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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT ; a two-and-a-half hour long playlist for the next time you’re just chilling in your gothic mansion on a stormy night.
For the perfect atmosphere in any weather, enjoy in combination with these:
Tracklisting beneath the cut.
A chart that briefly covers the body language that is connected with common emotions in people. (Click to Enlarge)
Disclaimers: This is just one method of very, very many, and in fact my method kind of combines several different methods into one that works for me, so take everything with a grain of salt. // This guide will focus on how to create human characters living in the US because those are the only kind of characters I’ve ever created, but feel free to tweak this to fit other stuff as well.
Below the cut is a guide, with examples, to creating characters that I’ve used on many of my own.
Since The Hunger Games, Teen Wolf and Arrow have gotten really popular the amount of characters with archery in their skillset has grown a lot. Here’s a guide on this ancient sport. NOTE: In this guide I’ll only talk about archery with a recurve bow since that’s the only kind of bow I have personal experience with.
Science has been severely misrepresented by authors. If you want to write about scientific worldviews accurately, here are some tips.
- If a scientist saw something supernatural and could be assured it existed, they wouldn’t scream “that’s impossible!” or try to destroy it because it doesn’t fit their worldview. They would be more likely to say “How interesting. I wonder how this will change my theories. I’d better incorporate it into my worldview.”
- Scientists have morals just like the rest of us. In fact, many people become scientists because they want to help humanity. How is that so hard to understand?
- A whole lot of scientists love nature and want to preserve it.
- Scientists who have helped to create deadly weapons almost always regret it. Politicians who order those weapons to be used don’t.
- Science in general would be attracted to magic, not repulsed by it. A new thing to study with possible new applications to help mankind? How wonderful!
- How well a scientist understands people and gets along socially is up to the individual. They’re not an entire profession of evil, cold robots.
Hmm let’s see what I can find!
- Writing a Character with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Author Cammie McGovern Guest Post: Writing a Character With OCD
- Roleplaying Disorders: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- OCD and Believable Characters
- International OCD Foundation
- The Difference Between OCD and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Symptoms
- Obsessive Compulsive Personality
- 4 Things No One Tells You About OCD
- The Character Therapist: Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
It’s been quite some time since I made a new generator, so here’s an elf maker! If you do end up making a character with this, tag ‘characterdesigninspiration’ so I can check ‘em out!
To Play: Click and drag each gif or take a screenshot of the whole thing.
CWHTunes→ All You Need Is One Song [8tracks]
Starships - Nicki Minaj || That’s Alright - Laura Mvula || Best Day of My Life - American Authors || Keep Your Head Up - Andy Grammer || Not Giving In - Rudimental Ft. John Newman and Alex Clare || Really Don’t Care - Demi Lovato Ft. Cher Lloyd || Riot - Dragonette || Young Volcanoes - Fall Out Boy || On Top Of The World- Imagine Dragons || Harlem - New Politics || Thrift Shop - Postmodern Jukebox || Girlfriend - Icona Pop || Stand Down - Little Mix || Pocket Full of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield || Are You Satisfied? - Marina and The Diamonds || Fly - Nicki Minaj Ft. Rihanna || Follow Your Arrow - Kacey Musgraves || Same Love - Angel Haze Ft. Mary Lambert || I’m Not Sorry - Celeste Buckingham || Free - Rudimental Ft. Emeli Sande and Nas ||
This is my first mix for CWHtunes. The theme was to create a mix that was upbeat and motivational. I picked songs that had a good beat or songs that had a strong message behind them. I apologize for the cover.
In life the people we know are usually consistent to their own personalities and characters; whether this be consistently pessimistic or consistently unpredictable. keeping your characters as true to their, well, character isn’t always easy. Of course it helps if you know your charactersinside out, back to front and all around. They should be like people to you, like friends you never meet in person or old work colleagues you haven’t seen for a while. Once you know them it’s much easier to apply their unique personality to paper with consistency and efficiency.
Here’s a checklist that will help you to do so;
- Consider their physical abilities (and awareness of them); most people are aware of their physical abilities and limitations, some think they’re Glasgow/Berlin/Atlanta’s answer to superman or catwoman. This is as much a part of their personality as anything else; an arrogant individual may think they can overcome their physical limits when they really have to, a delusional one may think they have no limits. Though the first is quite common, the second might hint at any number of factors that cloud the mind, think: alcohol, drugs, mental illness. If you want some quick advice on physical capabilities and how to exceed them see; Here and Here, respectively.
- Consider their personality; are they argumentative? Shy? Do they seek confrontation or actively avoid it? Remember a personality is made up of many facets; a person who looks for confrontation, has a short temper and is a staunch pessimist will react differently to a situation that someone who hold these qualities but is an optimist. While the first will see reasons to be angry and people to argue with more often, the second may need to be actively argued with or antagonised before they ‘snap’. They may also be more forgiving.
