7 Types Of Characters In Fiction

7 Types Of Characters In Fiction

Characterisation is one of the most important elements of any story, long or short. If you don’t get the characterisation right, chances are that your story will fall flat on its face and no writer wants that to happen! So the best way to make sure that your story stays with the reader long before they’ve turned the last page is to nail the characterisation.

And for that I am here to share the 7 types of characters that can be created in fiction writing. There are the 7 types of character that you can, after reading this post, easily identify in the books you’ll read – even in the fantasy books with complex characterisation.

This post is a followup to the 2 hour Webinar I conducted on my YouTube channel. You can watch it here:

So let’s have a look at these 7 types of characters.

7 Types Of Characters In Fiction

1. Dynamic Characters

Dynamic Characters are the characters who go through a significant transformation in the story. As a result, they end up being different at the end of the story than how they began at the start of the story. The change or transformation they undergo can be for the better or worse.

Examples of Dynamic Characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Nevile Longbottom in Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Theon Greyjoy, Sansa Stark, Jamie Lannister and Samwell Tarly in A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Bilbo and Frodo in Lord Of The Rings series by J. R.R. Tolkein

2. Static Characters

Static Characters are the characters who do not go through any significant transformation in the story. They remain more or less the same way at the end of the story as they were at the beginning. These are generally strong-headed characters.

Examples of Static Characters: Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Professor Dumbeldor and Hagrid in Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Danerys Targaryan and Cercie Lannister-Baratheon in A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Gandalf in Lord Of The Rings series by J. R.R. Tolkein.

3. Round Characters

Round Characters are characters that are multi-layered, well-developed, possess multiple intricate personality traits and are insanely interesting. They have complex personalities and are mostly reader’s favourites. They help in driving a major chunk of the story forward and often are a part of sub-plots (if they are not the protagonist fo the story.)

Examples of Round Characters: Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Professor Dumbeldor and Hagrid in Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, Sansa Stark, Jamie Lannister, Samwell Tarly, Danerys Targaryan and Cercie Lannister-Baratheon in A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Bilbo, Frodo and Gandalf in Lord Of The Rings series by J. R.R. Tolkein.

4. Flat Characters

Flat Characters are characters that are single-layered possessing 2-5 basic personality traits and are not at all interesting. They appear only in limited scenes in the story and play only a very specific role beyond which their character is not explored further. Most of the times they are unimportant and uninteresting to read, but they do play a key role in a few scenes in the entire story.

Examples of Flat Characters: Crab and Goyle in Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Most characters from Meereen, Yunkai and Astapor and even the Sand Snakes in A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Merry and Pippin in Lord Of The Rings series by J. R.R. Tolkein.

5. Stock Characters

Stock Characters represent a ‘type of people or personality’ rather than an individual. They portray a specific stereotype based on social prejudices and/or cliches. They are opposite of Symbolic Characters and are usually used to depict the negative traits.

Examples of Stock Characters: Mean stepmother, abusive husband, estranged father, con artist, billionaire bachelor, gentle giant, tough guy, nerd girl, hopeless romantic and so on.
Professor McGonagall and Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Jorah Mormont, Davos Seaworth, Melisandre the Red Priestess, Olenna Tyrell in A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Gollum, Saruman and Sauron in Lord Of The Rings series by J. R.R. Tolkein.

6. Symbolic Characters

Symbolic Characters represent a theme or concept larger than them. They always have dynamic personality and qualities and stand for a class of certain type of symbolic traits rather than an individual. They are the exact opposite of Stock Characters and depict positive traits and greatness in a broader sense of the word.

Examples of Symbolic Characters: Professor Dumbeldor in Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Eddard Stark, Tommen and Robert Baratheon in A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R. R. Martin and in Lord Of The Rings series by J. R.R. Tolkein.

7. Foil Characters

Foil Characters are the characters that are used as a foil to highlight the qualities of the main characters. They are generally polar opposites of the main characters and authors use them to bring out the qualities of their main characters indirectly.

Examples of Foil Characters: Draco Malfoy is a foil to Harry Potter’s character in Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Sansa Stark is a foil to Arya Stark and Jamie Lannister is a foil to Brienne Of Tarth in A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Gollum is a foil to Bilbo and Frodo’s character in Lord Of The Rings series by J. R.R. Tolkein.


So these are the 7 types of characters in fiction. Did you know about them already or was it the first time you heard about some of these? I’d love to hear about what kind of characters you personally prefer while reading fiction books or writing your own stories.

Here are some other great resources on types of characters and characterisation in general:

Thanks a lot for reading!

Creating Realistic Characters

Creating Realistic Characters

Creating Realistic Characters is an hour-long webinar on characterisation basics. I will be doing a follow-up Webinar with the advance techniques used for characterisation, so make sure you attend this one.

Webinar Details

Date: 5th December 2020
Time: 11:00 am to 12:00 pm (can go on till 12:30 pm) – Indian Standard Time 
Platform: YouTube Live
Link to the Webinarhttps://youtu.be/70aOMZjtBzc
Link to my YouTube Channelhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGJRUGymFvQJ3m6TdvCzOhw 

Subscribe and press the Bell Icon 🔔 or ‘Set Reminder’ to be notified when I go Live.

Topics:

  • Types of characters
  • Levels of characters – Inverted Pyramid
  • Types of characterisation
  • Character Profiling
  • Backstory
  • Character Arcs
  • Character conflicts or internal conflicts
  • Character motivation and stakes

But wait… there’s something special this time!

I will be giving away some really exciting gifts for this Webinar! 

  1. 1 Signed Copy of my novel Deceived
  2. 1 Signed Coffee Mug.
  3. A kick-ass Character Profile Sheet Template with 50 character traits.

