Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today
My latest Chandler’s Ford Today post is the first part in a new mini-series by me called 101 Things to Put into Room 101. I cover 15 items in this post. See what you think – do you agree? What would you put into the dreaded vault of doom? Funny answers particularly appreciated!
The post was great fun to write and I’m looking forward to writing the rest of the series.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
We all have our likes and dislikes but what are your characters’ choices here? What is behind their likes and dislikes? Were they forced to accept (for example) a food choice and then the moment they were “free” rejected it? Have they taken a like or dislike to something because their people expect them to or, again, are they rebelling against that expectation?
All characters need to have strong motivations for their actions but this can also apply to their likes and dislikes too. After all, it will be those traits that will directly influence their action. Most people loathe injustice, for example, but that loathing will be intensified if they have ever been the victims of it, or know others who have been. Their dislike has been “focused” by what they have experienced.
Facebook – Cafelit and Chapeltown
Many thanks to Gill James for sharing this post on Facebook!
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Fairytales With Bite – Character Likes and Dislikes
What are your characters’ likes and dislikes? This topic has come up as I’ve started a new series for Chandler’s Ford Today called 101 Things to Put into Room 101 (the latter is, of course, based on George Orwell’s 1984). Now I know the reasons behind my 101 things (which I’ll share over about 6 to 7 weeks) but what are the reasons behind your characters’ choices here?
Also listing said likes and dislikes can help enormously when outlining. You should get a much clearer picture of who your characters are and what really drives them in just listing these things. In the magical world, there is generally a massive dislike of human interference (which is understandable. What we would do with such powers, given what we have done to our own planet and indeed to each other especially in times of war, is something that could be the stuff of nightmares). In your created worlds, what are the common things most people/alien beings/even dodgy wizards like/dislike? How was this consensus reached or was it forced on people?
Even relatively trivial likes and dislikes can tell you something about a character. A character who loathes broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage but can eat sweetcorn all day long if allowed to do so shows someone who can be picky (and who clearly has a problem with members of the brassica family!). This could be exploited for comic effect or be used against them. (An enemy poisons the sweetcorn supply possibly!).
This World and Others – Signs of Success?
One obvious sign of success for a writer is when their words pass into the language and become well known sayings. Shakespeare is the obvious candidate for highest success rate here, though George Orwell must be unusual in that his Big Brother and Room 101 have been used to form the basis of TV shows here in the UK! How many writers can claim that achievement? (Mind, what he would make of it is quite another matter, especially for Big Brother. Room 101 has the saving grace of being funny).
I’ve started a new mini-series for Chandler’s Ford Today called 101 Things to Put Into Room 101 and I’m looking forward to writing the other posts to complete this over the next few weeks or so. But it led me to think about what success would mean for a writer.
I think for Orwell it would be a question of getting his message about the evils of totalitarianism across well (as he does in Animal Farm as well as 1984). I also think for most writers it would be a question of writing to the best of your ability and being published. (Anything after that is a bonus!).
But what would your characters say were the important signs of success as far as they were concerned? What is getting in their way of achieving that success? Will they strive for that success at no matter what cost to themselves or to others? What is the price they pay should they manage to achieve their goals?
Plenty of food for thought for story ideas there, I think. Happy writing!