- a young character
- a character who lost someone important
- a flirtatious character
- a villain (2) (3) (4)
- a character based on yourself
- a hit man or mercenary
- an indifferent character
- a bitchy character
- a gay character
- a dancer
- a vampire
- a pansexual character
- a character on the police force
- a drunk character
- a manipulative character
- a friends with benefits relationship
- a natural born leader (2)
- a nice character
- a british character
- a character with a baby
- an assassin
- a character with night terrors
- a rich character
- a witty character
Okay, so here’s something I’ve figured out when writing characters with disablities:
Don’t start out with ‘this is a dyslexic/blind/deaf/bipolar character.’
What’s the problem with that approach to character building, you might ask?
Well, it focuses on the disability. It makes them the ‘blind…
Today’s writing prompt is:
Brandon lit a cigarette as soon as he was out of the building, standing on the sidewalk. He took a deep drag and looked up at the window of what used to be his office.
Brandon lit a cigarette as soon as he was out of the building, standing on the sidewalk. Taking a deep drag, he looked up at the window of what used to be his office: a black hole in the building towered over him, blocking out the sun like a man-made and life-sucking eclipse. As he filled his lungs with the carcinogen smoke, he thought of the hours he’d spent inside that window, locked up like a penguin at the zoo in an imitation of its real-life habitat, never knowing the endless widths of ice and snow on the other side of the globe intended for it.
Brandon started walking without a fixed destination, glad he was no longer trapped in that glass cage. He knew his mother would be disappointed he’d lost yet another job, and his almost-sort-of girlfriend so irritated she’d be gone for at least a week. He looked forward to the extra space in bed and the silence. He didn’t really care that the two people closest to him in his life were both trapped in their life-imitating glass cages, unaware of what was on the outside. They weren’t actually that close, really, he only kept them in his life because of their convenience.
His mother had asked him, ‘Why are you like this?’. He hadn’t answered her. (He almost never did – mostly because her questions were so trivial they didn’t really deserve an answer, other times because he knew the answer would only lead to more questions.) There hadn’t been a sudden epiphany, no extraordinary incident to break his glass cage. No, it had started with a small crack that had slowly grown until it finally and unremarkably shattered. The realization that some boys were never chosen to the baseball teams; that some girls would never look at him because his facial features weren’t symmetrical or his metabolism efficient enough; that the only truth there was to Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was that people only care about you when you have something that they want; that the money you donated every month to the starving children in a fictional Africa only helped your own self-image and no one else.
And maybe, most importantly, that even considering all of that, none of it mattered when you lay in the cold, hard ground, feeding worms, because you didn’t really matter. They, as humans, didn’t really matter. That was the greatest illusion of all – that a single human life was somehow special, sacred. It was only that – a life. Nothing more, nothing less. People had lived and died before and would live and die again.
That had been his glass shatterer. Realizing that the only thing humans are capable of, was lying. To themselves, to each other, about each other. And he’d just gotten off his chair and walked down all those stairs, out on the street. And he walked all the way home, and he’d lied down in his empty bed, staring into the wall, too tired to sleep. Because he was tired in a way that sleep couldn’t cure, tired in his soul, if he’d believed in such a thing. And when his girlfriend arrived and found out what had happened, she stormed out, just as he’d predicted, and ten minutes later, he got a call from his mother, and she was disappointed, just as he’d predicted. But he just lay there. Because sometimes, that’s all you can do.
I’ve been asked a few times how I write and how to write well, so I wrote some tips. Ok, a lot of tips.
1) The biggest thing about writing is to just push yourself to the best of your ability. Read books in your genre, like for my Steampunk novel I’m writing, I’ve read things like The…