Showing posts tagged Characters.
x
I am a writer. I create innovative creative and business writing courses. I inspire others to tell their stories. My company's name is Writers Write. My email address is amanda@writerswrite.co.za

The hero of the story – understanding antagonists
One of the problems with plotting…
Many beginner writers struggle with plotting. This is because they don’t have an antagonist. In Writers Write we teach that the antagonist is not necessarily a bad person. The antagonist is the character whose story goal is the opposite of the protagonist.
This diagram illustrates this perfectly. Each of these characters is the hero of his or her own story. Without an antagonist your hero will wallow in his or her thoughts for 80 00 words.
Source for Image
From Writers Write - How to write a novel by Amanda Patterson

The hero of the story – understanding antagonists

One of the problems with plotting…

Many beginner writers struggle with plotting. This is because they don’t have an antagonist. In Writers Write we teach that the antagonist is not necessarily a bad person. The antagonist is the character whose story goal is the opposite of the protagonist.

This diagram illustrates this perfectly. Each of these characters is the hero of his or her own story. Without an antagonist your hero will wallow in his or her thoughts for 80 00 words.

Source for Image

From Writers Write - How to write a novel by Amanda Patterson

— 1 year ago with 1475 notes
#The hero of the story – understanding antagonists  #Characters  #Writing Tips  #Writing Advice  #Antagonists  #Writers Write  #amanda patterson 
Behind the Name →

The etymology and history of first names

— 1 year ago with 59 notes
#Writers Write  #Characters  #Naming 
123 Ideas for Character Flaws →

