I know that there’s alot of threads similar to this but this mostly is on knowing and improving your character(s), scenes and more tips on different things!
Multilingual Characters (speaks several languages)
Give them a reason to know more than one language for example ;
Brianna is learning Spanish because it’s easier to communicate with her friends.
Brianna is learning French because she’s interested and eager to know/learn it.
Brianna is learning German because it’s a requirement in her school. And so on…
Know your Character:
Know your Character, know their Native language, know what languages they’re learning and what languages they already know. Just the way you would keep track of your own learning, keep track of your characters learning as well.
Familiarize yourself with the mistakes they make in their second language, Then write your character working to fix those mistakes.
I recommend going through this thread for more info
How to: Bilingual Characters
Describing Character’s features (Do’s and dont’s)
Example: he looked around with blue colored eyes.
This is totally unnecessary and very distracting. Question yourself, Is the eye color relevant to the story? If no, then dont point out the eye/hair/skin color etc.
Bringing up a description is fine but bringing up a description when it’s not needed just makes it’s obvious your just trying to boost the word count.
Another bad example: He looked at me with his blue eyes.
It basically means, He looked with eyes.
When your describing someone, its fine.
example: She had color hair and color eyes.
If their eye/hair/skin color is relevant, it will be something similar to this.
A good example: The receptionist looked at me with her cold blue eyes and I immediately looked away.
This is relevant to the story, your describing her gaze, so it’s relevant to point out the eye color.
Writing about grief
There is no right or wrong way to experience/write grief But this is to show how people react in different ways And also to give points on how to write it, depending on your story and character.
Denial: Some people deny the situation and the reality of the death and try to convince themselves that the news can’t be true or it’s a joke.
Numbness: The character may not be able to process the events that have unfolded.
Pretending they’re fine and everything is okay: Grief is viewed as an emotion that should cease or be concealed once the funeral is over. So people mention the news in an offhand comment and then talk and laugh as if everything is fine.
Anger: This can be aimed at other people at a Higher Being or themselves or at nothing in particular.
Focusing on others: Your character may disregard their own feelings they’re so overwhelmed and instead concentrate on someone else’s well being.
Unsteady: Your character may be unsteady, for example, unable to stop their voice from shaking or they find it difficult to stand or talk to someone.
Other things to note:
I’ve read so many stories with the Character typically heartbroken for a couple scenes and then happy again But grief does not evaporate because you found the love of your life or because the world need saving.
Sometimes grief can help you find your purpose.
Grief is not constrained by time.
Dont pause the plot to deal with the aspect of grief. This could overwhelm the readers and drag the pace down cause in reality, life doesn’t stop due to grief, the world keeps spinning and things still need to be done.Use the character’s grief as a backdrop for the story’s events.
You don’t need to tell your reader’s that everything will be fine. You dont have to provide all of the answers.
Traits and Personality
Traits are like a coin, you can come up heads or tails: Good and bad. Everyone has good and bad traits.
Characters need both good and bad. No person is wholly good or evil.
Good traits: Loyalty, Bravery, Kindness, Cleverness, Courage, politeness,Strength.
Bad traits: Impulsive, Ruse, arrogant, greedy, cruel, anger.
No character is simply kind because they are. No character is spiteful without reason. Characters are like clay, Moulded by experience. Explore a character’s background and pinpoint certain events that give your character reason to be.
Characters may reject a plain and simple path because they are too loyal, too impulsive, too spiteful and too polite. Your character could be too loyal and way too brave. He puts himself in danger to save people even when a safer option is there.
Give your characters a backstory
Giving Your character a backstory can be as simple as planning out their upbringing and past and what shaped them to be the person they are today. Any character you create should have their beliefs and reasonings. Even a villian needs a backstory and a drive for doing what they do.
Give them a goal
We all want something in life and so should your character. This brings your character to life and is a good way to plan out their character arcs.
Let them fail and make mistakes
Allow your characters to make mistakes, After all nobody is perfect. This is also a way to make your characters feel realistic.
Tips for writing friends to lovers
Let it be awkward at first: The beginnings of relationships between people who have a very strong friendship will always be awkward, because no matter how much they like each other romantically, the shift from platonic to romantic is still very strange. However the awkwardness should be somewhat entertaining, whether it could be a cute awkward, a sexy awkward, or a comedic one. This depends on your characters own discomfort and mechanisms.
Get the readers to ship your characters
First you have to make your readers care about the character’s individually, then show the reader that the characters complement each other and make each other better. Show the readers that the characters are supportive and kind to each other, that they push the other to improve and try to be happy, even if that happiness doesn’t come from them. Show the reader why they would be happy together and then the reader will want that for them.
Familiarity: Friends build up their own sets of inside jokes, references, language and experiences which affect how they communicate.
Honesty: If there is someone in the world who can grab your shoulders and say “stop being a asshole you moron” and who you will listen to, it probably is your best friend. If you don’t correct or educate your friends on certain topics they’re not aware of, what type of a friend are you? When your character’s mess up, you could make their bestfriend(s) teach him/her on where they messed up and give their honest opinions on the situation. Honesty is a must in every friendship.
Humour: Friends can banter like no other. Friends absorb each others lingo,But they also absorb each other’s humour and with all the familiarity friends tend to become stand up comedians around each other.
Time: consider the timeline of the friendship. Many of these things grow stronger with time, but others just change. Also consider the character’s stage of life and how their lifestyle would affect their friendship.
Jealousy: cut the jealousy. Are there jealous friendships? yes, but they aren’t healthy, and not normal. When i see my friends, i see amazing, beautiful people and not someone i have to be better than or wish i could live up to. So there’s no need to throw jealousy for ‘accuracy’ because it’s not, if it’s meant to be a healthy relationship.
Right ways you can kill Characters
- Make them important to the plot, not just the characters.
- Give them a future that’s cut off by their death.
- Use the death to accomplish something
- Make the death happen for no good reason
- Show the effect it has on the characters.
