Psychology, People, and Personalities in Writing

Psychology has always been a fascinating subject of study and scrutiny for me. Only last week I identified the source of frustration I constantly felt about people: I just want to understand them. What goes in each of their little minds that causes them to do, say, act, feel? What thoughts and emotions and beliefs make them stand for something, hold a particular perspective, feel a certain way? What is it like in your funny little brains?

Of course, the answers to these questions have to do with other things besides psychology. In fact, a person’s psychology is shaped and built on that human’s early life, their childhood, the parents that raised him/her. And history and life circumstances impact a person’s psychology even more than we think.

Psychology, People, & Personalities in Writing - Tea with Tumnus

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7 Tips on Creating a Complex Antagonist

When I first developed my story for Netherworld, I just created a villain simply so that my protagonist had some evil to fight against. But when I started questioning my villain’s motives, I realized that to have a full story, it is crucial to develop the villain because that’s the crux of the problems that create the story. Your villain is what drives your story; not just your protagonist’s motives, though those are important too.

There are no set rules for creating a villain; but there are guidelines, sure. Based on my experience, I have some advice on creating a well developed and complex villain. These are just my ideas and thoughts, and these may differ for many other writers (in which case, you can leave your own thoughts and opinions in the comment section below).

7 Tips on Creating a Complex Antagonist - Tea with Tumnus

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Ambience Sounds for Writing Fantasy + Playlists

If you’ve been following my blog for a good while, you may have noticed that I like to talk a lot about listening to film scores while writing and how the emotions composed specifically for movie scenes could also be used while writing similar scenes in your story. Up until a few days ago, however, I had no idea that fantasy ambience/white noise existed, and when I did, I set out to find some of the best background noises that could be used for the appropriate scenes.

Ambience Sound Playlists for Writing Fantasy - Tea with Tumnus

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Twenty One Pilots and Expessing Your Belief Through Art

The song “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots was put on my mental list of “questionable songs that might be good.” Only until recently, it was moved up to my mental list of “Personal Top 21 Songs.”

Okay, maybe not 21, but somewhere around that number. Shortly afterward, Twenty One Pilots became one of my six favorite music artists. Being a music freak who likes so many different types of music, making the top 6 is saying something. But it wasn’t just the music or the genre (if you could use the word “genre” in relevance to this particular band) that I liked about them. It was what they stood for and how their faith and encouragement to others showed in their lyrics and even the style of music. As a writer, this excited me way more than it probably should have. It was all I could talk about (and post on Facebook) for a few days.

Twenty One Pilots & Expressing Belief Through Art - Tea with Tumnus

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Aesthetic Boards for Writers: A Guest Post by Harley Rae

This is Susannah, jumping in really quick to introduce this guest post by Harley Rae. I have been ridiculously busy in the last several weeks, what with school, musical theater, etc. that I haven’t been able to post for a long time. Thankfully, the amazing human Harley was willing to lighten the burden of this dangerous dilemma by writing up something awesome for this Tuesday to learn from and enjoy!

Aesthetic Boards for Writers - A Guest Post by Harley Rae

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Michael’s Movie Mentions: Storytelling Similarities in Movies and Writing

Did you know that, in many ways, the art of making movies (visual storytelling) is often similar to the art of writing? How the director and director of photography choose to portray a story by way of camera is, believe it or not, comparable to some extent with writing books. And that is what I will be doing in this post: showing the similarities in the psychology of camera storytelling (movies) and storytelling by way of written word (your favorite book, for example). This similarity may stem from the fact that Storytelling is a universal art, developed over the millennia of mankind. Movies and the written word are merely different categories of storytelling, so it makes sense that there would be many similarities between the two. I will show you just a few of them in this post.

Michael's Movie Mentions Storytelling Similarities in Movies and Writing - Tea with Tumnus

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11 Tips for Character Development

Your plot is ready to go. You have a protagonist, an antagonist, a secondary character, an old mentor, a love interest, a traitor, an opposed parent, a jealous sibling, and an intelligent talking horse named Phillip. Hopefully, by the time you sit down to start writing the first chapter of your first draft, you have a general idea of what your cast of characters is like. Well at least you’ll know the gender of your main character. Ideally.

I believe the most important thing that will help you achieve a well developed story is a well developed cast of characters; the story is about those characters, after all. Probably the most crucial question to ask when developing a character is “what are the character’s motives?” The protagonist’s motives alone will drive the plot forward, but when you add the antagonist’s desires, the traitor’s secrets, the mentor’s wishes, along with the protagonist’s motives, the story will automatically become so much more detailed and complex. And complexity is a good thing. Not only will it make the reader think, but it will make each character believable: all their trials, emotions, fails, and triumphs will be real, thus drawing the reader into a deeper level of identifying with each of them. It may be scary at first to think that strangers who happen to be reading your story will connect with your babies if you do a good job, but if your readers don’t connect, what is your story worth? Without a developed cast of characters, it will be hard to connect with them, thus we will feel nothing at their fails, triumphs, or emotions, and thus the message or theme of the story you want to convey through your characters will never be understood by your readers.

11 Tips for Character Development - Tea with Tumnus

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