#BeFabFriday – We All Have To Start Somewhere

Be Fabulous Friday

This week’s quote comes from Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull:

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#TypesTuesday – Calvin and Hobbes: Excitement and Conscience

Types Tuesday

by Guest Contributor Oscar Harding

Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, which ran from 1985 to 1995, is to my mind the greatest comic strip of all time, surpassing even Charles Schultz’s Peanuts. Besides Watterson’s stunning art, profound philosophy and brilliant wit, it is the core friendship that has ensured that the strip has been remembered for many years since it finished. Named after Philosophers with rather dour opinions of humanity, Calvin is a 6-year-old boy and Hobbes is his stuffed tiger, real only to him. What is surprising about these closest of friends is just how different their character types are. But it goes to show that opposites attract, and these two bring out the best and worst in each other because of their character types.

Named after Philosophers with rather dour opinions of humanity, Calvin is a 6-year-old boy and Hobbes is his stuffed tiger, real only to him. What is surprising about these closest of friends is just how different their Character Types are. But it goes to show that opposites attract, and these two bring out the best and worst in each other.

Calvin

Calvin could be argued to be the ultimate Power of Excitement character. Indulging in fantasies as superhero Stupendous Man, intergalactic warrior Spaceman Spiff and hardboiled detective Tracer Bullet, when he’s not making the lives of his parents and teachers an absolute nightmare, he’s wreaking havoc as an inventor of disastrous machines out of cardboard boxes. Calvin ticks every box for a Power of Excitement character- he is an explorer, believing life should always be one big playground where he gets his way. He very rarely veers from his pursuit of fun. He is certainly the life of the party, and there is never a dull moment with Calvin. He represents both the light and dark side to the character type- his escapades are fun to read, but you can only imagine the destruction his ‘junkie mentality’ is causing others around him, as he can never get enough of what he believes to be fun.

Calvin ticks every box for a Power of Excitement character- he is an explorer, believing life should always be one big playground where he gets his way. He very rarely veers from his pursuit of fun. He is certainly the life of the party, and there is never a dull moment with Calvin. He represents both the light and dark side of the Character Type- his escapades are fun to read, but you can only imagine the destruction his ‘thrill junkie mentality’ is causing others around him.

Hobbes

Hobbes is part philosopher and all Tiger. No matter how insightful he can be about life in general, he has all the instincts of a “Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat”. Power of Conscience characters believe they are their brother’s keeper. Hobbes is forever the reluctant participant or sits out Calvin’s most outrageous schemes. Many strips often end with Hobbes trying to persuade Calvin not to do the wrong thing, or showing his viewpoint to be wrong. These characters also adhere to what they believe to be indisputably right- in this case, the laws of nature. Hobbes always stands up for the natural world and his fellow animals

These two work so well together because they balance each other out. Hobbes usually has incredible fun when he’s with Calvin, but at the same time, he is the equivalent of an angel on Calvin’s shoulder- although it often falls on deaf ears. One could technically be considered “good” (Hobbes) and the other “bad” (Calvin). The boy has growing up to do, and the Tiger could lighten up.

For more examples of all the character types, you can purchase my in-depth e-books at the ETB shop, or you can read more articles on all the “Power Of…” types including James Bond, Doctor Who, Batman and Sherlock Holmes, every Tuesday.

There are also 9 pinterest boards full of character examples online. Check them out and let us know at ETBHelp@gmail.com if you have any other suggestions or questions.

 

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#BeFabFriday – Nothing Is More Important than Your Characters

Be Fabulous Friday

This week’s quote comes from iconic author Ray Bradbury:

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#BeFabFriday – When Writers are Monsters

Be Fabulous Friday

This weeks comes from German-language novelist and short story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century, author Franz Kafka:

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#BeFabFriday – Reading ‘N’ Writing

Be Fabulous Friday

This week’s quote comes from one of the most popular writers of our time, Stephen King:

Here’s where to download your favorite movie scripts.  Read as many scripts as you can!!

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#BeFabFriday – Pursuit of Perfection is Pointless

Be Fabulous Friday

This week’s quote comes from its author Margaret Atwood:

Margaret Atwood

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#BeFabFriday – Is This The Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

Be Fabulous Friday

This week’s quote comes from the prolific Tom Clancy:

Tom Clancy

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#BeFabFriday – The Magic of Ruthlessness

Be Fabulous Friday

This week’s advice comes from the writing wizard, J. K. Rowling:

J K Rowling

It doesn’t matter where you do your writing or what hour of the day you dedicate to making your dream a reality. The only thing that matters is picking the same hour each day and consistently reserving that particular 60 minutes for your screenplay. Keeping to the same schedule is key. Good writers write consistently. They find a time to write and stick to their schedule no matter what. They make a sacred promise to themselves that they will allow no distractions, no interruptions, no excuses and no exceptions to invade their private writing time. Be 100% selfish about protecting your “writing hour.” At first, it may be hard to stick to your guns.Modern life is filled with distractions and competing claims for your attention. It is so easy to be tempted to put your writing off because some “crisis” intervened. Don’t give in! Turn off your cell phone, turn off your landline, and turn off your pager, iPhone or PDA.

