I’m going to admit that I really struggle with action scenes. Or struggled, depending on what my publisher says about the myriad of actions scenes I have sprinkled throughout the sequel to When Stars Die.
My publisher really had to tear up the one action chapter I had in the climax of When Stars Die. Amelia spent too much time personally reflecting on things while fighting a ruthless Shadowman (dead witch), trying to kill her so she can’t stop him from getting revenge on the people who murdered him— people who kill witches in the first place. This will not contain any spoilers to When Stars Die. The chapter was originally nine pages. Now it is six.
- Try to minimize character introspection, or try not to use it at all. Your characters are fighting to survive, so they should only concentrate on the immediate action going on around them. They’re not exactly going to concentrate on the human condition of the reason that they’re fighting, which is what I originally did when Amelia was fighting Sash.
- Try to keep sentences short and paragraphs short. Action scenes are fast paced. Wordy sentences and lengthy paragraphs can slow the pacing.
- Keep dialogue interactions short. This is all about the action, the exposition, the immediacy of what is going on around the characters. Within the first two pages of the chapter involving the fight between Sash and Amelia, I had one part where the dialogue was too drawn out, so I trimmed down the dialogue, only concentrating on the most important points to lead up to the action. Lengthy dialogue can slow the pacing. Plus, realistically, you wouldn’t stop in the middle of a fight to start engaging in some conversation with your enemy.
- Quick reactions. If your protagonist’s options of surviving start to dwindle, force the protagonist to make a quick decision. Don’t spend even five sentences having your protagonist trying to plan out what to do. Realistically, your protagonist will not have that time.
- Physical movements. This goes back to concentrating on immediacy. Really concentrate on the physical actions taking place, like running, punching, kicking, whatever. Break it up with some dialogue, too. Anything to keep it interesting.
- Create unexpected consequences. This isn’t a spoiler, because everyone, when reading a genre book that includes action, expects some antagonists to die. But Amelia isn’t the one to kill Sash. In fact, she feels sorry for him and is very hesitant to do so.
Hopefully these points will help you write some effective action scenes. Here is a short paragraph from the chapter between Sash and Amelia from When Stars Die that conveys some of the elements above:
"I raise my hand and shove it in Sash’s face (there is fire on her palm). He screams and drops me on to the dirt. I scramble away, back toward Theosodore. The angry fire races beneath my skin, thirsting to be used again. I keep my attention on it, feeding my anger and channeling it into the heat (her skin is heated).”
I am going to do a blog post every other day on my Tumblr. My next blog post will concentrate on creating effective dialogue.
Re-blogs appreciated, especially if you know other writers who need this advice.
Hello! This question is a little bit vague, so I thought I’d refer you to some links that might possibly be helpful.
- News Writing tips for Beginners
- 'Hot 100' News Writing Tips
- Writing Tips for News Stories
- Tips on Writing a News Report
- Four Tips for Concise News Writing
There are some things you should keep in mind when writing news, for instance:
- Keep it straight to the point. When someone is reading the news, they’re looking for more information in less time. Sometimes, people read the news in a hurry, just to be informed, and they don’t have the time it takes to go through long chunks of text that tell them nothing about the information they’re looking for. Therefore, make sure that you have a good piece of news that’s as short and as concise as it can be. Sometimes, you might need a longer chunk of text in order to get your point across because it’s too much information, and that’s okay, as long as you know the content of the news is easy to understand and fast to read. Which brings me to our next point…
- Use simple words. Sometimes, in creative writing, fancy words are appreciated. They embellish a piece of prose or poetry and they have deeper meanings that can be used to give subjectivity or a certain beauty to the text. However, when writing news, you have to use words that people use everyday, words people will understand easily without having to give the sentence a second read. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can be careless with your writing. You have to find a balance between casual and professional.
- Be objective. In a news piece, you can’t show subjectivity. People read news to read what actually happened, not your opinion on what happened or what should have been done. Any form of subjectivity can be considered wrong in news writing. News writing lacks on adjectives, most of the time. This means that you should never include anything that depends on opinions, for instance “A beautiful woman witnessed the crime”. Not only does it take the professionalism and objectivity away, but it also shifts the point from what’s really important.
