Tag Archives: tips

The characters

The soul of your story

Welcome to the most exciting writing journey part: the creation of characters. This is the moment you were preparing for, the two minutes of glory for your never forgotten underlying schizophrenic side. Yes, because if you are a writer, maybe you experienced speaking by yourself multiple times and not necessarily under the shower.

Characters, by Daniele Frau.

In the middle of the night

Correct me if I’m wrong, ok? You wake up suddenly in the middle of the night with the urge to scribble an idea. Ordinary people keep a water bottle close to their bed, but you don’t. Oh no, you have a piece of paper and a pen/pencil, right?

That sensation, the urge to put your idea down, is so intense that you cannot wait until morning. Then, if you’re lucky, you go to sleep. In your dreams, that story you had in mind, that tiny seed starts flourishing, growing slowly in your deepest fantasies. But it gets all trapped there, unfortunately.

True story, true characters

When you wake up in the morning, you take the piece of paper as written by an alien hand. True story, once I woke up with this written close to my face:

“G. is a spider born in a butterfly body. He ruminates about his former life while she sees a spider going slowly down to eat her. She doesn’t remember the spider language. Death.”

I remember it made me sick the whole day. I was writing something else, and suddenly I heard the screaming of the poor butterfly trying to remember her old language to save her life.

All this to say that all writers, deep inside, are troubled. We have so many issues and we’re not shy to put them on paper for strangers to judge us. However, there’s nothing more exciting than creating new, compelling characters. One thing I really despise is when an excellent plot has a flow in the characters’ construction.

You notice that, strangely, all the characters start meeting up only between themselves. Sometimes some new character arrives, as a cameo or a funny twist as in Friends and then it disappears.

Yes, I know I don’t have to expect much in a serial with pre-recorded laughing. Still, you can see when the characters are just flat figures moving their lips automatically.

Suppose a character is a poor skill-less actor. In that case, the best twist possible is to make him completely different, not indulge in his poor skill quality and stupidity until the end of time. And that’s precisely what happens.

The reasons?

People love these flat characters, they say. I don’t know about that. You can be lucky once or twice if people really start loving those characters for what they are and don’t want them to change. Though, most of the time, you just start digging your grave. 

So, now let’s start working on our character building and we’ll do so follow a book that I believe is one of the best in the market. For sure, it was a life-changer for me for many reasons.

A simple, economical way to auto-psycho-analyze your tiny writer’s brain.

I’m talking about the book Getting into the character by Brandlyin Collins.

Keep reading my stories here

See you soon!

Daniele Frau

A dirty job

How to be hooked

A few months ago, I was reading an exciting book called Hooked, by Les Edgerton. While I was hooked by the book, discovering new techniques to engage a reader, I find out something else. I found out a book that, in a few lines, was able to take me deep into the writer’s world. And it doesn’t happen every day. The book was A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.

When I finished it, I asked myself: it would be the same if I’d rather watched a movie instead of reading this story in a book?

Literature vs. Movies

Which one has the most significant “hook”?

I don’t think it’s an easy question to answer. First of all, both books and movies are, and they will always be connected. All the best movies come from a fantastic book or script. And many books are more and more “visual”, citing and referring to movies. What changes sometimes is the audience they’re referred. In some cases, when people want to lay down on a sofa and relax, they don’t want to do it with a book in their hands. Maybe they’re with their wife, and they want to spend their quality time watching something together.

A book is private

Yes, this can be a first answer.

A book is a private game between you and the author. He never had to know how much time and effort the author had to put together to give birth to a single phrase, sometimes. The reader has to jump into the new world she has to discover, and the only way to do so is to forget there is a writer there, somewhere. In this sense, it’s obviously easier for an excellent writer to hook a reader. What a writer has to do is to whisper the right words in the ears of the reader, and he will be tempted to turn the next page.

A dirty, dirty job

Coming back to A dirty Job, you can it’s the quintessence of what I said before. You turn each page thinking:

“And now?”

Your precious key enters in a new keyhole. And this is a magic sensation, something rare, captivating. You feel like the first man entering a pyramid after thousands of years.

What is the story about?

The story is about a beta male who, after losing his wife, finds himself trapped in an unwanted and quite crazy job. Eventually, he will adjust to his new life and routine, but you won’t know who the enemies are and who the good boys are there until you turn the last page.

A world in which souls can be exchanged through an object. A book that profoundly influenced me when writing my book Souls Alive.

Thanks, Christopher Moore.

If you want to read another great book, have a look to The queen’s gambit.

Daniele Frau