Get Scribbling!

Writing advice, quotes, critiques, prompts, and more to spark the imagination. Check out the FAQ for more info.
Jul 21 '14
We writers are born with something- I don’t know what it is- whether it’s a physical attribute, whether it’s something in the brain, most likely something in the formation of the brain that from early childhood we are unusually observant, we are always taking in what it is to be the other, the other person.
— Nadine Gordimer (via a-glimpse-of-eternity)

88 notes (via hundredsofcharacters & a-glimpse-of-eternity)Tags: quotes

Jul 17 '14

568 notes (via fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment)Tags: references

Jul 10 '14

Write about a tollbooth worker. Do they have anybody working with them? Is it on a busy road? Do they ever make conversation with drivers going past? Throw an interesting conflict their way—maybe a car breaking down or a psychotic driver who refuses to pay. Be creative!

Write about a tollbooth worker. Do they have anybody working with them? Is it on a busy road? Do they ever make conversation with drivers going past? Throw an interesting conflict their way—maybe a car breaking down or a psychotic driver who refuses to pay. Be creative!

36 notes Tags: tollbooth writing prompts writing prompt

Jul 7 '14

Character Consistency

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

If readers are going to understand character development, know when someone is behaving in an atypical manner, or form attachments to a character, consistent characterization is necessary.

Consistent characterization means that the writer has a clear understanding of their characters personalities and behavior, and remains stable in that characterization from chapter to chapter, episode to episode, book to book.

There is a difference between a character showing growth or having their personality revealed over time is that the change in audience perception or character behavior is believable and natural. Even characters that are living an act or hiding parts of themselves should make sense after their real personality is revealed, though it might take a second read. 

When characters seem to wobble around erratically, that’s inconsistent characterization. Actions that feel out of character and aren’t recognized as out of character in the narrative create murky characters which leave the audience confused, frustrated, or disinterested. 

This can be particularly difficult for serialized works with multiple writers. Tools like character bibles, good communication between writers, and someone appointed to strongly enforce of canon can combat some of the complications. However, even lone writers sometimes struggle to keep everyone in character and the details about them correct. 

Why? Straight up, keeping track of characters is hard. There are lots of fiddly things to keep sorted, and it’s much easier to think ‘what would I say in this situation’ or ‘how do people normally react’, which makes for some bland or off-model character actions. 

Also, people are sometimes made to act out of character in stories because the writer thinks that this will intensify drama. However, it ends up forced and unnatural, and can be really frustrating from a reader’s perspective. Opportunities for genuine and dramatic situations stem from characters reacting as themselves. Even in a plot-driven story with simplistic or static characters, the story will make more sense and be more engaging if characterization is clear and well-maintained.    

tl;dr:
Characters can be a mystery to readers or to other characters, but should never be a mystery to the writer. Don’t noodle around- keep track of each person and their personality, backstory, and behavior! 

A few ways to keep track of characters: 

  •  Character bible 
  •  Sketches/images
  •  Notes on what has been revealed to a reader thus far vs. what will be revealed later 
  •  Lists of mannerisms and habits 
  •  A few friendly readers to tell you if something feels off 

-Evvy 

Followers: What do you do to keep your characters consistent?

1,438 notes (via 90daywrite & fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment)Tags: writing tips

Jul 6 '14

Anonymous asked:

I'm currently working on a fantasy piece, but I've always pictured my main character to be an Indian woman. Is there a way to make this clear without using the word "Indian" (as it takes place in a separate world so this would not make sense). Should I jay describe her with characteristically Indian features and hope my vision comes across?

If you’re totally opposed to saying she is Indian, then yes, you should describe her how you picture her. Don’t just overly throw in stereotypical features, though—people have their own distinguished looks. You may also want to consider how her culture is different from the other characters’. Maybe there’s a background in your world that’s similar to that of an Indian one. Do some research! Even including subtle hints can help, so drop in descriptions of things like her clothing and types of foods she eats. Voice is always important, too. Dialect or even the structure of her sentences could reflect her lifestyle. Remember, fantasy always has to have some realism. Good luck!

7 notes Tags: asks

Jul 2 '14

Write about a thief who steals money. Do they rob banks? Maybe they break into people’s homes or pickpocket while walking down the street. What got them into the habit? What’s their background? Do they ever get caught?

Write about a thief who steals money. Do they rob banks? Maybe they break into people’s homes or pickpocket while walking down the street. What got them into the habit? What’s their background? Do they ever get caught?

59 notes Tags: thief writing prompt prompts writing

Jun 30 '14
If the novel is dead, I’m a necrophiliac.
— Tiffany Madison (via writingquotes)

218 notes (via writingquotes)Tags: quotes

Jun 26 '14

Write about someone struggling with the idea of leaving their childhood behind and growing older. What sources of conflict do they face either internally or externally about it? Do they act out or cause trouble? How do others respond? Focus on the angst and fear.

Write about someone struggling with the idea of leaving their childhood behind and growing older. What sources of conflict do they face either internally or externally about it? Do they act out or cause trouble? How do others respond? Focus on the angst and fear.

49 notes Tags: growing up writing prompt prompts writing

Jun 22 '14
Always mystify, torture, mislead, and surprise the audience as much as possible.
— Don Roff (via capn925)

91 notes (via hundredsofcharacters & capn925)Tags: quotes

Jun 17 '14

Write about a girls’ day. Who are the girls hanging out, and what do they do? Write some interesting dialogue between them. What is their history? Maybe throw some conflict and obstacles their way throughout the day.

Write about a girls’ day. Who are the girls hanging out, and what do they do? Write some interesting dialogue between them. What is their history? Maybe throw some conflict and obstacles their way throughout the day.

42 notes Tags: girls day writing prompt prompts writing

Jun 11 '14

Novel Planning

LitLift is a really good programme for planning novels. You can add a book then plan scenes, characters, settings, plotlines and items. There’s also a Character Name Generator, plus a library in which you can choose to share your work, or read others’.

(Source: thewritingcafe)

2,596 notes (via fixyourwritinghabits & thewritingcafe)Tags: misc litlift

Quantcast