Finding Inspiration

Finding inspiration for a book is hard.

But think of it this way. Books that are written start off as a seed that naturally will grow to become something big and something great. Just wait and you will see.

There is the first little idea that you have when writing that stems out into this full-on story. It can start with the idea of a character, or characters, or it can be a simple idea such as (example) an apocalyptic world where civilization died off in the year 3054. Or it can start with the first words that the book will have, or a conversation between characters. Either way, writers find inspiration somewhere, something that kicks them into full-on writing mode.

Lightbulb

Some writers get their inspiration visually. You could go on Deviantart or just cruise the internet until you see a certain picture and, boom, you have a story that branches out into so much more. Some writers might get inspiration from their everyday lives, something that they do everyday or on most days and it just clicks, becoming the perfect idea. Other writers get ideas from other books, a certain sentence of quote that just gives them the little light bulb above their head! Another kind of way of finding inspiration is writing fanfiction.

Like, for example, Fifty Shades of Grey started as a Twilight fanfiction. Now it is a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Inspiration comes in all kinds of ways and forms. You just have to find your groove and wait until that big idea comes to you, whether it be from an ordinary walk in the park, or something very, very exciting. The inspiration for your story might come today, next week, or next year, but one day that big vision will slam into you, jam itself into your head, and you won’t know what hit you.

What inspires you? Ask yourself this question and wait for the answer.

Either way, finding inspiration for your story is important. How else can you start a story? How do you get ideas for your story. What’s your inspiration? Is it visually? Is it in your everyday life? Did it start as something else?

But sometimes you do not find inspiration. Sometimes you just have to start writing and see what comes to you. Allow your mind to open up and your crazy imagination to take over (trust me, it’s there.) Let your mind that is blank with ideas be filled with all sorts of wild images and absurd ideas.

And then, when the time comes, find your inspiration and start writing.

Inspire

The Pros and Cons of Book to Movie Adaptions

From the paper to the big screen, books being adapted into movies are quite popular nowadays. There are so many times that I walk into a book store or some other, and pick up a book, only to see that it has the little sticker with the words: “Soon to be a major motion picture” on it. There’s a big difference between a book and a big screen, especially when it comes to book adaptions. It’s pretty much bookworms versus moviegoers in the book-to-movie adaptions. 

And though there are some book-lovers that despise when their favorite books are being adapted into movies, there are always pros and cons to book adaptions. 

One thing is that books have much more detail. In books, we’re actually inside the narrator’s head. With movies, we are watching from an outside point-of-view. We get more feeling, more depth, and we learn to connect with the characters more in books than in movies. In books we are able to feel exactly what the narrator is feeling; feelings such as sorrow, happiness, the experience of a death.

We understand the motivations of the characters more because it is thoroughly explained. Sometimes movies explain things, but they don’t go into extreme depth that books might. 

But one thing I love about books turned into movies is how we can see everything. Instead of using our imagination to whip up some crazy image while we are reading the book, we get to see it visually. And that’s pretty cool. We get to see the setting, the characters that match the book character’s description, and we get to experience it all with our eyes. It’s an amazing little pro to book adaptions. 

There are a few people I know that hate books being adapted into movies. Depending on how you look at book adaptions, you may or may not think this way. But some bookworms dislike when their favorite books are turned into a movie. The books might become a teen sensation or everyone starts to swarm because of how great the movie is. And it’s no longer as precious and personal to the reader as it once was, now that’s shared with everyone. 

Or they might worry that the movie will completely sink. The might think it will crash and burn if the movie doesn’t live up to the book’s expectation. And sometimes that’s true. Sometimes movies aren’t that great and don’t even compare to the book. So it’s reasonable if the movie sucks. 

Yet, there are some books that are adapted into movies, and they are absolutely perfect! The movie might not have all the details and it might be missing some scenes from the book, but sometimes the movies live up to its expectations. It just depends on how the book is taken and turned into a film.  

And then there’s something different. Instead of books being turned into movies, the movies get turned into books. For example, Snow White and the Huntsman. Originally that was a movie, and now it’s got a book. And the book is a nice read. And how about Disney’s Maleficent? The movie has a book now. It’s nice how after seeing the movie (or before) we can visit the story in a whole new perspective, deeper and in the form of words, not motion pictures. 

The pros and cons of book adaptions go on. But it depends on how the book is played out on the big screen that we can really judge if it’s really that bad. Book adaptions can be successful, or they can be not so successful. Either way, there are good things and bad things linked to book to movie adaptions. 

Book to MovieMovie

Character Development

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
― Helen Keller

Character development is an important part of writing or reading a novel. It may start as soon as the first page is turned, or it might not be shown until the end of the book. Either way, characters of a book, whether it be written or read, should always be developed further. Character development is creating a character’s background, personality, appearance, and further changing them as they go through hardships and tough trials. That is how character development is. 