Writing Homosexual relationships/ Characters
Give them a personality
Someone’s sexual orientation doesn’t define them. Not every lesbian is a tomboy and not every Gay man loves shopping. This is the most common used idea but There’s nothing wrong with these, As long as your character has a personality aside from being gay.
Write it just like other relationships.
Just write the relationship like you would for a straight relationship, only the characters are the same gender. How affectionate the relationship is depends on the character’s personality.
DO your research.
Research is important if you want to portray the character’s realistically and not hurt someone’s feelings.
Avoid similar sounding names.
If your character’s are named as ‘Jim, Jill, John, Josh’ the reader WILL get confused. Try differentiate the number of syllabus and use different initials.
Make sure the name matches their race.
For Example, if your character is Chinese, they are more likely to have the last name ‘Wang’ rather than ‘Johnson’
Also, avoid inventing names, research if you are stuck as some name’s may offend readers.
Think about the time period.
If your story is set in the 1900’s, Something like ‘Margaret’ would sound more realistic rather than ‘Skye’.
Think about the genre.
The name ‘Salzirit’ sounds out of place in a realistic fiction story set in the modern day. Likewise an alien probably wouldn’t be named as ‘Jim Carter’
Tips to write a horror story.
- Think about what terrifies you and try listing out your greatest fears. Select one or more for your story. Sometimes, it helps to be scared when trying to frighten others.
- Create extreme emotions in your readers. Most likely, the main goal of your horror story is to evoke fear into your reader.
- Fear has many forms,including shock, dread, paranoia and repulsion.
- Keep your character in the dark. Try keeping some details hidden from the reader and your characters. This can help add some suspense.
- Read books in the horror genre. For me, Horror is an extremely difficult genre to write. Try reading and experimenting with different styles of horror.
Things to Avoid
As shocking as it may seem, people are not that stupid. some initial obliviousness is okay - for example, if A has a crush on B, but B has no reason to notice A until far later in the story. but once A and B have been around each other enough, B should have some idea about A’s infatuation.
Don’t just intro a character and briefly mention that they have ‘dark skin’ in an attempt to bring some diversity into your story. if it’s a fantasy world, the fact that your character has a different shade of skin should be elaborated : what’s their culture ? what is it like in their home country / kingdom / etc. ?
Smart / Nerdy Asians
Not all Asian’s are teacher’s pets, not all Asian’s wear glasses, not all Asian’s are awkward, not all Asian’s have overly strict parents.
Things to know about your character
How do they talk? Everyone talks differently, and I am not talking about accents or a stutter. In what tone do they speak? What words do they use a lot? Are they big chatters or are they quiet? Do they interrupt people regularly? Or are they not very talkative and mostly listen?
How does the character behave when nothing is happening? You’ve probably figured out what they are like when in danger or trouble, but what when all is quiet and they aren’t doing anything life-threatening? Are they comfortable and calm, can they sit still, enjoy the singing of birds or read a nice book? Or are they restless, jumpy, always expecting something horrible about to happen? Do they chat, do they like to take a nap, or, do they have a hobby ?
Does your character have a pet peeve? Many people have one. Slow walkers, loud chewers, noisy people, dog ears in books, wrinkled shirts, bad breath, messy hair, bad smell, dust, etc.
It’s useful to know your characters favourites. Favourite animals, favourite smells, favourite clothing, favourite food. It depends on your story which ones are relevant, but these apply to almost any genre. It’s always important wether your character prefers to wear dresses, a pair of jeans, or maybe likes both.
I’m pretty sure you’ve figured out your characters greatest fear. But what about something smaller? Something they find creepy or disgusting? Like mice, spiders, bats, or wasps. A traumatic event as a kid that made them scared of horses, birds or dogs. Abandoned parking lots, a dark alley at night, thunderstorms, being alone in the woods. Flickering lights, creaking doors. Little things that manage to freak them out. This way your character can be scared, without them having to face their greatest fear.
Ways to improve your writing flow
- Vary the length of your sentences.
- Don’t start two sentences in a row with the same word.
- Don’t end a sentence with the same word as the first word of the next sentence.
- Avoid overusing names. Try to use he/she/they where possible.
- Balance your descriptions, actions and dialogue. Too much from one of these can cause choppy writing.
- Check if you’re not describing the same thing over and over again.
- Speak your dialogue out loud to see if it’s realistic and if it sounds like something a real person would say.
- If you struggle to write a conversation with a good flow, write your dialogue first and add in actions and description later.
Pacing your story.
The pace, or the speed, that your story is told, is important for a few reasons. Too slow, and your audience may get bored if the story does not move along. Too fast, and your audience will quickly have no idea what the hell is going on.
Genre and Style
Different genres require different speeds. For example, you may want a mystery story to move slowly: building suspense, raising questions, adding twists, etc. Adventure stories, however, may move speedily, keeping the audience on edge and constantly having things happening that moves the plot along. On the very first page, you could shove the reader right into the scene.
Your character can also have a big impact on the pacing of your writing. If your character is the type who takes in their environment in a slow, observant way, the plot can move along with the character, and this tells the reader more about the person themselves. The same goes for the opposite.
If you have a very detailed, hundreds of chapters long plot, the story will need to be placed in a suitable way that everything happens soon enough into the beginning, as well as spacing out events so that there is a little bit of breathing time.
Writing Sad endings
Have happy moments throughout the story. A sad ending might not make a big imapct if the whole story is full of tragedy. Throw in some light- hearted scenes. Try writing one right before the climax for your ending to have a greater impact.
Make Your Reader Care. Show how hard your Character(s) strives to achieve their goal, only to be defeated in the end. Remember to develop your characters! If everyone finds them boring, your readers might be smiling instead.
Make the ending worth it. Pour your heart and soul into your book. Edit your writing until it’s amazing. Just enjoy what you do! The reader wont put down your story. Maybe the ending is sad, but it’ll be and unforgettable story.
