I just watched Joanna Penn's interview with the incomparable Chuck Wendig of Terribleminds.com (Writing Metaphor, Memorable Characters And Horror With Chuck Wendig). Chuck gives some great tips for those of us struggling through NaNoWriMo:
1. Figure out what your character is afraid of and then make them confront their fear.
2. Tips for writing memorable and original characters:
- They have to be active and interesting. They have to do stuff.
- They need to have a Save The Cat moment where the reader gets behind the character. We need to see some of their own ethos in action. That's what drives us to know their story.
If you haven't read Chuck's post Battle Song of the Storyteller I recommend it. Here's a sample:
I am a storyteller and I will finish the tale I am telling.That's just the beginning. It's amazing. Bookmark it for those moments when you're feeling discouraged, when you feel you can't possibly finish 50,000 words in a month--I mean, the whole idea is crazy, right? That's when you need to read Chuck's post!
The gods have chosen me as its speaker.
My story has weight and value. It is worth more than a chest of gold, more than a pair of magic boots, more than a cool laser gun that goes pyoo pyoo pyoo, more than a ride on the back of a surfboard unicorn. My story’s merit cannot be measured. All that matters is that it matters.
At one point Joanna Penn asked Chuck Wendig what an average writing day was like for him. He replied:
I wake up at 6 in the morning and will write until I am done which generally means 2,000 to 3,000 words a day.On another note, I just read the first bit of Chucks book, Blackbirds. Love it! If you like Terribleminds.com, give it a try. Highly recommended. Though I should mention it's classified as a horror novel. But, hey, you can always sleep with the light on, right? ;)
Every once in a while I'll do significantly more than that but I don't force myself to do it, there's no gun to my head. Which would be really weird, if I held a gun to my own head. But ... (laughter)
And then whatever happens in the middle of your day. Lunch. And then I tend to do editing in the afternoon or other administrative stuff like answering email.
Good luck fellow NaNoWriMo-ers! I'm at 10,000 words and counting. We can do this thing!!
Other articles you might like:
- How To Get Your Readers To Identify With Your Main Character
- More Writing Advice From Jim Butcher
- Amazon Reviews Are Disappearing
- How To Write 10,000 Words A Day
Photo credit: "Pro Evenflo" by Eneas under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.