Writers Boot Camp: Side Characters

Of course, with any good story, comes the side characters to support it.

Let me put it like this:

Support walls are taken for granted until the ceiling falls in.

Now the image is in your head of your side characters (that you most likely haven’t created yet), are stuck in a wall, I’d just like to say, welcome back to Week Four of Boot Camp.

You seem to be shaping up very nicely.

You’re story is slowly starting to come along, and now we’ve reached a key part.

If you couldn’t tell-it’s our side characters, the important best-friend, but not the main character.

Of course, every story has the following Side character:

The bully

The best friend.

However, your story has to hold more then these two bits of information, so let’s explore the world of creating your characters.

1. Start with the supportive role-the Best Friend

Or at the very least, the key influencial person in your main character’s life.

Try to pick out traits that your character doesn’t posses, and add them into the story. Perhaps your main character is a bit more impulsive, however the advice-giving character would most likely be a little bit more thought out, or perhaps it’s the other way around, either way, make sure that there is a chance for conflict, even if the characters lack that later on the story-this gives a few opportunities to help cut back on writer’s block, if need be.

2. Note the Important Characteristics

While you won’t need to know specifically if your Supporting-side-role is a Crest toothpaste fan, or not (unless you have a seen for that, planned, in which case, I chime in to say the whitening tooth paste does not, in fact, work), you will need to have an idea of characteristics that stick out in the character’s personality, such as being an eternal optimist, or having a dog fetish (I NEED TO KNOW, for scientific reasons, of course).

3. Don’t forget the negative traits – Just to sprinkle in the drama….

*spills vat of quarks and qualms into character*

Make certain that the side characters aren’t just very wise, and incredibly in tune with emotions and life itself. (Or in some stories cases, completely ignorant with a splash of annoying). Perhaps you’re character is an eternal optimist, toward everyone else, however, they make self-deprecating jokes. Or they are incredibly confident, and have a tendency to be over baring.The choice is yours, just avoid over-exaggerating.

4. Don’t be afraid to give your side-characters as much depth as your main character. Harry Potter wouldn’t have been as good with Dumbledore, or the Weasley twins. The same concept goes for Guardians of the Galaxy, or even Little Women.

5. Build a back story for your character. It can be easy to let it slip by (or even over build), a back story for your side character. Perhaps their parents are divorced, or they have a good home life, but something is still holding them back? Why is that?

*To avoid over-building, try to get the basics, but don’t go from age one to their current age, as nice as it might be, you’re characters side characters also should not take up ALL or even a majority of the story. This could also be helpful, should you decide that you want to write a book surrounding a side character.

Okay, now this is just a general run-down of how to build your side characters, understand that they aren’t an under-rated main character, they’re just as important.

I expect to see you back next week, ready to take on the next part of this boot camp.

Be practicing.

Stay Ginchy!

HaziWords

Boot Camp: The Main Squeezes

Well hello there,

I see your back.

Was last week not hard enough for you? Well get ready, because this week is about to be a whole lot harder.

Last week we went over how to start a plot.

This week?

We’re getting to the Poster of the story, what keeps it looking fresh, the Politicians to our countries; our main characters.

That’s right, we’re talking about how to start with a character (which I actually received a few tips from my friends-something I’m eternally grateful for)!

1. Start with a name- Something I found interesting was discovering that some writers actually chose names with meaning behind them. Choose your character’s name based off of the meaning.

2. Add a positive trait. Make certain to give the character a distinct trait that appears throughout the book-one that remains constant, or perhaps grows stronger.

3. Add a Negative trait. This trait won’t change, but will be something that appears as a battle, or even something they struggle to recognize. Even at the end of the book, let them continue to have this trait; this will give you, and your readers something to relate to.

4. Add traits that coincide with the first two, and then add an odd-ball. One person doesn’t have a set of traits they follow, and internal conflict of your character is very important, this is highly common in popular stories. It’s a unique idea, but once again, gives your reader something they can relate to, and watch eagerly for the change.

5. Add appearance outlines. While in your story you might not describe the character word-for-word, it’s still important to give at least yourself, a general idea of what your character looks like. Uncertain about appearances? Take certain physical traits from your characters (not literally), and add them together.

6. Add a partner-in-crime. Or perhaps, your character is a loner, either way, it’s important to add multiple characters of some sort for dialogue. Using the steps above, create a character that is the bread to your main character(s) butter.

Most importantly, don’t freak out. Creating characters and developing connections with them can be hard, but you’re hard headed, after all, that’s why your here.

I hope to see you back next week, and let’s hope you did your studying, because it’s going to be an interesting one.

Story Starter Boot Camp OverView

I took a nap yesterday and I’m just now feeling like my normal self, so if that doesn’t explain why I don’t take naps, I don’t know what will.

