Why do you like a good love story? I know we all like a good love story in books, TV, and movies. But why do YOU like a good love story? Think about it…
One of the reasons I love a good love story is that I want two characters to care about one another in the same way at the same time. That can seem like a rare concept to us in real life sometimes, so we can enjoy it in the world of fantasy.
When I was a teen I was always crushing on a boy. On the inside covers of my notebooks I would write “I” and then draw a little heart and then fill in the boy’s name. But the boy didn’t always feel the same about me. And so, I always enjoyed a good love story, where the boy loves the girl and she loves him back.
However, sometimes our culture teaches us that we’re ONLY important if we’re in a relationship with a significant other. But that’s just not true. I mean, seriously, raise your hand if you’ve been in a relationship and still felt alone.
So, for my writing exercise I want you to Brainstorm a story with characters that have feelings of love for one another, but not romantically. It can be between friends or maybe between a child and parent.
In my new book, Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit, the main character doesn’t have a love interest, but love is certainly shown between friends and the building of friendship.
So, what kind of love relationship can you write about?
Keep writing, Epic Inkers!
As you begin to think about writing the perfect villain in your story, consider your favorite villains in literature, movies, or TV. What stands out about their personality and behavior? Are they sneaky, a liar, do they crave power, or are they simply oozing evil?
Also, have you noticed lately that writers, especially in TV, are trying to show us a villain’s backstory. These villains are never born evil. They become villains because of a specific circumstance. These writers are showing us a villain’s motivation behind their wicked behavior.
So, now let’s think about the biggest bully in your life. Maybe this “villain” is bullying you because of your appearance or social status. What stands out about their personality or behavior? Have they betrayed you, lied about you, or bullied you into thinking you’re not worthy?
Being bullied can lead to depression and living in a state of constant fear. Bullying is NEVER okay and if you’re being bullied today please tell a trusted parent or adult and SEEK HELP RIGHT AWAY. And KNOW that it’s not your fault. There’s nothing anyone can ever do to deserve a relentless bully.
If you’re not in an extreme bullying situation, let’s think for a minute about the biggest bully in your school. Maybe you’re watching someone bully someone else. These bullies didn’t get that way over night. Can you imagine what he/she must be going through at home if they have to be so awful at school?
Or maybe think about the most popular person at school? Could you imagine what they’d feel like if they suddenly weren’t the most popular? I know it may seem like you’re alone in this, but the truth is that everyone has a backstory. And everyone, at times, does feel alone.
This week, write the perfect villain based on a person from your real life. The character can be an exaggeration of a real person. If the villain in your life is being bullied (in private) imagine how they might be different? Write WHY or HOW you think your villain became that way.
Also, before we close today, I wanted to mention an extreme form of bullying that’s called “abuse.” I knew a girl in high school that had been sexually abused by her uncle. If you’re being sexually, physically, or mentally abused today please, PLEASE TELL SOMEONE RIGHT AWAY. Go to a trusted adult. If they don’t help you go to someone else until someone listens. It is NEVER okay to experience these types of abuse.
I hope that you can get started writing the perfect villain for your story. You can still get a free download of my book “Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit” on my website HERE. The villain in my first book is a common one; he’s a boy in Elena’s class that she just doesn’t like and they really don’t get along. If you’ve read the book and you want to make comments on my website or Facebook that would be awesome. In the meantime, keep writing Epic Inkers and have a great week!
Doing life together, my Epic Inkers…
Last time, I wrote about creating a writing plan. Have you done that already? Have you decided what type of writing interests you? If you’re writing a story of any kind, developing dynamic characters is one of the most important aspects that you need to focus on.
I find that the best characters don’t come from my imagination, but from people I know or have met. As I sat down to start writing my new book, Elena Ransom and the Island Station Amulet, I decided that her life would an exaggeration of experiences in my own childhood. Even though this story is set 300 years in the future, I wanted the reader to feel as if the characters were someone they knew from their own lives.
Writing an exaggerated version of the truth should provide you with the perfect villain, hero, best friend, love interest, or annoying sidekick in any story you write. Also, this method allows the story to come alive in a different way for each reader.
So, think about people in your own life. Could you twist and exaggerate your family, friends, and enemies and then weave them into your story?
Put your cell phone down. Think about the people you know. They don’t all talk the same or have the same mannerisms. What type of characters will you develop for your story?
Next time, we’ll talk about creating dialogue for each character because what they say and sound like should be specific to who they are. This is the only way your reader can get a sense of each individual. Good dialogue can move a story along, but excellent dialogue can make a story come alive.
Doing life together, my Epic Inkers…
I was in 3rd grade the first time I realized I didn’t have friends. The kids that I thought were my friends ran away from me on the playground one day. They just kept running…no matter how much I tried to catch up.
You see, by the time I was in 4th grade I’d already moved around to 4 different schools. Being the “new” kid was never any fun. To make matters worse, I stood out awkwardly with my red hair and freckles. And on top of that, I wasn’t really the type of kid to just go along with what everyone else was doing.
"Square peg in a round hole" is an idiom, describing an unusual individual who can’t fit into a niche of his or her society. That. Was. Me.
Is that you today? I want you to know, U R NOT ALONE. There are millions of teens across the world that feel this way every single day.
So, what can we do when our playmates run away on the playground, or someone lies about us in a huge way that has a negative effect on our life, or one of our best friends decides that we’re just not enough for them?
Well, we could sit down and feel sorry for ourselves, but that won’t make us brave. We could ignore the fact that we’re hurting, but that will just make you angry. Or we could acknowledge our pain and turn that into something we can use to make us better. Which brings me to having a writing plan.
Over the years, as I experienced times of pain and loneliness, I turned to writing. What do you like to write? Poetry? Short stories? Novels? Or in your diary? Not every type of writing needs a plan, but it can certainly help if you have goals for where your writing might take you.
When I first sit down to write a novel, I always brainstorm major characters and plot points first. What is my story about? Where is it going to ultimately end up? Who are the characters that are going to take me there?
How do you like to start your writing cycle?
Sit down this week and start mapping out what you’d like to write about. What steps can you take to develop your writing plan?
Doing life together, my Epic Inkers…
Dear Epic Inkers,
I felt out of place as a teen...more than once. But the truth is, we're only as alone as we choose to be. I'm not saying it's easy to make friends or feel connected with people, but don't be discouraged!