Nov 18, 2011

Day 1: back to basics part 2

Now that you've discovered the plot it's time to probe even deeper into character's mind and soul. To find out how he breathes and what makes him tick. I've tried numerous techniques of getting to know my character, and the one that is most helpful is mind mapping!

Obviously, start with the biography. Who he is, how old is he? What are his traits? What's his family like? Does he have one at all? Why is he acting in life the way he does? Why he does the things that he does, whether they're good or bad? Don't make your character too perfect because it will seem artificial to the reader.

Where is he now? Don't be afraid to tell the WHAT IS story at this point. Let's be real; s**t happens but that makes us stronger. And so it also makes our characters more stronger and human. IF you don't feel good with writing a tragedy, think of something smaller. Think of your current unpleasant situation and twist it in a direction that pleases you. Add some, detract some.

Where does he want to be? He must have a goal that's ultimately achievable, although a little/very tricky to get. You don't need to know who or what is involved in this (although it could help you if you knew), only the general knowing that your character will achieve his goal in the end.

What's stopping him? Now you decide on all the pretty details that are causing problems to your character. Let your imagination go as wild as you want to, as long as you keep the final destination in mind. Don't include any additional character that actually doesn't serve the plot because that will confuse the reader.

How's he dealing with it? This is an opportunity to show how well your character works under pressure or circumstances that make him feel down or troubling in some way. Don't be too emotional, but also don't tend to make your character look like a rock because even a rock can break if you hit it hard enough.

Does he get it in the end? Did he achieve his goal at last? Or was it just a partial satisfaction? Any way you choose is fine as long as you're happy with it and as long as you remind yourself that you must be the person who will enjoy the piece you wrote. Why? Because there will always be people who like what you wrote and those who don't like. So either way you turn, do it for yourself and focus on those who love it.

Nov 16, 2011

Day 1: back to basics

Ok, so in order to avoid any law suits, I will NOT use the techniques in a book that I've mentioned earlier. However, since writing is a creative process, over the months and years of writing I've been able to collect different ways of techniques that fit me perfectly. This is made exclusively for sharing, so if you find that the techniques I'm using are similar to yours, please, do not be offended because I write from my own experience. And now that we've agreed on this - let's get the ball rolling!


Let's face it: I can rarely write a whole story without getting to know my character's soul first. Like, really really learning about what he's 'made of'. Sometimes I need to think really hard, and sometimes it just flows from me, like it's someone else's hand that's writing the words down.
Very often I only need to hear sentence or two to get me going. And when I feel that there's a potential for that sentence to turn to a great story, i play the WHAT IF GAME!

Let's take an example:
One woman says to another: I think he's cheating on me. That is potentially a strong sentence to play with.
So the game goes - write out a plot, making sure that each sentence begins with a 'what if'. In this case, it would be like this:

What if the first woman actually caught her man cheating?
What if she found out that her friend is the one he's cheating her with?
What if she decides to confront her?
What if her friend is playing stupid?
What if the first woman finds actual evidence that they've met when he said he's going to the gym?
What if she confronts him?
What if he's begging her to forgive him?
What if he has a motive to stay with her while at the same time wanting to be with her friend...

and so on, and so on! So, what happens is, by questioning you can almost automatically realize where the plot is going. Removing the 'what if's' you have the plot: she finds out her husband is cheating on her. She tells her friend, knowing that she is the one he's cheating her with. Friend won't admit it until she presents her with evidence of her affair. Then she goes after her husband but he wants to stay with her because he needs her money...
This is just a basic example of how the story can evolve. And whenever in a block, ask yourself WHAT IF...and the answer will come by itself.

The second part of the first day will follow tomorrow. Until then - get these creative juices flowing!

Nov 12, 2011

Starting off on an adventure

I've always considered writing as something that cannot be done properly unless written with passion. You know, that feeling that you're vibrating through and through, in and out. That feeling that you cannot sleep unless you write something down, and when you go to sleep you dream such intense dreams and then your story is the first thing you think of in the morning. I've found great pleasure in writing just for myself, to ease that fever that I was feeling.
Then some things happened in my personal life and I've stopped writing. The flame that was burning inside of me disappeared. It got washed away. I didn't feel the need to write almost anything at all. And if I did sit down to write, it would all turn out to be just some words on the paper with no meaning whatsoever. It repeled me. I was disappointed with myself for feeling the way I did.
Being sick of all these feelings I've decided to rekindle my passion. It is in the end what makes me feel like I can do everything that I want. It gives me strength and power to channel whatever emotion is in me at any given time. It became my therapy, my passion. It was like returning to your one true love!

It didn't happen straight away; it took a lot of time to make that shift from I-can't-write-anything to hey-I-did-it-again feeling. There was this one book in particular that helped me, which I will tell you later about. It has numerous of excellent techniques to work out your writing skills and that helped me start working on my very first ebook. It is my intention to regularly write one assignment to the next from that book, and share with you. And I hope for constructive criticizm and honest opinions about my writing.

Of course, any one of you can join me. Let's have some fun guys!