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Storm Rao's guide to writingStep one: Who are your characters?
No seriously, who are the people you are writing about. Start small. Do they have a name? A nickname? What gender are they? Does it matter?
Things like this are the basis you need to shape a character in your mind. It doesnt have to be an intensive processes, heck, you can stop after question one if you like, but what you need to do, is know who your character is.
Tips for helping you identify your character may include doing a sketch, but I prefer a basic process sometimes known as hot-seating. Hot-seating is sometimes used by actors to get themselves comfortable in a role. It is, quite simply, asking questions such as the ones above.
Some of the questions I like to answer are:
1) How do they interact with people
2) What do they fear/love
3) What kind of history do they have, and do they ever tell others about it
4) What kind of personality do they have (i.e., quick tempered, easy going, silly, adorable, dependant
Inspector Wolf The old lady was dead. I could smell it before I even got into the house. The whole place reeked of adrenaline, sweat, fear, copper and steel. He’d dropped her right in her living room. Chopped and chopped until she stopped moving. But I could tell I was getting close. This had been done in a hurry, and the killer didn’t have the time to clean up after himself like he usually did.
Across the room, the phone rang. The shrill sound set my teeth to grinding, but I ignored it. Instead I followed the killer’s bloody footprints into the back bedroom. He’d climbed out the window. If I hurried, I could catch up to him and end this disgusting spree he was on.
Then the answering machine kicked in. “Hi, Gramma! It’s Red. Sorry I’m running late. I kind of lost track of time. But don’t worry. I packed the picnic and I’m heading out the door right now. Love you.”
She’d been expec
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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