If you want your readers to feel like part of the story, the first thing you have to do is make sure they feel connected to the characters, especially the main character. Create characters who:
– feel authentic/believable, with a nice balance of positive and negative traits
– have sympathetic (or at least understandable) motivation and goals
– aren’t overly skilled/talented
– aren’t overly flawed/negative
– has well developed relationships with other characters
– has a character arc that compliments the story
Writing A Scene (Things to know)
- What needs to happen in this scene?
- Whats the worst that could happen if this scene were ormitted? (
- Who Needs to be in this scene?
- Where could the scene take place?
- What’s the most surprising thing in the scene?
- Is this a long or short scene?
- Brainstorm three different ways it could happen.
- Play the scene in your head.
- Write a scribble version.
Ways to finish a scene
Statement. Counter statement. Example: And so we had a mission: keep safe. Needless to say we weren’t going to fulfill that mission.
Don’t. Pretend it’s a movie and you just cut the scene, because nothing else interesting is going to happen, or if you want whatever comes next to be implied. Example: He sat down and looked out of the window.
Dialogue. Finish it with a very heavy sentence that will predict what comes next. Example: “Quit the blabber you two. You are going on trial!”.
Some grammer errors to check.
“ohh” and “ooh” are very different in both meaning and pronunciation.
ohh should be used as in “ohh i get it now!”
ooh should be used as in “ooh, that’s really cool!”
To is a preposition with several meanings- It mostly means “towards” and “until” or to show motion, Whereas too is an adverb that can mean “excessively” or “also."
To- “I’m going to the shop.”
Too- “I would like to come too but I’m too tired.”
punctuation always goes inside quotations.
incorrect : “Hello”, she said.
correct : “Hello,” she said.
Double-check that you’re using the right words! it might surprise you how often people mix up ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ - and even more confuse ‘there,’ ‘their,’ and ‘they’re.’
Writing Drama. (Do’s and Dont’s)
- Show, not tell: drama is all about EMOTION. Show what all your characters are thinking and feeling to convince your readers that it’s real
- Create REALISTIC drama: drama should be made “naturally” because of your characters’ different personalities
- Make it useful: dramatic scenes should be made for advancing the storyline
- Use old tropes, like “misunderstandings” or “love triangles”. Your readers will thank you.
- Overthink: drama should come from the heart. If you overthinking everything, it will feel fake
- Aim for a reaction: if your main goal for drama is to make your READER cry, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, try getting a reaction from your CHARACTERS
What is a plot?
A plot is the chain of events that make up the story in a book, movie, TV show, and the like. A plot generally consists of five major points: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution/ Denouement.
This is the beginning of the story. Here, the reader is introduced to the setting, the characters, and the main conflict.
This is where the story starts to get complicated. The conflict begins to escalate to a much bigger issue.
This is the middle of the story. The characters may be panicking, as the conflict has reached its peak.
By this point of the story, the characters may have thought of a solution to the issue and are implementing it. The story begins to cool down.
This is the end of the story. The story is at a stopping point, the main issue resolved. If you’re writing a series, this may be where you would add the extra bit of information that leads into the next book.
What is a subplot?
A subplot is a plot that exists inside the main plot. An example being a group of characters working together to reach a concrete goal, but romantic tension existing between the two main characters at the same time - the subplot.
Their relationships are going to depend on how they grew up. Were their parents together? Did they live in the same place? What major events did they go through?
Siblings tease each other and will push each other’s buttons. They’ve grown up together- they know their siblings better than anyone else.
They will be protective of each other. While they most likely will not be verbally expressing their love, they will do it in small, considerate interactions with each other.
While siblings can use nicknames, there are some that are not common and should be used sparingly. In most cases, siblings do not use “bro” or “sis”. However, other names are more common, like a young sibling may call their older sister “sissy”, or older siblings may call their younger brother “buddy”.
(Siblings sometimes do call each other “bro” or “sis”, It depends on what background the character has at times too, so calling each other “bro” and “sis” can be normal too!
If there’s something you can predict being on this list, it’s disagreements. SIblings didn’t have a choice to be placed together, (this is different than best friends), there for they could have contrasting and grating personalities.
Some siblings are constantly fighting, sometimes with words other times with physical violence. But make sure the arguments are not hateful. They could be if the people are really furious, but most of the time there should only be shouting and glares. Nothing that could ruin a relationship.
You may not know it, but 9/10 siblings love each other (in a family way). They have grown up together (unless if there’s a serious age difference or were separated). They have shared their lives, and had many fond memories.They should care about each other. Stick up for one another. If one is in danger the other should risk their life to save them, even right after a argument.
Usually siblings don’t explicitly show their love. In fact they try to hide, perhaps even lie. This is usually because of their pride and not wanting the other to have an upperhand. Adult siblings, I have noticed, are normally not so prideful and do show their feelings. But almost all teenagers, children,and young adults do not.
This can change if they have been through a traumatic situation. Most people reveal their true emotions during hard times, especially if they had almost died. So take this into account.
The best parts of relationships. Good moments are necessary in all bonds that involve love.
Siblings may not be similar in personalities but they should know the other’s personality well. Like I said earlier, they have shared their lives together, they should know their siblings inside and out. They know what they like, their preferences and favorite stuff.
Siblings can be completely opposites, but they should have some similarities. Not only in physical descriptions, but also in their dislikes and likes. Like how everybody is different, everyone is also similar in some way.
Ways To End Your Story
The Circle Ending - A story that does a full circle and comes back to the beginning
The Moral Ending - An ending where you learn a lesson and see the character develop
The Surprise Ending - A big plot twist last minute
The Reflection Ending - The Character looks back on their past achievements and experiences
The Emotional Ending - Leave your readers feeling sad, bittersweet, or happy
The Cliff Hanger Ending - End on something that will leave your readers at the edge of their seat
The Humor Ending - Finish in a funny or humorous way
The Question Ending - Make the reader wonder what will happen next
The Dialogue Ending - Finish with a quote from one of your characters
Tips to write forbidden love.
