The Real Life Characters to Avoid Writing By Accident
Good afternoon everyone.
Today is a little off the beaten path. It is about something you encounter all the time; A stereotype.
I do not mean the blond hair blue eyes stereotype. That is pretty much a type that will stay forever. It is a description. What I want to go over is a real-life behavior and one in particular.
I am talking about the women who test men. The women who think it would be good to test a man to see what he is like. Why? Most commonly to see if he is a potential suiter.
It is everywhere in real life. For example, a few guy friends and I went out to a bar and the one guy had gotten out of a relationship. Naturally we were trying to get him to hook up with a girl. We found one and she ended up being cool to talk to so the 5 of us went elsewhere to grab food and talk away from loud music and creepy men. The two seemed to hit it off and they walked to her apartment while the rest of us patiently waited in the rain to see if he was going to stay with her. He did not.
What happened is she started testing my friend to see how he would be as a potential love interest. The problem was she talked about some ex-boyfriends. The majority of guys don’t want to talk about that stuff before the first date. It is a turn off, but women do it all the time. We test the guy to see if he knows us as well as he thinks, or if he will end up another mistake. And it will come out in our writing.
Both men and women writers may test the audience and write a character that tests the reader’s patience. We add too much detail too soon, without giving the reader a chance to decide if they like the character yet. We turn them off before they have a chance to see how awesome our main is. It happens because we write what we know. Writers are influenced by everything and it is good to be wary of what is a turn off.
The point is, everything you know is a tool to use for good or for bad. Writers tend to be very observant of various behaviors and what makes people tick or get ticked off. When used properly this power can make a career flourish. When used badly, well you
get blacklisted by publishers and passed around as an example of what not to do hit a wall of “No”.
How can you make sure not to test your reader and end up on the mistake bookshelf?
For starters read the super awesome blog of Kristen Lamb if you do not already. Each post has tons of tidbits of good advice to make it big in the writing world. Keep in mind, she offers advice, it is up to you to follow it.
Second, think about what annoys you about a real life person. Use those traits in a bad guy, or better yet use it for character growth. Just make sure to not make that annoying person obvious to the person who inspired him/her, especially if that person has no sense of humor.
Third, read as much as you can. When you find a character you like, see why you like them so much. Same goes for a character you hate. Why do you hate him/her and are you supposed to? There is an example in a series that started great and went horribly wrong.
I hope to hear from you about what you have seen in books that makes you cringe and what authors have won you over.
Thanks for reading guys!
- Writing Believable Characters – 1. Gender Roles (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Unforgettable Heroine – Jane Porter’s Class at the PNWA Writer’s Conference (englishemporium.wordpress.com)
- Creative Writing Exercise: The Anti-Stereotype (chimerawriters.com)
- Character Development (diamondpublicationz.wordpress.com)
- How To Write The One-Character Short Story (pittsburghflashfictiongazette.com)
- I’m Killing a Character (gabrielletheauthoress.wordpress.com)