If someone walked to you and asked what a strong female character in fantasy fiction is, how would you answer? Is it a female that kicks the bad guy’s ass physically or the one who uses her head?
Truthfully, I rather see a female in fiction use her head instead. I can’t relate to a feminine, ass kicking girl. I don’t see her ‘strong’ in my head. Maybe it relates to my wish to prove myself with anything that isn’t demanding physically. Hermione Granger is a good example of a woman who uses her head to solve problems. Researching the best approach to overcome the task at hand is similar to what I do.
Urban Fantasies and YA Fantasies lean-to more women that are physically strong. (Please correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t follow the genres too closely.)
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and The Hunger Games’s Katniss are good examples of them. I would like to add I haven’t read either series. I plan to read The Hunger Games one day, since my sister-in-law and nieces are in love with the series. Other than that, I’m in no hurry to read them because I don’t see them any different from their male counterparts.
Now I love to read fantasy novels which the female grows into her ass kicking ways. The first female character that comes to mind is Harry from The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Experiencing Harry’s journey into a female warrior has changed me more than learning why it happened after the fact. I will always remember her struggle to overcome her insecurities to grow into a stronger woman who just happens to wield a sword.
My long-winded answer has come to an end. Now it’s your turn to answer the question and don’t hold back!
1st Lesson Learned: Life during NaNo cannot be on hold. While I was able to put off most things last year, this year I couldn’t. Thus, the drop in my word count but I somehow made it work out to reach 50k.
2nd Lesson Learned: Only the desire to move forward and finish the novel will keep you writing when you are not feeling well. For a few days, I suffered pain in my wrists. I wrote lightly for those days in hopes the pain will go away. That did not happen. Since I couldn’t continue writing with my wrists like they were, I went to the store purchased two braces to help me. Now I cannot write without them and my wrists don’t hurt any more.
3rd Lesson Learned: Without focus, you will only get so far. In order to be focus enough to write, you need to sleep enough, eat right, maybe take vitamins, and anything that helps you keep your mind on the prize. Once I did all those things together, I sat down and wrote my butt off during the last three days of NaNo.
4th Lesson Learned: When you need to bump up your word count, insert sex scenes into your novel. While that statement was true last year for me, this year’s insert was internal monologue. Writing sex scenes didn’t help me to understand my characters anymore than before. The internal monologue helped me pin down my characters’ past and how it affects them in their current situation. Most of it will be cut during editing but it is a great piece to keep for my character sheets.
Final Lesson Learned: Enjoy everything that happens to you during NaNo. The experience is one of kind for most of us and changes every time.
Next NaNoWriMo, I hope to be writing on the second book of my fantasy series. I will take what I learned from the past two NaNo to write again with pressure looming over my head and learn new things about myself as a writer.
The last few months have been tough personally with little time to devote to writing. But now the season of NaNoWriMo is here and time has returned for writing. Since I need to make up so much time, I decided to aim for 100k this month. A total of 3,334 for each day this month. Since I completed 72k last year, I should be able to make my goal for this year.
After many hours yesterday, I made my daily goal late last night. At one point, I believed my goal was too much for me since I haven’t written daily in such a long time. But I pushed myself to keep going and with help from my fellow writers, I completed my goal.
Since I didn’t finish on time last night, I missed my local region Kick-Off Party. I wanted to attend. But I need I would never finish my count for the day if I did. Priority is getting words written before any social gathering. Because I chat and forget to write during them.
Off to finish my Day 2 goal!
A character’s past influences their decision in the present. Your character may have witnessed his mother killed when he was younger and plans to find the murderer at any cost. This past element will drive all his actions in the present. Every decision he makes is to find this person. Nothing will stand in his way. This character is meeting his past head on.
Last night when I wrote in my novel’s journal, I figured out my hero’s past element which will take most of the series for him to overcome. My hero is running away from his past because he does not want to make the same mistake. Since I made this discovery, the first few chapter need to be rewritten. The actions my character has taken does not reflect this past element at the beginning.
The conflict will come when the situation for the character puts them against his present course. Let us go back to the first example and add this scene in. The murderer sets a home on fire trapping those inside. The main character must make the decision to keep going after the person who killed his mother or save the people trapped inside. Either choice will weight heavy for the character. And it will influence any future decision he makes.
You should keep these thoughts in mind even with secondary characters, especially if they have any impact on the main plot and/or sub-plots. You do not need to let the reader know their situation, but you need to understand to weave their actions right.
The character’s present action must match with their past. Even as the story moves forward, anything that happens during the present in the novel will turn into the past for the character as you continue to write. The past will carry on influencing the present throughout your novel. Future conflicts will be created for your characters based on their present action. And conflict is what drives your story.