In last week’s post, I walked everyone through the general steps it takes to build a world/setting for your story. However, given these posts can’t be a book length ordeal, there were a lot of points I had to leave out for the sake of time. Be assured, however, there is a lot more to world-building, and I will even go more in depth on some of those points I previously brought up. For today’s post, though, I would like to take what I consider the next step after performing your general world-building: adding to it for better story integration.
Now, before I begin, this post will not be a step-by-step guide on how to talk about your world in the story. Instead, I am focusing on the outside world-building aspects like last post; the difference is that I will be delving into things you can add and consider for your world that will help meld it to the story.
Mary-sues (or Gary-stus) are one of those subjects that can send people into raging and passionate arguments. Few people tend to agree when a character is a Mary-sue, though most people will agree they do exist. For those who are new to the term, Mary-sue refers to those characters who, for all intents and purposes, are idealized, perfect versions of people. Often, they are the mark of amateur writers, though even the best of writers can be plagued by them on occasion. Regardless, most people regard them as annoying types of characters, since their perfection tends to make for a boring, predictable story.
How can you know whether you’re writing a Mary-sue or not? Today, I’m going to give you my tips on how you can identify whether a character you’re writing is a Mary-sue. These tips will not be as comprehensive as other lists you might find. However, I want to keep these tips brief and quick so that you can know as fast as possible whether it’s something you should be concerned about.
Sometimes a writer just really wants to surprise their readers. Whether it’s out of a desire to be novel in their stories or a desire to evoke a certain reaction, many have felt the urge. Often, this desire is what causes plot twists to come into existence in any given story. Unfortunately, plot twists are one of those writing aspects that can either go really right or really wrong. For as many writers embrace plot twists, plenty also avoid them like the plague because of the negative stigma to attached to the bad ones. However, it is also a fact that plot twists can be powerful, exciting, and a real boost to a story if done correctly.
How does one do a plot twist correctly, though? That will be the subject of today’s post. While plot twists can be a bit subjective, there are certain conventions that can either make or break your plot twist. As such, I would like to share with you my personal tips on avoiding making bad plot twists. Though they can’t guarantee your plot twist will work out, they certainly will give you insight into how plot twists function.
Social media marketing is hard, time consuming, and honestly very exhausting. Yet, it can be your best method when it comes to marketing your own creations. As I mentioned in last week’s post, engaging your audience, talking about your work organically, and finding your target audience are all important facets to growing your audience. However, these were aspects I could not delve into as far as I would’ve liked. Today, I am going to remedy this a bit and help those beginners out there with the platform I know best: Twitter. Twitter can be an amazing platform for spreading your work, so it’s one you should utilize to the best of your abilities. However, since that can present certain difficulties, I will share my tips, tricks, and knowledge on how you can use Twitter to the fullest extent. I will be sticking away from paid features (like promoting tweets), and be focusing purely on things you can do for free.
“What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t my creation have more of an audience?”
These are questions that are often frequent in any industry’s indie sector. No matter what you create, whether it be comics, stories, videos, games, or anything else, there are special challenges that come with being a solo or small-team creator. Oftentimes, indie creators feel that no matter how much work they put into their product, they don’t have enough people consuming their content. This is when those questions start plaguing their minds, and it can lead to some depressing attitudes about future success.
I’m here to tell you that you can succeed when you’ve hit the point where you’re asking these questions. However, in order to be able to succeed, you have to take a very tough and harsh look at your content and how you handle it. Since this can be a scary and intimidating matter, though, today I’m going to walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself. Some of these questions are going to be hard to tackle, and know I mean no particular offense with them. Yet, by working through them you will be better positioned to figure out what you need to do to grow your audience.
How well do you take care of your computer? For creators, this can be an extremely important question to think about. If you’re a digital creator your computer is basically your lifeblood, without which you could not pursue your craft. Even if you’re more traditionally oriented, I imagine you still use your computer and internet in some manner to showcase your works.
As of late I’ve been seeing a lot of creators suffer from computer issues, whether its viruses or the computer just randomly exploding (metaphorically speaking) into non-functionality. What saddens my heart most, however, is that many issues can be prevented if you put some elbow grease into some basic computer maintenance.
However, it occurs to me that many people don’t know where to start exactly in a computer maintenance routine. Even beyond advanced techniques like maintenance scheduling, there’s issues of what tasks to even perform that are a mystery to some. It is with this thought in mind that I want to share with you my seven tips on basic computer maintenance. I personally utilize all these techniques on a routine basis, and it keeps my computers happy and healthy. So, sit back and let me provide you some basic guidelines on how to keep your own computers happy.
For many people, romance can be a hard thing to write. I mean, how does one convey an intangible concept like love in a way that people will understand? Hand holding? Lingering gazes? What does one do past those simplicities? Unfortunately, like a lot of complex topics, there is no one true way to write it. Even audience wise some people will click with certain aspects more than others will; it is simply the nature of the craft and topic at hand.
That being said, there are certain things you can keep in mind in order to stop yourself from being flat out clichéd in your writing. While there is nothing wrong with clichés when they’re done right, they can be a bit boring when it comes to romance in particular. Thus, for today, let me share you my cautionary tips on how you can avoid writing dull romances nobody cares about. Hopefully by following these, you can gain a higher understanding of romantic relationships in stories and begin to take a more thorough crack at them beyond what most other media portrays.
Over the weekend, I decided after 4 months of panicked working every day that I would turn it all off and just take some time off. I clocked in many Mass Effect: Andromeda hours, snuggled with blankets, pet cats excessively, and just all around recharged my batteries for a few days. Coming back to work semi more refreshed (though not caught up on tons of sleep I’ve been missing), I was reminded of a fact that seems very true when it comes to indie creators: they’re really bad at taking time off.
Seriously, find any creator and just observe for a while. Eventually they’ll hit a point where they’ll talk about taking time off…and the endless amounts of guilt they feel for not being productive. Maybe you, reader of this post, are one of those people. Even I struggle with this issue a lot. However, taking time off is not only good, it can be essential for better emotional health and creative thinking. As such, today I would like to give you some tips on how you can help yourself take time off. Some of these tips are about changing your mental thinking, and some are designed to help you actually take the time off. Hopefully, you’ll find something of use and can take that mini-vacation you desperately need.
A few posts ago I wrote some foundational writing tips in regards to creating and writing characters. In summary, I touched upon getting down the appearance basics, understanding character motivation, and using back story to create pieces of interest. Of course, these sorts of things are very foundational when it comes to character writing. They will serve you well and you can create compelling characters just by following those tips. However, there are always more steps you can take to create even deeper character. Thus, today I would like to share some more character writing tips. This time, though, I will be targeting some deeper questions and considerations that you can use to strengthen the presence of your character. Some of them are easier than others, but if you at least take them into consideration you’ll be well on your way to creating some even more awesome characters.