- Consider the reality of the situations you put them in; almost every person, when cornered, when desperate, is capable of killing (mentally). It may be that they lack the physical capability to kill but no living creature is born without the desire to live and will to fight for survival. Arguably only a true saint or complete coward could face torture or certain death without fighting back. So think; is your character one of these types? Are they the kind of person who would lash out only as a last resort? Or the kind who uses violence of all kinds without guilt? Does your characters reaction to the situation you create fit them or do they act this way to service the story? If the second is true then you might need to reevaluate your character arc in order to bring them to a point where this act fits their psyche.
- Evaluate their motivation; it should be something that the reader, knowing your character, believes would move them to act in certain ways. We wouldn’t believe that, upon receiving good news, someone would become agitated and angry but if we were then told that for some reason this was not good news for them we would reevaluate our stance. For example, consider the (fantastic) film ‘Steel magnolias’; in any normal circumstance we would be shocked that a mother would react badly to her daughters planned, consensual and desired pregnancy. But considering the fact that Shelby has severe diabetes and runs the risk of compromising her long term health with a pregnancy, suddenly, we understand her mother’s actions; she is fearful. She loves her daughter and thus is angry at what she sees as a flippant disregard for her own life.
By asking the right questions during the revision stage of writing you can easily determine where your characters are straying slightly, if it’s not already obvious to you as the author. The most reliable way to catch character deviations like this, however, is to give the story to someone else to read, someone who likes the genre you’re writing in, too. An interested reader will pick up on small falters in characterisation with the ruthless efficiency of a bloodhound and, if you pick the right person, they wont be afraid to tell you. If these issue come to your attention, no matter how, these four points can be used, also, to fashion a ‘repair’ for these issues. Just as you use them to confirm that actions are consistent with characterisation, you can use them to answer the question “If this is not what they’d do, what would they do?”
Is your kind and intelligent but quick tempered teacher realistically going to slap a child? No, probably not.
So what would they do?
Well; a kind, intelligent, quick tempered teach might physically lash out at a pupil if they;
- Were facing physical violence from a pupil and had no other options; not to be crude but anyone would lash out if faced with assault, rape, murder or extreme humiliation.
- Were under the influence of mind, and therefore, personality altering substances; drugs/drink etc. Some antidepressants, on the rare occasion, can induce anger in an individual.
- Had experienced something that altered them as a person for good; we’re not talking the boiler breaking down or a partner cheating. We’re talking loss of life, limb or individuals; we’re talking stuck in an elevator for three days, forced to survive on a kitkat and tear open the rusted escape hatch with your fingernails. Real, permanent and irreversible change of a person’s psychological fingerprint requires a high impact situation. Certainly it needn’t be a physical situation but it should match the corresponding change in magnitude.
Lacking real change they’re likely to;
- Bite their tongue and soldier on; someone with a passion for teaching would most likely wish to help all their pupils, even the troublesome ones. Especially if this person were also inherently kind.
- Shout or, verbally, lose their temper; they might feel guilty afterwards, or remonstrate themselves for lacking in professionalism.
- Turn the anger inward and, if the situation is long term, persistent and severe, self destruct.
This is a limited example but, I hope, is helpful nonetheless.
Avoiding Hypersexualizing POC Characters
Hypersexualization is an issue that affects many Women and Men of Color.
The spicy Latina. The Black female Jezebel. The “exotic” seductress.
It’s why little Black girls posing and smiling in cute little outfits are called “mini thots” or “ho’s in the making.”
It’s why Slut Walks don’t work for those whose body are already oversexualized and thus aren’t particularly liberated by such a movement as White women, whose bodies are inherently seen as pure and needing protection.
Why I know of WOC from all over the world, minding their own business, who’ve been approached by White tourists with offers for sex, as if their bodies are willing and available by default.
So keep in mind that people automatically hypersexualize People of Color, because we’re typically seen as naturally oversexual. (This isn’t a straight-forward issue as there’s also desexualization, especially of Black women, and other means that PoC bodies are viewed sexually, but I digress.)
In any case, you’re going to want to avoid creating a caricature of this character. They can sexually express themselves, but every moment they appear shouldn’t be about seducing someone, engaging or commenting on sexual activities, nor aimlessly flirting with everyone or everything in sight.
Just for the mere fact that we can be viewed as homewreckers and aggressors without doing any of the flirting (see: Abbie Mills from Sleepy Hollow) It’d personally make me uncomfortable to be presented with a Character of Color who was always engaging in this kind of behavior with no serious intent. It’d almost feel like a mockery.
So really, I’d say make this a fleshed out, 3-diminsional character, not just there to be “exotic” or for jokes. They need to have intents and goals outside of whatever actions you fear make them hypersexualized.
However, they can still be sexy and expressive of their sexuality; they simply shouldn’t expend every breath on “bedroom talk” or innuendo.
- Nicki Minaj: Unacceptable
- This chick turned [twerking] sexual
- Essay of the Fetishization of Black men
- Hypersexualization and the Dark Body (pdf)
- Confronting Hypersexualization in the Black Community
~ Mod Colette