Choosing The Right Obstacle
There’s a lot of different things you could put in the way of your characters being together. It’s also important to think about your setting and your characters’ backgrounds because these two aspects set up the obstacles to hit them organically.
A relationship can be prevented from blossoming for many reasons, and not all of them have to do with things outside the characters’ control. Some relationships are forbidden because one or both of the characters see the consequences of them being together as too severe to risk. A good example of this is when the characters are afraid of a longstanding friendship falling apart in the case of a breakup.
Potraying A Healthy Relationship
It’s important that you decide whether your story is meant to be a happily ever after or a cautionary tale. Be purposeful in how you portray your characters and their actions and how you make it come across to the reader. In the case of forbidden love, it’s very easy to romanticize impulse and obsessive behavior for the sake of melodrama. If you’re going to potray, say, two characters falling in love with the idea of each other, make sure you also get across to the reader that it’s unhealthy behavior and emphasize the conflict that this will inevitably introduce.
Nailing The Angst
There will obviously be a lot of struggle in a forbidden love situation, and the best way to show your characters suffering is by showing how their lives are without each other. Show the reader why the characters are miserable and why they are so relieved when they’re together again. It’s hard to live a life apart from the ones you love, especially when there’s something in your way that you have no power to change. Show that, and the reader will empathize with your characters.
Drama is key with forbidden love, but going over the top can put a bad taste in your reader’s mouth. Be cautious when coming up with plot points. Ask yourself, “is this too much?”, because drama has its place and it doesn’t always have to be super believable, but the suspension of disbelief (avoiding critical thinking) is important to any work in any genre, so toe that line carefully.
Some Reasons a love is forbidden
- taboo in society
- already promised to someone else
- already in a relationship
- class difference
- age difference
- feuding families
- religious restrictions or different beliefs
- race tensions
- society is hostile towards LGBTQIA+ relationships
- violation against the Girl or Bro Code
Writing Enemies to lovers
Take The Time To Make It Believable
There is a certain amount of care required in the depiction of these stories because they can be really touchy and very easily lead awry. It needs to be handled with care when you tell the reader that this character is going to forgive the other one for doing this, and why. Show the thought process, show the growth, show the reason, and give the story time to make that change reasonable in the reader’s head.
Roll In The Tension
Let the tension build, thicken, and sit in the reader’s tummy. That’s the most delicious part of reading this trope, and the most fun part to write, so enjoy it, and don’t ask yourself if it’s “too intense” or if you need to speed up the pace. Let it simmer, and let the reader stew in it. The longer you draw it out, the yummier the resolution will be.
Give Up Pride, Not Values
Your characters should not end the story by forfeiting what they feel and believe in order to win the other over. That’s not how life works, and that’s not a good way to depict love and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the main theme of enemies-to-lovers stories, after all, and if you’re writing romance, you should imprint a healthy romantic story into your reader’s memory, even if it’s bumpy, tense, and dramatic for the majority of the actual events.
Make The Relationship Improve Them Both
Romances usually hold a meaning or message about romance that the reader will take away from the story at hand. Your message should, ultimately, be that these two people, despite their differences and shortcomings, grew to forgive each other for their mutual mistakes, found common ground, and even fell in love. The end of a romance should be positive, or at least transformative to the reader in a positive way. The couple you depict, if they are meant to be a good couple in the context of the story, should improve each other, and make each others’ lives better.
Abuse vs. Rivalry
There is a poignant difference between two people who are abusing each other and two people who don’t like one another. Abuse can be heavily romanticized or forgiven when this trope is approached with inadequate care and attention. If one or both of the members of the couple actively bring each other down, truly, in an emotional, mental, or physical way, it’s abuse, not enemy-ship, and if that’s intentional, you shouldn’t call your story a romance. Abuse is not romantic, and it never should be depicted to be so.
Creating a love interest for an Introvert
I don’t think that personality has that much to do with how individuals interact, to be quite honest. In real life, people behave differently around different people, depending on the context. People build relationships based on how the behave around each other, not based on if they’re talkative or introverted.
Instead of focusing on the characters’ personalities, you should focus more on how the love interest interacts with the protagonist. It is how they treat the protagonist that will determine what extent and how quickly the protagonist opens up to them. For instance, if the love interest is kind to the protagonist and calmly persistent, the protagonist will most likely open up faster than if the love interest is rude and talks down to them.
When writing emotionally reserved characters
This list is obviously subjective. There is no “right” or “wrong”, but as an emotionally reserved person, these are some things I thought were worth mentioning! You don’t have to do everything on this list, it’s simply here for inspiration/a bit of help.
- Show your character’s struggles with holding in emotions. Just because your character won’t let themself go in public, doesn’t mean they don’t struggle holding everything in.
- Find a motive. Pride and/or consideration for those around them can make emotionally reserved people hold back more than would be considered good for them. There are other reasons too. Think of something, perhaps the initial cause and the reason now are different, but try to give them a reason.
- Show side-effects. Everything you bottle up shows itself in another way, whether it’s physical or mental. This can be long- and short-term, depending on the severity of the emotions.
- Give them coping mechanisms. Everyone who wishes not to show certain emotions has a trick or two to keep themselves in check. Taking a sip of water, not looking people in the eyes, clenching their fists, breathing just a bit too deeply/shallow. There are a few lists of these online, I believe.
- Write subconscious signs that they give off, which their close friends or family might pick up on. Just because these characters want to keep their emotions to themselves, doesn’t mean they don’t give off signs. Some manage to keep said signs well hidden from those closest to them, but it’s more common for their environment to pick up on something at the very least.
- Convey their confusion/bewilderment when they’re confronted with others’ emotions. Most of the time, it’s difficult for an emotionally reserved person to understand why on earth someone else can’t keep themself under control.
