Creating Characters 

To me, it’s the easiest thing to do. I love creating characters and finding out what makes them tick and what makes them live? And yet they can also be the hardest to create and breathe life into. 

To create a character isn’t to have them focus onto one trait and emphasis on it, but rather a myriad of traits together and have them work, which is what I believe happens more often. And I love to create new and original characters, protangonist who doesn’t always have the same starting point as an orphan or anything. 

For me, backstory shouldn’t be overly tragic, it can be brutal to show how it changed them, but don’t overdo things. Also, for me it also can be in the small things. Whether they were not as successful or anything. I dislike having characters that are either too perfect, or are good in nothing. Or too much in another. To have a great character is also about balance. 

Don’t only have one flaw, then it would become boring as that it their only flaw. Have them have other more minor flaws, which can make them more human-like. And never make them infallible, maybe in the areas they are really good in which I would agree, but in others if they are tempted enough they would succumb. 

For me, I tend to never think of my main character as a hero, but someone with about as much flaws as strengths. And that’s why I break plenty of rules when making my own characters, as it’s what makes them interesting and compelling that attract readers. I have books I hated solely for the characters, they were flat uninteresting and utterly boring. 

And never use a template or a guide to make them, I listen to such characters and figure out what makes them tick. I used to think of them like that, there are rules that I have to follow which only guided me up until a certain point when I started writing darker works, I was left on my own to figure out what was it that I wanted to write and how to make them interesting.   

And that’s when reading also comes in handy, as you will have been exposed to countless protagonists and how they work as characters. And also what to avoid, as you have truly experienced them and knowing what to avoid and how to avoid. In fact, I have one favourite character which was inspiration for many and taught me that not all needed to be actions gals or guys, they can be physically weak or far from strong. But rather their mind and their personalities was something that I needed to develop and well too. 

For me, the rule of thumb for creating characters is not to go overboard but rather a balance between them and have them come together. And never crank up a trait to eleven for a specific character. What about you? What do you think should be used to create characters? 

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On Planning 

Planning may be dreadful for some, but it always helps. Even if they are just notes to remind yourself, as I spend plenty of paper on them. And virtual paper with various entries that may be unrelated to each other. I really don’t want to lose any great idea. But it always helps to keep a notebook on hand or on your phone. 

For me, I’m an in-between or planster. I would pants some ideas and twists if it sounds better and has much more tension. But I have an idea where it id heading, a bare skeleton but it would help me find a direction. Before I work out all the details and just link it together. 

My planning is like a map, where I abandon roads for a better one except it’s a messy way to the end. I develop the bare minimum and the details I avoid but I love filling it in once I had an idea and a way to develop it properly. And from a panster I retained some ability to just the away my original plan once I figure it’s not working out and adjusting it to various ideas.

And sometimes I don’t really go deep into the characters or the setting before I decide to pick up my pen. And sometimes I tend to have stories that lead nowhere and planning helps to organize those thoughts in a coherent and good way. I don’t really follow any plot structure or much of anything similar, structure is for me to figure out what should I be doing once I finish. The first draft is solely for me to just pen down all my ideas no matter how messy.

And that resulted in me writing nearly 40,000 words before I got into the meat and sometimes it wasn’t linked up well enough and maybe a stronger focus on the beginning. But that’s the first draft, if it isn’t messy there probably wouldn’t be a core. Even with a solid plan it’s still muddy for me, as I add on details and various things. Nothing is ever fixed until I have edited enough to feel as though it is complete. 

But anyway, what about you? How do you plan? Is yours just an idea in your head or with flashcards, notes and other things? 

To Begin As A Writer 

Well, I always thought I wasn’t creative and never did much. Even though when I was eleven or twelve, I spent most of the time thinking some crazy fanfiction for nearly two years and it eventually became the main work of my life. 

So, how did I begin as an aspiring writer? One day it was from the words of an English teacher another was just an art exam topic which I had two weeks to finish an artwork did I get my first idea. Actually, I started writung since then, even though my ideas tends to be rather simplistic at the time and most are kind of embarrassments as I really didn’t know what I was writing. Bit by bit, I learned and developed my ideas accordingly and learned how to make an original concept. 

That took me a full year and many months all the while I explored what did I like, what was it that I enjoyed and what genres did I want to try. Many books influenced my writing slowly, and before I went out and came out with my own voice. 

To me, learning to write is a lot of a practice and just figuring it out. As I wrote light fantasy first, I discovered how much I disliked my main character then, she was just boring and uninteresting. She had little personality due to her empty past. I couldn’t write after the first 25,000 words. Being my first serious work, I wondered what was the issue. I slowly became less and less active and even unable to write. It was her character that didn’t interest me. 

Which I picked up a book on anti-heroes, it’s The Young Elites. That told me what I wanted to write, and became the focus when I rewrote the entire book. By making her a bit different, and harder I realised it was harder to write her, but I enjoyed it. And it was there when my ability to write was at its best, because I managed to get 80,000 words down and is still counting today. And ever since then, I have written solely about anti-heroes, villain protagonist or nominal heroes. 

