I wrote this snippet of backstory for my character, Rebecca. It may never be in the final draft, but writing a short scene helps me deepen my characters. After I wrote my rough draft, I put this piece into the The Hemingway Editor. This editor highlights adverbs, confusing sentences and when you used the passive voice. I found it very helpful.
Glass shattered. Rebecca startled awake. They’re fighting again. She looked over at her bedside clock. It was 1:57 am. She heard the sound of angry voices from the kitchen, but couldn’t understand what her parents were saying. Rebecca gripped her pink sheets and turned to her five-year old sister, who was curled up on the other side of the bed.
“Amelia, are you awake?” she whispered.
“Yes.” Amelia whimpered.
Rebecca moved closer to her sister and snuggled her close to her body. “It’ll be OK.” Rebecca said soothingly, though her eyes burned and her lip quivered. Amelia sniffled. I hate that it has to be this way.
Rebecca heard more incoherent yelling and a feminine scream followed by a loud crashing noise. Why does she let him treat her that way? Rebecca was used to nights like these. When she was younger she used to cry as her parents fought, but now she only cowered, berating herself for not being stronger, for not defending her mother. But, what can I do? He’ll just beat me if I try to stop him. A door slammed shut. Then a car started and sped away. Rebecca hugged Amelia tighter. The house was silent for a moment. Then Rebecca heard the hum of the T.V and her mother’s stifled sobs.
I find it very helpful to keep a writing binder for each of my story ideas. This keeps all my papers and notes from getting lost or wrinkled. I divide my three ring binder into different sections ex. characters, plot, setting, research with page dividers. I always have a regular lined notebook to write down random ideas or to brainstorm with my binder.
Here are the things that are in my ‘character’ tab:
- Each of my main and supporting character’s sketches.
- Each of my main and supporting character’s inspiration picture so I can envision them more clearly.
- K.M Weiland’s blog post on character archetypes.
- Any other helpful blog posts on creating or developing characters.
Tomorrow, I’ll show you what’s in my ‘plot’ tab!
I wrote this essay for a contest on Fanstory. The topic was write an argument against something controversial.
Love is something that is displayed constantly and in a variety of ways. From the earliest age, people are exposed to stories that focus heavily on romantic love. This glorification of romance puts love as the highest ideal. Because of this, teens feel pressure to enter into dating during high school. This has become the norm, but, is high school romance a good idea?
A relationship is a huge load for a high schooler to bear. The dictionary definition of love is this: A decision to commit oneself to another and to work through conflicts instead of giving up. The love between a man and a woman is a sacred and beautiful thing. The purpose of this love is marriage. Marriage means sacrifice, responsibility and a family. What high-schooler is able to realistically commit on this level? Because a high school romance cannot lead to marriage for about 4-8 years, they often end in breakup. During high school, a teenager may end up having a broken heart multiple times. This is giving teens practice only in failed relationships, rather than practice in maintaining a healthy relationship. Lastly, teenage relationships are physically tempting. This often leads to pre-marital sex, birth control and possibly abortion. High school is not the time to enter into these roles because a teen has neither the skills nor the resources to marry and provide for another.
A romance requires time and energy. It can be exhausting maintaining a teenage relationship, academic demands and extracurricular activities. Several aspects in a teen’s life are impacted by dating. The tendency to communicate constantly through various electronic methods is hugely distracting. Secondly, a relationship consumes much of a teen’s precious time, which is usually already overscheduled with academics and extracurricular activities. Thirdly, it’s emotionally exhausting. Maintaining a happy relationship, working out conflict and making wise decisions can drain their mental and emotional resources. There are only four years of high school, and romance is not the best way to use these formative years.
High school can be a wonderful time of personal growth and development of hobbies and skills. This is prevented when the majority of a teen’s time is taken up by the opposite sex. Imagine how much more ready for the world a teen would be if they had spent all of their high school years developing himself/herself as a person, rather than spending it jumping in and out of relationships. Romance also takes time away from developing friendships. Friendship is a skill that will be needed throughout one’s entire life. Lastly, it takes from the time that should be used for learning and studying, which affects a person’s future career. Romance is an unnecessary demand to place in a teen’s life.
Though our society has chosen to make teen dating the norm, this doesn’t have to be the case. Love is at the heart of human nature, and because of this, it’s something that we’re all looking for. Romance is a good and beautiful thing, but it is important to wait until the right time. Hearts need to be guarded and protected, which becomes harder when a high-schooler is involved in a romantic relationship. The self-restraint that is exercised when a teen withholds a romance from himself/herself is a valuable skill that will serve him/her for the rest of their life. Before entering into a teenage relationship, carefully consider if it’s a wise choice.
I wrote a new Haiku to cheer myself up during this long, cold, snowy winter.
cold months underground
patient daffodil bulb waits
warmth and springtime come