Anonymous asked: I am planning on writing a series of Novels; the Main Protagonist is a vampire Detective. I guess you could say he is somewhat of a sociopath, and the Second Character is a woman he changed into a vampire during the Victorian era and he has been teaching her how to adapt to her new life and I plan for them to become romantically involved, (somehow) but I don’t Want to ruin my Main Character’s personality and I don’t want to kill off the Woman either. what should I do?
Divi: Sounds slightly difficult, but also a good challenge! When it comes to characters that are not prone to being romantically involved with anyone, the best thing you can do is to have a lifeline between them. Something that keeps them glued together, whatever it may be. It can be anything that corresponds with their personality. To maintain his personality, it could be something entirely out of his control, like work-related and whatnot which forces him to interact with her more often, thus giving you the opportunity to establish a relationship without it going against his personality.
Anonymous asked: I have this character who is deranged/mad because of having a horrid child/teen-hood. Do you have any resources I could use to make the character more believable?
Divi: Voila! My personal favourite character questionnaire.
Anonymous asked: I created a character and I have a good grasp of what kind of persom she is and her values but I can't come up with a backstory. I'm having trouble explain why she acts the way she does and why she believes in different things. Any advice on how to make a backstory that explains who a charater is?
Divi: Have you written the backstories of her parents/guardians if applicable? Or siblings? Anyone that she has grown up with will help you develop her more and give you valid reasons for her to be the way she is. Give it a shot! I’m sure you’ll find yourself adding really great details to your character.
Anonymous asked: I've always loved writing ever since I was a little kid and it's always been a dream of mine to publish a book one day or at least have a job that involves writing. But I enjoy writing essays and personal things more than stories, so I can't help but feel discouraged about the whole publishing a book thing. Do you think it's possible to still be able to achieve my dream even if I enjoy writing essays more than stories?
Divi: Definitely! You should just pace yourself and set goals for yourself so that you eventually work towards a finished novel. Writing is very diverse and it isn’t just literature, so don’t fret if that isn’t your personal preference. You can still achieve your dream if you make sure to keep working on it, because even if you’re making small steps, you’re still going to get there.
Anonymous asked: Hi there! I write fanfic, but the thing is that I can never finish a story because I get distracted. I haven't updated one since April and am writing new ones... Also, someone said that one of my first chapters was "alright". This de-motivated me -and another thing was that my hit counter on ff broke, so it looked like nobody was reading it. Also I don't know how to write sex scenes! Thanks!
Divi: Don’t be discouraged if someone wasn’t impressed with your writing, because it’s going to happen to the best of us. In fact, you could write the greatest thing known to man, but there will always be people out there who say it’s garbage. That’s just life, you simply can’t please everyone, and that’s why you should focus on pleasing yourself. My rule of thumb is that when someone isn’t pleased with my writing, they have to tell me why, because without reasoning I can’t improve. If it isn’t constructive or informative, you shouldn’t bother yourself with it, because it will only affect you negatively rather than positively. As for sex scenes, try a different approach! You’ll usually read blunt descriptions, and it sounds a lot like you’re at the gym where everyone’s a member. Try being less technical; you don’t have to directly spell it out for readers to understand what’s going on. If you’re still unsure, open up an ebook in the mature romance genre and you’ll find various ways of writing it, because nobody truly writes it the same way someone else does. But if you’re still trying to get the hang of it, that would be a good way to start.
Divi: There are a couple of ways to avoid revealing that! A personal preference of mine is to focus on one of their features that stand out, or a nickname that applies to them. This all depends on your story, too, since I’m not sure how much has been revealed about zir. Either way, to give some examples, their hair colour could help; I like to refer to my genderless character as the redhead. Titles help, too! The aforementioned character is a figurehead, so I use that as well in my descriptions. Eye colours can also be used every now and then, such as “the brown-eyed person” should you feel you’ve used other descriptions too often. Nationality, if applicable, could help too! I for example get called Dutch or Dutchie, so if there’s a nickname that could apply to zir, you could definitely write your way around it and avoid pronouns until they are learned by the viewpoint character. I hope that helps and gives you some ideas!
any ideas on what to do if you have characters and settings, but no clear plot?
Divi: Write their backstories. Or summarize their backstories. Either way, you’ll find yourself beginning to create their future when you’ve delved into their past. For example, I’ve never thought about the parents of a certain character of mine except where they live and how he grew up with them, but then I realized his mother could actually play a big role in his story and be a part of the plot. Have you thought about the history of your setting as well? It should work the same way. Hope this helps, anon!
Divi: I completely understand how you feel. Don’t feel discouraged! It might be your first novel, but is isn’t your first story. You’ve learned from those past experiences and grown from it, so I think you’ll be just fine. You’ve already gotten practice, and that’s great! And as a non-native speaker myself, I too feel discouraged sometimes because I write in English, yet I feel I have no right to. I start wondering if my grammar is terrible, if my structures are messed up, or if my punctuation is completely wrong. I’m always afraid people will be able to tell by my writing that English is not my first language. During the years I’ve written, I have improved and learned from my mistakes, and these days I’m actually happy with my writing. Just continue to improve, and continue to work on your novel! Your first novel is not doomed to fail, and even if great writers say so, that’s still their personal experience and it should not apply to you. Have faith in yourself, and continue to enjoy writing your novel. :)
Hey, do you know how all writers out there always say: “oh, my characters are alive, they talk in my head, they’re not going along with my plot”? Well, that doesn’t really happen to me. Things just sort of happen, sort of show up - the characters don’t talk, they’re just there, and I just know what would happen. No personality at the edge of my imagination, nada. Is that bad for an aspiring novelist?
Divi: Not at all! It’s the same for me and Tazzy; our characters don’t really talk to us, they just show up when necessary. We all breathe life into our characters in different ways. Me? I do drawings or portraits of them. My characters only ever show up when I’m writing them, but when I’m not writing them it’s like they’re neatly stored in a file cabinet in my head. Just because they don’t talk to you doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, and as far as creativity goes I don’t think there’s a wrong or right to how you go through your writing process as long as it works for you.
Divi: Dialogue can be a tricky subject, but I do think most books thrive on it, with the exception of some. To take an example, I have a lot of crime and thriller novels, and those absolutely need dialogue because they’re usually written from a detective or agent’s point of view. The dialogue in that helps the reader get more immersed, since it feels like they’re secretly sneaking along with the detective wherever they go and finding out things at the same time. When it comes to balancing out description with dialogue, though, I have a personal rule of thumb. That’s not to say this should be a rule of thumb for everyone! But it works for me to cut out dialogue that I don’t need. The dialogue should reveal something the reader would not have known without that dialogue. It’s fine to have normal dialogue, but just to keep things interesting I would suggest having a topic that is exciting every now and then. That’s what I do, anyway, but I hope it gives you something to work with as well! To give a small (and mundane) example off the top of my head, say your characters are discussing daily life on the sofa, and then one of them glances at a newspaper with a very compelling headline and they discuss that for a few lines. If you really want to add more description, you could always throw in a couple of actions, but honestly you wouldn’t want to distract from compelling dialogue just to balance that out, so don’t worry too much!