We develop our characters by describing them. Appearance, personality, background, their past, and their physical and mental shape. All characters should developed in books. As we follow them throughout the book, characters will be revealed. It can be a slow process, finding out the character’s personality and describing their appearance, their attitude towards things that seem almost impossible, or hard. 

We cannot go through a book that does not have character development. Is it possible to read a book and not know anything about the character that we are reading about? No. We have to know what they look like, how they act, their internal and external motivations and conflicts. We need to know to them, personality-wise. It would be no fun to read through and entire book and in the end, not understand the character, or characters, at all! 

Background is also important. All characters have a past, ones that they will either be ashamed of and hide away, or ones that they are happy to have. If characters have constant struggles with their past, we, the readers, should understand sooner of later what those struggles are. What caused the character to be ashamed of their past? What made them the way they are now? 

It can be a slow process, tiny clips of their past being revealed, one day becoming a puzzle solved. After all, characters should be puzzled if there are characters that have inner-conflict with themselves because of their past. It should develop further. . . 

And wouldn’t we like to know if the character has red or brown hair? Hazel or blue eyes? Maybe a mix of both? Characters’ appearances should further develop until they are described. Hair color, eye color, skin color. These are all important developments so that we can have a mental picture of what the character look likes. Otherwise we just go through the entire book not really finding out what the character looks like. 

One tiny detail can paint an entire picture for us about the characters. 

Character development is a long process. Usually, if it is in a series, we learn something new about the character(s), whatever it be. Characters can be developed by an explanation, an action, or something that makes them do something, which will make them grow to become a more realistic person. The characters we read about or write about should expand as we dive deeper into the printed pages. Character development is an essential of writing a novel.

Character Development

Characteristics For Characters

Humble. Kind. Trustworthy. Caring.

These are all characteristics, or traits. Characteristics distinguish us, and book characters, by giving them unique qualities and attributes. Characteristics are the things that make us who we are, whether we be loving or modest, it’s a characteristic. And when it comes to creating a book, movie, or play character, characteristics are an important part of doing so.

When we create a book character, or rather read about a book character, we want them to have this uniqueness to them, something that makes them different from the others. Each character should be different. Otherwise, if they were all the same, it would just come out as boring and. . . dull, as simply put. There is nothing better than having a character that is special in their own way, something that we can distinguish from the rest of the characters. We want our characters to be honest, and/or caring, and many other things.

We want our characters to be one of a kind.

If every book, movie, and/or play had the exact same character, wouldn’t it get tiring? Wouldn’t you be bored? Wouldn’t you eventually lose interest? That is exactly why we need characteristics for our characters. And trust me when I say, there are plenty of characteristics to make an array of different characters.

Smart. Courageous. Brave. Determined. The list goes on and on and on. There is no possible way for me to list every single characteristic, but I have listed a few of them in this post already. There’s a possibility that we can never run out of characteristics to make our characters.

We all want to open up a book to the first page, and know that the story will be different. Different plot, different characters, different genres. We do not want every book to have a character that is kind, caring, and intelligent. Why not have a distinct variety of characters? Unless the book’s sole purpose is to have each and every character be completely the same, then we need to have the unique individuals.

There is no reason not to.

I mean, depending on the book, the character might need to be brave, or clever, or both. The character might need to charming, but clumsy, and the villain might need to arrogant and caustic. The girl might need to be compassionate, and decisive, because, let’s face it, a lot of people do not like indecisive characters.

Books might need elegant queens, idealistic villains, and humble servants. Each character needs characteristics to make them them. We need good characteristics for heroes and the good ones, and bad, or misunderstood, characteristics for villains. It depends on the book you read or write, or the movie you watch.

And this is not just in book or movie characters. We have characteristics too. These are what make us unique. Maybe I got you thinking about your own characteristics, your own traits. Or maybe you’re thinking about a book you might be writing or reading, and you are thinking about the characters.

Whatever it be, they should be unique.

Characteristics

The Many Different Characters of Fiction

Without characters, we wouldn’t have books, movies, or plays. But in this case, we’re talking about book characters. 

Let’s face it, characters are great. Most of them, anyway. Characters are the people we follow through the pages of a book, the people we journey with through thick and thin. We know everything they know, sometimes even more. And we always cry when a sad part comes up, or laugh when there’s an especially funny moment during the chapter. I mean, what could we do without characters? 

Books wouldn’t even exist. Except for maybe school books and encyclopedias and dictionaries. But we wouldn’t have those amazing books where we hide from our troubles and enter a totally different world, one where anything can happen. Characters are one of the most important things in fiction and non-fiction. In fact, they are a necessity when it comes to writing a novel. 

Characters are wonderful, and we can do anything we want with them. When writing a book, we can make the character unique and different in their own way. We can make them perfect or flawed, prissy or tomboyish. We can even make them intelligent and perceptive, or a complete bonehead at that. Characters can be anything we want them to be. As long as we have imagination and creativity to guide us along the way. 