For these prizes, you will have to earn points and here is how you can do it:

  • 1 Point for retweeting/sharing my tweets and posts related to this Webinar – 1 point per tweet/share.
  • 2 Points for sharing about this Webinar on your social media platform.
  • 3 Points for sharing about this Webinar on your blog or website.
  • 5 Points for creating a reel about this Webinar or my Youtube Channel.
  • 1 Bonus Point for any kind of social media shout out for this Webinar.

Please make sure to Tag Me in your shoutouts, videos and posts otherwise you won’t be able to earn any points.

The participant with most points will received a signed copy of my book Deceived and the Character Profile Sheet Template
The runner up will receive the coffee mug and the Character Profile Sheet Template.
The next 8 people with highest points will receive the Character Profile Sheet Template.

So what are you waiting for?! Start sharing and earning points!

I’ll see you on the 5th of December!

5 Elements Of Plot In Fiction

5 Elements Of Plot In Fiction

Plot, one of the 5 main elements of fiction writing, is a term that confuses many new as well as veteran writers. When it comes to Fiction Writing, there is a big difference in the Story and the Plot. If you want to learn the difference between Story and Plot then read this article: Story Vs Plot.

Plot is basically the logical sequence in which events happen in a story. These events and their sequence should make sense and take the story forward. They always follow the pattern of cause and effect or action and reaction and thus have a great impact on the characterisation too. Therefore, while working on a fiction story, it is very important to outline your basic plot before plunging into the depths of structuring.

Let’s have a look at what exactly makes up the plot:

The 5 Elements Of Plot In Fiction

1. Inciting Incident

The event that kick starts the story or the point where the story begins is known as the inciting incident. This is where your story will begin.

2. Crises

The problems faced by the protagonist(s) which forces them into action. Please note crises is different conflict. Conflict forces the protagonist to make a choice or a decision keeping in mind the consequences and then facing those consequences.

3. Rising and Falling Action

Rising Action is the sequence of events which lead to rising tension in the story because of the varying intensity of emotional turmoil the characters go through in the story leading the plot to the Climax. RA includes many patterns of action-reaction in varying intensity which keeps the readers engaged and interested in the story.

Falling Action is the opposite of Rising Action and is the sequence of events that leas to the falling tension in the story because of the resolutions of the sub-plots and side-stories leading to the final resolution of the main conflict. It follows the Climax of the story.

4. Climax

The highest point of tension in the story. The point at which the main conflict of the story is faced by the protagonist of the story.

5. Resolution

Resolution is the end of your story. It is the point at which the main conflict is resolved and all the loose ends of the story are tied up. This is where your story ends.

And with this you can take your first steps into the deep ocean that is plot structuring. These are also the events that have to be decided on while outlining a story, so next time you want to outline a new story or an existing one then begin with these 5 elements.

If you have any queries or want to share your experience with plot lines or plotting then don’t hesitate to comment in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

Storyboard A Novel in 5 Easy Steps

Storyboard A Novel in 5 Easy Steps

Storyboarding is a wonderful organising technique, that I feel, is highly underrated when it comes to fiction writing. It is a great tool to plot your novels and to put it all together in a coherent plot-line.

I am an intuitive writer but working on multiple long-form fiction projects can be downright scary at times because you tend to forget where you are in a particular story and what needs to be worked and re-worked on. Things get disorganised and that totally sucks the fun out of writing, even for a Panster like me.

And this is where storyboarding comes in. I used it to plot my first book Deceived and I am using it to plot my other 3 books too. So I thought it was time that I shared a little about how I storyboard. Organising tools can be dealt in any way one finds it comfortable, but many writers feel at a loss when they are to put their story into a coherent form and give it a structure. Therefore, I highly suggest using this amazing tool to streamline your novel and make sure nothing is left out or out of order. It is also a great way to let you know what to work on next and how much work has to go into a novel before calling it finished (which a lot of writers generally struggle with.)

So, here is how to storyboard a novel:

Storyboarding A Novel In 5 Easy Steps

Step-1: Base

The first thing that you’ll need is a surface, that we’ll call as our base. It can be a cardboard sheet, drawing sheet, whiteboard or even a clean wall. Basically, you’ll need a big surface are where you can plan your novel.

Now select a fitting plot structure for your novel. We all begin our stories with at least one plot structure in mind so if you don’t want to get too technical or like doing things intuitively then stick to the basic ones. If you are a plotter and good at organising stuff, then you might already have 2-3 plot structures in mind for your story, so put them in use now. If you are not into plot structuring or don’t know about it much, then go for the basic 3-Act Plot Structure.

I generally use the 3-Act Structure, developing it into 4 and then 5-Act Structure and then adding different curves of tension and plot-points. I also tend to use the Fichtean Curve a lot in my graphs, especially for tension and pacing.

Once you’ve decided on the plot structure to begin with, draw horizontal lines leaving a gap of 5-6 inches in between them. Draw at least 5 lines so that you have enough space for all your islands.

Read:

The 3-Act Structure: Introduction

The 4-Act-Structure: Introduction

Step-2: Scene List

Prepare a list of scenes that you have already written, presently working on or plan to write. For this you will have to name your scenes for quick and easy reference. For example, if in a scene, the heroine meets with an accident, then simply name it Accident. If suppose there are two or more scenes of accidents then name them Accident I, Accident II and Accident III and so on. These won’t be your final scene names, they are just for your own reference, so don’t fret over them much and waste time doing it.

Step-3: Plot Points

Make a list of all the major plot points in your story – anything of significance that defines your plot. These plot points will help you see your story in an objective way, helping you determine the key moments, the points of no return and the climax and resolution. If you feel something is missing, then better start working on your plot points now, before you go ahead.