- Use compelling titles. Successful pieces of news are often sensationalist, which means that they use powerful words to call for attention. Strong words like “murder”, “robbery” often bring attention to your news, so make sure you use powerful words that will make people want to read your news instead of some other piece of news from some other newspaper.
When it comes to cockiness and laziness are both valid and good flaws for a character to have, especially for a character who is supposed to be exceptionally talented. However, it’s important to distinguish between the two. When working with an exceptional character in your work, it is very easy to end up with one that is lazy if they aren’t self-motivated or given enough challenges to keep them engaged with the other characters and the story. It’s also important to note that these are just some common shades of overconfidence and this is hardly a full list of the different ways these traits can rear their ugly head.
Remember, a good character flaw is one that you make use of in your story. A character can be both lazy and cocky depending on the situation. It’s not a one or the other.
Cockiness: “Anything you can do I can do better.”
The snarky overconfident hero is not automatically cocky because cockiness itself requires the character taking an active role against the other characters that they feel are less worthy. The best and worst part about an exceptional character that is cocky is that they’re usually good enough to back up the statement. 9/10 their character assessments about another character will be accurate. It’s just that 1/10 when it can get them killed. They have a general blind spot when it comes to repeat offenders, but the repeat offender usually has to “lose” in some way against them in order to surprise them later.
“I can say what I want, do what I want, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You will never beat me.”
The two Ur-Examples of the cocky hero for me is Errol Flynn’s version of Robin Hood from The Adventures of Robin Hood and Mel Gibson’s character in Payback. In the beginning of Robin Hood, Robin walks into Nottingham castle during Prince John’s banquet with an illegally killed deer on his shoulders (of which the penalty for killing is death, he is also already an outlaw) and proceeds to dump it on the table in front of them. He is then invited to sit down to dinner and tells them his grievances, which results in this gem:
The Sherriff of Nottingham: “So you think you’re overtaxed, eh?”
Robin Hood: “Overtaxed, overworked, and paid off with a knife, a club, or a rope.”
Maid Marian: “Why you speak treason!”
Robin Hood: “Fluently.”
It’s worth noting that the character is alone, in a castle full of people who agreed that he should die before he ever entered it, and he’s still going to tell it like it is regardless of the personal danger he’s facing because he believes that they are incompetent and knows they can’t do anything to him. He’s right, he fights his way out of the castle and escapes by convincing the guards that there is a traitor inside trying to escape and they should shut the door quickly.
These opening sequences all act as a setup for Robin Hood’s key flaw: his cocky overconfidence. This one comes home to roost when he is captured at the archery tournament and sentenced to death. He requires the assistance of his Merry Men to free him and they would be lost without a clever strategy offered up by Maid Marian. It’s an awesome reminder midway through the movie that Robin isn’t nearly as invincible as he thinks he is.
To have a cocky hero, they have to be engaged in the story and the action. A cocky character is an active participant and that’s what makes this flaw so compelling in both heroes and villains.
The one thing they don’t do, however, is sit back and say: “They’re not worthy of my time.” A cocky hero is too engaged in showing or proving to their audience how awesome they are by doing stuff and then cheerfully rubbing it in someone else’s face. They want us to know that they’re better at everything the do. This doesn’t have to be compulsive, but it does need to be there against characters who challenge their position, perspective, and beliefs.
This brings us to:
Laziness: “Him? He’s not worthy of my time.”
There’s a certain kind of overconfident combatant and that is one who doesn’t want to put in the work. They’re content to coast on their own skills, don’t focus on self-improvement, and aren’t engaged in the world around them. A lazy character can also be one that’s clever enough to have already cracked their way out of that box in your head and already know what it is you are willing to do to them. This is part of why I don’t really plan out my fights because, at least for me, characters who don’t know the ending tend to work harder.
