Posts Tagged ‘Advice’

Good Evening, or is it technically morning? Either way Hello and Welcome back to the Psychotic Journey. 

I know I have been away for a while, and there is a few reasons for that. The first main one is life had cut my internet connection, then couple that with the wide spread flooding in Alberta (My province) then it’s not a hard leap to figure why my ‘away time’ lasted far longer than I would have liked. 

Lately mind you, I have not been able to really come up with anything substantial to post, and rather than keep you all wondering if I decided to pull a houdini again, I have been wracking my brain for topics to give you all. 

Presently there isn’t any. Which is incredibly sad since I have just started school for college prep, and I am starting criminal justice in November… but really I can’t seem to wrap my mind around any of these topics to make them interesting for you– my reader. 

So once again I have clicked on the ‘Inspire me’ button. So this is what I have gotten!

 

Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

There are so many to choose from, and too many words (honestly the length alone would put most readers off). I could tell you about the numerous times I’ve nearly died, (being hit by car– check, almost hung myself [accidently] — check, Pneumonia and collapsing lung– check.) All of which I believe are worthy of this ‘heart pounding belly twisting nervousness’ yet to me it doesn’t seem quite right. Given that this is a blog about the journey of my authorship– death, or very nearly death doesn’t seem like it would be appropriate don’t you agree?

So… now I am left wracking my brain to come up with something that fits this ‘strongest memory’. 

To be honest, my strongest memory when it comes to my writing is when i first picked up a pen and started on my first fan-fiction. I was about fourteen years old, and sitting in my friends trailer up (or is it down technically?) in Lake Erie. 

I wasn’t nervous about actually putting to page my thoughts, dreams and fancies– for I perpetually lived in a fantasy realm between the ages of 7 and 17, so that was never the problem. What made me nervous was actually reading this fanfiction with no structure, the spelling was horrendous– grammar HA! There was no grammar in that written work– heck it barely made sense when I was reading it aloud.

However, I didn’t care about any of that, what I was nervous about (and it was completely unfounded by the way) was if my friend (we’ll call her E from here in) would find the idea or the plot in the story interesting… would she be entertained by it?

I wouldn’t have been able to bare it at the time if she found the story to be dull or boring, something completely unoriginal. It would have stopped this passion of mine before it really took root. 

As I mentioned, this nervousness was completely unfounded. E, the girl she was (and woman she is now) is not a person to out right squash someone’s dreams and ruin what should be a happy moment simply because it was easy. She involved herself with my story, we wrote it and moulded it — never finished it and nor should it have been– but it was fun and set me on the path to writing. It gave me the courage to pitch to her the idea I had years earlier dealing with the then unnamed novel. 

The novel is now named and still a work in progress, but you’ve seen some of the excerpts on this very blog. E helped me gain the courage to start working on the hourglass, and with her help– allowed my imagination to grow and expand to the possibilities and endless wonders of the world I am trying to create for you all. 

It was also because of E that I was inspired to pick up a book and actually start reading something, just for the sheer fun of it. (The first book was called Wizards first rule– by terry goodkind, and the second was Green Rider by Kristen Britain– Great books, and I suggest you read both series when you have the time!) 

Long story short, the strongest memory I have when it comes to writing is that first fanfiction and the nervous anticipation of criticism that wasn’t coming my way. 

And I guess the moral of that little story is, you are your own worst critic. You, the author will always find the faults and the failures in yourself. Often you will reflect it in your own idea of what you’re writing, often internally but sometimes pitching a fit and ripping the metaphorical idea to shreds. 

My friend hadn’t even had the thought cross her mind that the story was dull (Even though it was infact incredibly dull but we were fourteen what did we really know?). 

so if you find your self nervously anticipating the worst case scenario every time someone views your blog, or manuscript, remember you’ve thought the worst already, and even if they don’t like it someone out there will. (Heck Twilight became a multi million best seller so anything is possible!) 

My best advice is to grit your teeth and plunge in the deep end all the way, because you only live once and what is the worst that can happen? You find that you don’t enjoy whatever it is you have taken on?  At least you tried and what more can anyone do in this life we live? 