Character Flaws

  1. Absent-minded - Preoccupied to the extent of being unaware of one’s immediate surroundings. Abstracted, daydreaming, inattentive, oblivious, forgetful.
  2. Abusive - Characterized by improper infliction of physical or psychological maltreatment towards another.
  3. Addict - One who is addicted to a compulsive activity. Examples: gambling, drugs, sex.
  4. Aimless - Devoid of direction or purpose.
  5. Alcoholic - A person who drinks alcoholic substances habitually and to excess.
  6. Anxious - Full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous.
  7. Arrogant - Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance. Inclined to social exclusiveness and who rebuff the advances of people considered inferior. Snobbish.
  8. Audacious - Recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; braze, disobedient.
  9. Bad Habit - A revolting personal habit. Examples: picks nose, spits tobacco, drools, bad body odour.
  10. Bigmouth - A loud-mouthed or gossipy person.
  11. Bigot - One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
  12. Blunt - Characterized by directness in manner or speech; without subtlety or evasion. Frank, callous, insensitive, brusque.
  13. Bold - In a bad sense, too forward; taking undue liberties; over assuming or confident; lacking proper modesty or restraint; rude; impudent. Abrupt, brazen, cheeky, brassy, audacious.
  14. Callous - They are hardened to emotions, rarely showing any form of it in expression. Unfeeling. Cold.
  15. Childish - Marked by or indicating a lack of maturity; puerile.
  16. Complex - An exaggerated or obsessive concern or fear. (List specific complex.)
  17. Cruel - Mean to anyone or anything, without care or regard to consequences and feelings.
  18. Cursed - A person who has befallen a prayer for evil or misfortune, placed under a spell, or borne into an evil circumstance, and suffers for it. Damned.
  19. Dependent - Unable to exist, sustain oneself, or act appropriately or normally without the assistance or direction of another.
  20. Deranged - Mentally decayed. Insane. Crazy. Mad. Psychotic.
  21. Dishonest – Given to or using fraud, cheating; deceitful, deceptive, crooked, underhanded.
  22. Disloyal - Lacking loyalty. Unfaithful, perfidious, traitorous, treasonable
  23. Disorder - An ailment that affects the function of mind or body. (List the disorders name if they have one.) See the Mental Disorder List.
  24. Disturbed - Showing some or a few signs or symptoms of mental or emotional illness. Confused, disordered, neurotic, troubled.
  25. Dubious - Fraught with uncertainty or doubt. Undecided, doubtful, unsure.
  26. Dyslexic - Affected by dyslexia, a learning disorder marked by impairment of the ability to recognize and comprehend written words.
  27. Egotistical - Characteristic of those having an inflated idea of their own importance. Boastful, pompous.
  28. Envious - Showing extreme cupidity; painfully desirous of another’s advantages; covetous, jealous.
  29. Erratic - Deviating from the customary course in conduct or opinion; eccentric: erratic behaviour. Eccentric, bizarre, outlandish, strange.
  30. Fanatical - Fanatic outlook or behaviour especially as exhibited by excessive enthusiasm, unreasoning zeal, or wild and extravagant notions on some subject.
  31. Fickle – Erratic, changeable, unstable - especially with regard to affections or attachments; capricious.
  32. Fierce - Marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid.
  33. Finicky - Excessively particular or fastidious; difficult to please; fussy. Too much concerned with detail. Meticulous, fastidious, choosy, critical, picky, prissy, pernickety.
  34. Fixated - In psychoanalytic theory, a strong attachment to a person or thing, especially such an attachment formed in childhood or infancy and manifested in immature or neurotic behaviour that persists throughout life. Fetish, quirk, obsession, infatuation.
  35. Flirt -To make playfully romantic or sexual overtures; behaviour intended to arouse sexual interest. Minx. Tease.
  36. Gluttonous - Given to excess in consumption of especially food or drink. Voracious, ravenous, wolfish, piggish, insatiable.
  37. Gruff - Brusque or stern in manner or appearance. Crusty, rough, surly.
  38. Gullible - Will believe any information given, regardless of how valid or truthful it is, easily deceived or duped.
  39. Hard - A person who is difficult to deal with, manage, control, overcome, or understand. Hard emotions, hard hearted.
  40. Hedonistic - Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses.
  41. Hoity-toity- Given to flights of fancy; capricious; frivolous. Prone to giddy behaviour, flighty.
  42. Humourless - The inability to find humour in things, and most certainly in themselves.
  43. Hypocritical - One who is always contradicting their own beliefs, actions or sayings. A person who professes beliefs and opinions for others that he does not hold. Being a hypocrite.
  44. Idealist - One whose conduct is influenced by ideals that often conflict with practical considerations. One who is unrealistic and impractical, guided more by ideals than by practical considerations.
  45. Idiotic - Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless.
  46. Ignorant - Lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge.
  47. Illiterate - Unable to read and write.
  48. Immature - Emotionally undeveloped; juvenile; childish.
  49. Impatient - Unable to wait patiently or tolerate delay; restless. Unable to endure irritation or opposition; intolerant.
  50. Impious - Lacking piety and reverence for a god/gods and their followers.
  51. Impish - Naughtily or annoyingly playful.
  52. Incompetent - Unable to execute tasks, no matter how the size or difficulty.
  53. Indecisive - Characterized by lack of decision and firmness, especially under pressure.
  54. Indifferent - The trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally, remaining calm and seeming not to care; a casual lack of concern. Having or showing little or no interest in anything; languid; spiritless.
  55. Infamy - Having an extremely bad reputation, public reproach, or strong condemnation as the result of a shameful, criminal, or outrageous act that affects how others view them.
  56. Intolerant - Unwilling to tolerate difference of opinion and narrow-minded about cherished opinions.
  57. Judgemental - Inclined to make and form judgements, especially moral or personal ones, based on one’s own opinions or impressions towards others/practices/groups/religions based on appearance, reputation, occupation, etc.
  58. Klutz - Clumsy. Blunderer.
  59. Lazy - Resistant to work or exertion; disposed to idleness.
  60. Lewd - Inclined to, characterized by, or inciting to lust or lechery; lascivious. Obscene or indecent, as language or songs; salacious.
  61. Liar - Compulsively and purposefully tells false truths more often than not. A person who has lied or who lies repeatedly.
  62. Lustful - Driven by lust; preoccupied with or exhibiting lustful desires.