You usually see laziness crop up in villains, but it’s actually a very common failing in many action heroes, especially the ones that spend the story not doing much of anything or ignoring problems that they don’t view as a challenge. They’re slackers, they’re lazy, and they like to rest on their laurels. It’s a very common trait that appears in characters labeled as “Bests” in their chosen field but do nothing to actually earn the title.
“I’m so good. I don’t even have to try.”
We expect a lazy hero to be overtaken when they underestimate another character. After all, they weren’t engaged to begin with. This is part of where “the cocky character underestimates opponent” becomes cliché because they weren’t paying attention in the first place. The truly terrifying lazy characters are the ones that 9/10 are 100% accurate in their assessments, even when they were barely paying attention. As Count Adhemar says in A Knight’s Tale: “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.”
This is an easy place to slip to because it’s such an easy approach to take, but it can be very frustrating for readers if the character isn’t doing stuff and just sits around telling the reader how awesome they are. Moffat’s Sherlock especially would be generally insufferable if he wasn’t spending the rest of his time experimenting and solving crimes. Even if they look down their nose at everyone else around them, the character has to consistently prove that they are good at their job.
A lazy character can be a snarky one, but they’re the guy who puts in the least amount of effort and sits at the back of the class throwing popcorn at other people’s heads.
Overconfidence is a common character trait and depending on how it asserts itself, it can indeed feel very cliché. But, many pieces of storytelling have become cliché because they are legitimate storytelling choices. An action that becomes overused is cliché, but it is cliché because it’s effective. The trouble is getting a cliché to feel fresh and that takes effort. It’s important that you don’t throw away ideas just because they don’t feel original enough. Originality is overrated.
Take some time and think about what it is about this particular cliché that attracts you. Why do you like it? Why do you want to use it?
The real gems are often the ones that we have to sit down and ponder. The most important truth to incorporate into yourself is that it’s not easy to excel, even the most talented people have to work hard and be disciplined if they are to succeed. Not every idea is going to be valuable, but there are many diamonds hidden among the rocks.
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
Use the active voice. When you use the active voice, the subject of sentence performs the action instead of recieving it. Active phrasing lends your narrative an urgency and energy that can help keep your audience invested, no matter what you’re talking about.
Kill Nominalizations (-tions) and force the action of your sentence back into the verb. Nominalizations are nouns that contain a hidden action, and they can obscure your meaning.
Say NO to expletive constructions. ’It was’, ‘There are’, ‘There is’, no. Stop it. An expletive construction starts with an empty word. In an ExCon, the empty word isn’t acting as a pronoun - it has no antecedent. The little bastard has no meaning of its own; it’s a lazy stand in for the sentence’s implied subject. The empty subject is paired with some form of “to be” (is, was, et al.) to complete the ExCon. Don’t use it. Don’t.
Example ExCon: It was the last word of the spell that struck down her attacker.
Screw that: The last word of the spell struck down her attacker.
(NOTE: not all uses of “it is,” “it was,” “there is,” or “there are” are excons. If your pronoun has a real antecedent in the previous sentence, you’re golden.)
Prune wordy phrases and simplify your verbs. You wrote ‘this is why’ or ‘the reason for this is,’ you just mean because. You wrote ‘she is able to take out the assassins’ or ‘she has the ability to take down those bears,’ you mean: ‘she can take out those (bear) assassins.’ You wrote ‘She is aware of the accident,’ you mean ‘She knows about the accident.’
Your prepositionals are getting in the way. Prepositional phrases are perfectly fine in general, but too many of them (and a load of unnecessary ones) just make your sentences harder to understand. If you need to indicate possession, use apostrophe + s instead of bloated phrases. ‘The house of the Witch’ = ‘The Witch’s house.’
5 WAYS TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD SENTENCE:
More than mastering freshman English
“The skill it takes to produce a sentence,” Stanley Fish said, “the skill of lining events, actions, and objects in a strict logic — is also the skill of creating a world.” In other words, sentences are the engines of creativity.
Take this sentence for instance: “Moses fed his muffuletta to the woolly mammoth.”