- Pick one main emotion to hide. This is the one they’re most uncomfortable showing, one they decide they’d rather go through physical and emotional pain than showing. Depending on whether their keeping to themself has to do with pride, your character might not even want to let this emotion surface when they’re alone. Generally these are the “weakest” emotions: sadness, fear, etc.
- Let them cover up one emotion with another when they really can’t keep a straight face anymore. Generally speaking, anger is an amazing cover-up for a variety of emotions. Your voice is less likely to break when you raise it, that upset look on your face will suddenly make sense.
Tips for writing flashbacks
Flashbacks are not (in my opinion) bad. they’re fun, actually. If you spent all this time putting together your characters backstory, what better way to tell your reader than to show an event in their life? but even if i like them, some say you should say avoid flashbacks at all costs, so first lets dig into why they say that
The ultimate danger of flashbacks is that while they seem like showing, they come off as telling; you’re explaining a part of your characters life that they’ve already experienced, taking away from the present story. When you write a flashback, you’re stopping your story in its track to go back in time, and unless you give your reader a good reason to redirect their attention, they might lose interest.
If you’re writing a flashback, you have to keep the momentum of your story going simultaneously. and to do that, you should know the 2 flashback fundamentals: where you place it in your story and why.
Where: If you’re putting your reader into a character’s head (whether in first or third person) and you write a flashback, your reader will assume the flashback is what the pov character is thinking about at the moment. you want your reader to relive that flashback with the character, and come out with more understanding of the character than before. for example, if your character was reminded of an incident from when they were younger, then it’s probably appropriateto segue into reliving that incident and bring your reader along with them.
Why: The most important question to ask is the why. why is the flashback important? why does the event you’re writing have to be it’s own scene? why cant can’t be said or summarized in a little paragraph?
essentially, flashbacks serve one big function: it gives the reader insight on why a character is the way they are. what made them make this climactic decision? what made them choose to leave their town? why do they act clueless when they’re more intelligent than anyone else in the story? no matter what question is asked, a flashback has to answer one, and it’s your job as a writer to make the reader ask it. it be pretty satisfying if you’ve been setting up a question throughout and the flashback gives all the answers.
- Consider the relationships between characters: What is your MC’s relationship with their step-parent like? Do they have any step- siblings? You might want to think about how your MC views their step-family and vice versa
- How does your character adjust?: if your MC has a close relationship with their biological parent, how do they adjust to a new family? Were they reluctant to interact with their step parent at first? Did they get along well? Try and plot out the timeline as well.
- Understand the common stereotypes: Some of these are sometimes true and it’s ok to write about them, but try and do it respectfully.
- The evil / abusive step-parent
- Blended family = messed up
- Step-siblings falling in love with each other (I suggest you avoid writing this)
- Research: If you don’t have a step-parent, try and research. You might want to read about people’s experiences on having a step-family. Every family is different, step-parent or not. Try and keep this in mind and develop them like any other family.
Reluctantly falling in love
This is for characters who avoid attachments and intercourse but found themselves falling for someone
Why do they not want to fall in love? Is it because they don’t believe in it, or is it because they’re so busy with their careers that they never even thought about it? Giving a reason will build depth to your character, especially a more unique one.
What makes them fall in love? No matter what POV you’re writing in, you could have the character say it out loud, or if they’re subconsciously falling in love, write descriptions of their thoughts and what they subconsciously notice about the other person, like for example, how they’re always so positive. It could be a passing thought.
When they’re slowly falling in love, there may be a change in behavioral patterns, so they’re going to start doing things people do when they like someone, like always looking at them, going out of their way to help them or just be with the person they fancy. If you’re writing in your character’s POV, you could also incorporate thoughts of the person they like, constantly linking and thinking of their crush. They don’t have to necessarily be dating in order for your character to do these things.
Another way to show readers their feelings is through other characters. Other characters could be teasing them about it, while your main character blatantly denies the feelings, which may lead them to think about it, leading to a realization after a series of events.
Writing ship-able couples
Give them reasons to click
- The two characters must have things in common - a hobby, a philosophy, a background. There has to be some element that connects them.
- Your readers will root for relationships in which the characters fit together better than they would with others.
- Also, make their traits compatible. Have them share some characteristics or have their strengths and weaknesses be complementary. Is the one hotheaded? Maybe the other keeps their cool well in situations of conflict.
- There are endless possibilities. Just make sure there’s a reason these two people like/love each other.
Have them be vulnerable in front of each other
(Personally, this is the best way to get me to love a couple)
- Have them share secrets, open up about their feelings and tell each other things they haven’t told anyone. Have them cry in front of each other and comfort each other.
- This can be taken to a whole new level by having them understand the other’s emotions even without speaking and already offer comfort. Keep in mind that this will probably only be possible with long-established couples.
- And having them open up is also a great way for them to discover all the things they have in common/love about each other.
Build up the tension
I cannot emphasise this enough: DO NOT MAKE YOUR COUPLES GET TOGETHER TOO QUICKLY.
- One of the best elements of a romantic subplot (or even main plot) is the tension. Your readers want to see the pining! They want the build-up.
- And no, I’m not saying that you should introduce endless, petty obstacles. That can become tedious and appear forced.
- Just give your characters time to sort through their feelings. Make them fall in love slowly. Have them be unsure. Insert SOME obstacles/conflicts.
- Have them almost kiss a few times. Not all the time. Too many almost-kisses can become frustrating. But you should throw a few in there.
- And, if you feel comfortable with it, add some sexual tension. Have them notice each other’s bodies and imagine what they’d like to do to each other (that sounds more explicit than I intended :)) )
Writing a healthy relationship
(This could just be me and my rejection of unhealthy romances, but I will not root for abusive relationships.) You shouldn’t too.
- Have your characters be kind to each other, support each other and truly care for each other.
- If your characters are constantly putting each other down, physically/emotionally abusing each other or going against the other’s wishes, they’re not in a healthy relationship.