  63. Masochist - The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.
  64. Meddlesome - Intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner, given to meddling; interfering.
  65. Meek - Evidencing little spirit or courage; overly submissive or compliant; humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness.
  66. Megalomaniac - A psycho pathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
  67. Naïve - Lacking worldly experience and understanding, simple and guileless; showing or characterized by a lack of sophistication and critical judgement.
  68. Nervous - Easily agitated or distressed; high-strung or jumpy.
  69. Non-violent - Abstaining from the use of violence. 
  70. Nosey - Given to prying into the affairs of others; snoopy. Offensively curious or inquisitive.
  71. Obsessive - An unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone.
  72. Oppressor - A person of authority who subjects others to undue pressures, to keep down by severe and unjust use of force or authority.
  73. Overambitious - Having a strong excessive desire for success or achievement.
  74. Overconfident - Excessively confident; presumptuous.
  75. Overemotional - Excessively or abnormally emotional. Sensitive about themselves and others, more so than the average person.
  76. Overprotective - To protect too much; coddle.
  77. Overzealous - Marked by excessive enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idea.
  78. Pacifist - Opposition to war or violence as a means of resolving disputes. (Can double as a merit in certain cases)
  79. Paranoid - Exhibiting or characterized by extreme and irrational fear or distrust of others.
  80. Peevish - Expressing fretfulness and discontent, or unjustifiable dissatisfaction. Cantankerous, cross, ill-tempered, testy, captious, discontented, crotchety, cranky, ornery.
  81. Perfectionist - A propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.
  82. Pessimist - A tendency to stress the negative or unfavourable or to take the gloomiest possible view.
  83. Pest - One that pesters or annoys, with or without realizing it. Nuisance. Annoying. Nag.
  84. Phobic – They have a severe form of fear when it comes to this one thing. Examples: Dark, Spiders, Cats 
  85. Practical - Level-headed, efficient, and unspeculative. No-nonsense. 
  86. Predictable - Easily seen through and assessable, where almost anyone can predict reactions and actions of said person by having met or known them even for a short time.
  87. Proud - Filled with or showing excessive self-esteem and will often shirk help from others for the sake of pride.
  88. Rebellious - Defying or resisting some established authority, government, or tradition; insubordinate; inclined to rebel.
  89. Reckless - Heedless. Headstrong. Foolhardy. Unthinking boldness, wild carelessness and disregard for consequences.
  90. Remorseless - Without remorse; merciless; pitiless; relentless.
  91. Rigorous - Rigidly accurate; allowing no deviation from a standard; demanding strict attention to rules and procedures.
  92. Sadist - The deriving of sexual gratification or the tendency to derive sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others. Deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from cruelty.
  93. Sadomasochist - Both sadist and masochist combined.
  94. Sarcastic - A subtle form of mockery in which an intended meaning is conveyed obliquely.
  95. Sceptic - One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
  96. Seducer - To lead others astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt. To attempt to lead or draw someone away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance.
  97. Selfish - Concerned chiefly or only with oneself.
  98. Self-Martyr - One who purposely makes a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy from others, as a form of manipulation, and always for a selfish cause or reason.
  99. Self-righteous - Piously sure of one’s own righteousness; moralistic. Exhibiting pious self-assurance. Holier-than-thou, sanctimonious.
  100. Senile - Showing a decline or deterioration of physical strength or mental functioning, esp. short-term memory and alertness, as a result of old age or disease.
  101. Shallow - Lacking depth of intellect or knowledge; concerned only with what is obvious.
  102. Smart Ass - Thinks they know it all, and in some ways they may, but they can be greatly annoying and difficult to deal with at times, especially in arguments.
  103. Soft-hearted - Having softness or tenderness of heart that can lead them into trouble; susceptible of pity or other kindly affection. They cannot resist helping someone they see in trouble, suffering or in need, and often don’t think of the repercussions or situation before doing so.
  104. Solemn - Deeply earnest, serious, and sober.
  105. Spineless - Lacking courage. Cowardly, wimp, lily-livered, gutless.
  106. Spiteful - Showing malicious ill will and a desire to hurt; motivated by spite; vindictive person who will look for occasions for resentment. Vengeful.
  107. Spoiled - Treated with excessive indulgence and pampering from earliest childhood, and has no notion of hard work, self-care or money management; coddled, pampered. Having the character or disposition harmed by pampering or over-solicitous attention.
  108. Squeamish - Excessively fastidious and easily disgusted.
  109. Stubborn - Unreasonably, often perversely unyielding; bull-headed. Firmly resolved or determined; resolute.
  110. Superstitious - An irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear from an irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.
  111. Tactless - Lacking or showing a lack of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others.
  112. Temperamental - Moody, irritable, or sensitive. Excitable, volatile, emotional.
  113. Theatrical - Having a flair for over dramatizing situations, doing things in a ‘big way’ and love to be ‘centre stage’.
  114. Timid -Tends to be shy and/or quiet, shrinking away from offering opinions or from strangers and newcomers, fearing confrontations and violence.
  115. Tongue-tied - Speechless or confused in expression, as from shyness, embarrassment, or astonishment.
  116. Troublemaker - Someone who deliberately stirs up trouble, intentionally or unintentionally.
  117. Unlucky - Marked by or causing misfortune; ill-fated. Destined for misfortune; doomed.
  118. Unpredictable - Difficult to foretell or foresee, their actions are so chaotic it’s impossible to know what they are going to do next.
  119. Untrustworthy - Not worthy of trust or belief. Backstabber.
  120. Vain - Holding or characterized by an unduly high opinion of their physical appearance. Lovers of themselves. Conceited, egotistic, narcissistic.
  121. Weak-willed - Lacking willpower, strength of will to carry out one’s decisions, wishes, or plans. Easily swayed.
  122. Withdrawn - Not friendly or Sociable. Aloof.
  123. Zealous - A fanatic.

