Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blogroll: Writing the Characters

"This blogroll is all about characters. Writing them, editing them, defining them, and playing favorites with them. If you’re participating in this blogroll, just answer the following questions, include the previously tagged authors and their blogs, and add some new authors/bloggers below."
*Note from your host, A. Wrighton: I’d appreciate you including the blogroll image above, but I won’t chase after you with any red pens of doom if you don’t. Yep, it’s really that simple.

Before I begin, I have a confession to make: I'm mostly a fanfiction writer. Every now and then, I'll write an original story, but those aren't very good and I don't share them with anyone except maybe trusted family members and friends. I also write poems.
But even in fanfiction, there is still characterization, and every now and then I'll make an OC (original character). So, I still have things to say about characters. (Note: if you want me to write some original fiction/poems or share some of the bad original stories/decent original poems I've written, just comment on this post and say that.)

What is your favorite part about writing characters?
Bear with me as I get philosophical here. I think every time an author creates a character, he/she puts a part of him/herself into the character. Most characters have a personality made up of mainly two things: the author's personality, and the person the author wants to be. That's what I like about writing characters: living vicariously through them. I get to imagine what it would be like to be a genius, famous, popular, evil, etc.

What's the hardest thing about creating a character?
I'd probably say either the physical description- I'm great at creating personality, but sometimes I'll forget to mention what my character looks like, and I never know what amount of detail is right- or coming up with character flaws. Nobody likes a Mary Sue, but it can be hard to take a character that you love and mess them up. Though of course, a character with no flaws is more messed-up since that character would be incredibly unrealistic.

What's the easiest thing about creating a character?
Hm... I guess that would have to be creating the character's personality (except for character flaws, as mentioned above). I'm really good at deciding what sort of person my character is, what he/she likes, dislikes, is good at, etc. It's also relatively easy for me to sort of see where the character fits in the story. For example, if I'm writing a fanfiction and I get to a point where I need another character, I'll just be like "okay, I need a character to do this", and I'll come up with an OC to do just that and easily work my OC into the story.

Who is your favorite character you've written?
As mentioned earlier, I haven't made a lot of characters, since I mostly write fanfiction. I really like this character I just thought of for a story I'm going to write, but since I don't have his appearance and personality fully fleshed out yet (and I don't even know what his name is yet!), I guess it doesn't really count.

So not counting him, my favorite character would probably have to be Melinda Raven from my Wholock fanfiction When Justice Is Treason. She's an expert hacker who earns a lot of money from hacking into computers for criminals (which makes her a criminal, too, of course). She's a really smart, sassy woman, and she is not somebody to be messed with.

Who is one character you wish you had written?
Such a hard question! I guess I'd have to say Harry Potter (today is actually his birthday. Happy birthday, Harry! It's also J.K. Rowling's birthday, so happy birthday to her, too!), but there are lots of other great characters who I wish I'd written.

Is there a character type that intimidates you?
Any character that requires extensive research, especially research about things I have no knowledge of. For example, I don't know much about medicine, so if I was to make a character that is a doctor and include a lot of details, it would be really difficult.

Is there a character type that you're really good at?
I like writing smart people, and I've noticed that most of my characters tend to have an attitude (i.e., they're sarcastic, and they won't let other people push them around). As I said earlier, my characters usually have a bit of myself in them, and that bit is naturally the bit that I find easiest to create. In one story, a Doctor Who fanfiction called Set Me Free, I actually put myself into the story, so it was easy to write that character (though there was a great temptation to make her a better, more awesome person than I actually did. I tried my best to avoid that temptation.)

Best tip/trick you've learned while writing characters?
I'm going to steal Emily Ecrivaine's answer to this question. As she says, "Observe people. Watch, listen, catalogue, then make sure you don't directly copy anyone you know... because no one wants to be sued for libel or defamation of character." I'll add that it can be a good idea to take small elements from people you know, just as long as you don't take so much that your character clearly resembles the other person (that's where you get into trouble with being sued for libel or defamation of character). A good character is often a composite of different people the author knows (including the author him/herself, with a little bit of original character elements thrown in to complete the character.

Did You Enjoy This? Any Further Questions? Leave A Comment! Meanwhile, check out these awesome blogs where the BlogRoll has been:
Emily Ecrivaine Reviews - If you like my blog, you will probably like this blog, too. The description on the blog is "Quality Reviews by Dedicated Fans. Here you will find reviews of television episodes, films, books, fanfiction, articles, and perhaps even the occasional Top 10 list - all created by myself and my team of talented and wonderful colleagues." (The blog also contains poems, which are great, too.) All the writers and articles are really good.

