What’s in a Name?

printable-name-tags-r0zxxuni.jpgWith possibly the most cliched title ever, this post will discuss one of my favorite things about writing–naming characters.

A character’s name can speak volumes about who they are, or it can say nothing. Sometimes the fact that the name says nothing, says everything. But that’s getting too philosophical for a Thursday.

I believe there are two general types of names: ones that someone else made up years and years ago, or ones that you make up. Continue reading

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Dream Sequence!

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“Well, I was dreaming until you woke me up…”

Dreams are weird.

On second thought, the above three words seem vague. I might as well make statements like, ‘life is weird’ (it is), so let me go into some more detail on the subject of dreams.

I would argue that our concept of fantasy, and our ability to imagine fantastical situations, comes from dreams. It’s an interesting idea–one’s database of sensual information is all that’s needed to create a myriad of bizarre situations. Perhaps that is the only difference between a creative person and someone who is ‘not creative’. The person with the greater imagination is just better able to re-combine their memories while in a lucid state; they don’t have to be unconscious to make stuff up. Continue reading

The Evolution of Aza’s Character Growth

All stories must have character growth.

Growth can be subtle: the character realizes something they didn’t know before. Or profound: the character goes from ugly, wimpy nobody to strong, world-saving beauty.

Most novels go for somewhere in the middle. But whatever the case, the character in the last chapter must in some way be superior to the person we met on page one.

Basically, they must have fixed or improved upon their flaws. Continue reading

Fantastical Creatures

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Electoad– the electricity producer

Some writers have a specific genre or style that they love to use. For me, it really depends on what I’m writing. I love experimenting– I’m like a crazy artist playing with mediums. But some genres don’t appear to like me. For instance, if it’s modern realism, anything longer than a flash piece sort of… well… morphs into fantasy.

Fantasy ≠ modern realism. Yeah.

I have several theories as to why my unconscious writer-mind appears to be smitten with fantasy: it could be the ability to bring in flying carpets or sea monsters when things ‘go bad’, or maybe it’s the free pass to ignore the laws of physics, but most likely it’s the ability to create my own creatures. Continue reading

Writing Memorable Characters

The man was standing stiff and upright, which made his stomach strain at the buttons of his white shirt. His face was screwed up like a bulldog, and his beady eyes shifted slowly back and forth over the crowd like everyone was up to no good.

If I was writing about a security guard, I might describe him something like that. Capturing someone’s character is an important skill to have, because without characters you have no story. Continue reading

Inspiration for the Forest of Monsters in Aza

 

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Monsters loomed behind the trees.

Inspiration can come from anywhere– music, gossip, personal experiences, other stories. No matter what you’re doing, your brain is stockpiling information to use for later. The harder part is to actually produce writing from it.

When I sit down to write my brain isn’t absorbing new information (besides the feel of my pen or the sound of my keyboard). I have to use what’s already there. Most of the time, new information or “inspiration” comes when I’m doing something new and exciting without any way to write it down. When you start feeling inspired, slow down. Think about the way you’re feeling. Notice the details. Even if you don’t plan to write anything, taking a moment to observe will help you remember better. Continue reading