From The Character Therapist

(Source: writerswrite.co.za)

— 1 year ago with 101802 notes
#Writing Tips  #Characters  #Creating Characters  #Writing Advice  #Writers Write 
The 12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks
Everybody remembers Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird.
Why?
He was a well-rounded character with an established background. His attitudes, morals, and ethics were clear. His emotions, motivations, and reactions were measured by his occupation and his family. His body language, mannerisms, and manners reinforced his character. He was consistent. We cared deeply for him.
These are the 12 crucial things you need to consider when you create a character’s personality. Use them as a check-list for creating your characters.
The List:
Background
Attitudes
Outlooks 
Feelings
Reactions 
Ethics
Morals
Body language
Manners
Mannerisms 
Motivations
Emotions 
by Amanda Patterson, creator of Writers Write - the course that teaches you how to write a book.

The 12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks

Everybody remembers Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird.

Why?

He was a well-rounded character with an established background. His attitudes, morals, and ethics were clear. His emotions, motivations, and reactions were measured by his occupation and his family. His body language, mannerisms, and manners reinforced his character. He was consistent. We cared deeply for him.

These are the 12 crucial things you need to consider when you create a character’s personality. Use them as a check-list for creating your characters.

The List:

  1. Background
  2. Attitudes
  3. Outlooks 
  4. Feelings
  5. Reactions 
  6. Ethics
  7. Morals
  8. Body language
  9. Manners
  10. Mannerisms 
  11. Motivations
  12. Emotions 

by Amanda Patterson, creator of Writers Write - the course that teaches you how to write a book.

— 1 year ago with 283 notes
#Creating Characters  #12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks  #Writing Tips  #Lit  #characters  #Writers Write 
Your characters needs problems. Use the DSM-V for ideas.
Redefining Psychiatric Illness: Hoarding Is In, Asperger’s Out
The American Psychiatric Foundation approved major changes to the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” or the DSM, this weekend. From the addition of “hoarding disorder” to the redefining of autism and “gender”.

Your characters needs problems. Use the DSM-V for ideas.

Redefining Psychiatric Illness: Hoarding Is In, Asperger’s Out

The American Psychiatric Foundation approved major changes to the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” or the DSM, this weekend. From the addition of “hoarding disorder” to the redefining of autism and “gender”.

