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About This Club

A club specifically focused on sharing any knowledge, insights or things you've picked up on writing and narrative in all shapes and sizes. Unlike the writer's clubs, this is more focused on teaching and learning new things, rather than sharing individual stories, so please feel free to join both! From people either getting into writing or those who have had years of experience doing so, anyone and everyone can learn or teach! Thus, I welcome you, to the writer's archive!
  1. What's new in this club
  2. An introduction, such as it is: So, we all know the character archetypes this falls into, be it a character or set of characters that are unable to speak due to any number of reasons. But the thing is, how do you create a compelling silent or mute character? Especially if said character isn't in the spotlight, how can you really rely on your own writing and the characters input to express to the audience what you want them to know and feel when needed? That, is something I'll try and depart my knowledge on today. I would like to forewarn you that this is all based on my own knowledge, research and development over my small amount of time writing, but I think I can at least part something usable Now, let's see here… What types of mute character types are there? Mute character archetypes can come in a variety or forms, as silence can be interpreted in varying different ways and for many different reasons. As it stands, coming up with a defined character archetypes for the involvement of silence is the same as trying to make a simple category for character types that speak; you have to put them into loose titles at least. While I would say that every kind of mute character is different in one way or another, I would like to try and device them into a few separate categories, and go from there. These include; Mute or silent due to physical inability Mute or silent due to psychological events/prevention Speech impediments and other things that create difficulty speaking Language divide Psychic/Telepathic speech over physical While this list isn't exactly everything, it's my own definition of character types within this archetype that I have personally had to deal with either in stories or game narrative. So, without further ado, allow me to explain further. Mute/Silent due to physical Inability: What exactly do they entail: If you’ve been an avid fan of any series, you would have more then likely come into contact with at least one or two of these characters before. These are the kinds of characters who can't speak either due to something physically preventing them, or struggle to speak because of these physical prevention. This can be in the form of something blocking their mouth, a past event leading to them being unable to use their tongue, or even birth defects/situations that make it hard for them to speak (Like braces) Ways of making/showing these kinds of characters: Characters like these can be made in a variety of different ways based on the exact reason for why they are the way they are. It is important to remember that, for the most part, many mute characters who are the way they are where never mute to begin with, but due to circumstances, can no longer speak. Thus, it is incredibly important to know exactly what you want to go for before you do it. Like all other characters, it is best to map out information about them, before turning to their past and reasoning for being mute/silent. Then, play into this trope by both highlighting it, then finding the positives and negatives that this comes with, for the specific thing that is keeping them from speaking. Try to envision how said characters would feel, and try to give them a mindset that embodies their point of view on the entire situation. Are they happy with their inability to speak? How have they counteracted it, exedra. Lastly, it is important to highlight key personality tropes that would either change or have developed due to said Mute/silent nature. This includes their primary source of communication, as those unable to speak will require a separate form of communication, such as sign language. Continued development of said character type: When looking at continued development for these kinds of characters, it is best to consider empathy to the character, before continuing with the narrative. Try to utilise the character around others, while also showing development and consistency with how the mute/silent character speaks or reacts to situations. Although this varies from character to character, it is best to usually find ways to either bolster the characters normally and comfort around the other main characters In their way of communicating, since over time they should be able to pick up on their quirks for attempting to speak. Remember that lack of voice usually means they would make up for it in other ways, either in a different form of communication or over exaggerated or very quick expressions. The negatives: Mute/silent characters of this type tend to become very niche if you try to simply add one for the sake of adding one. So long as the character makes sense for being the way they are, however, the narrative should play out rather well. Without others in a group, or without having a variety of other personalities, these kinds of characters can become pushed into the background, or simply feel unnaturally out of place. As with a lot of silent characters, it's hard to pinpoint responses without a lack of voice, especially if the character is not the protagonist and the story doesn't follow their point of view, since you can sometimes cause confusion They are overly hard characters to write in general, although tend to be easier then