Isn’t that the Thing with Siblings?

Siblings

She was always the pretty one. Isn’t that the thing with siblings: one is the pretty one while the other is the smart one. But see, she was both.

She got the uni place, I got minimum wage. She got the friends, I got the bullies, she got the husband, I got the therapist.

I laugh standing on the edge of the stool. But she can’t get everything. Isn’t that the thing with sibling: the dead one always has to be the favourite.

I jump letting the rope around my neck pull taught.

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Planning: Characters

Introduction

Ah the bread to the butter of any plot: the characters. These people (or celestial beings) are the reason readers will stay with your books. And while you can and should write the characters you want to, there are some unspoken rules that you should be aware of.

Character stereotypes and how to use them

Of course no one wants to have stereotype character. But like every clique, stereotypes can be useful if you know how to use them. The buff love rival adds conflict and stakes. The red herring gives a twist to the mystery. Look at the standard stereotypes for your genres, hell for stories in general because they are the key to a good story as much as any plot.

Using template

There are so many character templates for any questions you may face about your characters and they are all free to use and download.

people but more

Why should we care about them?

Remember that your characters are more than just a pretty face. They need to have dreams and hobbies, something that a reader can attach to. The best way of doing that is giving your characters’ flaws, these are both things to overcome and also be used as a source of conflict and weakness. Flaws can be fears, prejudices or even bad experiences that they can’t let go of. Whatever it is, their flaws should tie into their arcs.

They’re not clones

Most likely, your characters are not exact copies of each other. They all have different experiences, thoughts and voices. Remember this when writing because without this, your writing will feel flat. These changes can come from a number of different places:
• Childhood
• Job
• Class

Conclusion

Characters are what hold the plot together and perfecting them is hard, just take your time and get to know them as closely as your best friends. Good Luck Xx.

Further Reading
http://onceuponawritingblock.blogspot.com/2013/05/writing-plan-character-development.html#.XAZwbNKNyM8

The Rats in the Canal

Trolley in Canal

There’s a trolley in the canal that has joined the antique collection of dead pests and drowning shopping bags. The canal can be smelt before it’s seen. People scrunch up their noses and walk faster round here. No one wants to fix the problem. I used to hate that. Everyone complains but no one wants to help. Now I have to pray they never do. I hope they never drag up what lies at its bottom making the water foul. But he’s where he belongs now, with the rest of the rats.

They’ll Never Stop Staring

She had always liked her nails. She didn’t consider herself vain but she always felt pride when her nails grew long enough to draw beautiful swirling patterns over to mesmerise the eye. She smiled whenever she caught someone admiring them.

Now, she mused, no one would ever stop staring at them. Her thought was cut off sharply as the hammer came down again, cracking the nail of her index finger and rivers of red bloomed against mountains of white bone.

Editing: How to Start?

Introduction

So congratulations: you’ve written a book! Yay, give yourself a pat on the back and breathe.

Then it’s time to ask the next big question: What next?

The one thing no writer will ever tell is that the writing is the tiniest part of your journey, the editing is the huge task ahead. It requires painstakingly going over every single detail of your book to make sure its not going to be thrown in the bin on the first query read-through.

And that is a terrible task to start, to look up at the shadow of the mountain in front of you and want to run away from it.

But don’t worry dear writer I will be your guide and will lead you on this perilous journey.

 

Take a break

After finishing writing, it is best to rest your work for a few days. Because at that stage, your mind is buzzing with every little problem you view as important. It is good to go away for a couple of days and come back to it with fresh eyes.

writing (1)

Get stationary and prepare

This is my favourite place to start in: the stationary aisle.

I personally prefer to have a physical edit in my hand, so I need a grand pile of highlighters, pens and paper. As well as this I need a planner, perhaps because I like planners BUT ALSO because it is best to stay organised and on top of your word count to stay motivated.

However there are many who prefer to keep everything online, but still you will need to make sure you have everything necessary to keep yourself content and editing. A writer’s worst enemy is procrastination so make sure you have anything you might need:

  • Music
  • Food
  • Lots to drink (that one is important)
  • Chargers.

 

Start big

You have sat down and are ready to start editing. It’s easy to get bogged down just reading through your manuscript adding in and deleting commas. It is best to start big before getting to the details.

Depending on your planning style you may or may not have a story plan. Even I deviate from it so when it comes to starting editing, I rewrite my outline to fit the final story, this is the easiest way I find to look at a condensed overview of the whole story.

This is the easiest way to look at the plot and see any glaring problems.

editing (1)

Listen to your work

I can’t write, literally I can’t. I struggle with dyslexia. And so, having my work read aloud really helps me notice the small errors, but it also helps you notice when sentences just don’t have that punch.

 

Keep the consistency

Now coming down a bit closer, most likely your final scenes are better written than the first scenes you wrote. It may not necessarily be in chronological order, but it is good to give all your scenes a once over to make sure the general structure is the same.

On a more technical note, its easy to forget the small details of description when you are writing. Make sure that your main character’s eyes don’t go from blue to brown within five chapters and the sunny skies mentioned two paragraphs ago don’t suddenly become storming rains.

 

CLUNK

Now we get into the nitty-gritty. Once you have sorted out your plot and consistency, you can finally give it a proper read and examine your work. This is the time to start dashing out those clunky sentences and spruce up your descriptions.

 

Conclusion

Trust me, editing will take forever. You will constantly relearn how to write better which will make every time you reread your book make it seem like shit. But don’t give up hope and keep going. Good Luck Xx.

 

Further reading

Self-Editing Basics: 10 Simple Ways to Edit Your Own Book