Step-4: Islands

Now is the time to take the post-its or the index cards and start putting down each and every scene on them. These would be known as islands. Simply put the heading of the scene and write 2 lines describing it on each post-it or index card. You need to do it for all your scenes and plot points.

I usually colour-code as per how finished the scenes are, for example, the pink stickies I have used here are for the finished scenes, the blue ones are for the plot points, the peach ones are for scenes that need re-writing and the yellow ones for the scenes that are yet to be written.

Step-5: Put It All Together

Now put up all the post-its or tape the index cards as per your plot-line. Go as per the sequence of the scenes and plot points and start putting all the islands on your base.

Note: Do not paste your islands on the storyboard using glue otherwise you won’t be able to move them around without messign up your board.

And that is how you storyboard your novel.


After you’re done, have a good hard look at the overall story and if you feel some scenes are missing then simply create islands for them and add them to the Base.

How do you storyboard your novel? Don’t forget to share your experience with storyboarding in the comments section below!

October Webinars

October Webinars

Hello, dear writers and readers. I am here with some exciting as hell news! I have two upcoming Webinars! Read on to find the details, timings and some extra exciting stuff!

Webinar #4: Decoding Horror Genre For Writers

In this Webinar I will be covering the following topics:

  • What is Horror Fiction – The basics of Horror Fiction
  • Plot Structures and schemes used in Horror Fiction Writing
  • Common Tropes used in Horror Fiction
  • Elements of Horror Writing 
  • Literary Devices that help in writing Horror Fiction
  • Study of the sub-genres of Horror in Literature: Discussion of the infamous Gothic, Macabre, Morbid and Psychological literature
  • Discussing some famous works in Horror Fiction – both in literature and films/television

BONUS: At the end of the webinar, registered members will receive a Horror Writing Tool-Kit in their emails. So don’t forget to register for this webinar!

Webinar Details:

DATE31st October 2020
TIME (as per IST = GMT+5:30)5:00 pm to 6:00 pm (can go on till 6:30-7:00 pm)
PLATFORMYOUTUBE LIVE
COSTFREE
LINKhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGJRUGymFvQJ3m6TdvCzOhw
Webinar #4 Details

Webinar #5: Understanding The Relevance of NaNoWriMo For Indian Writers

In this Webinar I will be covering the following topics:

  • What is NaNoWriMo
  • Benefits Of Participating In NaNoWriMo
  • The relevance of NaNoWriMo for Indian, or any non-American, writers
  • How to make the best out of a WriMo
  • How to prepare for NaNoWriMo
  • How to successfully win NaNoWriMo – planning your WriMo around Diwali and holidays in November
  • What if you fail? And the important lessons to learn from it about yourself and your writing
  • How, in the end, NaNoWriMo helps you get better at being a real writer irrespective of winning or losing the WriMo.

Webinar Details:

DATE26th October 2020 – Monday
TIME (as per IST = GMT+5:30)5:00 pm to 6:00 pm (can go on till 6:30 pm)
PLATFORMGOOGLE MEET
COSTFREE
LINKhttps://meet.google.com/hvx-bqov-bkx
This link will work at the time of the Webinar only
Webinar #5 Details

10 Ways To Prepare For NaNoWriMo 2020

10 Ways To Prepare For NaNoWriMo 2020

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month is around the corner and I am really looking forward to it particularly this year because of the entire lockdown situation. I simply cannot wait to get back to one of my story’s draft and start writing again motivated by all the NaNo energy on my social media feeds! I love NaNo and there are more than a million reasons for it, the first and foremost being that it helped me write my own novel!

If you are new here, I’d like you to know that I wrote the first draft of my debut novel Deceived in NaNoWriMo 2014. Though I ended up changing the story later, the foundation was laid in NaNoWriMo’14 itself. Therefore, I have a very special place for NaNoWriMo in my heart.

As per NaNoWriMo rules of participation, a writer cannot begin actually writing the draft of the story that they are planning to work on for the WriMo but they can start prepping for it in advance. In fact, they totally encourage all writers to prepare well and they have a really awesome name for it too – Preptober (Prep October.)

So let’s get down to business and look at the 10 ways you can prepare for NaNoWriMo 2020. It doesn’t matter if you are beginning a new story or working on the draft of an old one, these points would be useful, and even handy, either way.

10 Ways To Prepare for NaNoWriMo

1. Finalise The Idea

The first thing that you’re going to have to establish before working on the draft of any story is to settle on an idea (probably two ideas in case if you’ll be working on multiple projects.)

Unless you’ve finalised an idea or two, don’t even think about entering the waters because WriMo is all about pushing your limits and belting out words. And you can only do that when you are not confused about what exactly to work on.

A lot of people make the mistake on beginning a random project thinking they’ll figure it out once the WriMo begins but mostly those projects either end badly or simply don’t end at all and get shelved.

Read: Finding The Right Idea

2. Develop That Idea

The last thing you want is to get stuck with an idea that cannot be developed further after a certain point. You will curse the day you settled on that idea and it’ll make you lose your momentum making you start all over again with hunting for a new idea. You need to develop your idea beforehand otherwise you’ll end up with a half-baked book.

3. Establish The Theme

Next, you need to figure out the theme, i.e., the main point you (as a writer) are trying to convey through your story.

Knowing the theme of your story will prevent you from straying and wandering from your story and help you to end up feeling lost or, worse, with a confusing plot. You can have multiple side-themes, but we are talking here only about the main theme. If you don’t know about it yet, then first identify it and then work on it.

4. Work On The Plot Outline

You need an outline if you really want to work on your story and at least finish one of its drafts. It doesn’t matter if you’re a planner or a pantster, you’ll have to keep it handy because while participating in a WriMo, you simply cannot afford to lose time fretting over the outline (which you should’ve have prepared in advance!)