Keeping to the same schedule is key. Good writers write consistently. They find a time to write and stick to their schedule no matter what. They make a sacred promise to themselves that they will allow no distractions, no interruptions, no excuses and no exceptions to invade their private writing time. Be 100% selfish about protecting your “writing hour.” At first, it may be hard to stick to your guns.Modern life is filled with distractions and competing claims for your attention. It is so easy to be tempted to put your writing off because some “crisis” intervened. Don’t give in! Turn off your cell phone, turn off your landline, and turn off your pager, iPhone or PDA.

Be 100% selfish about protecting your “writing hour.” At first, it may be hard to stick to your guns. Modern life is filled with distractions and competing claims for your attention. It is so easy to be tempted to put your writing off because some “crisis” intervened. Don’t give in! Turn off your cell phone, turn off your landline, and turn off your pager, iPhone or PDA. It can wait an hour for your attention.

If you’re on Pinterest, why not follow my Pinterest board for these weekly motivational posts? It will be updated weekly.  Find quotes and inspiration that have helped me.

 

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#BeFabFriday – What’s Your World?

Be Fabulous Friday

This week’s quote comes from the inimitable Victor Hugo, author of such classics as Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame:

Victor Hugo

Never forget how essential world-building is your script, and to your characters. After all, they will impact, as will the narrative, by the world they live in. Be it a faraway planet, a mystical world beyond our comprehension, or a city down here on earth from any period in history, it is up to you to craft the world of the novel, screenplay, whatever. Another useful quote from Writer’s Digest (You can read the full article HERE.)

Whether your tale is set in a real place or an imagined one, you need to establish your characters’ world so that the reader can suspend disbelief and fully engage with the story.Of course, the more differences to our own world you introduce, the more you need to focus on getting those details absolutely right – but you need to do it in such a way that they almost fade into the background.

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Detectives and The Power of Truth

 

the-suspicions-of-mr-whicher-9781445877310-lgI love picking up books for a one pound coin in Bristol charity shops.  I read books that normally would never come my way.  One such book: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House was particularly fascinating.

Here’s what I learned about the origin of fictional and real life detectives and detective stories:

A Detective was a recent invention (in the 1840’s).  The first fictional sleuth, Ausguste Dupin, appeared in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue in 1841, and the first real detectives in the English-speaking world were appointed by the London Metropolitan Police the next year. The officer who investigated the murder at Road Hill House – Detective-Inspector Jonathan Whicher of Scotland Yard – was one of the eight men who formed this fledging force.

The Road Hill case riveted all of England. It was a classic “country house” murder.  Someone viciously killed a small child, took him from his bed, and stuffed the body down the privy (outhouse).  Logistically, only someone inside the house could have committed the crime.  No one else had the access to the necessary locations.  The (very public) unfolding of the investigation shaped the detective fiction of the era and beyond. Whicher’s personality inspired the first English detective novel, Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone and its police inspector Sergeant Cuff.  Cuff has inspired nearly every detective in fiction since.

The Emotional Toolbox categorizes the stories we normally think of as detective stories as Power of Truth stories.

These stories are defined by the secrets, lies, conspiracies, and truths that are hidden or concealed from or by the characters. Power of Truth stories explore the most profound and personal of betrayals.

In The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher there are secrets, lies, and layers of betrayal at the heart of the Victorian home, a place considered irreproachable and sacred at the time of the murder. The case tore the roof off what was a deeply private place.  It exposed rot and malice in place of what was assumed to wholesome and pure.

Power of Truth stories feature twists, treachery, and reversals, each of which can suddenly change everything the character believes is true. They conceal and reveal larger underlying issues or covert agendas that secretly manipulate the characters or the story world itself.

The cruelty, hatred, and abuse seething beneath the violent explosion in the Road Hill Murder case revealed the twisted dark side in seeming respectable middle class Victorian family life.  This was a shock to the public and to Whicher himself.

Power of Truth stories are complex tales that usually deal with darker side of human emotion. Plotting is key to triggering the detective’s fear and loathing and  maintaining it at full force through the story.

The Power of Truth story world is rich and multi-layered. Nothing is ever quite what it seems. The protagonist can’t fully trust anyone. In some cases, the protagonist can’t even trust him or her self! The case broke Whicher professionally, personally, and emotionally.

A Power of Truth story is fundamentally about how others deceive a character and how that character deceives him or her self. Plot development typically investigates or uncovers the truth about one thing and, as a result, uncovers the truth about larger secrets, crimes, or conspiracies lurking below the surface.

Ultimately, these stories explore the essential nature of truth and whether it is ever possible to fully know or understand the complex mysteries of the human heart— our own or anyone else’s.

Power of Truth novels and films are rich, complex stories filled with profound questions about the nature of illusion vs. reality; guilt, innocence and culpability; the elusive boundaries of loyalty and betrayal; the corrosiveness of secrets and lies; and, certainty vs. the unknowability of some things.

These stories slowly un-peel multi-layered deceptions, forbidden truths, and deep self-delusion, exposing the most agonizing and dangerous human emotions.

For more information on creating these rich complex stories see:  The Power of Truth eBook