How to add a friends quirks to your character

We all have them, those irritating, funny, or lovable people who make our lives complete.

Without an aggravating co-worker, who would we bitch about? 

What would our BBQ be without the life of the party friend?

Pink Panther - Life of the party

Or how about that loving friend who embraces all of our warts, and keeps us sane? Gotta have a best friend character, right?  Happy smiley emoji

Roz Morris refers to these everyday characters as “plot zombies.” No, not the flesh-eating kind. But people who add spice and zing to the story. Adding ‘equilibrium of irritation’ to the plot might be just what you’re searching for.

She uses an old sitcom Sienfield to show examples in the extreme. Although, I beg to differ. Because I’ve met a few of these extreme characters in real life. Which goes right to her point.

Roz explains, that time moves on and we deal with the quirks of people in our world because that’s life.  “Art imitates life.” Oscar Wilde. But I contend, life also imitates art, especially in fiction.

I love her example and it really got me to thinking how I need to add a little ‘equilibrium of irritation’ to my WIP. So, now which of my characters needs spice? Hmm…

Watch and see what Roz is talking about…

Did anyone look familiar? Maybe, an aunt, nutty uncle or coworker?

Do you think there is room in your story for a little ‘equilibrium of irritation’?

Have you applied a real person quirks to a character?

Or maybe you have a favorite sit-com that inspires you. Do tell.

Click and read all about…

Fictional characters – a lesson from Seinfeld from Roz Morris at Nail Your Novel

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How to write Flash Fiction

I’m not an expert, but I love flash fiction. Love to read it and love to write it.

As with any story flash has the same three parts.

A beginning. Choose a moment in your character’s life that tells us a lot in a short amount of time. The plot must be simple. A hint of conflict and plot involvement is sometimes all it takes.

A middle. Be concise. Here is where you start cutting. Edit everything out of the story that isn’t vital to moving the story forward. Remove modifiers, such as “very,” “quite,” and “actually.” This is where you must plan every word and cut all “pretty purple” words.

An End.  The story needs to be wrapped up in a nice package for the reader. Whether that package is five hundred words or two thousand words. Remember flash has but a hint of the depth within a short story or novel.

The rule to show, rather than tell, is especially important in flash fiction writing because your goal is to maximize the impact  of each passage. Paint your characters and action with small, vivid scenes. Mike Resnick says, “Brevity is not just the soul of wit; it is damned hard work.” 

Another way is to think of your flash piece as a thirty minute TV sitcom. You have but thirty minutes, make each second count. There is no room for scene building, you must introduce the main character to the reader, where they are, what’s happening and bring everything to a satisfactory conclusion in 1800 seconds.

There is little room for elaborate words, purple prose or run on sentences. The flash fiction piece needs to be concise, tight and as elusive as poetry in story form.

Quite the challenge.

Each ezine, magazine, anthology or contest has different rules and word count. Check and recheck those rules. The rules are important and word count will help you tighten the story.

Read, read, and read some more. Reading flash fiction will enable you to understand the craft. Next, write and submit somewhere to someone. This is the scary part for some of us. I get sweaty palms every time I hit that submit button. But as a friend once said to me, I already have a no. This time I might get a yes.

Then do it all over again, write and submit.

Since I’m no expert, I’ve put together a list of websites to help us all. Please click on the links above and below. Together maybe we can learn and enhance our flash fiction writing at the same time.

“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”~ Pablo Picasso

  Who writes flash fiction? Famous authors dead and alive…

NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY IS COMING!   

21st June 2014

 Stories in your Pocket    Flash Fiction Chronicles Blog    Accepting Flash Fiction      Every Day Fiction   Haunted Waters Press 

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