There are a lot of people who like to write by the seat of their pants, but the problem that creates in WriMo is that you do not have the liberty to get stuck! When you’re writing on a schedule, you need to have at least some sort of a plan to help you move forward, even if you write intuitively and refer to it only if needed. I strongly suggest creating at least a basic outline for your story before starting work on it for WriMo.

Read:

The 3-Act Structure: Introduction

The 3-Act Structure: In Detail

The 4-Act-Structure: Introduction

5. Develop The Conflict

Conflict is the main conflict or the main argument of your story.

The conflict will make your story come alive because it is, by all means, the heart of your story. You first need to establish it and then make sure that it works for your story. The entire story would be woven around it, so make sure you get it right.

6. Build The Characters

The most important thing after the plot of the story are the characters. Characterisation is an entire universe in its own and while working on a story you can either concentrate of putting the story on paper or building your characters, so do it now!

Start brainstorming your character’s personality, physical as well as behavioural traits, their personalities, mannerisms and most importantly their backstories. Get to work now. And remember don’t just work only on your main character but also work on the side characters too.

Read:

Character Profile Sheets

Character Profile Sheets (CPS) – Part 2

7. Organise Everything

Organise all your notes, scribbles, brainstormed papers, potential plot points that you worked on, POV ideas, sub-plot ideas, scenes and anything else related to your story in one place. Either put them all in one big folder or simply put them all in a file. You will be writing quite a bit in prep, so you will have even more things to add to your file or folder by the time October ends, so prepare for it from now itself.

Read:

10 Essential Tools For Writers

8. Clear Your Schedule

Clear your schedule for the entire month of November, except for the really important things. If it can be done before or after then move it on your schedule and free up days for writing. You do not want to have more than 5 Zero Days (and if you are serious about your story, which I think you should be) then keep those 5 days in reserve for emergencies only.

9. Work Out A Writing Schedule & Space

Try a couple of different timings and find out the one that suits you best. Some writers find comfort in writing late at night, whereas some love writing in the wee hours of morning (I certainly do.) Some like to write in the quiet hours of the afternoon while others like to write in the evening. So figure out what works best for you.

When I say create a writing space, I do not mean to buy a desk if you don’t have one. Write wherever you feel comfortable and prepare that place for yourself. For example, in spite of having a dedicated writing space with a huge desk, I love sitting on my dining table for writing. So I will prepare it by decluttering the table and making space for writing. You can do it anywhere, on the terrace, your balcony sitting area, your garden, on the kitchen island, on the dining table, your bed… anywhere really.

10. Let Everyone Know

Now, this is the last part of the prep. You need to let everyone know that you’ll be participating in WriMo and will be busy throughout the month of November. If they can’t do anything else to support you, they should simply leave you be for the entire WriMo month so that that you can work on your story undisturbed.

Social media is another great tool to announce your participation as it makes you feel excited for your project. Try and connect with your writing community or other writers participating in WriMo to discuss your preparations as well as to know how others do it.


Questions: Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo before or is this your first time? Are you excited for NaNoWriMo 2020? How are you preparing for this Corona- infested year’s NaNoWriMo?

Do share your experience as I would love to know about it!

Related:

My First NaNoWriMo

5 Keys To Writing 50K Words In 30 Days

Coming next week: Relevance of NaNoWriMo for Indian Writers

Thanks for reading!

October Buddy Reads At RMFAO, My Bookclub

October Buddy Reads At RMFAO, My Bookclub

Hello, guys. Finally, we have the book picks for the October Buddy Read at RMFAO. The books that were selected by voting are If It Bleeds by Stephen King and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell.

I you’d like to participate in either or both the buddy reads then following are the respective Threads Of Discussion for each of the books:

Buddy Read (BOTM #1): If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Buddy Read (BOTM #2): My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Everyone is invited! So do come and join us for these month-long buddy reads 🙂

5 Bookish Websites That Every Book Reader Must Know

5 Bookish Websites That Every Book Reader Must Know

I strongly believe that to be a better writer, you have to be a reader first. I mean, why would you even write, if you don’t like reading in the first place?! I have a very strong opinion about people who want to write even when they don’t like reading, but I’ll discuss it some other time. Today, I want to discuss the 5 Bookish Websites That Every Book Reader Must Know.

I have been reading stories in various forms like comics, storybooks, magazines, and of course, novels since childhood, but studies and life came in the way and, well, I wasn’t able to read as much as I had wanted to. 2012 was the year when I dropped out of my Engineering College and decided to find my calling. Having nothing to do to distract me, I started reading and, to cut a long story short, 2 years and some 50-60 books later I realised that I wanted to write. Fast-forwarding to today, I am a published author with one full-length novel published along with an anthology, 3 books in various stages of publishing and another 3 in various stages of writing and it is all because once I started reading, I simply never stopped.

Today, I read about 80-100 books a year without having affecting my writing (well, sometimes I do leave my writing behind to finish a novel that I really like.) And on this beautiful journey if something remained constant then it was a couple of websites that really, really helped me! In my list of 5 Bookish Websites That Every Book Reader Must Know, I have introduced these treasures as well as some recent favourites. So do check out these awesome websites and let me know which ones you already knew about and which ones are new to you.

To sum this video up, here’s my list of 5 Bookish Websites That Every Book Reader Must Know:

  1. Goodreads – The biggest social media platform dedicated to books.
  2. Project Gutenberg – The one place where you can find all the classics available in the public domain.
  3. Librivox – Get all the classics in audio format that are available in the public domain.
  4. NetGalley – If you don’t know what NetGalley is, then read this article I wrote a couple of years back (and which is still one my most viewed articles of all time): Are you a “Professional Reader” at NetGalley?
  5. Audible – Amazon for audiobooks (literally!)