- A great way to write a healthy relationship whilst still maintaining the tension, is to have the conflict in the relationship be external. Instead of having the conflict be due to internal struggles between the two characters, have obstacles enter from outside.
- Your readers should want them to be together and for that, they should be good for each other.
Have their friends/family see their chemistry
- I find it beyond adorable when two characters are still figuring out their feelings for each other, but the fact that they’re perfect for each other is crystal clear to everyone around them.
- Have their friends tease them about the relationship. Have family members ask after the them. Have their loved ones conspire to get them to admit their feelings.
- If your other characters are rooting for them, your readers will probably do so as well.
- Plus, this means that the chemistry between the two characters is so strong that it’s obvious, which is always good for an exciting romance.
Make sure you and your characters know what the characters role is so that you can make them follow that throughout the whole story. If your characters role is to make their best friend more brave, have your character also develop through that by learning other things.
Something that could probably help a lot is making a character arc for each of your characters. If you don’t know what is it, it’s literally just how your character develops throughout the story so you follow it and not stray from.
Show, don’t tell. Although this goes for EVERYTHING, telling instead of showing especially when trying to develop your character will really help because your reader will be able to tell how much your character is developing based on the actions they make and they feel.
Asking yourself questions like these for certain aspects can help you with the creation process and help you make sure that you don’t forget anything!
- What can magic do?
- What can it control/change?
- What can’t it do?
- What happens when you use it?
- What happens after you use it?
- Is it limited?
- Who has it?
- Does it come naturally? Can it be learned? Both?
- Who teaches it? Family? A school? Instinct?
- How are the users called?
- How do characters’ emotions affect their ability to use magic? Do their emotions affect the magic’s intensity or controllability?
- How is it used? Do you need anything specific to do it?
- Can it be amplified? How?
- Does it give any physical indicators? (smell, shines, electrifies the air etc…)
- How is it seen by society?
- How does it change society?
- How do magic users and non magic users interact?
- What tools are needed to harness magic? Wands? Spells? Magical artifacts?
- Can creatures other than humans learn magic? Are different creatures better at using different kinds of magic?
- When does it appear? (at birth, at a certain age, after learning…)
- Can it wear off? When? As a cause of injury or age? As burnout?
- When does a burnout happen? Is i reversible? How does it come back? Can it be deadly?
Some ways to introduce characters
- By saving them
- By meeting them through a mistake/ drunken accident
- Through an event/ special occasion. eg. Funeral, Birthday, Wedding etc…
- Being introduced to them through other friends
- By doing a good deed, thus causing the favour to be returned
- By getting placed in a group together
- By getting sent to them on a quest of sorts
- Through average day to day activities
How to write an Indian Character by an Indian person.
Disclaimer: when i say Indian, I don’t mean native Indian. I mean INDIAN INDIAN.
- India is a large country not all Indians are Hindu.
- Not all Indians are vegetarian.
- Not all Indians are math wizards.
- Not all Indian people are nerds who don’t know how to date.
- Not all Indian people are straight and cis. (if you’re writing about Hijra or Kinner character then please do a lot of research into their culture before you write them, Hijras and Kinners are often misrepresented in Indian society to be evil and such other things)
- We don’t eat curry, curry is not a real thing. You have to be more specific than just curry. Like please for the love of god.
- The name of the language of India is Hindi, not Indian.
- India has many other languages other than Hindi. Eg. Punjabi, Gujarati, Telugu, Marathi and many households prefer to talk in their native state/city languages rather than Hindi.
- Indian cuisines vary from region to region. So not everyone in India likes to eat the same thing. North Indian and South Indian cuisines are very different from each other.
- Not all Indians celebrate the same festivals but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy them all.
- Many people’s Indian accents are a lot more subtle than you think.
- Different regions in India have different cultural clothing.
- Not all Indian people look like your typical brown skin black hair, northeast Indians more often than not have features very similar to Chinese people. (But remember when you write northeastern Indian characters, many of them are discriminated against in mainland India and some of them don’t really believe themselves to be Indian)
- Indian English is more similar to British English than American. Indian English has its own slang too.
Some Indian English things to know:
- Duffer = slang for stupid
- Eating my brain means you’re irritating. Eg. “Stop eating my brain” which means stop irritating me
Indian characters can be very hard to write depending on which religion, region, gender, sexuality you choose for them to be. India is a large country, when writing Indian characters, remember that this is the second largest population in the entire world, not all Indian characters are the same, especially the ones you see these days in mainstream western media.
Tips to write a Murderer
Give them power! They shouldn’t be weaker than your protagonist! You could make them stronger physically. They should be capable to take on the protagonist and it should make the stakes fairly high. You want your murderer to be stronger than your protagonist to make the victim’s risk greater.
Some good reasons to kill
- Its personal
- didnt choose their upbringing
- felt trapped their whole life
- felt alone in the world for so long they really feel as if they are alone.
- always been dealt a bad hand
- treated poorly at work
- no love or respect at home
- blackmail from friend or family
- snapped in a fit of rage
Reveal their true motivation
It’s similar to this character having a backstory, however you want to make sure they have a good motive before they go and kill someone
- Do they want to kill to protect someone?
- money, power, fame?
- do they hate anyone?
- do they feel they’ve been mistreated?
Have fun being clever! your story should hold value to the question of “who done it?” and “why?” You, as well as your readers, get to see where your story will go with who did it, why, and what will go from there. Do keep in mind that most murder mysteries dont leave readers on a cliffhanger at the end.
Writing schizophrenic characters (things to know)
P.S: This is taken from google, However, I did some research and then posted this.
When we think of schizophrenia, we often imagine serial killers motivated by the voices in their heads.
But schizophrenia is so much more than that. Most of the people with it don’t hurt other people—they’re much more likely to hurt themselves. Schizophrenia is a difficult condition to write about because it’s so misunderstood. Sadly, stories in the media don’t help. That’s why examples in literature are so important—they help to normalise mental health conditions.
