With camp NaNoWriMo right around the corner, those of us who have done this a time or two, are busy preparing. NaNoWriMo is one of the most amazing things for your writing career. Not because you should publish your book immediately after it--you really shouldn't--but because you will have solid lead on your next book or have completed a first draft!
NaNoWriMo is tough, make no mistake! So we've both complied a list of our top three tips and tricks to help you reach that coveted 50K word goal and become a NaNoWriMo winner!
Cameron J Quinn-Cameron is a stay at home mom who has won two NaNoWriMo's in the past. Here are her tips.
Looking for some extra support? Check out our NaNoWriMo Support Group on Facebook, follow the @CampNaNoWriMo and @NaNoWriMo profiles and #NaNoWordSprints, #CampNaNoWriMo #CampNaNo hashtags on Twitter.
This is a follow-up to some points Marissa made in her recent post about characters. When creating a character it’s important to think about who they are, their desires, and where they come from. We’re products of our environment, your characters should be too. A good place to start is by studying archetypes and clichéd tropes. The first is a good base to build from, the latter is the result you want to avoid.
I’ll start with some easy definitions:
Archetype: something that fits fundemental human motifs and is reused without becoming trite or stale.
Example: A mentor character, a Loveable Rogue.
Trope: culturally specific person or theme that is already present in the reader’s mind. Often becomes a cliche.
Example: Magical Native, Broken Bird.
I’ll get this out of the way now: your character is going to fit into some archetype. And that’s OK. It’s even good. Get over the whole “They’re an original perfect unique snowflake!” Now, tropes in and of themselves aren’t inherently bad, but they are often used poorly and become a shallow, lazy way to create a character that the term carries a pretty negative connotation. Lets take the above examples.
Tropes and archetypes are a great instance to learn the rules so we can break them. There are many sites that have extensive lists on Tropes and their appearances in main stream culture. As authors we need to make sure we’re not perpetuating something negative — Manic Pixie Dream Girls(Boys) and Token Race characters are too common. Learn common archetypes and tropes in your genre. Why are they so often used? What are we doing to make them different (and we should be doing something). And above all, write characters that are People.
Let us know some of your favorite archetypes or pet-peeve tropes in the comments!
Arguably the most important element in a story is your main character or MC. Without a good relatable MC your book will fall flat and lose readers. While there are common tropes you need to avoid, we will cover those in another post. Today we will focus on what you can do to make your character someone readers care about. Please keep in mind that no matter how hard you try you cannot make your character appeal to everyone. So, take a look at your genre and target audience and go from there.
Here are five things you can do to make your MC seem more human:
Marissa Frosch is the head of marketing at Amphibian Press and also writes under the pseudonym Cameron J Quinn. Cameron is the author of The Starsboro Chronicles, which can be found in most eBook Stores. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and her website.
The writing Process
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