— 1 year ago with 88 notes
#psychology  #psychiatry  #Characters  #Characterisation  #Writing tips  #Writing Tips 
Six Types of Courageous Characters
by K.M. Weiland, author of Dreamlander
1. Heroic Bravery
When we think of heroes these days, we generally think of those who qualify for heroic bravery.
What is it? This is the kind of bravery that makes a character do crazy dangerous stuff, either to protect others or to advance a cause in which he passionately believes. He’s not a fool. He knows what he’s risking, but he believes the danger is worth it.
2. Steadfast Bravery
Steadfast bravery isn’t as flashy as heroic bravery (although it exhibits bursts of heroism), but its patient doggedness challenges fate every single day.
What is it? This is the kind of bravery we see from someone who is enduring a bad or dangerous situation day in and day out. A POW, a soldier in the trenches, or an informant in enemy territory will probably exhibit steadfast bravery.
3. Quiet Bravery
This one is perhaps the least flashy of any type of bravery. It can even occasionally be confused with cowardice.
What is it? Quiet bravery gives a character the courage needed to endure bad situations with grace and patience. It’s basically an offshoot of steadfast bravery, but it usually surfaces in situations that are less physically dangerous. Cancer patients, overworked single mothers, and trod-upon servants who maintain their sense of self-worth and hope all exhibit quiet bravery.
4. Personal Bravery
Not all brave characters are going to face death or save the world. Sometimes the bravest thing a person can do is take a chance to advance his own lot in life.
What is it? Personal bravery demands characters reach for the stars and chase their dreams. Instead of remaining in a bad situation and taking it and taking it, they risk everything for a chance at a better life. Personal bravery is perhaps the most common kind of bravery of all, since it’s something every single one of us chooses to exhibit at one point or another in our lives, whether it’s in dreaming of a better education, a better career, or just a life-changing trip around the world.
5. Devil-May-Care Bravery
Here we find the domain of the anti-hero and the fatalist.
What is it? Devil-may-care bravery isn’t bravery so much as a cynical realization that death (or whatever the worst-case scenario may be) will come no matter what we do, ergo let’s meet it with arms stretched wide. Characters who have nothing to live for can often exhibit insane courage, but they’re doing it from a place of negativity.
6. Frightened Bravery
Finally, we have the most dichotomous, and often the most compelling, bravery of all.
What is it? Frightened bravery finds the hero a knee-shaking, gut-churning, terrified mess. But he rises above it. He enters the fray in spite of his terror, and, in so doing, becomes the bravest of all characters. Frightened bravery can go hand in hand with any of the other types (save perhaps devil-may-care bravery), since the very act of overcoming fear is what makes a character brave.
None of these categories are exclusive. A character may well exhibit all six types of bravery during the course of your story, and often you’ll find the categories overlapping. In creating a strong character, it’s important not only that he qualify for at least one of these types of bravery, but also that you identify which is the strongest category, so you can further strengthen it on the page. Once you’ve done that, it’s almost a cinch readers will find your character fascinating. 
Source for Article by K.M. Weiland, author of Dreamlander

Six Types of Courageous Characters

by K.M. Weilandauthor of Dreamlander

1. Heroic Bravery

When we think of heroes these days, we generally think of those who qualify for heroic bravery.

What is it? This is the kind of bravery that makes a character do crazy dangerous stuff, either to protect others or to advance a cause in which he passionately believes. He’s not a fool. He knows what he’s risking, but he believes the danger is worth it.

2. Steadfast Bravery

Steadfast bravery isn’t as flashy as heroic bravery (although it exhibits bursts of heroism), but its patient doggedness challenges fate every single day.

What is it? This is the kind of bravery we see from someone who is enduring a bad or dangerous situation day in and day out. A POW, a soldier in the trenches, or an informant in enemy territory will probably exhibit steadfast bravery.

3. Quiet Bravery

This one is perhaps the least flashy of any type of bravery. It can even occasionally be confused with cowardice.

What is it? Quiet bravery gives a character the courage needed to endure bad situations with grace and patience. It’s basically an offshoot of steadfast bravery, but it usually surfaces in situations that are less physically dangerous. Cancer patients, overworked single mothers, and trod-upon servants who maintain their sense of self-worth and hope all exhibit quiet bravery.

4. Personal Bravery

Not all brave characters are going to face death or save the world. Sometimes the bravest thing a person can do is take a chance to advance his own lot in life.

What is it? Personal bravery demands characters reach for the stars and chase their dreams. Instead of remaining in a bad situation and taking it and taking it, they risk everything for a chance at a better life. Personal bravery is perhaps the most common kind of bravery of all, since it’s something every single one of us chooses to exhibit at one point or another in our lives, whether it’s in dreaming of a better education, a better career, or just a life-changing trip around the world.

5. Devil-May-Care Bravery

Here we find the domain of the anti-hero and the fatalist.

What is it? Devil-may-care bravery isn’t bravery so much as a cynical realization that death (or whatever the worst-case scenario may be) will come no matter what we do, ergo let’s meet it with arms stretched wide. Characters who have nothing to live for can often exhibit insane courage, but they’re doing it from a place of negativity.

6. Frightened Bravery

Finally, we have the most dichotomous, and often the most compelling, bravery of all.

What is it? Frightened bravery finds the hero a knee-shaking, gut-churning, terrified mess. But he rises above it. He enters the fray in spite of his terror, and, in so doing, becomes the bravest of all characters. Frightened bravery can go hand in hand with any of the other types (save perhaps devil-may-care bravery), since the very act of overcoming fear is what makes a character brave.

