F is for Stick-in-the-Mud

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Actually, F is for fun.

Let your character have some.
In the event you ‘re a stick-in-the-mud, talk to your characters and let them show you some of the things they enjoy doing. One mistake I’ve made in my novels is that my characters don’t have down time. Yeah, yeah, I know they can’t loll about doing nothing because I’d run the risk of losing the reader, but if they’re supposed to be real people, then they probably have hobbies, right?

Also, the things they do to relax or enjoy themselves says something about them. For example, someone who watches television all the time, could (a) be a genuine couch potato or (b) need to get a life or (c) be too listless from undiagnosed health problems to do anything else.
Use your imagination to make your characters more rounded.

·    He may collect stamps (do people do that anymore?) because it’s something he did with a grandparent whom he loved very much.

·    He could be a fish keeper because he chose a hobby that allows him to spend time with his son.   After all, his father was too busy making money to pay him much attention.

·    She might be a voracious reader who hides between the covers of a book to avoid dealing with a conflict in the home.

·    She might be a party animal who doesn’t stop moving long enough to think about health issues.

·    She might walk around the block in the early hours of the day to avoid interaction with her spouse before he leaves the house each day.

I won’t belabor the point, but unless it’s a character quirk to have your character not do anything fun/relaxing at all, I’ve give her something to do that fits their personality. You might even give her a hobby that is at odds with the person she appears to be. Now that would make for some interesting story-boarding.

Flaws, Merits & What Not

How to Get Under Your Character's Skin When Roleplaying

 
The Jamaican fare of the day is Festival. Yup, you can eat a festival - a sugary corn meal concoction (I hesitate to say dumpling) that goes down well with fried fish.  Great to have on those Hellshire Beach trips. Used to be it had to be made from scratch, but these days, they're produced by the Jamaica Flour Mills just like cake mixes. Just add water!
Festival

 

 

 

Pre-packaged Festival Mix













































 




21 comments:

  1. People still collect stamps! Or at least, my little sister does.

    A Festival looks... oddly delicious. I'm not sure it should.

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  2. Fun? What is Fun? This post comes at a great point in my writing. I was stuck with what to do with her. I think some fun may just be what the dr. ordered. Thanks!

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  3. Great post about fun and finding those fun quirks in a character like those you mentioned above. :)

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  4. Fantastic post! You're right, knowing your character's hobbies and what they like to do for fun can add dynamic to the story.

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  5. Thanks for stopping in, Siv. Yeah, I we can always use some fun.

    Amie, haven't come across a philatelist in a while. If you like sweet things, the festival will taste great.

    Elizabeth, glad you found something here that helps.

    Cherie, I like quirky characters.

    Laura, my point exactly. :D

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  6. Thanks for stopping in, Siv. Yeah, I we can always use some fun.

    Amie, haven't come across a philatelist in a while. If you like sweet things, the festival will taste great.

    Elizabeth, glad you found something here that helps.

    Cherie, I like quirky characters.

    Laura, my point exactly. :D

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  7. Fun is something we need to incorporate in our day to day life! Thanks for sharing..

    Loved the picture of the festival there !!

    Following you from A-Z challenge!

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  8. fun is divine for everyone.

    what a cute take.

    beautiful F take.

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  9. What a great post about Fun! Nice to meet you through the A-Z challenge :)

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  10. This is a great point we don't need to always be putting our characters into to danger but also into things they enjoy. Great point!!

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  11. Joy,
    thanks for the kind compliments you left on my blog. Know that I feel the same way about your website as well. :)
    This is another great post as usual. Sometimes in the course of plotting, i forget that my characters are people. I throw problem after problem at them until they start yelling for a break, and a little fun. :p
    nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  12. Ju, beware, too many festivals will make your waistline double in no time. :D

    Jingle, thanks!

    BZ - it's always good to meet another blogger!

    Josh, thanks! Really interesting stuff you posted today. Some things we don't think about consciously or even realize there's a name for them.

    Nutschell, in the quest for good pacing and keeping readers hooked, we forget they need to catch a breath in a few places. :)

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  13. Fun . . . what a novel idea! Thank you. I have been feeling lately as if I need to give my main character either a villanous fault or a strange twitch to make her a little interesting. However, fun would be good too. Now that I think about it, even if the most action paced novels, there is some mention of some fun hobby that the character has in his/her down time.
    Thanks again!
    http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

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  14. No problem, Tyrean. Glad something here helped you.

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  15. So many great points about character development. Yes, they need to be imitations of real life people (if we're not talking fantasy, etc). So injecting a little fun in them we'll be all the better.

    Great post!

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  16. So true, fun and quirks do make for great characters. The more our creations are real to us, the more real they will be to those who read our stories. Inspiring and provocative post. :)

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  17. This is so at odds with the usual advice of make the characters suffer! I think it is spot-on. Even our characters need to have fun once in a while :)--it makes them real.

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  18. Matthew, exactly!

    Melissa, a little fun never hurt anyone so our characters should have some. :)

    Damyanti, oh, yes, they can suffer, but I think a little dose of reality (aka fun on the side) in there will help take their mind off their troubles, if only for a few paragraphs. :D

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  19. Good point about characters having some fun!
    Festival looks delicious. Now I'm hungry. :)

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  20. Thanks, Laura! We all need some fun in our lives and so do our characters.

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