the other versions of silent/mute characters. The positives: They tend to give a lot of variety to a group, and can be used for pretty major plot devices They can bring a sense of normality to an otherwise outcasted setting, while also being used to represent other means, such as repression in everyday life Mute characters are Incredibly fun to play around with, especially for their initial reason for being mute, either by force or with a birth defect. When written well, they can express far more emotion then any other character can, but it tends to be hard to do. Conclusion: Physical impatient tends to be the way to go when it comes down to developing a mute character, as it gives a solid reason for them to be the way they are. However, just because they are that way, doesn't mean that it becomes a norm to them. It's should be good to consider their responses to things, and their development over time, especially when it comes to them wanting to yell out for anything, but being unable to do so. Regardless, however, physical restraints as an act of creating a mute character are a good way to go about it, but should be done as a part of the character, not as the characters "main plot point" Mute/Silent due to Psychological Events/prevention: What exactly do they entail: As we all know, the human mind tends to play a major part in a lot of psychological stories. Mute and silent characters can be made in a way explained by their own psychosis, either due to a traumatic past or their own thoughts nagging deeper at them. These are the characters who are silent out of mental anguish, mute out of their own brains inability to allow them, or even make them want to speak. Thus, these are some of the hardest to write, but some of the more interesting, variants of mute character. Ways of making/showing these kinds of characters: Making a psychologically mute character is harder then it sounds, but tends to be far more rewarding. When it comes to their initial design, it is oftentimes best to plan a simple character out initially, before building their past and working on their history. You'll want to find either a traumatic event, or stage of events, that lead to said character falling into either their own mind, or reaching a mental barrier that they can't cross. One of the best ways to show this is usually from the character's point of view, however those who want to design said characters from an outside point of view are in for an Incredibly difficult time. It's best to really spend some time to get into said characters head, get to know their deepest, darkest fears, and worries, to try and pinpoint exactly where the mind fractures into an impassable barrier. The way you make these barriers is up to you, however one must always consider that the mind can be a very fragile thing, and some are far stronger then others. But even so, to make a character fall mute is usually down to something Incredibly dark, or twisted, or simply an ongoing pitfall into one's own head. But, once you have an idea, run with it, and see if it sticks! If not, there is never any shame in going back to the drawing board and starting again, since any psychological character will require a lot of work to develop. Continued development of said character type: Proceeding with the character tends to be Incredibly hard work. While getting the groundwork in is hard enough, you will want to really emphasise the characters emotional responses to things (or lack of) due to the silence. Depending on what character you are going for, you should really consider if the character feels natural, or overly forced. Sometimes you'll find that mite characters with an established horrid event in their past will have friends beforehand that either don't understand what had happened or become agitated with said characters/supportive of said characters. It is Incredibly important to show both halves of the coin, and to give a realistic feeling to said emotional responses, while simultaneously developing the mute characters feelings over time. You have to remember that development on these kinds of things takes plenty of time, as emotional webs tend to run very, very deep. The very best way to really further development for these characters, as an ultimate goal, is to get them speaking again. The act of speech portrays the idea of a barrier that said character has to overcome, so utilising either a separate character to emphasise the character good points,nor to share the characters pain, is a very strong way of slowly developing them over time. The negatives: Characters like these can end up winding up the audience if done incorrectly, as they can feel very unrealistic or simply over exaggerated/non-relatable When not protested from said character's point of view, it becomes very hard to focus on the characters mental state, making it very hard for a reader to follow if done incorrectly. To really get an idea of how the human mind works, you may need to spend some time deep diving into psychology, just to get a feel for the characters mental state, which may take some time. Is not strictly necessary, but makes the world of difference As mentioned above, they can be very hard to relate to, due to the extremes of their mental state The positives: Characters like these give ample opportunity to become Incredibly interesting and plot-heavy characters They allow for a deep insight into the human mind, and how it deals with stress or trauma They can truly bring out a very deep connection between the two characters, as there requires a very deep and intimate level of trust and understanding there tend to allow the reader an emotional roller-coaster when done right, which always draws in a good audience Conclusion: While they tend to be