Where Is It Going Next? 
Strokes of Ink- a blog that posts short stories.
However, I don't actually know if the author is still blogging, as there haven't been any posts for a while. So, I found another writing blog to send this blogroll to.
Macabre's Poems - "Short stories, poems. Pick your poison. My blog was designed to inspire writers of horror or sci fi (mainly) to write by allowing others to critique works and have your works critiqued."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fandom School (Second Breakfast): Fandoms Look Like This

Fandom School is here again, and it's time for lunch! Last time, I made a post describing a lunch table for each fandom (you can find it here). Since I don't want to just call this "lunch 2", I'm calling it "second breakfast", even though everyone knows second breakfast is before lunch. Apparently we're eating like hobbits now. Anyway, today I'm going to share a collection of gifs/images that represent other people's reactions when they see a fandom/find out we're in a fandom. Enjoy!

Negative Reactions
Sadly, the typical reaction is to be disappointed and/or call us crazy.

Sorry, couldn't find a gif for this one. Penny tells Sheldon he's impossible, and this is his response.
This is how crazy we look to them.
"An intelligence organization that FEARS intelligence? Historically, not awesome." (mostly focus on the "historically, not awesome" bit.)

Elvish insults (Tolkien did flesh out the language enough to add some nice insults) taken from this video because I couldn't find any good movie gifs/images.

Sorry, I couldn't find just the image/gif.

Positive responses
Sometimes, others are in the fandom with us. Or, they let us make our decision without insulting us, even though they don't agree.

"You're crazy. I like that."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Set Me Free (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 8

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I pulled out the sonic the Doctor had lent me. I called the TARDIS over, and we came in, smiling. Donna flew the TARDIS with ease, thanking me and rejoicing in her newfound identity as a Time Lord. "And now the Doctor isn't alone anymore," she pointed out gleefully. "He's got me, a friend and a fellow Time Lord."

The TARDIS came in for a landing, and Donna looked confused for a moment before flipping a switch, chuckling to herself as the TARDIS began making the familiar whooshing noise. "He leaves the brakes on."
"Well, we're only human," I said, then we laughed as I realized what I'd just said. 

I stepped out, glad to be back on Earth instead of some strange planet. Donna ran up to the Doctor and hugged him. The Doctor looked shocked. "She can't know!" he cried. 
"It's alright! She's back! She's a Time Lord now!" The Doctor felt Donna's pulse and realized I was right.
"Thank you so much!" The Doctor ran up and hugged me. "What would you like me to do for you? I'll give you anything. I owe you." I thought for a moment. 
"Well, there is one thing."
"Go ahead."
"I'd ask to travel with you, but my family wouldn't want me to leave for who knows how long, even if it is a time machine. Can I have a sonic screwdriver? You have such a cool one, and it's so useful."
"Of course!" The Doctor went into the TARDIS, then came back out with a sonic screwdriver similar to his, except that the bottom could be twisted. "Twist that to call me, and I'll give you a visit. I should warn you, I may be a little early or late, but I'll try to get to the time you call for me. That way, you can go on the occasional adventure without being a full-time companion." He handed the sonic to me. 

"Oh, thanks!" In a moment of joy, I kissed him on the cheek.
"Now come on, I'm sure you'd rather be with someone your own age," he replied, but I could have sworn I saw him smiling.

And then we parted ways, but I know I'll see him again. I look forward to that day, but in the meantime, I'll remember how he set me free from my boring life, and how I set Donna free and brought her back to him. They'll go on adventures, but for now, this adventure has been enough excitement for me. When I am tired or sad, I can look back on this time and remember the man who gave me adventure, purpose, and most importantly, freedom.

Set Me Free (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 7

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Where are you? I thought.
As if sensing my thoughts, it replied Just listen to me. I'll give you directions.

A few minutes later, I arrived at a stall with a young man selling watches. "Hello," he said, and I recognized his voice as the one I'd been hearing in my head. "I'm Merlin, and I know how to help you. I have the gift of magic, and I know how Time Lord science works."
"How does it work?"
"To simplify it, the chameleon arch rewrites every cell in a person (or alien)'s biology."
"What's a chameleon arch?" Merlin pointed to the watches. 
"I just fasten one of these to that contraption over there," he said, pointing to a helmet thing. 

Donna, who hadn't been paying attention until now, looked over. "I'm not going in that!"
"Donna, can you please just do this? It will make it a lot easier for us to not get captured again," I said. Donna sighed dramatically, then walked over to the helmet. Merlin put one of the watches on the helmet, then flipped a switch. Donna screamed in agony as I cringed in sympathy. 

"Is there anything you can do?" I asked Merlin.
"Maybe, let me see." Merlin started muttering things I couldn't understand. I realized he was casting a spell. Donna stopped screaming and closed her eyes. "The magical version of an anesthetic, essentially."
"When will she wake up?"
"In a few minutes, when the change is complete."
"And what is the change, exactly?"
"She'll be a Time Lord. She'll have the influence of the Doctor back, and all her memories will return."
"It's a closely guarded secret that a chameleon arch can restore memories."
"Why is it a secret?"
"The Time Lords often punished those who were considered 'a danger to society' by removing their memories. They considered it more humane."
"But wouldn't the Doctor have been dangerous? Seems like he was messing around and doing things the Time Lords didn't like."
"He wasn't quite dangerous enough for them to punish him. And besides, when you wipe someone's mind, their personality typically remains."