If you are already on Goodreads, then feel free to send a friend request to or a follow my Goodreads Author Profile.

If you’d like to explore new books and crave discussing books with other book-lovers, then I’d love to invite you to my Book Club – RMFAO, which stands for Reading my Frigging A** Off.
If you’re not on Goodreads and still want to join my Group then I do have a RMFAO Facebook Group for it and even a WhatsApp one – to become a member of RMFAO WhatsApp group please email me your WhatsApp number along with your name at rmfaobookclub@gmail.com

Please feel free to share your personal favourite websites that help you in your everyday reading as I would love to know about them!

Live Stream: Common Writing Mistakes Webinar

Hey guys, you can watch the live streaming of ,y 3rd and latest webinar here:

Due to some technical glitch, I had to shift to Facebook live after the Webinar to answer some of the questions, so you can watch that 20 minutes feed here:

For your reference, here a list of all the 30 mistakes I covered in this webinar:

Fiction Writing Masterclass – 4-Week Intensive Workshop

Fiction Writing Masterclass – 4-Week Intensive Workshop

Learn to write a book from start to end in this 4-week intensive workshop – Fiction Writing Masterclass. It is recommended for writers who have an idea and don’t know where to begin or how to write the book. It is also suitable for writers who have already started their book but are not stuck somewhere along the way no knowing where to go and whom to ask for help.

This workshop will teach you the coveted art of writing a book as well as finishing your book within 6-8 months.

Please register here to receive further details For Fiction Writing Masterclass:

What people think of our workshops:

Webinar #3: Common Writing Mistakes

Webinar #3: Common Writing Mistakes

I’m here with another FREE WEBINAR!

Join me in this hour-long webinar to learn all about the common mistakes all creative writers (especially fiction writers) make in their writing. The mistakes I will be discussing will range from complex exposition-related mistakes, dialogue formatting mistakes, grammar mistakes to use of wrong narrative style, under-writing, over-writing and a LOT more.

This webinar is free for all, so do come and join in the discussion!

Benefits of registration:

  • You will receive the direct webinar link directly in your inbox
  • You will receive the streaming link in your inbox after the webinar to watch the webinar again later
  • You will receive a reminder for the webinar 1 hour before the webinar begins on Sunday, 30th August 2020. 
  • You can ask questions to me regarding the mistakes I discuss in the webinar even after the webinar is over

So what are you waiting for? It is a great opportunity to learn about writing mistakes and improve your writing!

Register today as there is less than a week to go for the webinar!

Make sure to have a hot cup of coffee or a chilled glass of iced tea at the ready and a pen and a notebook for taking notes. That’s it.

Hoping to see you all on the day of the webinar on YouTube Live.

Register Here:

How To Write A Book Analysis

How To Write A Book Analysis

Analysing a book is too often confused with writing a book review. It is a very common misconception and one that needs to be busted especially if you are planning to become a writer or are one already.

A book review is an informal way of sharing one’s thoughts about any book of the reader’s choice and can, quite literally, be done in any way. There are no rules, no particular way or structure that needs to be followed, it should just be informative that’s all. Whereas a book analysis follows a structure and has to contain certain bits of information in it. It is a formal approach to studying a book and is often given as practice exercises by professors, teachers or lecturers (like myself) of creative writing to their students for some particular book or story, fiction or non-fiction. As I primarily teach fiction, the scope of this post will be limited to fiction Book Analysis.

So let’s see how it is done because a lot of writers, especially in our country where creative writing is not taught in schools or colleges, don’t know the right format for it.

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK ANALYSIS

Before we begin with how to write a Book Analysis, let’s first have a look at the structure of the book analysis so that you’ll know what notes to take while reading the book or text.

Book Analysis is made up of three parts:

1. Introduction:

It should contain the name of the book, the author, the time period in which the book was written, genre, the time and settings of the book, a brief outline of the plot (preferably in 1-2 sentences) and any other relevant information related to either the book or the author.
Look at this as the opening of your Analysis, therefore try and give information regarding the book you’re going to analyse, who it is written by and what exactly is it about as if the reader of your essay has no idea about the book you’re analysing.

2. Main Body:

The main body of the analysis consist of more than one paragraph (2-3 are ideal.) This is where you will have to summarise the book and give brief descriptions of the main events.

This is followed by your analysis of the work – what you think of it and how you interpreted the book you read. Write about the story, main themes and ideas, characters and their development, writing style employed by the author, symbolisms used, the overall structure of the story or any obvious pattern or style used to write it. Also, write about the literary devices used in the book and make a note of any positive or negative traits about the plot of characters you notice.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion is where you make your main point about the book – do you agree about the book or not and why? You need to present your argument in a respectable and friendly way not showing any kind of bias. using quotes from the book is a great way to support your argument. Though make it a point that if you do not agree with the author, there are instances when it happens, to try and add a line or two showing why do you think the author thinks a certain way – remember to be respectful.

For example, if the author is being misogynistic then try to understand why he is being that way, maybe it is because of the time period in which the book was written and the general mentality of the masses.

So this is the structure of a Book Analysis, Fiction Book Analysis to be specific, though however, for most of the non-fiction stories, especially biographies, autobiographies and memoir you can follow the same structure. Though, if you are writing a critical analysis on a factual book or a research paper then you’ll have to follow a different format which is similar to this one but focuses on the facts and the author’s previous works and thesis heavily.

Here’s a handy graphic depicting how a book analysis is written:

Please give appropriate credit – Heena Rathore-Pardeshi, and a link back – crazycatwriter.com, while using this image.

