He invites you to his mind To his emotions. To his past and to what he longs for the future. He shows you his weak side, but also his strengths. He reveals his secrets, and at the same time, what he hides. Then you fall in love with his personality and his way of empathizing with you. You are interested in him and what he is about to experience. You don't really know how he looks, but that makes him even more attractive because your imagination flows. You know that for you he will be someone special, because even though is far away, sometimes even far from the reality, the details will make you feel close to him: The tone of his voice. The color of his hair. The shape of his face. The way he thinks. And at the same time, his behavior, his values, his psychology, but above all, his story. And that's when you realize the importance of the characters in a novel, especially a protagonist.
In a novel, whether fiction or not, the characters you use are crucial. Without characters, there is no story, and there is no more to say. These people come alive through words and they become your friends, or enemies, especially the protagonist and antagonist. Therefore, if you decide to publish a fiction story, you must know how to create them wisely.
But, how? This usually depends on the author and the kind of novel he writes: real or fiction if it is the first one, it will be easier to identify characters, because they are already created, but if it is the second one, everything has to come from your author's mind.
Once the theme is defined, you should ask about whom the story is about. And when you have identified at least the most important one, the next step is to build your story. Who is this person? What is his or her name? How old is he? Where does he live? How does he look like? What are his life's goals? How is his past? What are his talents and his strengths? What are his weaknesses and his fears? If you are one of those who draws, then draw him. It helps.
It is important to know everything about your character as if it is your closest friend. You must know his intentions, his mind, and his heart. Because only then you can transmit the same to the reader. It is not necessary that you write EVERYTHING about him in your story, there are things that surely you will not even tell, but having created them and written them for you before, will support you to describe your character effectively and you will give him his own personality.
Once you have defined your protagonist's story and his surroundings, you have to introduce him to the story. You have to create his actions, his way of responding to conflicts, his feelings. The more descriptive you are with this, the more you will get readers to empathize with him. Your job is for them to know him and feel him as if they were seeing someone real by his side. Be creative.
Another fundamental aspect is your character's arc, which happens when he goes through a personal transformation during the novel or he grows in a certain sense. For example, he starts being one way and ends being another. This makes the story even more enriching and interesting. If your character is flat and boring, your readers will also feel flat and bored.
The secret lies in how much you, as the author, know about your characters. So before you start writing your fiction novel, define them and make sure you have done your research, since there is nothing more captivating than a book that introduces you to new "friends".
Sometimes the secret is in the speed with which you write. We all know that writing is a complex task that requires time, inspiration, imagination, vocabulary, research and different aspects that can take hours, which causes many writers to get stuck. To some, it takes days, months, and even years, to write a story that could be completed in less. However, at Inkspired we believe that this has a great margin for improvement and that you only need to follow certain guidelines and have the right tools to maximize your time.
We have summarized these guidelines in 5 tips.
1) Practice creates the master.
First, you have to know that the speed of your writing is your speed. Not someone else's. So you should not compare yourself, or feel disadvantaged at any time. The rhythm is something that is gained over time and with daily practice. The more you write, the faster you will write. The constant breakdown of ideas into textual words becomes - eventually - a habit, in which you will no longer have to write and erase all the time. However, you have to write. And every day, or its majority. Writing a short story, a chapter, or something that has a beginning and an end, on a daily basis, will increase your performance.
2) The organization makes the worker.
It seems a cliché, but no. When you write a story, the more organized you have your ideas, your characters, the sequence of events, your doubts, and your physical space, the more effective you will be writing. Have everything at hand: your notes, your sources of research, the outline of the story, the visual maps, the description of your characters, the drawings (if you are one of those who draws), and everything you need. Inkspired, precisely, aims to support you with this organization, and in the Inkspired Writer App, we have an option for you to build your visual maps, identify and define your characters, places, events, etc.
3) The biggest challenge is not against the clock but against ourselves.
Set limit Set goals and short-term times: "I do not do anything else until this chapter ends", "I will not leave this until I complete a certain amount of pages"; "I write 1 chapter every 3 days"; "The day is not over until I solve this problem." Write your goals in a place where you can always see them. Jessica Page, the author of Writing Out The Storm, confessed that she accomplished a thousand times more when she wrote down her goals and put them in a place that she had to see all the time. Platforms like Inkspired give you the option to put reminders to encourage you to continue your writing.
4) Be perfectly imperfect.
Allow yourself to write whatever you feel deep inside. Do not expect to write the perfect way or find the most elaborate words, or think that there will be no going back. The first thing is to get out of the stalemate and move forward. Staying on the same page, or in the same sentences for a long time, generates fatigue and even blocks you. Move forward, write, flow, and then, you can go back whenever you want to correct it.
5) If you want to be a writer, you have to act like a writer.
