|Done entirely in Photoshop without a tablet. The Pen Tool reproduces the ink-brush style suprisingly well!|
Strong Characters but a Weak Plot?Strong Characters but a Weak Plot? by OokamiKasumi
----- Original Message -----
...I have very strong characters, but a very weak plot. While my story is primarily character driven, I feel I feel I put them in a place where there's not much plot, or that the plot itself is uninteresting. How do make my plot stronger? Furthermore, how do I find a balance between plot and characters? Or is it okay that my plot isn't gripping, as long as I have strong, well-developed characters?
What should you do when you have
Strong Characters but a Weak Plot?
First, I think we should clarify what Character-Driven means.
Character-Driven does NOT mean:
A story that focuses on the characters.
-- A story's events happen because the characters choose (or refuse) to make things happen. In other words; the story's Plot is Driven by the events caused by the characters.
Examples of Character-Driven stories:
-- 'Hero' stories where the character volunteers to b
So, You Want a Critique?So, You Want a Critique? by OokamiKasumi
WARNING! Incoming Rant!
A Critique...? Really? Are you sure that's what you want?
From the responses I've gotten on many different forums, and the responses I've seen others get, plus the resulting peanut gallery commentary, I'm not so sure a Critique is what some of you are actually looking for.
Let's start at the beginning.
Do you even know what a Critique actually is?
noun: critique; plural noun: critiques
1. a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
synonyms: analysis, evaluation, assessment, appraisal, appreciation, criticism, review, study, commentary, exposition, exegesis
"a critique of North American culture"
verb: critique; 3rd person present: critiques; past tense: critiqued; past participle: critiqued; gerund or present participle: critiquing
Crossing GenresCrossing Genres by OokamiKasumi
Every genre has core elements that make that genre that genre. In order to Cross Genres properly, you need to know each of your genre's distinctive elements and make them Equally Important in the story.
Simple, no? However...
One of the most common mistakes I've seen in every genre of fiction: IGNORANCE.
"Most of the common mistakes come with any writing that isn't so goodbad characters, bad plots, bad writing. The ones which are peculiar to alternate histories (fantasy and sci-fi) are bad research and bad extrapolation."
-- An Interview with Harry Turtledove --
How do you expect to cross genres properly if you don't even know the genres you're working with? Contrary to popular belief, even if you're writing pure Heroic Fantasy, just making it up as you go is NOT good enough!
On writing Heroic Fantasy
"The consequence of making that assumption is, inevita
GMC - SIMPLIFIEDGMC - SIMPLIFIED by OokamiKasumi
"I am I Need I Desire "
Goal, Motivation & Conflict - SIMPLIFIED
Goal, Motivation and Conflict seems to be the BIG MYSTERY of fiction writing. Everyone says that they're essential to good writing and they're right, they are. Absolutely. But this stuff can be a little confusing.
Let's begin at the beginning
-- What are all these things and why do stories need them?
Goal is what your character THINKS they are after.
Motivation is what makes them WANT to go after it.
Conflict is what Gets In Their Way.
-- Internal Conflict being ANGST or Drama.
-- External Conflict being the PLOT or Events.
The Plot (Events) Arc is the stuff that happens to the characters the plotline. There are 5 basic stages in a Plot Arc:
1 - Inciting Event
2 - Challenge
3 - Crisis/Reversal
4 - Ordeal
5 - Confrontation
The Character (Drama) Arc is the complimentary (or contrary) stage of Ang
The Character ArcThe Character Arc by OokamiKasumi
The CHARACTER ARC
PLOT ARC: The events that happen while the characters make other plans.
CHARACTER ARC: The emotional roller-coaster that the character suffers while dealing with the Plot.
To make a story a cohesive whole, every single thing in it must be there for a reason. Every single character, object, location, and event must push toward the ending you have planned even if it doesn't look that way to the casual observer. In short, every scene in the story should either illustrate a characteristic attribute of a main Character or be an Event that makes your ending happen.
What the Character Arc does is map out the Emotional path your characters need to take to grow and change into the heroes and heroines your story needs to achieve your story's ending.
For the record, a Character Arc can be used all by itself as th
Age: Over 30.
Sex: Yes, please.
Occupation: Professional Author
This the the writer-artist OokamiKasumi from LJ, Yaoi Gallery, LiquidEros, and the LemmaSoft forum. Don't expect too much from me here. Most of my stories and art are way too adult for this place. If you want to see what I can really do, look me up on the other sites.
This account is merely to post my writing Tutorials, search for Photoshop resources, and browse the occasional art piece.
Current Residence: NC, USA
Favourite genre of music: Rock
Favourite style of art: Art Nouveau
Personal Quote: "I can resist anything--but temptation."
...I am wondering, do you want to read the next story I post either here or elsewhere? -- Friendly Amateur Writer
Thank-you for the invitation, but I don't do critiques. I am much, much too harsh a judge of fiction. I've made published authors cry after posting my opinion of their work. Seriously! One NYT's bestselling author still hates my guts. Mainly because her editor told her --on a public forum-- that I was Right.
The other problem is that I Absorb what I read and Use It later, especially if the idea is Good. Worse... I won't remember where the idea came from.
NEVER let a professional author read your unpublished work. All of us are Scavengers looking for a good idea. It's not deliberate! It's just a side-effect of the job.
From Idea to STORY
From Idea to STORY by OokamiKasumi
Continuing on with her popular literature hints and tips series OokamiKasumi gives more excellent advice with From Idea to STORY don't forget to check out the rest of the series! ( Featured by Elandria )
Faery Tale a Visual Novel by OokamiKasumi
The suggester wrote: "This game is well thought out - easy to navigate, fun to play (some quite nice eye candy in there too) and all resource providers have been credited whether off-site or here on DA. The illustrations and layout are beautiful - the storyline(s) are contemporary with a slight macabre sprinkling of what I can only guess is inspired by The Grimm's Fairytales... You'll have hours of fun exploring each storyline and being awe-inspired by the hard work and attention to detail put into creating it."
(Suggested by zememz and Featured by Lyricanna)
The NonVerbal Thesaurus
In her suggestion of The Non-Verbal Thesaurus by OokamiKasumi, PaperDart writes, "Her collection of writing guides are a goldmine for the aspiring author. All of her guides give sound, clear, well reasoned advice, but this guide to using body language in dialogue stood out to me especially as something about which we don't hear enough."
(Suggested by PaperDart and Featured by Memnalar)
GMC - SIMPLIFIED
As this is Project Educate's Resources Week, give GMC - SIMPLIFIED by *OokamiKasumi a read for tips on discovering the goals, motivations, and conflicts of your characters which may impede them, all crucial to fiction writing.
(Featured by GwenavhyeurAnastasia)