Donna opened her eyes. "What happened?"
"You're a Time Lord now."
"Like the Doctor?" She gasped. "I remember the Doctor! How could I ever have forgotten him‽ Oh, right... But everything's okay." She looked at me. "Hello, Catherine. Thanks."

"Let's get you back to where you belong," I told her with a smile. "Thanks for your help, Merlin." We left. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Set Me Free (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 6

Sorry about the long wait for more blog posts. I was on a service trip. I'll be sure to let you know if I plan to take a break for more than a week or two. And now I'm back to blogging regularly. Yay!

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

A few minutes later, my fear had worn off. I boldly looked our captor in the eye. He returned my stare. Finally, I spoke. "I know what you want with me, but why Donna? What could you possibly need her for?"
"I told you to be quiet," he hissed. He drew his sword and walked right up to me. Holding the point of his sword to me, he said "No more questions. Do you understand?"
"No, I don't," I replied, snatching the sword out of his hand. That threw him off; he hadn't been expecting that. I held him at sword point and asked him "What do you want with Donna?"

"You know of her destiny as the Doctor-Donna. She is very powerful. We want to use her for personal gain."
"You can't. She's just Donna now."
"You lie!"
"No, I'm telling the truth."
"Well, no matter. We will soon restore her."
"If you do, her head will burn and she will die. You cannot use her."
"I don't believe you."
"I'm sick of this. Shut up and set us free, or I'll kill you." He sighed. 
"I don't believe you have the guts."
"No, you're right, I don't," I admitted. "But I have no qualms about doing this," I said, knocking him out with the side of the blade. I shifted it in my hands and cut the chains holding me and Donna. 

I grabbed Donna's hand. "Run!" And run we did, until we were far away from there. 
"Thanks," Donna said, breathless. "What do I owe you?"
"Nothing. It was my pleasure," I said with a smile. 
"What was that man saying about me?"
"Forget it. It's not important." We saw another one of the guards pursuing us. Donna slapped him, then kicked him for good measure. He fell to the ground, lacking the strength to carry on. 

We kept on running, and I looked for some form of transportation. I was scanning the area, when all of a sudden I was distracted. I could have sworn I heard a voice in my head. Come here, it said. I can help you. The voice was mysterious and inviting. I looked around, but couldn't seem to find any source. I know about Donna's plight, it said. I know how to fix it. Come to me, and I will help.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

No More (Doctor Who fanfiction)

This was originally written for a contest at The Star Cult. Enjoy!

What have I done? The thought echoes in my mind as I escape the chaos. What have I done! I've killed them. I've killed them all. I am a murderer. Gallifrey falls. The end has come. I am despicable. I've killed them all. I've got a new face, but it can't rid me of the guilt. I cannot live with myself. I can live no longer. I am the last of the Time Lords, and I am the reason there are no more. Oh, the agony! I can hear their tortured screams. I am a man with blood on his hands. I am a god, but I may just as well be a demon for all I have done.

Why me? Why did I have to be the one to do it? Why did I have to kill them? I didn't want to! I had to! There was no other way! I'd rather die than kill. I would never use a gun. And yet I murdered them. Every last one. I can never, ever forget.

I am alone. The thought cuts me like a knife, it burns like the weapon I used to kill them. No more will I see those wonderful Gallifreyans. No more will I be with my people. I will lament them forever. I am a broken man.

I need a friend. But how could I ever care about someone again? I just destroyed everything I ever loved. What if I have to do it again? No, it is better to be alone. I can't put anyone through all the pain I've suffered. I will live the rest of my life friendless and alone.

But I don't want to live anymore. What reason do I have to exist? I have nothing to care about, no-one to love. The universe can save itself, for all I care. I want to die. I want to leave forever, rather than live in eternal shame. I hate this all. I hate everyone. I hate the Daleks.

Hate. Daleks. The Daleks hate. I cannot be a Dalek. I am a Time Lord. I must make them proud. I must live all the lives they wish they could have had. I can't let them down. They would not want me to leave, for then there would be no Time Lords at all. I must live for them. In memory of Gallifrey, I press on.

I can never forget who I am, and I can never forget what I did. I can never forget that I am a murderer. But I can try to change. No more will I kill; I'd rather die first. No more will I commit genocide. I can never forget my sacrifice for the good of the universe, and I chose the universe, so I must continue to protect it. The universe falls no more. I can never forget the sacrifice of my people. I will do everything in their honor. If only in my hearts, Gallifrey stands. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Actor Appreciation

So a few days ago, I took a moment to appreciate the awesome characters that make up any good story. Now let's look at the actors and actresses who play them. 

Actors (I'm including actresses in this) are amazing. They have to show a wide range of emotions and expressions to convey what might be written as whole paragraphs in a book. Some actors are particularly good at expression. For example, David Tennant:

Okay, you get the idea. But another great thing actors do is they have to become someone else. To truly make a convincing performance, an actor must become the character. 

Actors spend lots of time and energy and countless takes to play their characters. They work really hard and they deserve our thanks. Actors are awesome!