12 Lessons I’ve learned
(in- ahem- no particular order):
#1 Just because it sounds like a good name doesn’t mean it is culturally sound
I’d made up two placeholder names, but I decided to look into them during summer school. One was supposed to be Chinese and the other Arabic-American. I am not familiar with either culture, but am always open to include diverse characters. Well, I found out that neither name would work.
#2 Flat characters are OK if they contribute to the “roundness” of other characters
I was worried about this, but when Mrs. Paxton (a main character) started expressing her annoyance toward my “flat” character, I knew it was okay.
#3 Make your villains as real as your heroes
I learned during this class why my antagonist cheats and what my protagonist inherited from her father.
#4 Ask your experts, which is anybody who knows more about it than you.
Often, someone would start a post with: “I’m not an expert, but…” Then give great insights that I hadn’t thought of or experienced.
#5 Make sure you use all your senses when describing your characters.
I went back and added description to my manuscript.
#6 Join your own experiences with others to create composite characters.
Starting with my own “magic mirror,” and using characteristics from others, I began to create “real” characters.
#7 Jump into a character’s shoes to learn more about that character.
Whenever I became my characters, I found out little interesting things, like favorite ice cream and why I should wear white bunny slippers on the beach.
#8 A character’s bedroom can tell a lot about that character (and also that character’s family).
Whether my characters were sharing a room with their annoying little sisters, or living in a government built mansion, their rooms showed me great things.
#9 Sometimes you are going to be afraid, and sometimes you will get stuck, and that’s okay.
Characters and their stories don’t always match up perfectly. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes it just gets me stuck. And that’s okay.
#10 Observe your character during the interview.
They may not always tell the truth, but their body language speaks volumes.
#11 Never underestimate the power of a good dare.
The #30mdares were beyond awesome.
#12 Decide that you believe in your characters, and they will become real to others.
Skjd;lafkl;dklsj Lexi get off the keyboard! This is so important because –
Yeah, Laura Rose, I know you want your story told. No, I’m not going to introduce you right now. Go back to your ship. Maybe you can sail to Mexico again.
As I was saying, -
No! Lexi! Mouses are tools, not food.
Aww, I give up. You get the point.
And that is why I feel like a whole year’s worth of stuff has been crammed into one month. I think my head will explode. No Laura Rose, not for real. Quit staring at me like that! What are you thinking... What are you... AHHHH!
P.S. Do you feel like you missed out on something? Well you did, but you can still read the awesome "lectures" at http://www.nerdychickswrite.wordpress.com/
(Leave a comment below if you get the order of my list.)
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)