Always (attempting to) write, 

Trisha Ellen 

P.S. Keep a lookout for a new footer image~ I’ve grown bored with my leopards and will be coming up with something new in the near future! If you have any suggestions as to an animal or object that you think would suit don’t be frightened to drop it in the comments box below! Heck, I love reading new comments! (I’ve come a long way from that fourteen year old who was frightened of criticism.) 

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Creating The Face

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Beginning, Characters, Help, Writing
Tags: , , ,

character traits

This is the second installment of my advice to Character Troubleshooting.

So, You’ve thought about the setting of your book (This includes but is not limited to, the era of your novel– Is it based in history somewhere, is it present, or even future?); And you’ve even thought about what kind of character you want. (Are they Dynamic personalities? Flat? Round? Are they The Protagonist, Antagonist, Anti-Hero?) So, now that you know that, the next step is to create the FACE of your character.

I am sure by now a lot of you are reading this with a strange look on your own faces wondering what kind of drugs I am on. Honestly I’m not on any–  just hear me out.

The reason I say this is because a lot of Authors that I know, create their characters from the NAME down. To me, this is the HARDEST way to create a character, because what if your character doesn’t at the end of the day suit their name? All those hours looking for a name that you really like, and holds what you want, would then be wasted. (well at very least wasted in this effort– if you have characters, or names you like keep them handy you never know when they’ll be useful.)

Now that I have explained the why– lets get down to business.

First things first; What is your characters Ethnic Background?

This is vastly important to note, even if it’s to your self, because not everyone holds similar facial features. (Beyond that of two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth that is…) For instance, if your character is of an Asian ethnic origin, that will help determine they’re height, the average weight, their coloring. (Most Asian’s have dark hair, and dark eyes though this isn’t ALWAYS the case, especially with hair dye`s and contact lenses– but we won`t complicate things.)

So, go a head, pick your ethnic type. Here is a  page I have created as a Quick Reference to sites I find useful for all different types of references that don’t exactly fit into the other drop-down categories.

Lets take a second to list what we’ve done so far,

  • Thought about the setting (When/Where)
  • Thought about Personality Types
  • Role the character is to play in the story
  • Ethnic Origin of the character*.

Given all the information you have compiled for this character you can now:

  • Give a Height
  • Give a Weight
  • Body Type
  • Hair& Eye Color (With out worrying over Hair style or Contact lenses for a moment)
  • Give a Generalized Facial Profile (This is the height of cheek bones, Broadness of the Brow line, The Shape of the head Etc)

You have now built from the ground up, a person- and it’s easy to give a person a Name– Especially when you know what they’re like. It’s no different then giving your family members Nicknames– Only your character isn’t going to be named Marshmallow-butt.

But what about all that work in figure out the Personality Type?! 

This is a critical part of your character’s creation. It’s the Heart and Soul of the character as it where. This part of the process (done early on in the creation process) serves three roles.

  1. The Role: Establishing the importance of the character. It’s important to know where your character is going to sit in the story line, as without knowing this you could wind up wasting valuable writing time making 500 characters that won’t be noticed in your book for more then a few lines. If this character your creating isn’t going to be important in the current book your writing, then it’s alright to blur the image of the character for the reader– after all you don’t want to confuse your readers with useless information. Too many names creates chaos.
  2. The Presence: Given the personality type you have chosen, this enhances the presence of your characters. Are they the calm silent type? Possibly a soldier? Well if they have a scar on their face– or a noticeable limp, this is a good way to give Back ground AND add to the Basic profile of your character.
  3. The Naming Process: With all the information on the personality type of your character, you have narrowed the list of names for your characters. From Personal experience, And reading experience  I have found that the personality more often then not goes along with the name. In other words, since you now know the way your character thinks (given the personality) you can choose a name that summarizes the character. For example  a character who is a pacifist, or even maybe a coward probably shouldn’t have a name that reflects being a warrior.

Just one last note on Name’s, Remember how I mentioned that the Ethnic Origin of your character can help you pick your character’s name? Well for Instance, if your character hails from japan- then your character isn’t likely to be named Elizabeth. Yuki is a more likely name. You can find a number of Helpful links to find names in My Names Page.

If your having trouble finding a name, you can apply all the different tactics that I gave you in my post Pen Names R Us. All those tactics apply to any naming endeavour that you may find along the road of your own writing. Best of Luck!~

Don’t forget to comment down below, and let other readers know what you have done to create your characters.

Always Writing,

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