There is a mountain of meaning buried in those eight words. Sure, change the sequence and you change the meaning, but as long as you don’t screw with that framework, people will stay with you (unlike the misguided James Joyce).
But as a copywriter it’s not just about mastering freshman English. There’s more to it. Eugene Schwartz has the answer:
No sentence can be effective if it contains facts alone. It must also contain emotion, image, logic, and promise.
Here’s a great example: “Baby shoes: for sale, never worn.”
That’s Ernest Hemingway, and that little six-word story is possibly his best (his own estimation, not mine). Why? It’s a story selling a pair of shoes … shoes with an intense emotional connotation.
See, your sentences don’t have to say much. They just have to say the right things. Our imaginations will fill in the blanks.
So, when you are trying to get people to respond to your requests, subscribe to your email newsletter, or donate to your cause … you need to write seductive sentences, and you need to do it naturally.
Here’s how it’s done.
1. Insert facts
This is nothing more than basic subject and verb agreement: “Moses ate a muffaletta.” Logical and consistent. The building blocks of a story.
You insert facts by thinking through the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why. Think specific and concrete, but how you say it matters, too.
Compare “On the first day of winter Moses fed his muffuletta to the woolly mammoth” to “On the last day of winter Moses fed his muffuletta to the woolly mammoth.” The significance is heightened in the first sentence, minimized in the second. All by one word.
And notice how your sympathies change when I write, “On the first day of winter, Moses fed his muffuletta to the three-day old woolly mammoth.”
Those new facts heighten the emotional appeal of that simple story. It’s the same sort of feeling you get when you read “Baby shoes: for sale, never used.”
2. Create images
It’s not a coincidence that the root of “imagination” is “image.”
Imagination is the capacity for people to see the world you are trying to paint. Intelligent people like to use their imagination. Don’t insult their intelligence by over-explaining, but also don’t abuse their intelligence by starving it.
Use active verbs and concrete nouns and you will naturally create images. “The buzzard bled.” Introduce one, two, or all of the five senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound), and you’ll enhance those images: “The screaming buzzard bled.”
Use phrases like “imagine this” or “picture this” to signal to your reader you are about to paint a picture. That’s how I opened up the 10 Productivity Tips from a Blue-Collar Genius:
Imagine a fifty-something man in a blue long-sleeve shirt, the cuffs unbuttoned, his knuckles thick and coarse. He’s on the side of the road, quibbling over a stack of used cinder blocks with a merchant.
In those two sentences you learn the color of the shirt, the state of the cuffs, the condition of his knuckles. I tell you where he is and what he is doing in concrete language.
I use very precise language to tell you what he was doing: he wasn’t talking, he was “quibbling.” Something entirely different than chatting.
3. Evoke emotion
You can naturally get mood into your sentences if you follow the two steps above, but as a copywriter you don’t want emotion to be an afterthought. You must carefully plan and manufacture emotion.
This starts by asking: what is the dominant mood of your reader or customer? What problem is he or she trying to solve? Is it fear over losing a job? A spouse? A scholarship? Pride of donating to a good cause? Joy for finally getting muscular definition in his calves?
You must know what keeps your ideal customer up at night. What makes him get up early? What are his hopes, dreams, and fears? And then you must insert that emotion into your sentences.
In a post introducing the benefits of our Authority membership site, I wrote:
How often are these little tragedies repeated in your life?
- You write something clever, but everyone ignores it.
- You hear about a new opportunity, but don’t pursue it because you don’t have the skills or confidence to attempt it.
- You get overlooked by everybody – including your boss – because the guy in the next cubicle seems to know everything about SEO, email marketing, or copywriting.
- You hear about all the new clients your peers are picking up … but none are showing up at your door.
I identified the relevant pain and agitated it so the solution was a no-brainer. In other words, if you can identify with those conditions, then the solution is probably a good thing for you.
But notice those four conditions are all about rejection. Yet I didn’t use the word “reject,” or a derivative, once. I didn’t tell you the emotion you should feel. I simplyshowed it to you. Big difference in the quality of writing.
