Three Random and Easy Writing Tips

Everyone's writing could use a little extra sparkle, right? (the answer is yes trust me) Today we're going to discuss a few easy writing tips which I'm mashing together into this post. This totally doesn't mean that I was scrambling for a post and just ended up with a random assortment of simple tips. Nope, not at all.


(No, this post has nothing to do with hot air balloons. But this pic is glorious and I couldn't resist.)

Names


Names are like super important in a novel. You guys are smart so you probably already know not to use too many names that begin with the same letter. 

But try giving your characters unusual names to make them more memorable. Just think about it. There's a reason we remember names like Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird), Sage (The False Prince which incidentally has pretty unusual names in general so there's a great example), and Long John Silver (Treasure Island). All of which are classics or NYT bestsellers, in case you didn't notice. Just don't take too much liberty here. I like to know how to pronounce the names, thank you very much. XD


Quirks

This is another thing you can (and should) use to make your characters more memorable. A quirk is defined as "a peculiar behavioral habit." Aka, something they do that's weird. Giving your characters these is especially great for keeping distinctions between characters.

For example, in Jill Williamson's Blood of Kings series, there are a couple of characters that are the same age and gender, which could be easy to confuse. But they aren't confused, because first, they all have differing personalities. But also, because they have quirks. One of them is superstitious, and one of them is almost obsessively fastidious. *uses big word* (Time to drag out the dictionary, right? XD)

Just make sure your quirks aren't too out there. It's not believable that a grown man would have a strange obsession with gummy bears. But a little boy (or a monkey *winkwink*)? That could work.


Sensory Details

This one is probably the hardest to incorporate, but it can be really helpful. Weaving in sensory details throughout your narrative is a great way to draw your reader in. And remember, there's five senses! It's often too easy to focus on sight alone.

But the other senses can be used in powerful ways, and this is more what I'm focusing on. This tip goes beyond describing your setting or characters. For example, what if your character associates the villain with what he smells like? (Like in A Time to Die. IT CHANGED MY ENTIRE PERCEPTION OF LEMONS. THEY ARE EVIL.) Or maybe a certain taste sparks realization in your character , or brings to your character's mind certain memories, or makes your character feel a certain way. Maybe your character is adverse to a certain texture (oh and hey look that could be a quirk also. XD)


So yup. Those are my random and relatively easy to incorporate tips. What do you think? Any tips you want to share with me? 

~ Jonathan

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49 comments:

  1. Great tips!

    I LOVE characters with little quirks - they are my favourites. Odd names are great fun to think of; I have a beloved character called Tote. TOTE. (Yes, I made it up.) (It's a guy, btw. :-P) My best friend comes up with the most ludricous, wacky names and I love them to bits.
    Little sensory details are the best - thanks for reminding me of that. :-)

    ~ Naomi

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    1. Thanks! :D

      SAAAAME. Ahaha that's a good one! :)
      No problem, thanks for reading!

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  2. Ok, now onto my ACTUAL comment. ;)

    This post was very helpful, thank you. :) Hopefully it wasn't inspired by my less then stellar writing in "The Princess & I". :P Random blog posts are just fine in my eyes...but I may be a tad biased since pretty much ALL my blog posts are completely random. ;)

    You left me with a strange craving for gummy bears. WHY DID YOU DO THAT????

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    1. *snickersnorts*

      Ha no problem! Pfftt of course not, your writing is great! :D Lol true... XD

      IDK I DIDN'T MEAN TO HERE. *throws gummy bears* XP

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  3. TRUTH. These are really good things to keep in mind. I easily get caught up in the story and forget about details and important things to keep in mind so my novel doesn't turn into a flat little pile of sludge. XD

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    1. Thanks! Lol same, the struggle is real. XD

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  4. Random is good. :D *throws evil lemons* Mwuahaha XP

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    1. Ha, agreed. XP *dodges the lemons* MISSED

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  5. THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!

    www.itssimplyme.com

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  6. I love it when you have random posts. Those are by far the best XP I am actually quite bad at differentiating (wow, long word XD) my characters, so just keep in mind this post was helpful to at least ONE PERSON :D


    YES LEMONS ARE EVIL. ALMOST AS EVIL AS TRAVIS (*wink wink*)

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    1. Ah, well thanks! :D Oh hahaha WELL GLAD TO BE OF ASSISTANCE. XD

      I GET THAT REFERENCE HA. XP (also I finished that last night git moving Hann :P)

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    2. LOL, I know I'm so far behind :( BUT I WILL FINISH BEFORE OCTOBER 1ST! XP

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  7. OH AND I FORGOT: My favorite is names (which I have hopefully shown to all y'all April camp NaNo peeps) I love to switch up spellings, mash, or create new names. My current favorite is an MC of mine whose name is Red <3

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  8. Atticus Finch <3 <3 <3 I love that name & book so much... along with all of your tips! Great post! :) (btw, I picked up Navigating Early from the library today!)