Now le’s have a look at the steps in which you can examine a book critically and prepare your argument:

  1. Reading the book and identifying the main theme, narrative style and literary devices used. Also, keep a keen eye out for the language and the settings used by the author.
  2. Make use of online dictionaries, encyclopedias or articles to understand the ideas that may be foreign to you or to understand the overall mentality or thought-process of the people of certain parts of the world or time period.
  3. Take notes of paragraphs or sentences/lines that particularly resonate with you or stand out.
  4. Write a summary of the story (in about 300-500 words) for your own reference.
  5. Make a special note of how the book made you feel emotionally because it is important as it will form the basis of your argument.
  6. Take note of any illustrations or maps added in the book
  7. Note down your thoughts as you read the book as they will help you in writing the analysis.
  8. Re-read the book or the story again. You’ll have a better understanding of the story and a lot more clarity upon reading the book or the story a second time. You will also come across a lot of things you might have missed in the first reading. I strongly recommend a second reading.

Book analysis can, and if I am being honest then should be, practised as a necessary exercise by creative writers because it is a great way of learning the intricacies of creative writing that can only be learned through reading. Analysing a book helps creative writers to critically study a work of writing that has already been published and therefore, helps them to learn from it and absorb details that cannot be all taught by someone else and can only be picked up through reading.

What do you think about writing a book analysis as a creative writing practice? Do you do it or, like most fiction writers, you dread having to write it? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it so feel free to share your experiences and related resources int he comments below. All comments are welcome 🙂

Thank you for reading.

Vlog #6: Books I Read In The Last 1 Month And The Ones I’m Reading Now

Book I read in the last one month:

  1. Pretty Things by Janelle Brown
  2. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry
  3. The Night Boat by Robert McCammon
  4. Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges #1) by Stephen King
  5. The War Of Art: Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
  6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  7. The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson
  8. Finders Keepers (Book Hodges #2) by Stephen King
  9. Shadow And Bone (Shadow And Bone #1 & Grishaverse #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  10. A Mother’s Lie by Sarah Zettel

The books I’m presently reading are:

  1. Jaya by Devdutta Pattnaik
  2. The Uncanny by Sigmund Freud
  3. Siege & Storm (Grishaverse #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  4. End Of Watch (Bill Hodges #3) by Stephen King

What are you guys reading this month? Do share some recommendations 🙂

Registration For Fiction Writing For Beginners Workshop

Registration For Fiction Writing For Beginners Workshop

Learn the basics of Fiction Writing and start your writing journey today. Upon registration, get access to my exclusive WhatsApp group for Fiction Writing For Beginners Workshop where registered students have started doing the guided writing exercises with me. I personally provide feedback for each and every writing piece submitted by the students. So what better way to learn about your strengths and weaknesses in writing and become a better writer?!

If you don’t already know then read on to find out the details of this workshop:

If you already know the details and the fee then you can scroll down to the end of the post to fill out the registration form.

Fiction Writing For Beginners is a 2 and 1/2 hours long online workshop on Fiction Writing. It will be conducted by me, author Heena Rathore-Pardeshi – an award-winning author and a literary critic and editor.

The workshop would be followed by an hour of doubt-clearing and writing discussions for all the participating students who want to talk to me and discuss Fiction Writing.

The workshop is on the 5th and 6th of September 2020. You can choose either of the days as per your convenience.

THE TOPICS THAT will be covered in this workshop:

  • Discovering The Writer Within
  • Intro to Creative Writing
  • Forms of Creative Writing
  • Intro to Fiction Writing
  • Maintaining an Idea Journal
  • Practising Morning Words or Pages
  • Creating and sustaining a Daily Writing Habit
  • Creating a Writing Ritual
  • General rules of Fiction Writing
  • Fiction Book Analysis to analyse other fiction works and learn from them
  • Forms Of Non-Fiction Writing
  • Forms of Fiction Writing
  • Various Divisions of Fiction
  • Elements of Fiction Writing
  • Literary Devices 
  • Important terminologies
  • Introduction to Writer’s Block
  • Defeating Writer’s Block
  • Learning to Freewrite
  • Utilising Prompt Writing to deal with the ‘blank page syndrome’

TIMINGS:

There are going to be two batches, as I do not like to over-crowd by workshops:

  • Batch-1: 5th September 2020 – Morning 11:00 am 01:30 pm
  • Batch-2: 6th September 2020 – Evening 05:00 pm to 07:30 pm

After registration, you can choose any one batch that suits you.

PRICING:

The fees for this workshop is: Rs.1000

If you are wondering who is this workshop suitable for, then have a look at the graphic below:

If you have any questions then shoot me an email at rathoreheena@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Here’s a little reminder of the topics I’ll be covering in this workshop:

To register, please fill out the form below. You will receive the payment instructions within 24hrs of filling the form:

REGISTRATIONS ARE CLOSED!

Thank You!

What are Beta Readers And Why Do you need them?

What are Beta Readers And Why Do you need them?

In the last 4 months, whenever I have delivered a lecture, I am ALWAYS asked about one particular topic, each and every single time with no exception at all – What is a Beta Reader? 

Beta Reading is a concept well-known in the writing community but often misunderstood and misinterpreted by the new writers. So, finally, I’m writing about one of the most exciting parts of writing a book – Beta Reading!

But before we proceed, make sure to check out my Resources For Writers page in order to learn more about fiction writing & novel writing.

WHAT ARE BETA READERS?

What is a Beta Reader?

Beta Reader is a person who reads your book and provides you with detailed feedback on your manuscript from the perspective of a reader.

When I say ‘detailed feedback,’ it does not mean a review. What it means is that the Beta Reader should tell you about what they thought of your book overall, what was good in the book, what aspect they did not like or appreciate, what they thought could be better, what felt missing and what they thought worked and what did not in its favour.

You can even create a particular questionnaire for them to help them aid in Beta Reading Report, or simply leave it to them. It is entirely up to you.

WHO CAN BE A BETA READER?