Incredibly hard to make, the risk/reward for psychologically mute characters allows for a great narrative to be made? While they are hard to pull off as a newer writer, there is never harm in trying them out to give you a deeper insight into characters and their thought processes. But, I would strongly recommend building up to characters like these, simply due to the amount of care and attention required to make them. Speech impediments and other things that create difficulty speaking: What exactly do they entail: As the title suggests, these are characters who struggle to speak due to impairments such as a lisp, stutters, stammers and the likes of it. While this could technically be implemented into one of the categories above, I wanted to make a separate tab for them, due to the unique ideas that each can bring to the table. Ways of making/showing these kinds of characters: Utilising a speech impediment, while similar in habit to making any mute character, has a bit of a difference to its creation process and development. While you would still create them from a base template first, you would then go on to consider exactly what kind of speech impairment they have, and build up on them from there. Remember that speech impairments tend to create a level of awkwardness for the character, which would mean that a safe bet would be to make them shy or younger, allowing for an easy, albeit fun to develop, character. These can vary however you please, but try to consider exactly how their speech impairment would have affected them over the years, which would give their overall opinion on themselves, others and their own speech. Continued development of said character type: It is important to note that they will follow a similar trope to any other character, except either slowly learning to find active ways to help themselves, or to become confident enough in themselves to not let their speech impairments hinder them. Character development like this will happen over time, but should always be in the background as a part of who the individual is, really breathing life into said character. The negatives: Can be rather tropey Can be kind-of hard and annoying to write they are talking all the time, which they shouldn't be, but can sometimes become a little convoluted Can be hard to represent or inconsistent if you haven't already made one/gotten your own knack for writing their POV The positives: Tend to be one of the easier mute/silent characters to write, and are quite good for beginners Are always Incredibly interesting to build upon Are. Great introduction into human psychosis, and give a good example of support and trust too. If utilised effectively, can be used for many different themes as well, such as showing off the activeness of music in helping the human mind relax. Conclusion: While far more simple then other character types, these have always been by far my favourites. Fun to write, simple to start with but can develop into particularly interesting and solid characters. What more could you ask for? Language divide: What exactly do they entail: While I was considering leaving this one out, I decided it was best to just cover it as we were on the similar theme. Language device tends to be another good way to show off particularly interesting plot-lines in narrative, as the disconnect in languages can lead to allot of isolation, or some amusing sense of comedy. Ways of making/showing these kinds of characters: You can either make these characters overly unaware or blissfully unaware of what's being said to them, or hyperactivity unable to understand and stressed about it. Either way leads down a more comedic route. Or, consider the disconnect as a sign of loneliness, and all of a sudden you have a very sad, depressing outlook on a person's life, unable to really connect with others due to the language divide. Either way, there are plenty of possibilities here to go for. Continued development of said character type: While this part of the character will usually not be their main draw, it's best to develop this part of them by simply allowing them to understand more about the language or culture, showing you how the character can become more confident in speaking as time goes by. They can also become more sociable, allowing for a direct sense of improvement. (No real positives or negatives for this one, as it's more of a small part of the character then anything.) Conclusion: While it's safe to assume that these are far easier to implement then the others, having a character with a language disconnect can lead to some really interesting plot devices, especially if you are able to write in both languages. Bit, this is more of a small part to a character, so either way developing said disconnect can really play into an already great character idea. Psychic/telepathic communication: What exactly do they entail: These are characters that are able to communicate telepathically, and require no need to actively speak. These kinds of characters can either be humanoid or alien and strange in a perplexing manner, but will always be interesting to write about regardless. Ways of making/showing these kinds of characters: As always, it's best to start out with writing said characters background, before getting into this segment. However, unlike the others about, the way you do this is simply up to you, as the telepathic element can truly shine in many ways. You could make it so that characters can simply speak utilising their thoughts, therefore having no need to use their voice, or they could send emotional responses via telepathy, which gives a character an idea of exactly what said character wants, without any words being exchanged. The possibility for greatness is up to you! Continued