4. Make Promises
But as a copywriter you aren’t merely interested in heightening people’s emotions for the sake of heightening emotions, otherwise you’d be a novelist or screenwriter. Entertainment is not a copywriter’s bread and butter.
Getting action is.
So, you need people to see hope in your sentences:
- What promises are you making to the reader in this sentence?
- What advantages will the reader gain?
- What pain will they avoid if they obey you?
In the opening to The Dirty Little Secret to Seducing Readers I wrote:
I’m guessing you want to write copy that sells. You want to write copy so irresistible it makes your readers scramble down the page — begging to do whatever it is you want when they’re done reading — whether it’s to make a purchase, send a donation, or join your newsletter.
The promise is that you can learn how to write in such a way people can’t resist your words. And that’s compelling for the right people.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Writing great sentences takes work.
At first it may feel mechanical, wooden. That’s okay. The goal is to get to a point where you unconsciously blend these elements so they feel natural in the sentence and can’t be pulled apart.
Sort of like when a golf instructor stops your swing to adjust your mechanics. That may feel mechanical and unnatural, but eventually your swing becomes natural and he stops interrupting you.
Here are some exercises to help you improve your sentence writing:
- Copy great sentences: Hand-write 100 great first sentences. Memorize portions of great sales letters. Dissect killer lines.
- Opening and closing paragraphs: It’s arduous to consciously think about each and every sentence you write in a 500-hundred word article. However, you can pour energy into every sentence inside the opening and closing paragraphs.
- Headlines: Your headlines won’t be complete sentences, but they offer you an opportunity to focus closely on what you are writing.
- Subject lines: Unlike headlines you can use your subject line in an unconventional way. Write complete, robust sentences. “Thought of you while I was at the steam bath.” Who’s not going to open that email up? Measure responses, adjust, and test more ideas.
- Tweets: Twitter is the perfect mechanism for perfecting your sentences. You are forced to say a lot in 140 characters. And you get feedback. People either respond — or they don’t. Check for retweets, favorites, and replies. And if you don’t get a response, try sharing it again.
I’m a writer not a murderer
I’m currently finishing up a university degree in journalism, and I’ve been doing journalistic work for newspapers and radio alike for some years now. It’s a line of work wherein proofreading is essential. People are paying to read a piece you’ve written, which means you simply can’t allow for an article to be printed while it’s still half-finished; sans proofreading.
Even though proofreading might seem like a tedious task to some, I tend to think of it as the icing on the cake when it comes to creative writing as well—that final touch to perfect a piece of writing in order to make it even better. However, I’ve found that some roleplayers and writers seem to lack the tools to do so, perhaps as a result of not knowing what to look for.
So, here are a few tips on how to go about proofreading something you’ve written. Please note that this post was geared toward shorter pieces of writing, such as roleplay paras and short stories. When it comes to novels etc, you will probably need a professional to do the work for you.
Use a spell-checker
If your text editor doesn’t have a built-in one, you can find ones online as well, such as here, and here. Tumblr also has its own spell-checker, located between the link and read more buttons above your post editor. Keep in mind that a spell-checker will only reveal typos and errors in spelling, and while this is a good place to begin, more often than not you will have to go further than that.
Double-check your punctuation
Double-check your word use
This is where a thesaurus and a dictionary come in handy. Make sure the words you’ve chosen have been use in the right context; seeing as you may sometimes think a word means something it actually doesn’t. Some synonyms may also have slightly different connotations or nuances, in spite of the meaning being essentially the same. It’s especially important you double-check more difficult words, or words you don’t use that often. Commonly confused word pairs can also be tricky, so pay specific attention to those.
Look for missing words and odd sentence structures
Sometimes I will come up with a specific wording only to change my mind mid-writing; and once I proofread, I come to realize I’ve used half the original sentence combined with the ending I thought up for the new sentence. When changing one’s mind about a particular wording, some words can also get lost in the process, or become jumbled up. This can sometimes be difficult to spot (especially since spell-checkers don’t pick up on it), but the only thing you really can do, is to make sure all of your individual sentences make sense, and that no important words have been left out.