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    1. Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird for the win!! :D Thanks! (OHEY THAT'S AWESOME!)

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  9. "It's not believable that a grown man would have a strange obsession with gummy bears" *cough*Fourth Doctor*cough. :P

    These were really helpful, 'specially as I'm trying to flesh out my newest baby. I never really thought about sensory details before. Thank you!

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    1. *cough*ahokihaven'tseendoctorwhobuti'lltakeyourwordforit*cough* XD

      Well glad you enjoyed 'em! Thanks for reading! :D

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  10. Cool post!
    I'll admit, I'm really bad at coming up with cool names. Mine are always so normal. Names you see anywhere. :P
    Have any tips for coming up with cool names? ('Cause my brain apparently is incapable of such things...) XD
    I never thought about using other senses to describe characters...I must try that some time! Thanks for the tips! :D

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    1. Thanks!
      Hmmm ok so if you have Scrivener there's a name generator in that. *nod* Also you can just google 'name generator' and there's plenty of pretty good sites out there. :D
      No problem! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  11. These are really great tips! Seriously, they make a BIG difference in books! Characters with quirks and unique names do leave a better impression - they make things fun and real. (But yeah, I prefer to know how to pronounce them at least *somewhat* too. XD)

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    1. YES IKR THEY TOTALLY DO. (Ha saaaaame. xP)

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  12. OMIGOSH!!! Someone else has read The False Prince series?? *screams forever*
    The only people I know who've even heard of it are myself and my boyfriend (cause I made him buy and read them). I enjoyed them so much!

    Anyways, *clears throat* loved your tips! Short, random, easy posts are the best. XD

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    1. Well I've only read the first one so far, BUT I HAVE THE SECOND ONE I JUST HAVEN'T STARTED IT YET. XD I did really enjoy the first though. :)

      Haha, well thank you! :D

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    1. Lol I didn't even know you could do that... XP

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  14. OOoooooh good post. *nods* *wanders off to find a smell that works for my antag*

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    1. Thanks! *snickersnorts* (try something earthy like coffee *winkwink* :P)

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  15. Trenton Lee Steward definitely got those three down. Who can look at pencils now without thinking of No. 2?
    This may seem strange, but picking out names that resonate with the character is one of the hardest steps for me.

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    1. Ooh did he? I haven't read The Mysterious Benedict Society. XP (which I'm pretty sure he's the author of that right?)
      Ah nah that's not strange at all! It's hard sometimes. ;)

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    2. THEN GO READ IT!
      It's one of my favorites.

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  16. Okay, I've got the first tip in the bag but I need to focus on the second and third tips. *nods vigorously*

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  17. This is fantastic! All of these seem like pretty simple tips, yet not something I've thought about. I'm gonna have you use these, thanks!

    Though really, it's the worst when authors are TOO creative with names and you have no idea on this earth how to pronounce them. Why must they do that to us??

    Elizabeth
    http://whimsicalthoughtss.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed! :D

      Ikrrrrrrr especially in those epic fantasy novels where you can pronounce like one of ten characters' names properly. :P

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  18. *thumbs up for hot air balloons*

    AWESOME TIPS. I...actually really need to work on the last one. In first drafts, I tend to just focus on getting all the words written so I leave out a lot of things like sensory details. Oops. :P (Don't worry, I'll be sprucing up my WIP. It's like...a mess right now. XD)

    "It's not believable that a grown man would have a strange obsession with gummy bears." Wait...it's not? XD 'Cause I personally would love it if an adult character in a book was obsessed with gummy bears. XDDD

    I love character quirks! That's one of my favorite things about writing. (Really, anything character-related is my favorite.)

    LEMONS, THOUGH. That book ruined my happy thoughts about the scent of lemons. XD

    Sweet post, Jonny!

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    1. Wouldn't really be great to have that quirk (addiction to gummy bears)?!... way better than the cliched Coke fans.

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    2. Me: *types really long reply to this*
      Computer: *eats my reply*
      Me: *slaps computer*
      Me: THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMMENTING GUYS XD

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  19. AHH YUS. "Sneaky lil lemon dude" -> skelley chase. Ugh, that man. XD *flails because the OUT OF TIME SERIES AHHH*

    // katie grace
    a writer's faith

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  20. What fun tips! I don't write much, but reading this kind of makes me want to :) I'd love to know some of your novel character's quirks and things... Thanks for sharing my talented friend! ~Emmaly

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    1. Ha, you could totally give it a shot! :P Hm okay... so just a few examples are that one of them has a robotic eye and one of them always wears the same orange bandanna. :D Those are more physical quirks though. Thanks for commenting!

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