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Showing posts from July, 2017

3 Ways To Improve Your Dialogue

In this post, I'll be talking (or I guess writing) about how you can improve on writing dialogue.

Dialogue makes up a large part of stories. It communicates a lot, too, such as how people feel or interact. Here's a few tips you can use to improve your dialogue.

Here's an example from my work-in-progress, The Ruby of Fire. Loyalty is lying on the floor in her room, and the caretaker of her orphanage is trying to get her to try a little harder to act nicer, and get adopted.

“Get up now or you’ll lose all privileges," the caretaker said. "I want to speak to you.” “Sure.” Loyalty said. “Like you really want to.” “I’m trying to be nice,” the caretaker said. “Yeah, right,” Loyalty said. “Look, Loyalty. I have to do something about you because no one wants a bad-mannered, hot-headed, lazy dragonet to care for.” “Have you considered the fact that you’ve starved me and that’s why I have no energy to do anything?” 1. Use action tags. First of all, it's unclear what the chara…

How to Write Villains

Villains have motives. Villains are the hero of their own story. Villains think they're the protagonist and think the hero is the antagonist. And for some reason, we still hate the villain. We relish in the hero's moment of triumph. We applaud the hero when he (or she) foils the villain's plans.

But what if the story was from the villain's point of view? Would we view the villain as the hero, and vice versa? Truth is, we probably would.

A basic, fleshed-out villain possesses 3 main qualities: a motive, talents, and flaws.

A Motive
Every villain wants something, be it world domination, a castle full of treasures, or a loving family. The villain then uses up the entire book to get what he wants. But making the goal is the easy part. The hard part is writing why he wants that goal. Does he want world domination because he thinks he can make the world a better place? Does he want a castle full of treasures because he can use the gold to purchase medicines for his mother? Do…

Spoiler-Free Book Review - The Squire's Tales (Gerald Morris)

Okay, so it's technically an entire series, but that's irrelevant. I am reviewing books and it is therefore a book review. 

The Squire's Tales, by Gerald Morris, is a series of novels that retell in hilarious fashion the lesser known tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Don't worry, you won't have to hear about the sword in the stone again or anything at all about Arthur's childhood. Because this is where the best part comes in: these stories are told from the perspectives of those that other renditions tend to gloss over, mock or forget entirely. These characters are a squire, (as the title would imply) a page, three women and a knight who is objectively terrible at being a knight. He sings and plays music instead. His name's Dinadan. He's wonderful. Over the ten books in the series, you get seven different characters from whose points of view the stories are told (plus a couple extra in the last book, but that's a special case).…

Write like a Tudor

Today we make quills. And other cool stuff. *theme tune starts playing*

First of all a crash course in the history of writing implements:

4000 BC - hard tools on moist clay 3000 BC - reed brushes on papyrus (a type of reed woven and flattened) 1300 BC - metal stylus on thin sheets of wax 400 AD - metal stylus on thin sheets of wax, also wrote on parchment 600 - 1800 AD - quill pen on parchment (Pencil leads were invented in Australia and France but not used widely) 1800 - 1850 - steel nibs for quills emerges, metal pen patented 1884 - Fountain pen invented 1940s - Ball point pens (biros) were used widely 1960s - Felt tips invented
So Elizabethans. They included Shakespeare. Want to write like Shakespeare? First things first: you need a pen. And some paper. And ink.
Make a Quill For this you need a goose feather. Take a walk down to somewhere you know there are geese, like a lake. Take care to pick a feather big enough to write with, that's clean enough. 
Wash the end that has been in the b…

Can't You See the Shapes

I can see the shapes
But my hands can't form them right
They're trapped in my mind Why can’t I see the light? Dancing and soaring I forget what's around me Electric body Won’t you do what I do? Come sit in the shade Let the arid world fly by Luscious, dark gray shade Take my hand, come and fly Can’t you see the shapes Our fingers form them right Trapped in our minds Can’t you see the bright light?
~a poem by Gemaine~ ~based on a series of haikus by Hannah~

Strange One

An unsteady little fox kit blinked, opening her eyes she wobbled after her siblings. Taking her first steps outside the den, watching the others do the same. Their brown-black eyes gleamed in the light.

Most of the other fox kits were playing, a tangled mess of dark brown fur and legs as they tumbled, chasing each other around mossy rocks and through short green grass. Some of the older foxes were lounging, gathered around a small circle of rocks. The fox kit stumbled over, her legs still not quite used to the rough ground. The circle smelled fresh, soaked in the scent of damp earth; something clear and silvery-blue filled the hole in the ground. She leaned towards it, trying to get a better look, paws scrambling for purchase on the smooth slippery stones. With no success, her paws slipped, sending her tumbling down into the pool of clear liquid. It was only water. But she didn't know that then. She landed with a splash, the liquid soaking her coat and making her shiver. She ha…

How to Make Your Protagonist Have Friends and Enemies...Disney-Style

Admit it. Every Disney princess has a good share of friends and enemies. Your protagonists definitely need their share of these, too.

It’s easy to give them loads of friends and develop awesome humorous side characters. But villains? It’s harder to formulate the perfect antagonist. One method of doing this is having your character make enemies, which make life so much more exciting. Here are some tips...
For enemies, have your protagonist...
Be born Have a magical power Be beautiful and charming Have royal blood Rouse a deadly rage in someone unintentionally Have parents with sworn enemies Be a Dalmatian
For friends, have your protagonist...
Be beautiful and charming (yes, I realize this is also how you make enemies) Have animal friends who require no effort Sing nicely Be naturally friendly and extroverted
And now for ideas that would actually be plot...
Enemies can be made if the protagonist...