Check your grammar
This bit goes hand in hand with checking your word use and punctuation, and is perhaps the most difficult part of proofreading, especially if you don’t have a good eye for spotting grammatical errors. Luckily this is something you will most likely become more skilled at once you become more well-versed at proofreading, but until then, there are online grammar checkers available for you to use: such as here, and here.
Beware of repeats
Repeating certain words or phrases can be a highly effective rhetorical tool when it’s done on purpose; however, when you do it unconsciously, it can become highly annoying to the reader, and also makes the text seem less fluent as it tends to introduce a pause. It’s not as big of a deal when it happens with words that are used all the time to form sentences or bind them together, but less commonly used or longer words can be problematic when repeated, as they are more noticeable to the eye. So, be careful of using the same word several times in sentences following one another, or even in the same paragraph. Use synonyms or a thesaurus check if you must, but an even better way of going about it is probably rewriting some of the sentences in order to avoid that choice of words entirely.
Check your sentence lengths
This quote by Gary Provost probably best describes what I’m trying to go for here. If you keep piling several sentences of about the same length after one another, your writing tends to become slightly monotonous and dull; not to mention how pauses are introduced where you might not intend for them to exist, in turn making the text more difficult to read. Try to vary the sentence lengths, and using long, short, and medium-length sentences mixed with one another.
Read, read, and read
I sometimes read through a piece of writing up to five times or more when proofreading. During the first read-through I spot maybe a few errors, and during the second, I spot such errors I missed during the first read-through. The risk of becoming blind to your own writing is rather prominent (which can be helped by asking a friend to read it, too), but don’t be afraid or too lazy to read your own writing more than once.
And finally; read aloud
I have found that the most effective way of noticing if something is amiss, is reading the piece I’ve written aloud. It might seem a little ridiculous while you’re doing it, but it really does help you spot incomplete sentences, odd or difficult sentence structures, and pauses in awkward places.
Considering the vastness of the English language, there are probably a million other things you could try to look for as well; but I believe I’ve managed to cover the essentials. Keep in mind that this is simply what I try to do when it comes to proofreading and editing; you might not be as nitpicky as I am, which probably also means you will be happy with a less thorough proofreading session.
Ah, this is a little vague, Anon, so I’m not sure what kind of thing you want…? I’ll do a very basic guide for both subjects, using the exact same formula… so I hope this is okay for you ;____;
What is an Empath?
An Empath is someone with the ability to feel or sense the emotional and/or mental state of someone else. So, Grover from the Percy Jackson series has Empath-like qualities, given that he can sense emotions.
Although, predominantly, this ‘ability’ is seen as something out of science fiction, it is also considered to be a real-life, innate ability experienced by certain people.
In these cases, it is described as the emotions from nearby people being transplanted (or strongly felt) by the one who believes themselves to be an Empath. So, talking to an acquaintance who is sad, and being able to feel that person’s sadness yourself as if you, too, are sad.
As a fictional ability, you can increase/decrease the potency however you like. Although I do believe looking into the real experiences of those who consider themselves to be Empaths makes for a good inspirational resource.
Empath: Character Building
- Feeling the emotions of others, even those that are well-concealed.
- Knowing exactly how to adapt to someone else’s emotions, i.e. to make them feel better, to calm them down, etc…
- Being considered a confidant by others without having to prompt it or make effort for it.
- Emotional/physical exhaustion after feeling intense or conflicting emotions (e.g. being in the middle of crowd, taking part in/watching an argument, etc…)
- Mood swings, loss of control over their own emotions.
- Physical symptoms, such as migraine/severe headache, hearing-related problems/disturbances…
- Inability to determine/fully understand their own emotions.
- Aversion to putting themselves in situations where they are likely to feel overwhelmed (so, avoiding crowds, confrontation, etc…)
Empath: Further Character Building
Some things you can think about to further develop your Empath character:
- How the individual experiences their power. What I mean by this is, do they feel the emotions themselves? Or do they see auras, like Ever, from Alyson Noel’s Immortals series? Perhaps they sense the emotion radiating off the other person, or experience a visual hallucination, such as seeing the individual for how they really feel, and not the false emotion they use as a cover. Be as creative as you like…!