development of said character type: Continuing to develop character with telepathic abilities tends to be as straightforward as telepathy itself...not very. It can sometimes be extremely convoluted to write said character archetypes, as one has to remember that it's outside of our normal ideas of how humanoids should interact. However, so long as you have an idea for the character, and you know exactly how you want them to be portrayed, simply going for it is the best option, as many of these character archetypes have never been done before. So, after throwing ideas at the wall, if they stick, then go with them. If not, the. It's best to simply start from scratch. The negatives: Can be massively convoluted Emotionless for the most part on the surface Lack of speech can lead to awkward interactions when considering writing a group conversation The positives: Fun to write Can be used to create a major sense of difference between humanity and other life Can be utilised to give character a more unique outlook among a group, especially if another character is already must or has a speech impediment. Conclusion: While strange to write about, the telepathic rout can lead to its own forms of mute characters. With that being said, they don't always fit into story-lines, and can be somewhat convoluted if attention to detail is skimmed over. However, they are always good fun to work on. Summary: To give a brief summary, mute characters are just that; mute. They don't speak (or rarely speak) due to either a physical and/or mental,l or even a lack of desire to do so. While this is a pretty major plot point for said character, it is best to never make this the characters soul plot point, and is instead a good way to give a character flaw that they can overcome while achieving something else. Be this through the aid of others, their own insight into themselves, or the ability to let go of a past, regardless of the way you do it, just remember one thing; Sometimes silence, in any form, can speak far louder then words. Extra: Make sure to be very expressive with character who still want to/try to speak but can't. Make up for their lack of voice by making them far more physically emotional Try not to over-complicate the character. They are like any other character, just with a flaw that defines a part of who the character is, and what they may be trying to overcome
  3. Never a problem! I'll try and get the comic/manga style narrative done after game characters, so it may be a little while, but will definitely be done :3 still, if you find you need any more help, always happy to oblige! ^-^
  4. This was actually extremely helpful, it gives me a good place to start working. If I remember correctly, in your character development post you spoke about creating the basic structure of a character and I think that's what i'm going to start with. My friend and I have a pretty set idea of the characters and setting, as well as some thoughts on plot. Also, if you do create a topic on comic/manga style writing it would be really helpful and I could learn a lot from it, but if not then thank you for the info you already gave. It really has helped me get my footing with this area of writing.
  5. Firstly and foremost, I think I'll try and cover writing in a comic/manga style in a bigger topic for the archive, since it's kinda a lot more in-depth then it first would sound. But to give a bit of a more breif answer now; Writing in a comic style is far more varied then you would otherwise get in a regular story. What you want to do is follow how the art portrays a scene, and write in context to that imagery, especially if you are showing the story while following a main character. The idea is that the imagery is what truly shows a reader the world. The text, as well as the writing, is what puts flavour into the characters and how they perceive things. Let me try devising this up into two parts though; character speach and descriptive narrative. Character speach: you will mainly use this to show speach from each character. My suggestion would be to make a profile for the character outside the comic, get a feel for how they would speak, then write naturally how they would react and speak to the contexts they are in. Descriptive text: these can be done outside of scenes, but to give some detail to things. Try and avoided being too descriptive, bit try to give enough that the text warrants existing. Remember that the key to a good comic is show-dont-tell, as the imagery is what can truly draw a reader in. Anyway, while that was a bit short, I hope that helps for now in some way or another. And seriously, best of luck to the two of you! What you are going to start doing sounds utterly awesome, so do your best!!! :3
  6. My friend has been interested in creating a comic of some sort and asked me to write the story while she does the illustrations. I write pretty often in my free time, but usually just fanfictions and short stories. I have no idea how to write in a comic/manga style, it seems very different from just writing a story and i'm not sure where to start. We already have a basic idea of characters and setting, any tips on hows to write in that format?
  7. So far, I am currently working on a lesson revolving around the use of mute/silent characters within narrative, but afterward I want to also delve into character narrative within video games. Other then that, nothing else on the back burner yet. Let me know if there is anything you want made or written about. Always happy to help if I can ^^
  8. As the tittle suggests, Is there anything in particular about writing or narrative (In any format mind you) that you would like to know about? asking should help people get an idea as to what topics to teach about!
