KOH Creative

Developing Your Characters And Making Them Interesting

Sep
27

When writing our own stories, novels or something that requires some creativity, we are often faced with the problem of developing characters and making them interesting. This is because we are required to build our characters from scratch and make them big enough to fit and make what we are writing flow perfectly. Good characters will handle a poor plot while a good plot cannot handle bad characters. This means that having good characters is better than having a good plot.

It is important to note that there is no right way to write stories. Similarly, there is no right way to develop characters. Different writers develop their characters differently. However, the following tips can help you develop your characters.

1. Start with the personality

Once you define the personality of a character, it is very easy to know how they will look like. You will be able to carve and pick vices and virtues, qualities and flaws. Do not aim at achieving perfect characters as they are not interesting. When it comes to antagonists and protagonists, they are neither a 100% bad nor 100% good, as they aren’t fully bad or good people.

Most of a story’s power comes from the opinions and feelings that characters have for and against one another. Let characters gossip and fight among themselves.

Go for round characters instead of perfectionism. Do this by taking details and notes from people in real life-mannerisms, funny habits and what makes a person human.

2. Work on and develop the appearance of a character

What is their eye color, hair color, skin color, shape of their face or nose, blood type and whether they have scars or birthmarks somewhere on their bodies.

3. Give a name that you believe fits

In most cases, this is the first step although it depends on how you work. Does the name have a meaning? Does it show the personality of the character? It is important to know that names are sometimes relevant to the genre/setting.

4. Flesh them out

Think of background and hobbies. What is their job? Rood repair or magician? How do they relate with their family and the society at large? How do they carry themselves when around authority? What do they like wearing? What do they love and hate?

5. Give them strong opinions

Most writers shy away from giving their characters strong opinions as they don’t like overbearing themselves. Overbearing can be a big flaw, but when writing fiction, flaws are good. Let your characters have flaws that can be fatal. Let her have a tendency of losing her temper and let her do something she will leave to regret. It is the only way to capture the attention of your readers and keep them curious to know what happened at the end of the story.

6. Consider a game of risk

Make a character risk something or make a sacrifice for another. Many classics, spiritual scriptures, modern tales and myths exploit the heart clutching moment of a character risking his life-or even dying-to save others. Readers need to know that a character won’t abandon another even when his/her life is at stake. As such, let a character be ready to die for another and put him/her in a good position to do so. It is a sure way of ensuring your readers miss work to read your work.

7. Make a hypotenuse

Add a triangle. Lets your characters have dyadic relationships but not to the point of excluding other complex ones. Consider having a sturdy hypotenuse with your two main characters but add a third one to make it more complex. The third character mustn’t be a human being-it can be an animal, addiction, obligation, call to adventure, and a career-just anything that gets between the cozy relationship of your two main characters.

8. Let your characters be full of surprises

Let them surprises everyone, including you, as this is the only way to take your story somewhere. It is a great way of making your story to appear real as even imaginary characters are reluctant of living in a fully determined world.
Developing your characters is key to the success of your story. It is therefore important to note that character development is an ongoing process as you can never finish creating and improving your characters. Characters, just like real people, undergoes change and do not stay the same. Enjoy the process and be creative with it.

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Creating a World: How to Make the Unreal Real

Sep
24

All great fiction shares a single, overriding quality. It transports you from everyday life and takes you on a journey to a completely different universe, lovingly designed by the author. Creating a world is one of the most important, and challenging, aspects of writing fiction. Your fictitious world needs to be plausible enough to enable the reader to understand it as if they live there and it needs to be so captivating that they never want to leave. Sounds tricky? It doesn’t have to be! Let’s take a look at some of the essential steps involved in creating a world of your own.

Create a timeline

Every world is a product of its history. Early on in the writing process, identify the point in time within your world’s history in which the story will be set. Now the fun part begins. Start asking yourself questions about your world. How did it come into existence? What significant events have taken place in the near and distant past? How did these events impact on the present-day version of the world? When brainstorming the answers to these questions, be flexible and allow ideas to take on lives of their own. Even if you map out events and characters that will never appear in the story itself, they can be great tools for inducing a rich context within which your story can take shape and flourish.

