Hey, uh, I'm writing a story for the first time, and i was wondering if you had any tips/links to posts with tips/that one post that went around a while back with the blank "character sheet" of questions to ask about your character to get a fully developed person out of them?
Well, my darling, I reblog tips and tricks all the time, but I am terrible at tagging, so I can’t dig them up for you, unfortunately. However, there are a multitude of writing blogs and writing tip blogs all over tumblr; try searching some tags and they’ll pop up. :)
If you want tips from me personally…phew.
- don’t overthink the plot if you’re not the type who does well with that kind of intensive thinking. some people can. i can’t, personally; i go by a loose outline with plenty of wiggle room.
- dressup games are pretty invaluable for me to get to know new characters. not only does it help me figure out what they look like, but especially in something whacky like a mermaid creator or something, I have to ask myself why a character would look this specific way and choose this specific accessory. It’s small-fry stuff but if you can figure out the little things like that, the big stuff comes easier. taking personality quizzes as a character is another good way to get in their brains.
- you just gotta jump in and write, babydoll. best way to get to know your world, your characters, your plot? jumping in and interacting with them. if you get stuck, approach the problem from another angle. if you just get bored, spice it up!
I’m actually the worst person to ask about writing tips, but these are tried-and-true for me. I would recommend playing around with what helps you most. If you’re one of those people who needs to nail down every detail before you start, more power to you, man, go for it. If you’re more the loosey-goosey type, right on, dude. Or, more appropriately, write on. There’s a story inside you that only you can tell, and I wish you the best of luck, because getting it out of you can be one of the hardest things in the world. You’ve just gotta keep trying. Good luck! <3
What if all you have is a plot? This is where I am going to deviate from practically anyone you have ever heard from, and tell you this: try writing fanfiction.
For those of you who don’t know what fanfiction is, it’s pretty simple, and I would bet that you have vaguely thought about doing something like it without ever realizing it. It goes like this: you see a movie or read a book or even play a game, something you really love, but when you’re done the first thing that pops into your head is “But what if they had done—-” or “And then what happened?” or “Gee if there had been a character like this—-“
Fanfiction is taking an existing world, and possibly even some of the characters, and writing your own stories in it. And it is a lot less intimidating than making everything else up for yourself (especially when you’re talking about fantasy, science fiction, or horror). Now I am not advocating that you do this with the idea of selling the thing, because that’s called plagiarism and it’s illegal. And there are writers and publishing companies that don’t allow fanfiction to be published in any form, even on the web, so you have to be very careful about that.
But for purposes of practice? It’s fun, it’s going to give you a giant kick-start, and you would be surprised at how many professionals started out that way (and still do it!). Well just as an example, go have a look at all the Star Trek, Star Wars, and game-based books there are out there. If you reduce things to principles, most of those are fanfiction—-fanfiction commissioned by and given the blessing of the publisher, and produced by professionals, yes, but still fanfiction.
And there are those of us professionals that still write fanfiction for fun (although I doubt there are very few who will be as up-front about it as I am). Sometimes it’s because someone else’s creation got us by the throat and our storytelling demon won’t let us go until we get our version down on paper or in pixels. Sometimes it’s because it’s not the genre we make our bread and butter at. (…)
Now get out there and conquer that blank page!