In week three of my Writing Masterclass journey I worked through the second part of the Outlining session, Writers Block and Creating Characters. All were interesting and generated lots of notes. Thank goodness this is a video course where I get to pause and rewind what James is saying.
Outlines (Part 2) - The main points covered in this Outlining session were;
- How to troubleshoot your outline. Things like finding low points in the drama and becoming repetitive.
- The outline needs to be organic and change as you write the book
- Once you have the outline, step back and start writing.
Writers Block - The blank page is the enemy but with an outline this becomes less of a problem. A big cause of writers block is when a scene or a chapter isn't working. Writers start to stress and question themselves. The best way to fix this is to;
- Freight Train through the first draft. Basically, if you are having problems with a scene, write TBD and move on. It doesn't matter if that scene isn't working on the second or third drafts either. Don't let it bog you down. This is a bit like the NaNoWriMo philosophy.
- Stay Focused. Learn how to tune the world out when you write. Listening to quiet instrumental music may help. You need to focus to get in tune with your story.
- Take a break if you are becoming overloaded.
- Take it seriously. Even if you aren't writing 'War and peace' or 'Ulysses', give it everything that you've got and do the best you can possibly do.
- Practice, practice, practice. That speaks for itself.
Creating Characters - One of the things that rise a book above the pack is introducing fresh, involving characters that bring a unique way of looking at the world.
- You want the reader to have strong feelings about the character, love them or hate them.
- Create a character that makes an impression on the reader.
- Know your character, know what makes them tick. You need to get the motivation and emotion right.
- You need to be able to get inside the head of your character.
- Make your hero complex.
- Make your villain complex too, make them worthy of your hero.
- Make important secondary characters, make them vital to the story.
- Create reader intimacy through your characters. Readers find out more about characters in a book than they know about real people in their life.
- You have to make a character they are not going to be able to forget.