  9. *Please keep in mind that this was a lesson I made for my class back when I was in college. Its a far more simple outlook on character development, and is aimed more toward upstarting writers. Still, hope you enjoy!* So, the crux of it all; What exactly is a character? Within every story is a host of characters. These are the individuals or individual that the narrator is portraying within the story. Subjectively, characters are the focus of most stories, and will be the husks of emotional driven narrative. However, the question then is; “What exactly does it take to create and develop a good character?”. Well, while the question can be lead to a varied answer from individual to individual, there is always an undoubted truth that characters who feel “Real and true to themselves” are better than tropey husks within a narrative devoid of character development…..right? In this simplified outlook into the nature of character development, I hope to try and provide you with some key ideas to keep in mind when developing a character and to provide you with a solid method of creating and developing a character as your story/stories develop. The Importance of a character? It's sometimes hard to see the importance of a character within a story, as many different narratives place their characters in so many situations that it's hard to grasp at what is necessary or not to make the characters unique, interesting and above all else, fit into the narrative fluidly. While it's difficult to give a clear answer regarding their importance, it is safe to note that characters create a situation where the reader is either able to relate to that character, or find their situation or personality interesting in some way. Characters allow for the reader to follow their story as a kind of overhead viewer, allowing the reader to observe the characters from afar, and in some cases feel as though they are part of the story themselves. While different stories each follow different settings and narrative designs, this won't exactly be the case for all characters, but at its core a character is designed to be a husk in which the story can revolve around or flow with. It is important to understand that Characters are in place to be used by the writer to draw in an audience, and to allow the audience to connect with that character in some way or another, be it positively or negatively. Greater writers will even use this to create a giant mix of emotions in such a way that the reader feels compelled to question the individual character in question, which can really emphasise the humanity and individual thought put into a character. Considerations to take when creating a character, and putting ideas down on paper? When it eventually comes to finally forming a character for your own story, it is important to start by considering everything about your story first. It’s important to know exactly who your main character is, and why they are important in some way or another (or why they are not important, which can lead to more interesting development processes). Depending on whether or not you have already come up with ideas about the world in which the story is meant to take place, then you can start by revolving everything about your character around an arc that would make sense. Moreover, it is important to begin and decide other characters as well. While it may seem easy to simply create a few characters and be done with it, side characters can actually be one of the most interesting plot points in a story. Making a well-rounded team with the ability to communicate fluently with one another (be it negatively or positively) would seem more appealing to a reader then one in which a whole bunch of characters were thrown together with poorly designed narrative toward one another. In other words, it's best to begin by creating a basis for a set of characters, building them up, then start to work out their personalities and traits as time goes by. Moreover, there are other considerations to note as well, such as: Where the character will start and why? What is the goal of the character? Why is the character related to the story (What is their purpose)? How will these characters interact with one another? The narratives that each of the characters will follow, and how those narratives cross and connect. Splitting up personalities to prevent clashes (Characters with the same personality set should have their own unique twist, otherwise they become too similar. The only exception to this would be if it's intentional) Think of the reasons why a character is the way they are. Developing a character over time, rather than making them set from the beginning. Forming unique relationships between the reader and the character, while maintaining an element of secrecy and mystery into their personalities. Keeping a set of goals clear when developing a character throughout the story When it comes to finally putting ideas to paper, my advice would be to always rattle off exactly what you think all the time. Because at the end of the day, each of us will come up with billions of unique or tropey ideas, yet we won't know exactly what works and what doesn't until we get to crafting ideas. So, the best way to sort this out would be to create a simple mind map. While it may appear simple on the surface, creating a mind-map with one or two words per piece allows you to simply look back over it, grab a bunch of elements there and combine them. This combination of elements will then be what you use to create a simple outline of a character. While you don't have to follow this step, it's best to do so in order to keep and maintain ideas. This can also be done in bullet points, through the creation of small narratives or through individual quotes. As an example, try creating a brainstorm for a character, with this set theme in mind: “War” Setting themes like this narrows things down to a point, yet still leaves an endless amount of things for you to think about in a narrative sense. Basic structure of a character and going into detail? Once you have a brainstorm, you will want to start refining your ideas into set characters. In order to do this, you will take elements and words from the brainstorms, and write them on a separate piece of paper for the character in question. Doing so will allow you to create incredibly small descriptions that are extremely flexible. It’s important to have flexibility in mind when starting with a character. If you are already set on giving a character a specific plot-line or quirk, then you will still want to keep other elements of the character under some kind of flexible arrangement, otherwise the character won't show some form of progression. So, when designing the basic outline of a character: Simply take ideas from the brainstorm that you like, and see what sticks well together. Try to think of reasons