They are made when an author dreams up an individual, and adds a personality, appearance, and a story to go along with it. I think an important part of having a character is that sooner or later they should experience a physical, mental, or emotional change. It’s called development, and each and every character of fiction or non-fiction deserves to experience just that. Development. 

Yet, there isn’t just a hero and a villain. There’s so much more than that. I am pretty sure that everyone has read at least one book that has more than just the hero and villain. There’s a lot more to it, and that’s exactly what I want to talk about in today’s post. 

First off, we have the protagonist. The hero/heroine, the main character. The protagonist is the person we follow from the beginning to the end. They are the one that the story revolves around, and they are important to the story. We can’t have a story without them. 

The protagonist can be the one that saves the day, whether it be visible or hidden from the beginning. They’re the ones that usually fight and win and prosper after defeating the evil side. We might know that they’re going to be the hero, sometimes it’s a little more shadowed from the reader’s eyes. Without the protagonist, there would be no story. 

Then we have the antagonist, the evil one, the villain. The very bane to the existence of the protagonist. They destroy, demolish, obliterate, and ruin everything. At least until the hero arrives and saves the day (which may or may not happen.) But either way, the antagonist is just another way of saying wickedly evil. 

Usually, the antagonist will do something, destroy something, or perhaps do something very, very bad. They are necessary to the story, usually. It just depends on the story. Anyway, without the antagonist, we don’t have a good story. There (usually) absolutely has to be something to motivate the antagonist. The Hades to our Hercules. 

But I am just going to go ahead and say it. It’s sometimes hard to hate the antagonist. I mean, come on, who can hate Heath Ledger as the Joker? (Rest In Peace, Heath Ledger) 

Joker

There’s a lot more characters in books. Maybe more than one protagonist, or more than one antagonist. We have a range of characters that doesn’t limit us to just two characters, a hero and a villain. In books, we also have minor characters. They are not the main character, they are not the villain. They are simply on the sidelines, but they are there for a reason. 

In dramas, we have the deuteragonist, the second most important characters. I am not very experienced in the drama department, so I cannot write about something I don’t know much about. We also have the tritagonist, which translates as the third most important characters. Pretty interesting, huh?

I love minor characters though, and I am sure that a lot of people will agree with me on this one. Batman is the protagonist, but we still love Robin (he might not be a minor character, but the story doesn’t revolve around him.) Robin’s pretty great. There’s not many sidekicks that get their own comic series. 

I can go on and on and on all day about the many different characters of fiction and non-fiction, never stopping until I name each and every one of them. But this post has got to end sooner or later. But hopefully I got you thinking about how important characters are. There isn’t just the major characters that the story revolves around. There are the minor characters, quietly waiting in the shadows until they can have a little spotlight moment. 

Characters are great, and we cannot help but love most of them. 

“Then” and “Than”

Then and than. Homonyms. 

Two totally different meanings, but they sound almost exactly alike. The words then and than are very similar in spelling and sound. There’s only one letter off that doesn’t make them the same. They’re not the same, different from each other. Still, why do some people mix up the two words? I browse the internet a lot for a lot of different things, and sometimes I happen to come upon the mixed of words of then and than. I do not have a huge fit, even though I’m a Grammar Nazi –

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– it just bothers me that the word isn’t correct. It is a possibility that the person wasn’t paying attention, or maybe he/she just typed in the wrong letter when they were writing really fast. Or maybe they just don’t know the difference. I think, though, that once you figure out the different meanings and can easily tell the difference.

“Then” refers to a time when something takes, or has taken, place. “Then she met him,” “Then it all changed,” “Then we had pizza”. Once you pick up on it, it’s easy to remember. It just sort of prints into your brain, and then voila, you know “then”. And now I feel like I’m giving a Language Arts lesson in a classroom. . . I don’t think that’s supposed to happen.

“Than” compares to something. “She was braver than the other contestant,” and “the teacher was smarter than the younger kids”, and so on. 

See? Totally different, yet so similar. It’s easy to confuse the words, especially when you are writing in a rush, than then you don’t really catch that mix-up. There are a few times that I have written something, looked back, and saw that I messed up then with than, or the other way around. It’s not always something you think about, it could just be a mistake. Perhaps next time you write something (blog post, facebook status, novel, etc.), you won’t have to wonder if you mixed up those words. It’s easy to remember once you understand the difference. 

Who knew that two words could be so alike, yet so different. Kind of like identical twins. They look the same, but they have different personalities, tastes in fashion, wants and needs. The list goes on and on. Identical twins are actually a great example of then and than. 

There are many other words that sound the same but have different meanings. There’s their, they’re, and there, here and hear, write and right. I could go on and on all day of the different words sounding alike. There are probably hundreds of thousands of those darn homonyms, and I’ll never be able to count them all. But hey, at least I got then and than out of the way! 

Simple as that. 

then