The 5 Elements of a Story – Character

5 elements of a story - character

There are several things you need to consider when creating a character. Some are obvious while others may not be.

And, more importantly, the needs vary a little between short stories and novels. As with short stories you are merely getting a glimpse into a character whereas in a novel, characters need to be more developed and fleshed out.

Characterisation can be hard to manage and even harder to get right. Discovering who your character is can often be very frustrating.

Which is why character profiles are incredibly useful. Even the simplest character profile will help you in getting to know your character.

Because, let’s face it, when you’re dealing with a novel there’s often quite a few characters involved. At some point remembering who had what eye colour is going to get tricky.

Which is why I create character profiles. If not for all my characters, then for the main characters at the start. The minor character profiles tend to evolve on their own and I write additional profiles as needed.

Below is a black PDF version of the rather basic Character Profile I use. It’s nothing overly elaborate, but it does the job.

Feel free to save it to your computer for use later on.

Character Profile

 

 

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Five Writerly Things To Buy When You’re a Writer

Just as all writers have different writers styles, they too have a different writing process.

I, prefer to write at a computer. But I didn’t always use one to write.

I often used notebooks.

In fact, there was a time when I carried a notebook everywhere I went. Just in case I wanted or needed to jot down an idea.

Now, my phone takes the place of a notebook.

But that hasn’t prevented me from collecting notebooks.

So, without further ado… here’s 5 writerly things to buy when you’re a writer!

  1. Notebooks – I love Typo ones.
  2. Pens – If I could, I buy up all the purple pens I could find. Alas, I can’t so I console myself with black Papermate Profile ones.
  3. Book Covers – Because novels need covers. I try not to collect them unless I have a story in mind, but there’s never a time when cover art isn’t pretty to look at.
  4. Fingerless Gloves – I’ve been drooling over the ones at Storiarts for a while now)
  5. Coffee (& Chai Tea) – Because I can’t live without coffee… and Chai Tea in winter

Writers, what’s on your list? Share it in the comments below.

Write What You Know

If you’ve been writing for a while, you’ve no doubt heard the phrase write what you know and if you’re new to writing, then this post just might save your sanity.

Write what you know.

It’s one of the most misunderstood pieces of writing advice I’ve ever come across, so what do you do about it?

Do you listen and hang on every word. Every snippet of so-called writing advice that the World Wide Web is inundated with… not to mention every book dedicated to writing. Or do you pick and choose? Using only the advice you think it’s relevant and useful.

Write what you know. Really? But do I have to?

I know, I know. I can hear you thinking: I hardly know anything, or: my experience is limited, or even: I haven’t been anywhere exciting yet.

None of that matters, and you know why? Because I can guarantee you that your life experience is entirely different from any other writer out there. It’s as unique as you are, and that’s what will shine through no matter what you write.

Funny story actually, but a couple of years ago, I was told by an author that I respect, to stick to writing what I know. It was after a conversation led me to share the setting of the book that I was working on at the time. I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t set in Australia… and it definitely wasn’t set in Perth.

I found myself sitting there, coffee in hand, mulling over what she said and panicking and I thought to myself: I’ll never get to go anywhere as charming as Ireland in my lifetime.

And then it dawned on me… it’s not the setting of the story I should be focusing on, but the experiences my characters go through. It’s the emotions that course through them whenever they feel something so intensely… whether it be joy or sadness. If you as a writer know those emotions inside out, if you experience it as if it were you who was going through it, and not some character you made up, then there’s no doubt in my mind the reader will feel it too.