Character Development: Antagonists

In a previous post, I wrote about how a protagonist operates in a story. This is very important, mainly because your story would be pointless without them, but one type of character that is equally important is the antagonist.

As its name suggests, the antagonist is the antithesis of the protagonist. Remember that your protagonist wants something, no matter how simple it may be. For argument’s sake, let’s say the protagonist wants a glass of water. Sounds kind of silly, you could say a story is all about that. Well, your antagonist wants something that conflicts with what the protagonist wants. Say they want that same glass of water to drink, or they want to use it to water a plant. In a nutshell that’s what an antagonist is.

The important thing to remember is that this is a very good way to create conflict in your story, which is important because without conflict, there is no story. So to create a good antagonist, give them character traits that conflict with the protagonist so the two–by their nature–want different things. If you can do that, you’ve got a good conflict.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Taking Care of Yourself As a Writer

If you’re a writer (like me), then you probably spend a fair deal of time writing stories. But where does all that time to write come from? If I was being entirely honest, I’d have to say most writers make sacrifices in order to get their writing done. And in my case at least, making certain sacrifices can result in not taking care of myself very well. So, I figured I’d discuss the importance of taking care of yourself as a writer.

There are a lot of ways writers are terrible at taking care of themselves. Personally, I get into a panic if I’m not working on a story. This means I often forget to eat, and my hygiene actually sucks at times. I also am not your typical guru for fitness and wellness. Bodily exercise is a friend I need to see more, but because I’m a writer I usually spend more time writing. And don’t get me started on my social life. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate people, but sometimes I focus more on getting a story written.

The truth is, all of the above are some of the most common problems writers have when it comes to taking care of themselves, and additionally, every single example is something I struggle with personally.

If you’re a writer, it’s okay to write every day. But for goodness sake, eat a well balanced diet every day, and keep up with your hygiene. Also exercise, and don’t forget to have friends you spend time with (even if it’s only on the weekends). All of the above are important things in every person’s life (writer or otherwise), and if you forget that then there’s a real problem.

Obviously this shouldn’t be stated, but if you’re a writer, you’re more prone to these problems than the general population. And if you struggle with these problems like I do, just know you’re not alone.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Character Development: The Protagonist

When you look at your favorite stories, whether it be as grand as Harry Potter or as simple as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, those stories are lost without their characters. And of course, at the heart of it all, each of those stories has one character that stands out more than all the rest, otherwise known as the protagonist.

The protagonist is usually the good guy of the story, but not always. Sometimes they are the bad guy disguised as the book’s hero. Beyond anything else, however, they are the one the story focuses on the most, and at some point during the story, that character changes as a result of the story’s progression. This is a key trait among protagonists. If there isn’t something challenging them, your story will come off as boring to the reader.

It is important to note that, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, characters are people that have flaws and strengths. This makes them just like your average person. The point is, your main character should be relatable and your reader should be able to identify with them. If there is nothing to relate to, there is a big problem with your story. So, make them react to the story’s challenges appropriately. Only you will know how to do that, since you’re the character’s creator, so it is up to you to figure out how to do that best.

These are just a few tips, but I hope this helps.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

 

Politics in Fantasy

Every society–whether it be the U.S., Great Britain, North Korea, or a more tribal society like those found in Africa–there is some kind of government that rules over it. There are democracies, republics, dictatorships, monarchies, and even theocracies, but what kind of government you want to put in your world is entirely up to you.

For instance, in my novel Kingslayer there is an evil dictator that is in control; however, 24 years prior to this, there was a government in control that was a hybrid of a democracy and a monarchy (I call it a democratic monarchy). This is something neat that you can do in fantasy. You can take different ideas for governmental systems and mix them to get new types of systems.

You could have a monarchy where the kings are chosen by the church, and therefore have a hybrid of a theocracy and a monarchy, or you can just have the regular types of government and put a new spin on it. There really is no shortage of what you can do when you open your mind up to the fantastical.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

About My Second Novel

As some of you know, I’ve been working on an epistolary novel for a few weeks. Well, for today’s post, I wanted to give an update and let everyone know what the book is basically about.

As I revealed in a Tweet a few days ago, this epistolary novel is very much related to my novel Kingslayer. What I didn’t reveal, however, is that this new book chronicles the events in one of the main character’s life. This is basically the story of Vensyr D’Artanian, who is very much important to the villain’s backstory in Kingslayer.

I won’t say any more about the character as a person, since it would spoil. However, I can say that the novel is from mainly his POV, and another character who he’s sending letters back and forth while he’s away fighting in war. It will talk way more about his backstory, as well as the backstory of Tiberius (the main villain from Kingslayer). It will also talk about the main events in the war that lead into the final chapter and epilogue (which cover some events from Kingslayer, plus a surprise).

At the moment, I’m not certain what the title will be. I have one that I really like, but it gives away the ending. I also have another title in mind, but it’s underwhelming from my point of view (I’m calling it Scribbler). Perhaps a better one will come to mind, but time will tell.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Symbols in Fantasy

Hello everyone! As you will certainly have noticed from my recent blog posts, I’ve been focusing a lot more lately on world building in the fantasy genre. This will be the last of those for awhile, since my scheduled posts list doesn’t have another until this time next month; however, for today’s blog I thought I’d get into a few things about symbolism in the fantasy genre.

This is an interesting topic, since there is a lot of symbolism in the business world, as well as the political and religious worlds as well. Short of going out into nature, coming across organizations with insignias or something of the sort is impossible. But in fantasy, how should a writer tackle the subject? Well, the answer is everywhere in the books we like to read. For example, in Harry Potter you have four houses at Hogwarts, and each of those houses has a Coat of Arms. In other books, a Royal Crest like this could represent a family that is part of the political landscape of your country. Or in the more religious side of things, you may have a symbol that represents a specific religion.

These are important things to think about, because even taverns in fantasy worlds will have a crest of some kind representing it. Coming up with things like this will help your reader feel more immersed in your world, but it will also add a little flavor to your world. For example, why does that organization represent itself with that particular Coat of Arms? Answering that question will help your reader better understand your world.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

 

A Few Things About Character Development

Despite the fact that I’ve been doing this blog for several weeks, I’ve just now realized I haven’t yet done a single post on the development of characters. So, I figured I’d make several posts on the subject, each focusing on a different type of character (and their different roles in the story). But for this post, I figured I’d get into the basics on how to create characters in the first place.

First and foremost, it is important to remember that people are creatures of personality. Everyone has strengths, along with a few weaknesses thrown in the mix. For your main characters, you want them to have more redeeming qualities than you do negative ones. Are they reliable? Are they funny? Do they have anger issues? I’ve heard that 80/20 is a good ratio, unless you’re creating a villain.

Something else to remember is that every person has beliefs. What religion do they believe in? What does their politics look like? What offends them and why? Also, if the story is set in an alternate world, their beliefs will need to reflect on that. So if eating dogs is taboo in your world, how does the character in question respond to such an act? These kinds of things need to be kept in mind when writing the character.

These are just a couple of things that should help. I have more that will be posted about protagonists and antagonists (and other character types), but that’s all I’m posting for now.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017