Anyone who is a voracious reader, and by that I mean a hardcore bibliophile, who reads at least 40-50 books a year and has read over 500 books in their life are perfect for Beta Reading.

Good command of the language is very important as well as a good sense of grammar and syntax is necessary when you’re looking for a good Beta Reader. 

Where To Find A Beta Reader?

Beta Readers can be a little tricky to find. You’ll have to either get involved in particular circles online or will have to do a lot of research and hunting online. If you are planning to write consistently, meaning it is not a one-time stint for you, then I suggest the former way.

Join the online Beta Reading groups – you can find these on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can follow the #betareading on Instagram and Twitter and go from there. Or you can join or become a part of the websites or forums dedicated to Beta Reading. Remember, being a part of these groups means, you’ll have to volunteer to beta read for other writers as well. Many times people prefer to exchange works with each other for beta reading. That is a good way to start.

Otherwise, I’d recommend starting your own blog/website and interacting with fellow bloggers because most of the bloggers who blog about writing and reading are into Beta Reading.

How many Beta Readers do I need for 1 manuscript?

You can have as many Beta Readers for your manuscript as you can find, but make sure to have at least 5 of them.

10 is a great number but only if you can manage to find that many.

Remember, quality over quantity, always.

Do they charge money?

Traditionally speaking, no, Beta Readers do not charge money. They can either do it for free or ask for your feedback on something they’ve written in return for their feedback. But in recent times, things have changed drastically and the rise in the ever-growing demand for Beta Reader has given birth to Professional Beta Readers.

Professional Beta Readers are Beta Readers who deliver quality work and therefore are in high demand. Their time is money because everyone wants them, therefore, they charge money and give out their time as per the availability. While looking for Beta Readers, you can always hire 1, or maybe 2, of these professional beta readers and the rest voluntary ones.

But, be careful. Just because a person charges for money doesn’t make them professional. Make sure to check their background, read their reviews or testimonials for their service and make sure to have a sample done for free before paying anything.

And now for the second part fo the topic.

Why Do You Need Them?

The answer is simple, you need Beta Readers in order to make sure that your manuscript reads the way you intended it to. You may know the whole story in your head, hell it might have played in your mind more than a couple hundred thousand times already by the time you finish writing your manuscript, but that does not mean that you have written it all down the same way. As a writer, our closeness to our works posses the biggest problem when it comes to seeing our own mistakes. Therefore, a fresh pair of eyes could easily find out the mistakes that won’t stick out to an author even after multiple read.

Along with zeroing in on possible mistakes, potholes and problems with your plot and characterisation, Beta Readers will also let you know how ‘readable’ is your book. No that is something hard to describe but trust me, just because you’ve poured hours and hours of hardworking in a book doesn’t necessarily mean it reads good. And readability is one of the most important things when it comes to a manuscript.

And lastly, you need them because they will provide you with an important perspective of a reader for your story and will help you analyse if you need to change, develop, add or remove some aspect, scene, chapter or sub-plot in your final manuscript before you do the final round of revisions and edits and start considering the submission process.

I’ll be covering more ground on Beta Readers, the best way to approach as well as brief them and some important dos and don’ts, so keep an eye out for my next couple of posts.

In the meantime, do check out some other articles I’ve written on writing fiction:

Prompt-Writing

Prompt-Writing

Prompt-writing is one of the best tools for fiction writers. Period.

You’ll find various definitions for it on the internet, but for me, it is simply what the name suggests:

A topic around which a short piece of fiction is written promptly.

Generally, the said piece of fiction is in the range of 100-1000 words and you don’t think about it and work on it for days or even hours. You simply look at the topic (whatever form it is in) and write, generally within a set limit of time, say half an hour or an hour. You can revise or edit it later on, but the main part is written promptly. And that is what prompt-writing is really about.

When I say a piece of fiction it can be a scene, a story or an anecdote – it can be anything. Though it needs to be a complete unit in itself, with a beginning, a middle and an ending.

Prompt-writing is great for writing random pieces of fiction, which may or may not be used in your larger fiction works depending on how developable they may be.

It is very similar to Freewriting, but the difference is that in Prompt-Writing a prompt is used to kick-start the imagination and serves as the basis for the writing. But in Freewriting, there are simply no limits, neither of words nor of topics (that is if you are doing a timed Freewriting session.)

Read more about Freewriting here: Freewriting – Everything You Need To Know

It is an absolutely amazing tool for fiction writers because it cures the “blank page syndrome” as well as helps you in maintaining a daily writing habit.

You can download the PDF file for this prompt-calendar for August 2020 here.

The topics, usually referred to as prompts, can be of different types:

  • Word Prompts
  • Sentence Prompts
  • Title Prompts
  • Memory Prompts
  • Photo Prompts
  • Scene Prompts
  • POV prompts
  • Dialogue Prompts
  • Setting Prompts
  • Character Prompts
  • Theme Prompts
  • Object Prompts

The list is endless…

You can find the prompts online, or create ones for yourself (like I have done) or you can either participate in groups or subscribe to websites who share monthly or weekly prompts such as:

Please feel free to share your thoughts on Prompt-Writing int he comments below. Suggestions, comments and nuggets of information are all welcome!

Here are some of my own Prompt-Writing pieces:

So what are you waiting for? Get started with prompt writing today itself and see where it takes you!

Registrations Open For Fiction Writing For Beginners

Registrations Open For Fiction Writing For Beginners

If you are new to writing or have no clue about how to get started or where to begin when it comes to writing, then this class is for you.
If you’ve never written before but have always wondered about how to become a writer, then this class is for you.
If you love reading books and have, somewhere in your heart, wanted to write someday, then this class is for you.