None of these categories are exclusive. A character may well exhibit all six types of bravery during the course of your story, and often you’ll find the categories overlapping. In creating a strong character, it’s important not only that he qualify for at least one of these types of bravery, but also that you identify which is the strongest category, so you can further strengthen it on the page. Once you’ve done that, it’s almost a cinch readers will find your character fascinating. 

Source for Article by K.M. Weilandauthor of Dreamlander

— 1 year ago with 4982 notes
#Characters  #Writing Advice  #Creating Characters  #Writing tips  #Writers Write 
Psychology for Writers: The Dark Side
(from the article by Carolyn Kaufman)
Why do we get so excited about things that focus on spooks, scares, and monsters?
Maybe because that creepy stuff calls to the dark side that resides in each of us.
Psychologist Carl Jung argued that everyone has a dark, repressed side, which he called the Shadow. More modern theorists claim that this Shadow is a reservoir for creativity. And when I look at the overwhelming popularity of a writer like Stephen King, I believe it. A King fan myself, I am fascinated by the way the author doesn’t just graze elbows with the Dark Side—he plunges head-first into the scariest situations he can think of. And his fans are riveted.
King realizes that, as Nietzsche claimed, ‘When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you’. In other words, one cannot interact with or fight monsters without awakening the monster that lies within. Like calls to like. Nietzsche also exhorted, ‘Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster’.
Years ago, someone else once gave me the same advice in different words. He said, ‘When we fight evil, we must take care not to become the very thing we hate’.
Let me give you an example: A year ago, a man in Zanesville, Ohio released 56 exotic animals from their cages and then committed suicide. Unfortunately, because it’s very hard to safely re-capture such animals, 49 of those animals were killed. Many people were outraged, and the authorities dealing with the situation began receiving death threats.Stop and think about this for a moment, folks. These people are threatening to kill people because they disagree with the authorities killing animals. In other words, in their hatred, these ‘activists’ are becoming the very monsters they claim to be fighting. They kill because they hate killing. Their hatred has consumed their reason.
So spend a little time thinking about your Shadow, and your main character’s Shadow. 
Ask these four questions:
What does your main character hate and fear more than anything?
What is he willing to do to exterminate the hated and feared thing?
How can you make his interactions with the hated thing taint him?
In other words, each time your character looks into the abyss, how can the abyss claim a little more of him?
From Writers Write

Psychology for Writers: The Dark Side

(from the article by Carolyn Kaufman)

Why do we get so excited about things that focus on spooks, scares, and monsters?

Maybe because that creepy stuff calls to the dark side that resides in each of us.

Psychologist Carl Jung argued that everyone has a dark, repressed side, which he called the Shadow. More modern theorists claim that this Shadow is a reservoir for creativity. And when I look at the overwhelming popularity of a writer like Stephen King, I believe it. A King fan myself, I am fascinated by the way the author doesn’t just graze elbows with the Dark Side—he plunges head-first into the scariest situations he can think of. And his fans are riveted.

King realizes that, as Nietzsche claimed, ‘When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you’. In other words, one cannot interact with or fight monsters without awakening the monster that lies within. Like calls to like. Nietzsche also exhorted, ‘Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster’.

Years ago, someone else once gave me the same advice in different words. He said, ‘When we fight evil, we must take care not to become the very thing we hate’.

Let me give you an example: A year ago, a man in Zanesville, Ohio released 56 exotic animals from their cages and then committed suicide. Unfortunately, because it’s very hard to safely re-capture such animals, 49 of those animals were killed. Many people were outraged, and the authorities dealing with the situation began receiving death threats.
Stop and think about this for a moment, folks. These people are threatening to kill people because they disagree with the authorities killing animals. In other words, in their hatred, these ‘activists’ are becoming the very monsters they claim to be fighting. They kill because they hate killing. Their hatred has consumed their reason.

So spend a little time thinking about your Shadow, and your main character’s Shadow.

Ask these four questions:

  1. What does your main character hate and fear more than anything?
  2. What is he willing to do to exterminate the hated and feared thing?
  3. How can you make his interactions with the hated thing taint him?
  4. In other words, each time your character looks into the abyss, how can the abyss claim a little more of him?

From Writers Write

— 1 year ago with 150 notes
#Psychology  #Writing tools  #Writing tips  #writers write  #characters  #plotting