behind your choices, but don't look into too much detail just yet. Doing so can lead you to rushing a character's development before others, which will then lead into you changing the character later. Remember that any ideas can go, as long as they stick to the theme you are working towards (Unless the idea going against the theme is apart of it.) Once you have the idea for your character in place, and you have all the elements you want to use, you will then begin to refine your ideas and go into detail. This will usually involve following a list of specifications in order to create a character profile. In essence, a character profile should describe everything about the character, from their appearance to their personalities, as well as their skills, likes, dislikes, exedra. You will want to go into as much detail as you would like, since this will be what you reference for that character in the future. That being said, you don't have to stick to the initial ideas, you can always change a character around a little bit in order to suit the story. However, if you do so, be prepared to go back and alter allot, since you will always want your character to stay true to themselves, since it adds a realistic personality to them. This sense of personality is vital in any character. While you add detail, try to change the character around a little bit, in order to show progression. This can be done through the use of an altered appearance at one stage in the story, leading to the character's appearance changing. Adding small details like this will help with story progression later, and will add long-short term goals for you to focus on. Once you have ideas in place, it would also be advisable to create a moodboard for your character. Simply taking images to represent elements of their physical appearance or things about them will allow you to have a set concept and image in your mind when working with the narrative. Implementing and continuing a character within narrative? Once you have your character, you will want to begin to place him/her into the narrative. In order to do so, you must choose the importance of the character, as well as what area would most suit their importance to the narrative. If they are a main character, then they will want to be introduced near enough to the beginning, or introduced later in an important manner. In order to show their importance, you will need to give the character a fully fleshed out personality, as well as a greater description to show their importance. While this may seem intimidating to do at first, you will eventually learn to write out the character as though you were them, as you will eventually fall into knowing how they work off by heart. This kind of development, will then be shown throughout your story. With the idea of a personality revolving around a character, you are able to progressively learn about what makes a character tick, what their ambitions and quirks are, what they act like under certain situations, exedra. You will never openly dump information regarding a character all at once. Having no room for mystery on a character makes them predictable and boring (This is regarding all characters, not those who are made to be open. They are special cases, and are implemented for a greater purpose later down the line, or also for comedic effect.) Over time, you will want to continually develop your character. Once they have been given a set introduction, you will then want to consider the character's future and importance within the narrative. However, one of the more important things to note is that you're character is in fact a person. No matter what happens within your story, each one of your characters will react differently to situations, based on their personalities and interests. For example, a chaotic character wouldn't suddenly have a change of heart, unless they know the main cast well enough to do so. The same would apply to good characters, who wouldn't suddenly murder a bunch of civilians without feeling anything, or brushing it off as nothing important. (the only time this won't apply is if the character is devoid of emotion, in which case you will have to consider their reactions to situations) Continual development will focus mostly on the characters strengths and weaknesses, which will be continually pulled at throughout your narrative. What you will want to focus on is the changes that the character will go through, which either break these bonds apart, or strengthen them accordingly. While the strengths and weaknesses can be applied to physical and mental capabilities of the character, you will also want to focus on these strengths in regards to the characters everyday actions within the story. For example, the way a character will interact with those around him, and the relationship ties that come along with that. Other advice: Try using real world examples as a basis for a character. Linking a character to a person can often allow you to simply think about how that individual would react, then you can begin to develop them with relative ease and give them realistic development. Always write down and keep any ideas you come up with. Doing so will allow you to simply look back and take ideas for later story and character development. Try to avoid working with a character that you cannot connect with. As a writer, it is best to know your boundaries, and to stick with your strengths during the production of a story. However, in order to expand your knowledge on emotion and character development for certain mindsets, I would advise practising through the use of short stories first. That way, you can see if the frame of mind you are working towards is correct or not, and figure out ways to improve it. If you can't think of any ideas for a character, then take some time to sit back and chill out. Character generation is one of the hardest things to deal with, as you have to more or less create an individual with their own personality, along with every single part of their existence within your narrative world. Take all the time you need to think over ideas, but make sure to keep taking down notes in order to keep ideas jotted down in the hopes of gathering concepts that could work when combined. Final thoughts: while characters can be intimidating at first, its best just to jump in and sink your teeth into developing them. once you get the hang of crafting their role to fit a narrative, you'll often be proud of developing each and every character you come up with. while you may come across some duds here and there, they will allow you to learn from your mistakes, and use that knowledge to create bigger and better characters in the future. So, I hope you were able to learn at least something from this! thank you for reading, and good luck with your stories to come!!!

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