it got snowed under by other asks.
So I’m not sure if you will need the help still but here’s what I found anyway. You’ve not given me a time range so this is going to rather general I’m afraid! I am going to assume a lot for these links so sorry if it’s not exactly what you were looking for.
Hope this is of help!
Hello! Do you have any tips on how to write crying scenes?
Crying is something to be careful with. When someone cries- How someone cries- It can often be a big moment for the reader in how they decide on how they feel about the character.
Characters who are constantly weepy are like to be seen as weak, and while this can be counteracted by other solid character development if not the case, it’s still a heavy part of them.
Not everyone cries hollywood pretty. People make odd sounds when they’re in agony - they wail and they wheeze, and sometimes they sound like strained, barking seals.
Crying can come up slowly or suddenly. A character might spend days constantly choking back a lump in their throat only to have it well up and over the cusp of barrier at the mention of a sandwich. Sometimes it comes all out of nowhere - you’re fine one moment, you’re sobbing the very next.
Take the time to describe your crying. Don’t default to “he began to cry”, it’s stale and you lose a huge opportunity to build some character.
It’s easy to have a character fall into crying whenever something bad happens. I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman. You can probably find a pdf copy for free online.
Don't suppose you have any posts on animal- or in particular horse-related vocab? Half my novel characters ride horses and, not being a horsey person myself, I'm running out of ways of talking about them ¬_¬
Ohhh, I was confused at first to what you meant but now I know.
- Glossary of equestrian terms
- Horse riding for beginners
- Riding and training terms
- On horses in general
- Horse personalities
- Horse color descriptions
- Different types of horses
- Why and how to ride a horse bareback
- How to handle a scared horse
- Caring for your horse in the stable
- Wounded horses
- How to sit correctly on a horse
- A horse’s tail
- Equine body language chart
- How to understand horse communication
- Horse behavior
There you go. Happy writing!