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2B or Not 2B

Creative Writing Tips and Tricks

Month

April 2017

Piety

 

Between the crevices in the syntax, the sentence, the subject,

punctuation serves as an altar

to ideas that cannot be connected by splinters or nails.

Exclamation marks that yell also scream out tales.

Gentle commas swirl into periods, like silk but even softer

 and create something that serves

the crevices between the icons and the choir.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher

©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

Character Development

I haven’t written a post specifically giving advice to you writers out there in a while. Personally, I haven’t felt particularly inspired in terms of story writing and therefore didn’t feel right giving advice on something that I myself wasn’t practicing.

I did find my inspiration, though, and I am resuming to write poetry and short pieces of fiction again. So, without further adieu, I will talk about something that all writers struggle with in their pieces of work: character development.

Character development, or the evolution of characters within a written piece, can be extremely difficult to grasp. In every short story I’ve written, character development proved to be the hardest aspect for me. A writer’s goal is to make his characters as believable as possible; therefore, he has to make them as complicated as possible.

Human beings are the most complex creatures on earth, their thoughts and bodies intricate and sensitive. So how, you may ask, can you possibly create a fictional character as complex as a real person? The answer lies in your technique, your connection with your character, and your dedication to it.

gangster-539993_1280

Technique

Think of your favorite book. Does the main character within it stay the same throughout? Is he/she the same at the end of the story as they are in the beginning?

The answer is, in most cases, no. A good character evolves throughout the novel.

To ensure your character’s evolution, you must illustrate your character’s flaws, virtues, vices, and beliefs through action and dialogue. A real person is not inherently perfect; therefore, your character shouldn’t be either. Think of your favorite villain. Is he/she your favorite because they are stagnant and boring? No; they are your favorite because they have three dimensional motives and relatable qualities to them. Your readers will better relate to a character who is flawed than to a character who is perfect. So, let your character make mistakes in the novel. Let them make wrong choices and let them learn from them.

Never explicitly state what a character is feeling. If the reader cannot analyze your character and contemplate his decisions, then he is not a good character. In this area, imagery is crucial. Describe your character’s actions through strong verbs, descriptive adjectives, and concrete nouns.

At a certain point, or perhaps at the climax of a story, a character may realize something crucial they haven’t before. At some critical point in the novel, your character must metamorphose. It helps to map out your character’s feelings as they change according to the events of the novel. I usually use a graphic organizer for this. Remember, your character cannot be the same as he was at the beginning of the book. Otherwise, the story isn’t worth telling.

connect-20333_1280Connection

You are not going to write a good character if you do not identify with him/her. That’s just how it is. Without a decent connection, your character will lose strength and will not feel believable to your reader. To help build your connection and understanding of your character, refer to this list which will help you sort your character’s traits through in-depth questions.

heart-1078771_1280Dedication

Revise, revise, revise. Authors go through hundreds of revisions before the final product. If you finish your novel or short story and realize that your character is not as believable as you hoped, go back and change your character’s actions or pieces of dialogue so that they better fit with their traits, or so that they are more complicated. Great character development requires a lot of your time, effort, and passion. Without these things, your character will fall flat.

A flat character does not change throughout the novel. A round character, on the other handis what you want to strive for—your character changes and evolves as the plot unfolds. If you dedicate yourself to making your character round, you will succeed in doing so.

Character development, although intimidating, is a magical thing when done correctly. I wish you luck, and never stop writing!

Tiny Bird

I pad across cobblestone streets

and my wide eyes drink in

the world around me.

I watch as the sky releases fleets

of dark grey and water-color yellow–

Big Ben punctures the clouds.

I ask him where I am and he bends his head,

exhales a gust of bells and a metallic groan:

“A world away from your own.”

 

Something swells

in my chest and tells

me to soar into grey clouds

and release my comfort zone,

fling it down like a bomb

that I usually hug close.

I am a tiny bird,

breaking bonds, youthful yellow.

I am learning to explore.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher

©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

March Poetry Contest Winner

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I would like to congratulate Ralph Alley III (AKA Connor) for being March’s poetry winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! His writing follows a narrative structure and truly transports the reader to a different world. His poem “Beyond Our Dreams” shows how poetry can easily become a device of story-telling.

Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a look out for new artists featured on this blog!

 

Beyond Our Dreams

By Ralph Alley III

With a siren voice singing and exhaustion coming into my mind as a guest,
my mind and soul go into a long sleep.
I stand on a small sphere of green, solid and blue liquid
that my bare feet may crush without notice.
In my blue monk robes and white wings behind my back,
black hair falls down like a waterfall to my back
with feelings of veneration from head to toe.

Spheres of light fly in the black sky,
with the Queen of the golden sun and King of the silver moon dancing together.
Nebulas shine and galaxies sparkle
and constellations run throughout space;
Oh, what a beautiful sight it was!

A male voice came out of the void,
rich as honey, but dark as blood.
He asked me, “Little girl, what do you think of dreams?”

I answered, “Dreams are the beliefs that we believe in,
reminders that gives us strength throughout the day.”

The spirit appeared,
wearing a robe of infernos,
“Ha! Dreams are lies.
Humans make dreams to believe in the lies they make,
so how can dreams be truth?”

I replied, “I didn’t say that dreams are truth or lies.
Dreams are what our secrets and hidden desires come from.
Just like there are two sides of a coin,
dreams focus on our happiness, bravery and calmness
while nightmares tell us our worst fears, anger and depression.”

The spirit then took me to a metropolis near a sea
where things were done by free will.
But then hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and heat waves
appeared of all sudden
while other natural disasters occurred
around other parts of the world,
killing so many people and wildlife.

The spirit, with a malicious smile, said,
“You may look at the good,
but you never look at the bad.
That is the nature of being human,
but it is always your choice.”

Out of nowhere, a thunderbolt came straight down from
heavens and struck where I stood.

At that moment,
I woke with sweat on my brow
and I then remembered the dream,
which took a few seconds,
and learned an important lesson.

Many people question,
“What will the end of the world be like?”
Many answer with differently,
with or without evidence,
but the truth is that we never know,
because the answer is beyond our dreams.

 

You can view more of Connor’s pieces here.

*If you would like to participate in the April writing contest, simply fill out a form on this website’s Submissions Page. You may send me an email or comment below if you have any questions or concerns.*

Never stop writing!

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