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Throwback Post: Perk Up Your Characters in 3 Easy Steps

This post is a throwback to the good ol’ days of 2017.

Hey guys!

Right now, I’m currently in my dorm, and the rest of the college campus is doing a color run that I have no interest in. They promised us free breakfast. It was granola bars, which I hate. So now I’m hungry because the cafeteria isn’t open until Thursday.

My novel is due in five days, and I don’t have time to edit before I submit it to a novel contest. (I’m only entering because my New Year’s Resolution was to enter this contest, and I need something in 2020 to go my way.)

But on a happier note, Taylor has a new blog post coming soon, so be sure to stay tuned for that and welcome her into the blogosphere!

So, all that to say, I didn’t have any time to write up a new blog post this week.

But to keep this from being a weird update post, here’s a throwback to a post that I wrote in October 2017:

Throwback Post— Writers, Perk Up Your Characters in 3 Easy Steps

© Copyright Lauryn Trimmer, 2017, used with permission because I am Lauryn Trimmer and I can repost my own content. 🙂

Originally published on CleanFiction.wordpress.com.

I struggle with the balancing act between writing exciting stories and writing clean stories. Many authors think it can’t be done, or they just don’t want to take the time to do it. However, if you are an author who wants to help forge the new path of exciting clean books, I have some tips for you.

First of all, we must realize that sex and violence do not sell a book.

Many writers have been trained to think that these two things are what makes a book worth reading.

Actually, it is not the sex or the violence that sells a book, but the level of excitement that the reader experiences. If the book contains excessive violence, it gets the adrenaline rushing in the reader, as if they were experiencing the story themselves.

If a book needs sex or violence to sell, that is laziness on the writer’s part.

The first thing that can create a truly exciting story is the characters.

I know that one of the greatest writing tips I’ve ever received was to always let the hero change the story. If something bad happens, the hero should decide for himself how to react. The outline should not decide for him.

And for some reason, I found this difficult, until I found these three tips. Since then, I have never had the problem of dull characters since.

Now is the time to be honest with yourself: Are your characters capable of making a good story on their own? If the hero needs help from a sidekick, try to make the hero more independent, so we like him more.

If you are the only person who thinks your hero is truly original, that means it’s time to change him up a bit.

Some fast ways to do this include:

  • Combine two characteristics that don’t normally go together, such as a super-shy star or a quiet and sickly class clown.
    • This involves reworking the basics of your characters, but that’s okay. We’re just going to make them stronger.
  • Give your character three things~ an obsession, a secret (possibly the obsession is kept secret), and a quirky habit.
    • For example, the main character is obsessed with horses, is hiding the fact that he has a crush on the villain’s sister, and always arrives five minutes late to everything.
  • Now make these three things influence the story.
    • Perhaps he has a hard time getting a job at a horse stable because he’s always late. In his frustration, he shouts at someone who is trying to help him. They decide they don’t want to help him anymore because he’s a brat. Etc, etc.

Voila! Much more interesting characters in just three steps.

How do you make your characters take control of their stories? Are there any tips that you recommend?

Back to the Present: The Blog Plan

The blog plan is going to stay the same.

At least one post every Monday.

I’ll try to do better next week, since I won’t have a novel to finish.

In the meantime, if you’re reading this, thank you for visiting, and I hope you have a great rest of your day!

You can check out some more of my favorite blog posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Have a great rest of your week, and I’ll see you again next Monday!


2 replies on “Throwback Post: Perk Up Your Characters in 3 Easy Steps”

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