- How the power came to them. To stick with Ever from Evermore, her power only came to her after she was involved in a severe car accident. Some Empaths report only experiencing symptoms of their ability late on in their lives, and not from birth (whereas others do see themselves as ‘born’ Empaths). So how did your character acquire these abilities?
- The changes they decide/have to make in their lives to accommodate the power. So, Ever retreats into herself and wears sunglasses and hooded jackets to try and block out the sensory attack of the auras. What does your character do? Perhaps they embrace the power, or maybe, like Ever, they try their best to ignore it. How does it affect their life? Does it change them at all?
- What is an Empath? Tools and Resources for Empaths
- Empath Connection
- Empowered Empath
- Signs That You’re An Empath
- 30 Traits of an Empath (How to Know if You’re an Empath)
- Top 10 Books for Empaths and Highly Sensitive People
- Goodreads: Psychics/Empaths
What is Telekinesis?
As most people already know, telekinesis is ‘mind movement’, or the ability to move physical objects with the power of your mind. One of the most famous fictional characters with this ability, I believe, is Roald Dahl’s Matilda from the novel (and film) of the same title.
Telekinesis can either be a stand-alone ability, or part of an array of powers as a result of the individual being partly - or wholly - of supernatural descent. So, for example, Anne Plichota’s & Cendrine Wolf’s Oksa from Oksa Pollock: The Last Hope has the power of telekinesis alongside levitation and other magical abilities since she is from the land of Edefia.
Telekinesis: Character Building
- Moving large/heavy objects which can’t be moved by the individual’s bodily strength alone.
- Acquiring objects out of dangerous or heavily guarded areas with relative ease.
- Playing pranks on others for fun.
- Ability to face and win against stronger/larger opponents due to the advantages telekinesis brings in battle.
- Inability to properly control the power. Although Jodie, from Beyond: Two Souls, doesn’t have the ability of telekinesis, depending on how you play the game, she has very little sway over Aiden’s influence on the environment around them. I can imagine the ‘feeling’ of telekinesis being the same, if that makes sense.
- Physical side-effects, such as nosebleeds, headaches or nausea from prolonged usage of the power.
- Limits to how far the power can stretch, or how strong it can get. So, for example, not being able to lift a car, or move objects that are too far away.
- Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, or really understand when they’re moving something or when something is being manipulated/moved by someone else/other forces.
Telekinesis: Further Character Building
Some things you can think about to further develop your telekinetic character:
- How the power feels, or is visualised, by the character. Do they see some other identity moving the objects they command to move? Or do they just have to focus their attention on a very specific point of the object to manipulate it? How do they experience the power when it happens? Can they feel it working, or are there no sensations at all?
- When they began to recognise the power. Either they were born with it, or acquired it. What was the defining moment of discovery? How small does the power start, and how big does it grow? Where did they get the power from? Are they the only one with it?
- How big of a role the power plays in their life. Do they tell other people about it, or keep it as a secret? Are there others in their lives who experience the same thing, and more importantly, can they confide in them? If not, why not? Is the character scared of their power, or do they relish in it? What kind of things do they use the power for, if anything at all?
- Superpower Wiki: Telekinesis
- Goodreads: Popular Telekinesis Books
- Clever Girl Helps: Telekinesis and Telepathic/Telekinetic Societies
- The Writing Cafe: Telekinesis
I hope this kind of covers all bases enough for you, Anon. I’m sorry if I’ve totally misunderstood what you wanted… if so, please feel free to resubmit your question and I (or another mod) can perhaps try again…!
Best of luck ; u ;
When ending a scene in your first draft, don’t worry about it too much. Just keep writing. When you go back to edit a scene, try to work backwards in the scene. Writers often get lazier toward the end of a scene, chapter, or story while they have fresh minds at the beginnings. Going backwards can allow you to put all your energy on the ending to strengthen it and to end it right.