This, in turn, makes those with the condition feel less alone. It also educates those around them so that they can be more supportive. However, schizophrenia can and does ruin the lives of those with it, and those around them.
People with it can end up permanently institutionalised. But this is only one side of it. Much like with any other mental health condition, there are millions of different ways it can affect someone’s life.
Why not shake things up in your story? Why not have a schizophrenic character who has a high-powered job or leads a normal life?
Development of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can appear suddenly and out of nowhere. It can also develop gradually over months or even years. The use of certain recreational drugs has been linked to the development of schizophrenia, but it’s not known whether users develop schizophrenia because of the drugs, or the other way around.
As with other mental health conditions such as anxiety or bipolar disorder, it’s also thought that stress could be a trigger.
Symptoms of schizophrenia
Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into two categories: positive and negative. Don’t be fooled, though—this doesn’t mean that one set of symptoms are better or worse than the other.
Positive symptoms are when a person experiences things that aren’t real, such as hallucinations or delusions.
Negative symptoms are when a person withdraws and loses motivation.
Hallucinations—especially auditory hallucinations—are the most well-known symptom of schizophrenia. Hallucinations involve seeing, hearing, feeling, or tasting something that isn’t actually there But the brain is convinced that it is. It’s so convinced it’s there that when brain scans were conducted on people with the condition, their brains genuinely thought their hallucinations were happening. For instance, if the person with schizophrenia hallucinates someone standing in front of them, they won’t know it’s a hallucination—they’ll actually believe there’s a person standing in front of them, even if the room they’re in is empty.
Some of the time, when someone hears voices, they’re friendly. A lot of the time, they’re not. They can be overly critical, or just downright annoying.
The NHS describes a delusion as:
A belief held with complete conviction, even though it’s based on a mistaken, strange or unrealistic view. Delusions can be tied to hallucinations, or used as a way to explain them. Sometimes they happen out of nowhere, other times they build up gradually.
Examples of delusions:
Believing they’re being followed or persecuted
Believing books, films, or TV shows are sending them subliminal messages
Believing they’re god
With so much going on in a person’s brain, it’s no wonder they can’t concentrate.
Disconnection from everything around you
When you have no idea what’s real and what isn’t, it can be very disorientating. This can lead to disconnecting from everything around you. Auditory hallucinations may also tell the person to cut themselves off from the people around them because they’re harmful, or to avoid certain places.
Lack of self-care
This is a common symptom of many mental health problems. If you don’t feel great mentally, you feel less inclined to look after yourself. Sufferers may also fail to realise they’re not conducting basic self-care tasks if they’re wrapped up in their own world and disconnected from everything around them.
Lack of interest in things
A lack of interest in things could be related to a change in thoughts or behaviours, or it could be related to hallucinations or delusions. For instance, if someone believes they’re being followed, they’re less likely to want to leave the house.
Avoiding people is a common sign of schizophrenia. If you can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t, it’s no wonder people want to cut off from the outside world.
Disorganised thinking and speech
People with schizophrenia can appear a little bit all over the place. They may jump from topic to topic when talking, and there may be no apparent pattern or thought process to what they say
Writing problematic characters
I despise “perfect” characters that can do no wrong. It’s unrealistic. Everybody does things that are problematic/questionable, Its what makes us people.We mess up, we make mistakes, we hurt people, we have different opinions.
Your probably thinking “but what they’re doing is harmful” and i agree. People do that. What’s important about writing problematic characters is having other characters call them out,hold them accountable and explain what they’re doing is wrong so the reader is aware that their actions are wrong.
As long as you have atleast one person, or the narrator, making it CLEAR that what they’re doing is harmful (and eventually come to the realization themselves, apologize, and change) then i say write away.
Writing Slow- Burn romance
Whats slow burn?
Slow Burn, to me, is a romance that is, well, slow. There’s no fall in love at first sight and the romance line isn’t linear-- Theres drips and falls and stuff. I love it because if done right, it can keep the reader wanting them to finally end up together which will make them want to finish the story.
Slowing it down
- make it slow, but not too slow. Give the readers little moments and interactions at first and then show how they develop a deeper connection over time
- you need realistic reasons for why they are not together yet
- make it realistic, a couple with good chemistry needs to be balanced
- they need to have similarities to make them connect, but don’t just agree with everything the other one is doing
- same goes for contradicting traits, it is important to show the differences and working around them makes for a good partnership, but don’t have them fight constantly
- slow burn is often full of mistakes, misunderstandings and problems, but your characters should never do something that is unforgivable for the other person
- don’t make one person totally unlikable without a believable redemption arc and the other person to be a sweetheart, because chances are, the readers may not even want them to be together in the end
- don’t make the pair dysfunctional without giving the reader reason to believe that they better themselves and their relationship, otherwise the reader will leave the happy ending feeling like this is not going to work out in the long run and is therefore really unsatisfying
Writing a strong epilogue
So the plot has reached its conclusion, your character’s have survived (though maybe not all of them) and it’s time for the story to come to an end. But if you feel that your story needs a deeper chapter specifically for closure, you may want to add an epilogue!
An epilogue is a way to give the readers an idea of what happens after the story has ended. It can take place weeks after it’s ended, months, or even years! It depends on how much closure you want.
1) Decide on the point of view you want to tell it from! If you write in first person and are looking for final closure (end of series, for example), you can aslo write in the third person as a way of a “storybook” closure, which can be comforting or happy for the reader
2) Plot out what you want to happen! There’s always a reason for epilogues, whether it’s to end the conflict once and for all, or to build up to a cliffhanger. Figure out what the purpose of it is.
3) If you’re writing a sequel, an epilogue can be a great way to hint at unresolved conflict or hint something that will happen in a future book.
4) keep the epilogue brief! Maybe 10-12 minutes at the most is the best. You don’t want to make it too long.
5) Don’t give random details. Since you’re in the ending, you don’t want to throw in random details that will ruin the flow of things.
