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Requested by: writeherewriten0w Not exactly what you asked for, but I think that a lot of tips would be needed to answer writing a relationship, but Jennifer Cruise has some interesting ideas here. :-)
Tips by Jennifer Cruise
Originally Posted on JennyCruise.com
If you call my house at eight o’clock on Tuesday night, I won’t answer. I’ll be working very hard, studying my craft by watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How is that studying, you ask? Consider the following:
- Television, or rather film, is the new language of narrative. If you’re under thirty, you probably learned the way story works not from books but from videos. If you’re over thirty, that’s probably the way you get most of your narrative now. So studying film has become just as valid as studying books as a way to learn more about storytelling.
- Film is a form of narrative we have some distance on, so we can study it with an unbiased eye. We all write books, we’re all invested in books, so it’s likely been quite a while since any of us were able to read most books purely for pleasure. But TV is something that many of us can watch without critiquing for technicalities.
- TV is fast. If you tape your shows and fast forward through the commercials, you can absorb an entire narrative arc in twenty-two to forty minutes. That makes it easier to see the story arc as a whole, instead of trying to wrap your mind around an entire book.
- TV is efficient. A writer who only has twenty to forty minutes to tell a story tends to become very clean in her or his narrative and therefore has a lot to teach us.
Still not convinced? Here are five things I’ve learned from TV that I’ve blatantly stolen for my own work. All five have been around for a long time, they’re basics of writing craft, but TV introduced me to the shorthand versions and then demonstrated their power for me.
Lesson # 1: Opposite Attract, But Twin Souls Connect
I have never been a believer in the old “she’s a firefighter, he’s an arsonist” theory of characterization. At least I wasn’t until I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy has had three great loves in five seasons, or as her fans prefer to put it, two great loves and one loser. And guess what: the two great loves were vampires.
Her first love was a guilt-ridden vamp named Angel; it was, however, a love that could never be (don’t ask), so he exited just in time and in came Riley, Buffy’s dream date, an all-American blond teaching assistant by day and the leader of an elite demon-hunting commando unit at night. However, since Buffy is an all-American blonde college student by day and a vampire-slayer by night, there was a small contrast problem: they had none. And as Anne Stuart has pointed out, Riley wanted Buffy to be the perfect girlfriend and Buffy wanted to be the perfect girlfriend so they didn’t have much to talk about, either. When Riley left her to go fight demons in South America, there was general rejoicing, not only because he was a drag, but because over in the next tomb was Buffy’s worst nightmare and therefore the perfect guy for her: Spike, the most vicious vampire in the history of the world since Angel went straight, and Buffy’s most opposite number.
Tips by Samantha Stone
Originally posted on creativewritingsoftware101.com
Just as in real life, characters on a page change and develop throughout your story. This is natural and should happen. You can write a story without any character development, but those types of stories are usually noted just for that reason – a character’s refusal or inability to learn or respond to the events around them.
Don’t let your character drift around in this developmental arc. Plan your character’s growth and reactions with events, interaction with other characters, and from inner turmoil or conflict. Often characters are at war with themselves or their beliefs, and this can affect their overall character change.
Use these 10 tips to keep your character arc on track for believable development.
1. Who Is the Character at the Beginning?
Decide who your character is and why they need to change. In the Christmas favorite A Christmas Carol, Scrooge changes from a cantankerous, heartless man into a caring and generous one. Think of Dr. Seuss’s Grinch.
2. Inner Demons
Secrets your character hides can be a driving force in who they are. Denial can keep your character falsely happy and guilt can haunt your character into madness. This was one of Shakespeare’s favorite devices.
3. Perception of Self
Your character’s self-image may be their worst enemy. Something your character sees as a fault may be exaggerated or may not exist at all. A character thinking they’re too fat, too ugly, stupid, or even superior to others are perceptions that can be changed or altered within the storyline. In the play and movie The Seven Year Itch, a pulp fiction editor sees himself as a skirt-chasing fiend trying to corner the blonde from upstairs – but he’s not. His fantasy life is exaggerated in his mind and has invaded when his wife and child are away for the summer.