Here are some ways to end a scene:
- Cliffhanger: Don’t use these all the time. They work best at the end of chapters rather than scenes that end mid-chapter. Cliffhangers cause the reader to keep going, but the trick is ending the cliffhanger at the right part. Once you write the moment that makes the reader go “What?!”, end the scene. Don’t write the reactions of any characters. Don’t write anything else. Just end it. You can rewind a bit at the start of the next scene.
- Mini-Cliffhanger: A mini cliffhanger is a cliffhanger that doesn’t have as great of an effect than other cliffhangers. An example would be a character needing to make a decision, but the scene ending before they give their answer.
- Plot Twist: This can fit under cliffhanger, but it doesn’t always. Something can happen or a character can say something that reveals important information that makes the reader realize something without wondering what it means.
- Character Realization: Characters can witness something or discover something that changes the course of the story or that causes an emotional tug at the readers. This realization doesn’t have to be big.
- New Goal or Motive: Ending with characters stating or hinting at a new goal or motive can keep the reader going because now the reader wants to know how your characters will reach this goal, whether it’s a short term or long term goal.
- New Information: This can fall under cliffhangers, plot twists, realizations, and new motives, but it doesn’t always. Introduce new information at the end of the scene to keep the story going.
- Emotional Drama: End it with a character in emotional turmoil after a major plot point or other event.
- End of Event: If your character witnesses or engages in an event, just end it after that event ends. Did your character set someone on fire and walk away? End it there. Don’t write about them leaving and getting into their car unless something important happens. Just end it.
- Character Closure: This is when a character has closure on something, whether it be an event, another character, or a subplot. They might turn their back on someone or make a tough decision.
- Character Introduction: If you have a new character introduce, try ending a scene at their introduction, especially if they were foreshadowed or if other characters were expecting them to show up soon.
- Fade to Black: This is a term that means the author implies what is going to happen, but ends the scene before writing that event. This is common with sex scenes.
- Simple Ending: Not every scene needs to end with the above. Your character can go to bed after a fight or the scene could just end after an event. These endings don’t end the story and still keep the reader going.
- Natural Ending: Where does it feel right to end the scene? If you come upon a place and feel like a scene break would be good, put it in.
It’s pretty easy, especially if you haven’t written in a while, to lose how “you write”. People generally develop styles or ways of writing that they use for fiction that are generally very different from how they write academic papers. This is by necessity: academic papers are by definition stylistically different from prose. There are a pieces of advice that I have to find/re-find the way you write.
Read it out loud. A lot of times, if it sounds weird to you out loud, it isn’t reading well. That can be difficult to see, however, on paper, because the words will end up blurring together. This is doubly true for something that you wrote yourself.
This is generally considered a good idea for anything you write, fiction or academic. Read it to yourself out loud, and have at least one or two other people read it over. This might be hard for you, depending on how you view your writing, but it can be incredibly useful to catch both awkward wording and grammatical mistakes.
Try a number of different styles. Force yourself to write in a number of incredibly different styles. These styles should be as opposite from each other as you can get them: purple prose, action-only, dialogue-only, past tense, present tense, first person, second person, third person. See which one or ones works. That’s probably your style, or close to it. If none of them feel exactly right, see which one or ones feel the closest and go from there.
Write a lot. Force yourself to write a lot. Write every day. If you write one hundred words a day without forcing it to look any particular way or to be good, you will eventually end up with the way that you like to write. It might be a lot of work, but writing seriously always is.
Try a number of different lengths of story. You might find that the way that you write is different between short stories and novel-length stories. You are allowed to have more than one style of writing, and if you work on different stories of different lengths, you will be able to see how you tend to write for each type.
Look at your old work. If you’re really stuck, look at your old writing. While your writing style and ability has almost inevitably changed from that point, it’ll at least give you a starting point, something to build off of.
Remember that you are not dedicated to one style or way of writing. Write what makes you happy. If you don’t like how something sounds, change it. If you can’t figure out how to change it, start something new. Eventually, you’ll figure out how you like to write and what sounds best, and you can work on that. You can also always experiment with new styles and ways of writing.