MemberMay 21, 2020 at 1:40 am
I need ideas for an interesting characteristic moment for a teenage girl with low self confidence.
All my ideas are falling flat. thanks!!!
AdministratorMay 21, 2020 at 3:14 pm
Hey, Happiwriter! Can you tell us more about what you mean by “a characteristic moment”? I’m sure we can help you! Teenage characters are so fun! 🙂
MemberMay 21, 2020 at 8:21 pm
Meaning, what’s an idea for a scene that portrays her personality while still being interesting?
I’m a third into the first draft of my novel but I’m still not happy about my opening scenes. I feel like they’re not interesting enough…
Now, I’m getting stuck because you can’t really write about someone who you don’t know exactly what happened to her in the past…
What’s your opinion?
MemberMay 21, 2020 at 9:40 pm
Ooh, that sounds tough. I haven’t started my book yet because I keep scrapping my first scene where two characters are supposed to meet each other but I am nearly killing myself by trying to avoid a cliche or cheesy encounter. So I feel for you girl.
About not knowing your character’s past- have you created an outline for your book? There’s no need for massive plotting but I believe it’s best to get a feel for your characters and story before you go off the deep end (former pantser speaking). How did you start the book? What was your character’s motivation? Now correct me if I’m wrong, but the ‘interesting characteristic moment for a teenage girl with low self-confidence’ sounds like the climax or turning point in your story. It’s crucial to know that before you hit the road or you’re bound to get stuck in some potholes.
How about stepping out of your book for a moment and grabbing your character for a chat? I like creating a short story (or two) with my protagonist to understand who they are and what they want. Why the short story suggestion? It’s more manageable than a novel (which is a massive undertaking) yet you can discovery write it (pants it) because it’s short. I have learned how to start a story, tackle the middle, and most importantly, end it off right.
MemberMay 22, 2020 at 12:55 am
It sounds like your teenage girl is struggling to understand her true value…Perhaps can you have her be rejected by a seminary, a camp, a school…and she totally falls apart? That can make for a dramatic opening scene
MemberMay 22, 2020 at 2:48 pm
Whoah Elisheva, you got straight to the story’s heart…
So yeah, I worked on my book’s outline for half a year. I did (and continue doing) tons of learning about plotting, structure, character arcs, the works 😉 my characters have more backstories than the book can ever hold.
The thing is, I’m thinking about the way I choose books to read. I open the first page and based the entire book’s potential on those first paragraphs.
Most people are like that. The beginning is the book’s resume of sorts. It has to introduce the plot, setting, characters while still being interesting.
Perfectionisto me can’t handle anything less than the best, hence my rewriting the first chapter five times.
The plot is very adventurous. I want to incorporate some of that adventure in the beginning, but the real excitement only begins a quarter way into the story.
Elisheva, your suggestion is very good. I think I’ll try to incorporate some sort of rejection to show the way she handles other’s opinions of her.
MemberMay 28, 2020 at 3:57 am
Wow, I’m so excited to read this story; I’m an adventure lover, too.
On the characteristic moment: Elisheva’s idea makes a lot of sense and I was thinking: even more telling could be to have the character falling apart after something minor, like a conversational gaffe or percieved social blunder (i.e., she did nothing wrong, but she’s so self-conscious she’s imagining she did).
Low self-esteem can manifest itself in different ways depending on the person, so you’d have to know your character, I guess. Some people will withdraw out belief no one’s interested in them anyway, some will act out in the attempt to garner attention. Have her react in a way that’s extreme relative to the situation, something more than what a typical teenager would do.
MemberJune 1, 2020 at 9:39 am
I actually love the idea that you brought up. Have her working on a project – whether an assignment for school, or wrapping a present for a friend or baking a cake. Then someone else can notice how good it is while she is busy throwing it away because it isn’t “perfect enough.”
MemberJune 1, 2020 at 2:11 pm
Thanks everyone for your awesome ideas.
I’m working on something now.
Maybe I’ll be brave enough to show it to everyone for critique…
MemberJune 9, 2020 at 1:15 am
This is so cool! Storyluver, Baila, your ideas gave me an entire new perspective on my character.
I realized that her perceptions and reality are totally different. She’s always imagining that people think of her a certain way. She even thinks of herself a certain way, but that’s not true.
Baila, I wrote a scene later on where she’s baking and it flops. Now, due to your idea, I think I’ll change that to have it work out but she thinks it’s not good enough.
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