Monday, September 29, 2008

The lonely orphan, the heartbroken leader, the compassionate ex-prince and the remorseless mercenary.

Be prepared, this is a long post.

It doesn't matter what the plot of a story is, if the characters are engaging you will find it exciting.

If you have the best idea for a story, but you can't find the creativeness to make some great characters, there is no way people will return to read more.

The characters are the single most important part of a story. It's that simple.

Here are some important things that unfortunately a lot of people forget:

Every person thinks differently.

"Would you like some apple?"
"Yes please. I like apple."
"Yes, me too."


"Would you like some apple?"
"Eeeurgh! No way! I hate apple!"

A bit better... As hard as it is to make apple exciting, when people don't think the same, it means they disagree, and disagreement means conflict, and conflict makes a story exciting.

Following on from the last point, not everybody speaks the same.

"What do you think? Should we go with them?"
"I guess we should. Okay, i'll just get my things."

Some people talk like that... that's okay, but how often do you get two or more people who talk the same way in a conversation together? And since when do you speak with proper english? This is not a daytime soap.

"What do you think? Should we go with them?"
"Urr... I suppose. Wait a sec, i'll just grab my stuff, kay?"

It is important to give each character their style. As a story progresses it it gets much easier to get inside their head when you know exactly how they talk.

Not everyone is an orphan.

It's okay to have one or maybe two, in fact it provides a bit of excitement. But believe it or not, some people see their relatives every now and again, and they may want to catch up with them or at least give them a call.

Relatives are also good way to introduce secondary characters, and if you kill one or two off, it provides a great way to add a bit of surprise to the story, especially if you don't want to kill anyone important to the plot, but want to stress your characters a bit.

The traditional love storyline has been done to death.

People are much more open to the sort of modern day or non-traditional relationships these days. These are some of the examples i've used myself...

The gutsy chick and the quiet, sensitive boy.
The young male leader and the older, and heartbroken woman.
The bisexual male criminal and the friendly but naive friend.
The boy with a crush on his straight adopted brother, and the gay friend who adores him but goes unnoticed.

Guess what, love's complicated.

People get tired, they get thirsty, they get hungry, and they get in a bad mood.

And they complain about it too. By giving a character a loud peronality, an annoying voice, and then making them hungry, you've just set the scene for an amusing argument and confrontation.

Yes, there can be too much information.

Nobody cares what the temperature is, and they don't want to know what type of earrings the woman behind the desk is wearing. It's enough to say the the sun was shining down and the breeze was dry, and then get on with the important things.

Speaking of getting on with things, that was a long post, and i figure a lot of you aren't going to read it so I'll just say goodbye and thanks if you did. It's hard for me to have a gay blog and a writers blog at the same time, so... yeah... :D

1 comment:

Lach said...

Where were these tips when I was doing my english exam.. HUH?!

too late for that now isn't it :P