Rules rules rules!

The real world is based on all manner of rules and yours must be too. Try to avoid any temptation to spend less time on the mechanisms of how your world works. Even though we’re dealing in the industry of make-believe, readers expect the world within which your story resides to make sense (We still get angry at the inclusion of the Time Turner in Harry Potter. Surely access to a time traveling machine should have solved all manner of problems for Harry and friends in one fell swoop!).

There are all types of rules to consider. Physical rules are very important. For example, will your world conform to the laws of gravity? If not, how will this affect your characters and plot? Perhaps your story is set in a dystopian future where gravity is the latest natural resource to have expired, leaving a divide between the ‘haves’ (characters who can afford equipment for traveling around without flying away) and ‘have-nots’ (characters without the means to travel in the open air, thus trapped in indoor settlements).

You also need to consider the rules of society. What traditions and values compel your characters to behave the way they do? What types of behaviour are likely to cause conflict?

Describe what your world looks and feels like

By the time you’ve designed your world to the smallest detail, you’ll have such an intricate knowledge of its makeup, you’ll be in danger of assuming your reader has a similar understanding. Wrong! Refer to all of the senses while describing the world to the reader in order to give them the sensation of being there too. Describe what the landscape and objects within it look like, mention the different sounds and comment on smells and tastes. You don’t need to go overboard with page upon page of adjective-laden prose, but invite the reader to share the delights of a world you’ve spent so much time and energy building.

Use the real world as a basis

Some of the most successful fictitious worlds are actually very similar to the real world. The genius lies in the subtle twists and additions that make a world stand out from the familiarity of common sights and behaviours. Use your own experience as a guide as well. If you know about tree trimming, write about it in exquisite detail. The hugely popular Game of Thrones series is a case in point. Loosely based on the history of the British monarchy, with much of the political manoeuvring between powerful families and blood-thirsty wars similar to real-life events from centuries ago, author George R. R. Martin also incorporates aspects of the paranormal such as dragons and White Walkers who impact upon the plot’s logic and lead the storyline in a range of directions.

Study the works of authors who have had success creating a worlds of their own

One of the most effective methods for learning how to create a world of your own is to study the best of the rest! Always try to actively question the logic and analyse its effect on the overall story. We’ve already touched upon the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones series, both fine examples of world-building. The monumental Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien (as well as other stories set in ‘Middle Earth’ such as The Hobbit) is regarded as a classic of English literature and is the setting of one of the richest and most complex fictitious worlds of all time. Last but not least, The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis is an outstanding example of combining fictitious and real worlds in one ongoing narrative.

So now you’re all set to build a world of your own. Grab yourself a pen and a blank sheet of paper and let your imagination run wild!

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The Top Ten Creative Writing Exercises You Need to Put Into Practice

Sep
21

How much effort do you put in order to enhance your writing skills? It is very crucial to have key guidance that will enable you achieve the best in the shortest time possible. There are various writing exercises that you can practice to always improve your writing skills. Some of these writing exercises include:

The 7 X 7 X 7

This is one the best exercise that will aid you learn some writing skills. Just as the name sounds, you need to look for the seventh book on your bookshelf. Open the book on its seventh page and then go straight to the seventh sentence on the page. Using the sentence, you need to come up with a poem that begins with the sentence, but ensure to limit the poem to only seven lines.

First

This is another fantastic way to enhance you’re your writing skills. All you need to do is being creative and come up with superb ideas. For instance, you can talk about your first day in school, your first pet and first relationship among others. With these in mind, create an interesting story that you will love reading.

Use of dictionary

The dictionary is very important when it comes to improving your writing skills. It will therefore aid you in every creative writing you undertake. Use your dictionary to know how to define certain words that may be challenging on your side. Open the dictionary at random and learn more new words day after day.

