Goals bum me out. There are lots of things I’d like to do, and I do it, but not when I tell me I have to do it.
I have looked for ways to understand free-thinking characters beyond lying awake until 2 a.m. I’ve written out backstories that will never make it near the story, had conversations with them, tried to step back into their headspace and usually failed -- until Myers-Briggs.
Maybe that was all he wanted, at first—a laugh. One night of blood-soaked earth for one really great chuckle. One thing was, without a doubt, not a “maybe”: after that first day, that first great laugh, someone was going to have to stop him. It was just too good a joke to stop telling.
The clown approaches with a balloon. Maybe we take it and share a smile, maybe the clown uses the string to strangle us, maybe we lose our senses and stab the clown.
Have you ever looked down a sewer grate and shuddered at the thought of finding yourself beneath those iron bars?
The Romans abandoned their hold on the British empire in the 5th century A.D. Why, then, did maintenance man Harry Martindale see a contingent of them march past in February of 1953?
I’ve heard the concept of this before and apply it when I write but reading it again gave me an unexpected breakthrough for one of my characters!
I’m grateful for a Creative Writing teacher in college who was wonderfully dialed in to elements like these. By actually putting down what makes great writing (and reading) into words it helped me realize that I could write fiction. It’s simple. Not easy, at all, but simple. Like there’s a pile of nuts and bolts in your brain and all you have to do is sort them and assemble something fantastic. It takes a long time but when it comes down to it, it’s just nuts and bolts.
by Michael Mohr
David Corbett—New York Times Notable author of many novels including Blood of Paradise (2007), Do They Know I’m running (2010), and The Mercy of the Night (2015)—published a sparkling, extremely-helpful nonfiction writers’ guide in 2013 entitled, “The Art of Character.”
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"Betty" is a 1900's woman who likes to wake you up at 2:36 a.m. by shouting your name. And heaven help you if you paint the walls the wrong color.
I wouldn’t get your hopes up that human eyes will be around to see what an Earth 50,000 years older will look like.
A stalker watches a family for months. The stalker gains the confidence to move into the family’s home. For reasons undetermined, perhaps the exposition of their “haunting”, the stalker becomes a murderer. After the murders, the evil or insane murder lives in the home for a few days as though it is their own. Wears the clothes of the victims, eats their food, sleeps in their bed.