6) Release the tension if it’s a happy ending. Leaving unresolved tension, especially if there wont be a sequel, will annoy the reader.
Tips to write Arguments
Arguments. The conversations that contain yelling, screaming, insults, hurting, frustration, and occasionally…humor.
Perhaps the frustration has been building in one of your characters for days, weeks, and in extreme cases, years. When the emotions build up so does the level of the argument.
Emotions that has been strengthening for hours compared to minutes will blow up in a more dramatic way.
So there are many reasoning for the argument. Maybe what the discussion is about isn’t actually what the person is upset about. Two characters may be fighting over who ate the last muffin but in reality one of the characters have been feeling left out and has taken their frustration on a muffin. Maybe the characters simply hate each other and look for any reason to get under the others skin. There are so many reasons and its all determined on your characters.
Serious vs Trivial:
The serious arguments compared to trivial disagreements have much more emotion behind it. There has to be pain, mixed with other emotions creating a complicated mess.
Most quarrels are minor, (usually not un important), but not consequential. Serious arguments can include hateful words, and revealing feelings they have never shared before. But not all significant disagreements are relationship ruining. In fact it can strengthen the bond.
Trivial- Develops the situation
Serious- Develops the characters
(Note: This isn’t correct all the time. Serious can develop the situation as well as trivial developing the characters)
I just touched on it but most if not all arguments should be impactful in some way. Minor or Major.
Maybe it should foreshadow something that’s going to happen or dawns realization on a character. It can destroy or build relationships, or bring the problems up. They can also show the contrasts between characters.
Making sure your Characters aren’t Useless/Helpless
Obviously, if your story is a character driven story then not all of your characters are helpless. But there may be one or two characters that seem to always need help, or don’t give anything to the plot. The clear answer is to get rid of them entirely but if you really love this character I may have a few tips
Give them Brains:
Giving your weak character smarts is an easy way to make them more valuable. This may seem cliche, but it works. How many characters can you think of are physically unable to do anything athletic but have the brains to match muscle?
This is for fantasy writers. Giving a character a power as simple as night vision can drastically change their helpfulness.
Most stories start out with a person getting powers and they are usually the main character but side character in the middle of the series can also get a power boost. Think about it.
Give them Brawn:
If they can’t use their brains to support, then muscle is the next thing. Fights, life and death situations, general uses for strength occur in books/stories all the time. It may be useful to have a big strong guy or girl to give their service.
Personality might not make them more useful but it makes it a lot more fun to read. Readers who are in love with a character will defend them to their death. If your character can not participate in a fight, the reader may not like it but they won’t be wondering why they are in the story in the first place.
A helpless jerk who does nothing to forward the plot. WOW. Sounds like a character I would want to read about…NOT.
Kindness can go a long way. Not only making a person more likable but can lead to situations that can actually assist the plot or subplots.
Sit down and think. Ask yourself if you really need this character. Will my book be the same without them? Are they absolutely necessary? Can I give their small part to another character?
Perhaps the best way to make it work is to combine characters. Do you really like one characters personality but really need another character for their role? Then smash them together. Shape the story to the best edited and useless character free story it could be.
Some Extra’s (I recommend going through this will be updated alot.)
Every time you’re introducing a new character, the tone and direction of the story should change a little (which is what happens to you in real life when you meet new people, even if the change is minisule)
Falling in love should be natural. It happens slowly, and over time, and it isn’t perfect or flawless. It’s not a given - just because you have to characters together does not mean that they are meant to be. Of course, they can be attracted to each other right away, and have a great natural chemistry, but things need to happen slowly. There’s always uncertainty, mixed with hopefulness and nerves, when new relationships start off. That’s what makes them real.
Your characters shouldn’t be changing to fit the plot / story. The plot and story should change for them. So one character likes to skip class and smoke outside, but now that he is dating the start student, maybe he wants to impress his new significant other, so he starts going to classes more. He can’t automatically be a great student - he probably will still be slacking on homework and not doing great on tests. He doesn’t really care, so he’s probably texting under the desk, passing notes or doodling. He just wants to impress someone. Changes within the character need to be realistic. They have to stay true to themselves.
Keeps two things in mind when writing relationships/love, What is drawing them together? And What is keeping them apart? Some people refer to writing relationships as “weaving the roses.” Roses have thorns which are keeping them apart. People also have thorns, you just have to ask yourself, what part of their personalities or circumstances are keeping them apart? Are they from rival families? Do their personalities clash? Is there a class divide?
And then, you have to weave the roses together. You have to bring them together after great conflict and overcoming many obstacles. That is the basics of any great romance.
diversity is not just race!!! It’s also background, religion/lack of, sexuality, gender identity, personality, and difference unique character traits and flaws. If you create a character of a background/sexuality/religion etc. that is different from yours, do research and ask people who can
The first thing people notice about another person is usually not their eye color, unless their eyes are somehow out of the ordinary
This is your gentle reminder to do research on things you don’t know about!
Remember that you can write stories about whatever you want, but doing so respectfully is a responsibility that comes with it. Take the time to do research and talk to people (especially if you’re writing about sensitive topics or communities you aren’t a part of) before you start writing. It might (and probably will) take a good amount of time, and you might feel slowed down, but it’s knowledge that you’ll need to write respectful stories.
Some more detailed and helpful Threads:
How-To Guide: Creating Arab Characters
How-To Guide: Making and Adding Muslim Characters
Information about Asians, Muslims, Latina’s-latinos-mental-illnesses-and-more
A guide on diversity: Muslim Characters
Need help with Italian characters? Come here!
Any questions about Asian Cultures? We will try to help you!
Some Helpful Information: Jewish Characters!
HOW TO: Represent Bahamian Characters
Invisible disabilities and how to represent them
Need help writing…Hispanic/Latino Characters ask me
Writing an Episode story 101 - The key to success
hope this helps you, I’ll keep adding more things
some of these aren’t by me, I saw them online and thought of adding them here!