Magazine puzzle

You should also love reading the magazines and look for phrases, words and even images. Cut them out and place them in a box. Place everything you have in a box and then pick at least two of them at random. Write some short and interesting stories about whatever you have picked on.

Use of Atlas

You can also use the Atlas in writing travel and leisure articles. Close your eyes and point out a place in your Atlas. Write some interesting imaginary experience about the place or country. Have some passion for the writing and you will find it very smart.

Switch persona

This is another smart writing exercise that will aid you in enhancing your writing skills. You just need to take on a persona without being bias. For example, you can pick on a celeb, your role model or just a great friend, then write a short story in first person.

Found poem

You can also use the found poem to improve your writing ability. This is by checking out of the newspapers and magazines for at least two ads. Using these ads, come up with a poem using these two ads. Ensure that you check on both spelling, sentence structure and punctuations.

Use the sentence “I Remember”

You need to begin a paragraph with the sentence “I remember” and ensure you come up with something creative. You can write about your past incidences either bad or good and write a fantastic story you would love when people read. This is a better way that will enable you enhance both your writing activities and creativity.

Sell a pet

You should also write about something about adverts. For example, you can write about an advert selling a boa constrictor as your family pet. This will enable you gain some experience on how to write quality articles about adverts.

Hello, you

You can also gain more experience by learning about how to write letters. You need not to worry who to write to because you need to start on your own. Write a decent letter to yourself, saying exactly what you expect from you some years to come. Be very creative and use the exact format that you could use when addressing someone senior or a friend.

These are some of the highly recommended writing exercises that you need to put into practice. Through frequent practice, you will eventually become a pro and you will be able to handle different creative writings. You need to use the different approaches as this will expose you to different key areas like adverts, letters, creative writing and many more. Dedicate yourself fully in case you want to achieve something good at the end. Ensure that you always check on the phrases you use, sentence structure, grammar and punctuation among others. These are the best writing exercises I highly recommend to you.

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How to Come Up With a Story Idea

Sep
19

Putting an idea into words is a challenging job if you want to be a fiction writer, script writer for movies or TV, a poet or even a tag writer for advertisements. Most of the people have a number of story ideas in their mind every moment but most of these ideas vanish away if they are not inscribed into words. You can create wonders if you are stimulated after coming up with a story idea to convert it into a piece of creative writing. But how to recognise these story ideas is the main issue which stops most of the people from becoming a good writer. Some tips are provided here under to get an idea for writing a creative story.

Recreation of the scene

If you want to be a story writer then you might be reading a number of books, magazines and even periodicals to get a unique idea. You can take any inconspicuous idea from any of these options and create a scene around it to use as the initial scene of your story. You can add new elements and characters to it to develop an exclusive story creatively. In this way you can give new life to various things you love the most by converting them into creative story ideas.

Getting inspiration from junk mails

You might be receiving a number of junk mails through internet or traditional post form a number of companies, politicians and business enterprises etc. which you have deleted or ignored till now. You can use these mails for finding out characters of your interest for your story. You can find a number of characters from these junk mails which you can use to elaborate your story or create story around them. It doesn’t really matter what the junk mail is advertising – it could be pizza or tree service, but either way you can use it. You can create a number of unusual and funny situations by using your writing skills.

Inventing the history of known characters

You might have met a number of people in your life like family members, friends you made since your school time till today and a number of your associates and co-workers etc. You might have not met most of them since long. Today their life will not be less than a mystery for you. You can choose any of these contacts and explore their life history to get an idea for your story. In this way you can get endless ideas to write new and creative stories for any medium including scripts for movies, TV programs or publishing in periodicals.

Overheard conversations

If you are stuck in a bad mood that does not mean you cannot get ideas for your story. In such mood if you go somewhere like a restaurant or park to refresh your mood then you can overhear the conversations of the people sitting beside you to get idea for your next story. You can observe your surroundings to recreate a scene with the conversations overheard by you. You can also meet some distracted people at your favourite bar or coffee shop who can share their life story with you for few drinks. You can use their story with a twist to write a unique story with your writing skills.

