I'm going to camp this month!
Actually, I'm staying to camp. Staying at home, that is. Probably in my room, in my bed, under the sheet...
It's a virtual, online camp (read: camp for introverts). Nanowrimo--National Novel Writing Month--is a challenge during which writers all over the world pound out a 50,000 word novel in the 30 short days of November. Camp Nanowrimo (happening this month) is a bit more relaxed and a great way to try out the whole write-a-novel-in-a-month thing because you can set your own word count goal. You don't have to write 50,000 words--you can write 10,000. Easy.
A Mary Sue is a paper-doll character invented because the author got lazy.
I don't want to be mean. Actually, I've caught Mary Sues lurking in some of my own stories. And, I'm sorry to say, Mary Sues have even found their way into a lot of popular books and movies (I'm not going to start listing names because I'll just make people made at me).
But a Mary Sue is the result of laziness. She's there to be awesome so that the author doesn't have to be. Instead of taking the time to create a true-to-life character with real problems and real needs that readers can relate to and grow with, the author simply whips up a Swiss army pocketknife who will amaze readers with all her incredible abilities. It's easier, but not better.
I just read a post on Go Teen Writers about crafting strong heroines and disagreed with several of its points. So here's my take on the subject.
First impressions are important. I get nervous when it's time to introduce my main character to my readers because I really like him and I want them to like him too. If they don't, they won't want to read his story, after all.
But some character descriptions annoy or bore me. I don't really care if the person has long, slender fingers or soft brown eyes. That doesn't tell me anything about what the person is really like. Also, some writers talk on and on about their character because they think he's fascinating, but I don't think so until he actually does something fascinating.
You may not have thought much about using colours in description. After all, everyone knows that grass is green, right? And does it really matter what colour the old lady's house is?
When you tell your readers what colour something is you're usually telling them what they already know or else something unimportant. But once in a while colour does matter. For instance:
A. M. Potter
Some other great blogs...
Go Teen Writers
Helping Writers Become Authors
To the Barricade!
Life of Lily