4. Show the Character Changing
Give the reader the eyewitness view of the character changing. Show the obstacles overcome, the decisions made, the failures and wins. It doesn’t always have to be pretty.
social justice warrior is a decent class but I prefer anti-heteronormative mage
I really hate when people devalue writing fanfic by saying that people are wasting their time doing it and should be seeking publication instead. Have you never heard of doing something for the sheer fun of it? What the fuck is your life like that you can’t imagine seeking out something enjoyable to do in your spare time? Do you run up to people in the park and tell them to stop playing football because they are wasting their time if they aren’t pursuing a professional career? Sure, writing fanfic can be a great way to polish skills if you some day wish to publish your own work, but writing fanfic is also great just on its own.
Hear hear! I take this to heart, as a person who has written a great deal of fanfic and never even shown it to anyone or published it for $0. (I’m working up the courage.) I don’t think of that as wasted effort. It was FUN.
You know, I was just revisiting (falling down laughing over) the grandfather of all “I Discovered a Thing Called Fan Fiction” articles recently (no seriously: it’s is called, “What is Fan Fiction - and why is it making people nervous?”) and stood up cheering over one of the first comments, which begins very much like this:
“Truly, 300,000 words is a monumental amount of time and effort, and sadly most of it is wasted as the vast majority of FanFic authors will not go on to write in any professional sense.”
By this rationale, it is a waste of time and effort to join your local pub football team and knock a ball around with your mates every weekend, because you’re never going to be headhunted for the Premier League; a waste of time and effort to experiment with delicious new recipes and feed them to your friends and family, because you’re never going to open a restaurant; a waste of time and effort to flirt with a pretty girl if you know you’re probably never going to see her again; a waste of time and effort to run a marathon if you’re not going to win any prize money; a waste of time and effort to take pictures of your child’s first faltering steps if you’re never planning to become a professional photographer; a waste of time and effort to join a choir or play the guitar on the beach if you’re never going to record a number one album; a waste of time and effort to learn how to thoroughly blow somebody’s mind in bed if you don’t plan to become a sex worker.
The point of such pursuits sir, is that, in and of themselves, THEY GIVE YOU JOY. They enrich your life. If you genuinely find value only in those things which can be leveraged into making money – well, that’s truly tragic.
1. Girls Shalt Not Have Sex.
(someone asked me what the guy word for ‘slut’ is
and I couldn’t find an answer.
it’s an old story: a rumour goes around that so-and-so
blew a boy in the disabled toilets.
the girl fakes a cough to get herself sent home
to escape the classroom-wide hiss of ‘slut’
while the boy she blew walks into the same class
and is greeted by an onslaught of high-fives)
2. Girls Shalt Love Boys.
(when I was ten, there was a movie trailer where two girls
leaned in for a kiss, and I felt sick for the rest of the day.
it took four years
along with faux-casual questions to friends
useless quizzes on the internet
entries in a diary that I later scribbled out
to admit, fine, okay, yes,
and another year after that to say it without mumbling)
3. Girls Shalt Not Be Bitches.
(it took over ten years of school for me to realize
my women teachers got called bitches
for doing things that my male teachers got called efficient for.
we were assigned to a group project in science class
and whenever my friend tried to tell the others to quiet down
so they could get on with the work,
she was jeered into silence
and she never found it fair that her boyfriend did
the same thing and the noise stopped.)
4. Girls Shalt Have A Vagina.
(she introduced herself with a deep voice and a gushing smile.
she had a pink dress and an adam’s apple
she had a necklace resting above her cleavage
she had escaped from an all-boys high school
and I didn’t understand until I learned later
gender is more than the two rigid boxes
that we are told to tick one of)
5. Girls Shalt Smile.
(he frowned when the subject was brought up
and he shrugged a lot as he explained
that we look better when we smile. Less hostile.
His shrugs stiffened when I asked him why we shouldn’t look hostile.
‘I dunno,’ he said, dropping to a mumble. ‘Girls aren’t s’posed to look hostile, I guess.’
The next time someone walked past me on the street
and told me to smile,
I gave him my sunniest grin
and a middle finger.)
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