Look at it as a profession, not as a hobby. Find your weak points and work on them. For example, if you tend to be distracted, put aside the mobile phone, the internet, and retire to a quiet place where you can only focus your attention on the text. Establish a schedule and writing space, and keep it, as if it were a job. You will see how in less time than you think, your story will be ready to be published.
We know, of course we know, that as a writer one of your main goals is that people read your stories, and then, follow you as an author. You want that they get hooked by your novels, or by your excellent writing style. But, and this always happens, the question appears: how do I make myself known? Well, for that to happen, first, you must free yourself and publish. There are different ways of doing it. More in these days of social networks, internet and digital platforms for writers and readers.
The digital platforms are an effective idea to promote you, and even more so to introduce you to a community of people who share your same passion. This is the reason why Inkspired, in addition to a wide network of writers and readers, have also built small free communities, in which, mainly, you connect with people from all over the world to participate and share ideas about their stories or a specific topic.
And how? Well, here we leave you 5 ways in which joining a community will help you.
1) Share ideas, opinions and discuss a topic.
Communities are made of these. To ask, answer or discuss a topic in the discussion forum. Also, if you want to tell something about your story or if you have any doubts about how to continue your chapters and what characters or type of narrator to use, these communities serve you as an objective opinion.
2) Promote stories and receive feedback.
For writers, it is extremely important to receive feedback and suggestions on what we write, and here you can have them if you invite people to read your new novel or chapter.
3) Meeting point with people at international level who have the same interests.
On Inkspired, there are writers from different countries, each one with different experiences and cultures, and/or completely opposite or similar writing styles. Creating contacts and "winning" this type of readers will enrich your text to a great extent and you will become better known.
4) Soak up with other's works.
First of all, reading. Reading constantly other works, or discover more authors of the same genre of your novel, can serve as an example for your writing. The more you read, the more you nourish yourself, and in a community, you can be more aware of the news from other authors.
5) Receive help from the managers and editors of Inkspired.
In these communities, there are always expert people involved, and if you actively participate in them you will surely get answers and suggestions from specialized writers who can also clear your doubts.
At the moment, on Inkspired you can join the following communities: Science Fiction, Stories and Micro-stories, Writing and Poetry, Online Publishing Advice, Horror Stories, LGBTQ +, Romantic Stories and Official Community Writer, are some of our communities in both English and in Spanish, and some, in Portuguese.
And last but not least, these communities are a source of motivation and inspiration for every good pen. Remember that an inspired writer is not stopped by anyone.
Sometimes it seems that the most difficult thing is to start, but so it is learning how to finish. This has become crucial when writing a novel, and extremely basic, because a story without a good ending leaves the reader with a bad taste in his mouth. It's like when you watch a movie with a fantastic plot, but the outcome is meaningless. Both the cinema and the reading audience will always be impressed by the grand finale.
Because we as writers can get so submerged in our novel - especially long ones - that sometimes we forget to conclude situations. For this reason, the writer must learn to close his story with a golden brooch, and for this there are some techniques that can be taken into account. The main rule to create an adequate ending is to ask yourself if the conflict is resolved.
According to an article by Sinjania, a group of literary trainers, conflict is the storie's fuel, and when that fuel is finished, is when the story ends. This comes from the hand of another great advice: do not forget the protagonist, because the conflict will always prevent him/her from reaching his desires, once the problem loses strength or the character - despite not achieving what he/she wants - is released, the novel is ready to conclude. In addition, the protagonist usually experiences a transformation thanks to what he/she gets through during the plot, and when you realize if the character has already completed that change, it is possible to deduce the final time.
Another aspect to take into account is to identify what kind of end do you want to create, since there are different types of them. Here we have summarized them in 10, according to an article by lifeofastoryteller.com.
-The circular ending: It is the one that returns to where it started. The story develops a circular turn to get back to the beginning.
-The moral ending: Here is how the character has grown during the story and how far it has come.
-The surprise ending: The one that nobody expects and leaves everyone astonished.
-The captivating emotional ending: Leave the reader with a feeling of sensitivity, whether happy or sad.
-The reflection ending: It is the one that leaves the reader thinking, since the character realizes everything he has achieved and what he had to endure.
-The cliff-hanger ending: It is very common in a novel's series, since it leaves the reader with the heart in the mouth.
-The humor ending: Leaves the reader laughing or having fun.
-The question ending: Leave the reader wondering what will happen next.
-The image ending: It's the one that describes a scene so vivid for the reader to imagine it as it is.
-The dialogue ending: It ends with a dialogue between characters.
Apparently, there are different ways to write a great ending, however, everything will depend on the writer's style and the plot of his novel, since there are outcomes that are more conducive to certain types of stories, and others not. At the end of the day, a good ending will always remain in the reader's memory.