WELL HELLO THERE.

That was aggressive, but also completely besides the point.

It ’tis I, the great Hazi, the writing QUEEN, here to give you your dream series, the series we’ve all wanted, but never had.

All in one neat 2 month (technically it’s Seven Weeks of Tips, not Eight, but let’s roll with it), package.

Now of course, you might be wondering, what’s the series going to cover? Is this like those church series that Pastor’s have? Am I going to have to bring a notebook? Should I chug caffeine? Should I bring bandages because you’re going to say things that hurt?

NO.

Except maybe caffeine, I mean, if you need caffeine, I guess? Weirdly enough they have these caffeine chocolate bars at my college campus, and I don’t know how to feel about them.

*Sip Diet Aspartame*

Moving On.

This series is for all of you out there struggling with how to start a story, when you want to start one, but those characters won’t flow, the story line won’t mold, or those thoughts that won’t make since. It’s for the insomniacs who want something to think about besides how exhausted they are (been there). It’s for the writers who have finished novels and are working on there next, and most of all, it’s for me.

Because let me tell you, writing a book from scratch is not easy.

So, what will this series boot camp provide?

Prompts

Advice

Writing Drills (It’s now a thing)

Reading and Writing Assignments

Rhetorical Questions (That you have to answer in your head)

Sarcasm (Because it wouldn’t be my type of series without it).

Are you ready?

Good.

Now, for an overview.

Now it’s occurred to me a calendar set up might work, but I’ve also come to realize that I don’t actually know how to make those, and these posts go up weekly on Tuesdays (with the exception of Today-Wednesday, because of my nap yesterday).

So, enjoy this super-aesthetic bulletin schedule I’ve put together.

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What you will need:

Your Favorite Pen (If you don’t have one-get one, treasure it, yell at others for touching it, clean it, loose it, cry about loosing it, find a new favorite pen.)

A Notebook (But not a pretty one, because if you’re like me, your dedication won’t stick).

A Determined Attitude

Creativity

Enthusiasm

Are you ready? Because these next few weeks are going to be quiet the journey, and I’m going to need your best work!

Stay Ginchy, Get Rest, and be ready to shine.

HaziWords

 

 

STORY TIME

Story time, so gather ’round kids, today, I’m going to tell you the riveting story of how I decided that I wanted to branch out an write romance.

It started two nights ago, when I was reading my favorite Wattpad Romance writer, and found myself captivated by the story, and in complete awe. I then proceeded to read my other favorite Wattpad author, and I suddenly decided that I could TOTALLY write romance.

I mean, why not.

I turned to my online bookclub friends, requesting their help, only to find that they were in fact, incredible in that department, and despite my shipping shrines shoved under my bed, I was in fact, much akin to a six year old boy with cooties.

Thankfully, my friends (and conveniently, my Favorite Wattpad authors), were quick to offer up suggestions.

One in particular stood out.

A link to a website that gave tips on writing romance.

One key part has stuck out to me since reading it “Make them confused” their’s also the latter part about their emotions toward each other, but at that point I had suddenly related to these characters that didn’t exist. Mainly because, if you couldn’t tell by this story, I’m confused.

I continued to skim over, acknowledging that my parents relationship my actually be something you find in a story, and that I was in fact, doomed in my own relationship vices. Selfish thoughts aside, I had to come up with characters.

Characters that I could ship, characters I could relate with.

CHARACTERS THAT WOULD TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

I went through a series of uncompleted stories of mine, trying to absorb their energy, and found no help.

The painful truth came to me as I soulfully shoveled my vegan mac ‘n cheese in my mouth.

I had to create a whole new story.

Of course, this would mean a plot line.

I’m not a plot liner, I just plot the world being in my grasp.

That’s literally all I do (How do you think I came up with a blog post like this?).

As I wracked my brain for characters and stories, I also searched DESPERATELY for my old stories, the ones that have shrines behind my bookshelf.

Alas, this leads me to my current state, where it has occured to me the one thing that is crack-a-lackin from my blog.

How to start a story from scratch.

Which is why I, the desperate amateur and noob to all things mushy, sweet or remotely “awe” worthy in a cutesy way, has decided I’m going to be starting a series.

A SERIES FOR THE MASSES. THE MASSES FOR THE SERIES.

About, you know, how to start a story from scratch, when you’re not really feeling itchy, you just have a heat rash.

In the middle of Winter.

Now we know why I was ignored at dances.

So baby, for Writers Square next week, we’re gettting nitty-gritty deep into the creator corner.

Get ready, get a drink, and get ready to get some writing done in the Story Starter Boot Camp.

Stay Ginchy,

HaziWords