Why? As I could break many rules with them. Instead of trying to make them questionable, I just have them go through a lot in their past which makes their baggage aplenty. And suddenly they become much more compelling to me. And picking up a drama gave me my love of political intrigue which is Nirvana In Fire, and an anime, which would be Katanagatari which make me just fascinated with the convoluted and difficult characters. And making my heroines a little more diverse, Togame is my sort of aspiration a character that is still compelling without ever having to fight, yet is still an important part. Lang Ya Bang, gave birth to Hidden Within Dawn, and helped me finally find it interesting. If not, it would have been in epic fantasy. Which I really don’t like after some time. 

Well, and after reading many books and picking inspiration, I slowly developed my own style and made my own characters even though my writing is far from perfect. But continuously reading helped me a lot, and writing constantly would improve the quality. All the while I have learned and experienced, and that writing is hard but when I get the hang of it, I always go for new challenges. 

My newest challenge is to take on a historical romance, since it is set in the Tang Dynasty I needed to do an insane amount of research which I might one day consolidate and publish here. 

But my biggest advice as a writer is don’t think that there is time. I didn’t wait and just started, be it only writing in notebooks or just starting to write. The easiest is to start and never worry about whether the quality is good. That is something you should wait for when you have completed. 

Writing Experiences 

This is really my first post talking about writing here, as I have been writing seriously for the past year and if you are interested in my works most of it is here.  

I mostly write a lot of fantasy, and for the past year since I started writing seriously I learned a lot. Be it through books or writing itself, to critiquing and reading and analysing books on a deeper level. I learned many things here, and knew how it was. Even if I’m quite close to finishing my first novel(it’s sitting at 79000 words currently) but I started September last year and have not stopped since. 

And I revamped works many times and still is revamping many of them. All the while I learned a lot of things, starting with a work which was simple which was The Inheritance Curse, it no longer exists and ended up as Book Of Mystics. And my writing journey was filled with many critiques and even more than that. I learnt a lot from just writing one novel and juggling many novels at a time.

Learning to plot when I was a full on pantster since I am a lover of heavy plot with huge character casts which contributed to me writing plenty of fantasy surrounded by it. And that I tended to have to keep a plan since I was writing political intrigue, all schemes needed to be handled well enough. 

And I learned my absolute favourite thing to do when it came to writing: making characters. It’s always the best as I spend hours thinking about their backgrounds and what makes them tick. It is by far one of the most enjoyable thing for me. And proud to say, I have really enjoyed making them even if some of them simply are quite insane. And I spend countless hours thinking about quirks, personalities with backgrounds. I never think much about looks, maybe a little on how in influences but never much on appearances. Previously I was fixated on it, and never got anywhere sometimes because my characters were just flat and uninteresting.

The best tip was to balance them out, don’t crank up a trait to eleven just because they need to represent it. And make sure that they have some humor in them, have some life and dreams. 

But an interesting world also helps me a lot, after some time what I feel best is taking an idea or a specific setting and bring new twists to it, there isn’t really a need to base it off a culture. Maybe take ideas from a multitude of cultures and combine the best and most fitting pieces to make the high fantasy world. And I mostly look into history, I pay way more attention to historical details than even about the clothing or scenery just mostly some historical details. Along with dialogue, I can memorize very memorable and deep lines. 

Well it’s my second favourite to write dialogue even though it takes me nearly forever sometimes just to write pretty fascinating and interesting dialogue. It purely depends, sometimes I’m going for witty and snarky, sometimes just plain ridiculous and other times for it go deep and poetic. But I tend to spend hours thinking up quotes suited to the story and where I would decide its themes also mainly comes from dialogue.  

As for my writing process, like I said I went from pantster to planner. Because I have school not very convenient to be writing a lot and I have endless ideas where I just jot it down and plan it out. I have an entire box just with flashcards which I can use for story ideas and even more. And filling it with details for worldbuilding plot, backstory those are my favourite for some weird reason. And also coming up with names where I just sit on my desk and write and write. Because with a pantster I tended to waste time having no idea what to write, and with a plot planned out at hand it helps to know what should happen next or whether transitions should happen or not. 

Overall, this was my writing experiences in total and how I used to write and now. I guess process evolves with time and story, as some required me to have plenty of planning which was more often than not. Well, what about yours? This would be just the start of a long thread of posts about this, since I have written a lot and learned a lot than when I began no more than just a girl who thought writing easy. When it reality it’s one of the hardest things to do. 

Update 

As of right now, I have reached 20 followers and thank you all for it. I’m still continuing with blog posts about books and hope to add a few more features. I have linked my Twitter and even Gmail accounts. Later I might add more, but for now, I’m still navigating social media. So that is for it and I will still be reading and writing more posts 

9 May

Sorry if I haven’t been very active, as I’m facing exam week and that I’m currently reading a book whose review might come up soon if I can have a good idea.

Thankfully it will end at the end of the week and maybe I can get started onto a new drama series, anime or even more. Well, time to enjoy two weeks before I fly out to Taiwan

17 April

This two weeks had been hectic for me thus I wasn’t so active, also the book reviews I would continue and I extended the deadline that they were due.

Finally, now I have a breather. Well for two weeks before my exams and this repeats itself.

I’m just not very sure and eventually I would get to more books. Now, I’m just stuck and for a while I’ll be at another country by next month. So, write as much book reviews as I can manage.