Fiction Writing For Beginners

Fiction Writing For Beginners is a 2-hour long workshop on learning writing as a beginner. The workshop is on the 15th of August (Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm) and 16th August (Sunday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm) as per the batch you’d select.

The workshop would be followed up by half an hour of doubt-clearing and writing discussions for all the participating students who want to talk to the author and discuss their writing with me.

The topics that will be covered in this workshop are:

  • Introduction to Fiction Writing
  • Discovering what kind of writer you are and working accordingly on your writing
  • Creating and maintaining an Idea Journal
  • Different Forms of Fiction Writing
  • Literary Devices and their uses in Fiction Writing
  • Elements of Fiction Writing
  • Important and necessary terminologies used in Fiction Writing
  • How to start writing fiction – starting slow and then building up
  • Creating and developing a writing ritual
  • Starting a daily writing habit
  • Prompt-Writing and utilising it to write consistently
  • Understanding and defeating the writer’s block
  • Ways to improve your writing
  • Fiction Writing exercises
  • Fiction Writing Prompts – some handy prompts to get you started

Timings:

There are going to be two batches as I do not like to over-crowd by workshops:

  • Batch-1: 15th August 2020 – Morning 11:00 am to afternoon 01:00 pm
  • Batch-2: 16th August 2020 – Evening 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm

While enrolling you can choose any batch of your choice that suits you (as per your convenience.)

Pricing:

The fees for this workshop is: Rs.1000

Once you pay the fees and your enrolment for this workshop would be confirmed and you will be added to the Fiction Writing For Beginners (FWB) WhatsApp group and will receive some reading materials along with some writing exercises to do until the day of the workshop. The main workshop notes would be emailed to you on the day of the workshop.

Payment:

Pay the fee for this workshop – Fiction Writing For Beginners here:

Google Pay: 7875494400

Please mention that the payment is for Fiction Writing For Beginners workshop and once the payment is made, please DM me (on Ig or Fb) or WhatsApp me the screenshot on the same number.

Registration:

Please make sure that the details you give are accurate otherwise it gets very difficult for me to track you down in order to contact you.

First Online Writing Workshop

First Online Writing Workshop

Hey guys, I know it’s been so long, but I swear I have decided to post more often now. That’s why rather than just posting on my social media I thought I’d come here and do a full post on this (you, get back in the groove.)

So as you might have observed, I have taken a couple of webinars in the last 3-4 months and then I finally decided to go ahead with launching my workshops online. Online workspace is a lot more comfortable for me as I do not like stepping outside the house and recently in these pandemic time people, especially in India, have become more receptive to the idea of online teaching. Therefore, after a quick chat with my publisher, who’s been behind me for writing a non-fit book on writing, I decided to take the plunge.

It took a full month to put together this amazing workshop (my first ever) – Fiction Writing Masterclass, in which I taught my students how to start writing a book and then make sure that they finish it. It was a great learning experience for me and I enjoyed it a lot. The response was incredible, so much that I had to split the workshop into 2 batches to not to overcrowd it.

Here are some pictures from both the days of the workshop:

The best part was that all my students were happy with the workshop and I was so thrilled to have gotten to know so many like minded people.

I have another workshop next month, so hopefully it’ll go as well as this one!

Thanks a lot for reading 🙂

Ciao ❤

Fiction Writing For Beginners

Fiction Writing For Beginners

So while promoting my other class – Fiction Writing Masterclass, several new writers requested me to teach something for the beginners. So here is what I have prepared: Fiction Writing For Beginners.

If you are new to writing or have no clue how to get started in writing, then this class is for you.
If you feel intimidated by the blank page and suffer from shyness to write then this class is for you.
If you’ve never written before but have always wondered about writing then this class is for you.
If you love reading books and have, somewhere in your heart, wanted to write someday, then this class is for you.

Fiction Writing For Beginners

Fiction Writing For Beginners is a 2-hour long workshop on learning writing as a beginner. The workshop is on the 15th of July 2020 (Saturday) from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (as per the batch you’ve selected.)

It will be conducted by author Heena Rathore Pardeshi – an award-winning author and a literary critic and editor.

The workshop would be followed by an hour of doubt-clearing and writing discussions for all the participating students who want to talk to the author and discuss their writing with her. You can also ask her about the market, her own books and journey!

The topics that I’m planning to cover in this workshop are:

  • Introduction to Fiction Writing
  • Discovering what kind of writer you are and working accordingly on your writing
  • Creating and maintaining an Idea Journal
  • Different Forms of Fiction Writing
  • Literary Devices and their uses in Fiction Writing
  • Elements of Fiction Writing
  • Important and necessary terminologies used in Fiction Writing
  • How to start writing fiction – starting slow and then building up
  • Creating and developing a writing ritual
  • Starting a daily writing habit
  • Prompt-Writing and utilising it to write consistently
  • Understanding and defeating the writer’s block
  • Ways to improve your writing
  • Fiction Writing exercises
  • Fiction Writing Prompts – some handy prompts to get you started

Timings:

There are going to be two batches as I do not like to over-crowd by workshops:

  • Batch-1: 15th August 2020 – Morning 11:00 am to afternoon 01:00 pm
  • Batch-2: 16th August 2020 – Evening 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm

While enrolling you can choose any batch of your choice that suits you (as per your convenience.)

Pricing:

The fees for this workshop is: Rs.1000

Once you pay the fees and your enrolment for this workshop would be confirmed and you will be added to the Fiction Writing For Beginners (FWB) WhatsApp group and will receive some reading materials along with some writing exercises to do until the day of the workshop. The main workshop notes would be emailed to you on 10th August.

So the sooner you enrol the more advantages you will receive.

Once you make the payment,

Registration:

Please make sure that the details you give are accurate otherwise it gets very difficult for me to track you down in order to contact you.