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Character Writing Links

1 Mar

Some resources from Emma!

The Four Types of Character Flaws from Writers Helping Writers

Writing Questions Answered’s trove of character development asks

Tips about choosing the right flaw for your character from WritinGeekery

TV Tropes’ index of Character Flaws


Love Poetry Resources

15 Feb

Some tips on a few different poem types, courtesy of Sonya!!

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Romance Prompts

12 Feb

…feat. what’s essentially fanfiction written for my own characters? Either way, I kind of wanted to post these because I was pleased with how they turned out. So why not. Characters are from a fantasy story I’m still just plotting out at the moment.

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Boskone 2017

8 Feb

Howdy!! So, as we’ve mentioned, the Boskone Sci-fi/Fantasy convention is next Friday, the 17th with free events from 2-6PM. Think about when you want to get going–we can go in separate groups depending on when people get out of class/how many classes people are skipping–and we can plan accordingly.

Right now the plan is to meet at the watermelon in Kenmore (an electric box painted like a watermelon for anyone new to Boston) and leave around 2. It takes around 40 minutes to get all the way to the Westin Waterfront Hotel, where Boskone is held.

Additionally, for anyone interested, the student price for a three-day ticket is $40, and for a single day it’s $25. If you want to attend some panels after 6PM you might want to think about a student ticket.

Here’s the link to the program of events:

Bon voyage!


Were The World Mine…

24 Sep

Well, okay, for now a lot of these aren’t not ours, but rather some other very creative souls’. We discussed last meeting just what makes these worlds so darn good…and what makes others not quite as successful!

What Works:

  • Unifying details make the world go ’round; whether it’s the color schemes found throughout Wes Anderson’s films or the car-based imagery of Mad Max: Fury Road‘s post-apocalyptic world, these aspects provide a sense of atmosphere for readers and viewers, allowing them to better understand the world
  • The size of the world most definitely influences how it presents! JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth is a sprawling land that lends itself to the wealth of languages, history, and myths that Tolkien created for it, but not every world needs such an extensive system to be a super interesting experience. Worlds that echo our own (like Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) or worlds that are a tiny little slice, a microcosm even, of the real world (think Parks and Rec) still entice audiences!
  • Sortability. What’s your Hogwarts house? Your Camp Half-Blood cabin? Being able to sort yourself into the world in question makes it immersive! It’s a feature of the world that is by no means necessary, but it’s definitely fun.
  • Take the main characters out of the world for just a moment. Would you still want to read about the world? A lot of our favorite worlds–Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings–have tons of other stories that take place in them, and we’re still definitely interested in them!
  • A consistent tone throughout different settings is important, too. A Series if Unfortunate Events, for example, retains its eerie theme throughout the vastly different places its characters visit.


What Doesn’t Really Work:

  • Subtlety is key; while kitschy story tropes can be fun and most certainly can be done well, don’t overuse them. Too many bold aspects of a story can make it seem laughably bad (see: Tyra Banks’s Modelland)
  • Sometimes there is too much of a good thing; this applies to description too. While ambling description of rivers and mountains and cities are beautiful, some instances don’t call for total disclosure of the areas and things around. If you want to build a mystery about the world or some aspect of it, then less is indeed more.
  • Several people mentioned books with wonderful settings that could have been so cool to read about…if only the plot had gone somewhere. So, have a direction for your plot and world, as well as a way for them to interact!
  • In James Cameron’s Avatar, the world itself is absolutely breathtaking: cool creatures, beautiful scenery, and hints at what could be a pretty cool culture. Unfortunately, for a lot of us it just seemed to fall short; the land of the Na’vi felt a lot like a Stock Alien Planet™ and could have been changed out with many other fictional planets and very little of the narrative would be changed. On that note, give your world narrative substance to balance out its awesome appearance!
  • A bad attitude can ruin a lot of things–even a fictional world. Reluctant heroes are tons of fun, but let your characters enjoy the world they’ve come into a little! Audiences can absorb the views of the main characters, and if they’re not enjoying the world to some extent, then neither will the reader.

All in all, I think one of the most important points we covered is that, for your own world, it’s important to find a balance between what you’ve found that works; does a smaller or larger world fit what you want to accomplish? How can audiences immerse themselves? It’s totally your call, but hopefully this discussion was of some help in guiding your worldbuilding!