Find someone to prompt you

Sometimes you can find someone who can help you in starting your story. You can find such prompts through various resources including the people you meet in routine as well as through online resources. Some of the websites offer database to prompt your creative writing skills. You can get inspiration from these prompts to write unique and creative stories. These websites update their database very frequently to connect more and more people with them.

Thus you can use a number of things and people around you for coming up with a story idea. Every person or thing you come across in your daily life can inspire you to write a story. You must have creative mind to weave a story around the ideas you get from your surroundings or what you read in the books, newspapers or periodicals in daily routine. In fact it is not difficult to get ideas to write a story if you have a creative mentality to combine them in a flow. A story is the combination of various smoothly flowing ideas.

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How To Overcome Writer’s Block

Sep
16

If you are struggling with writer’s block, do not throw in the towel and give up. This is something that happens to every writer at a point in their career. Your prose turns to mush, and you feel like you don’t have a single creative bone left in your mind and body. Writer’s block is inevitable, but what you do with it and how you react is what really matters. Here are some six powerful tips that can help you overcome writer’s block and get back your flow of writing.

  1. Stop writing and do something else that is creative
    Write poetry, paint pictures, design some images on Photoshop, build something in your garage or make a collage or scrapbook. Take some time off writing and engage on another creative task for sometime, a day or some few hours.
    Jumping on other creative projects will activate your creativity. The point is to keep exercising the most creative parts of the brain and you will easily get back to the creative flow of writing.
  2. Do some free writing
    Spend 20 or more minutes in a day writing anything that comes in your head. Ignore punctuations and just write freely. Let the writing be totally random. Consider changing subjects many times. Mix fiction with vent frustrations or journaling. This process trains the brain to tap into the words in your head and subsequently give them a place to live on your journal or computer screen.
    Do free writing for a whole week and return to writing. Another alternative is to free up write for 20-35 minutes and return to writing your article or book. Free writing is perfect for uncovering ideas and nudging inspiration. Its main purpose is to get you going.
    Always carry a notebook in your pocket in which you can write down ideas for writing just as they come to you. It is important to note that good ideas do not usually come to us just when we need them. Sometimes they come to us when we are stuck in traffic and the best way to ensure that we do not forget them is to write them down when they come to us.
  3. Move your body
    Practice Tai Chi or yoga or even dance. This may appear funny, but after you have your body into a good flow, your brain follows. Consider meditating and taking long and deep breaths. Your mind is more creative and open when it is relaxed. You can only focus for long periods if your mind and body are in a relaxed, peaceful state.
  4. Eliminate distractions
    Turn off your phone and keep off from the internet. Thoroughly clean up your working space. A messy working desk keeps your mind in a confused state. Create some time out of your busy schedule just for writing (at least 4-5 hours).
    Ask your family members and friends to honor your working time and space so that you can get to focus on writing without distractions. You can also consider writing when everyone in your house has slept. Once yourself some space and time to be in solitude is very important to staying sharp and focused.
  5. Write early in the morning
    Immediately you get out of bed, your mind is in the Theta mode-the brain-wave pattern that the mind is in when you are dreaming. This is the best time for writing since your mind is still fresh. Ensure you therefore write at around 4-5 a.m. and you will be amazed at what will come out of your brain when you are half asleep.
  6. Write as you sleep
    The subconscious mind is always solving problems, even when you are sleeping. It is therefore important that you write for 30-40 minutes before you sleep. Start a new chapter before sleeping, and you will wake up with great ideas and solutions the next morning. You will be able to see things on a fresh perspective while your characters will do or say things that will take your story to a new, exciting direction.

Every writer has had to successfully overcome writer’s block at some point in his/her writing career. However, overcoming this problem is easy and very direct. However, overcoming writer’s block will never be possible by wallowing in self pity or refusing to work until you feel inspired. You have to take the above discussed six tips in order to face the problem face to face.

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Hello world!

May
14

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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