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Oh, did you know that the ancient Greeks actually have vases with dinosaur skulls on them? They found the skull, were absolutely stumped, promptly decided it was a monster of some sort, stuck the skull on a black blob since they couldn’t be bothered to design something more interesting, and drew a bunch of guys fighting it. I mean, what else would you do with a dinosaur skull?

I actually didn’t know about that before, lol. I don’t know if it was more or less creative that they just stuck the skull on a black blob instead of creating some goofy looking monster to try and make it work (like the rest of humanity since forever XD )

Oh, I’ve never heard of that, but that’s such a cool idea! I’ve found that languages often have these really fascinating nuances to them and it’s just so cool to study!

Oh, man, then you might really like this video/channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7koz0CzA3Kk (if that doesn’t actually create the hyperlink, just copy-pasta, lol)

Definitely! I feel like books tend to focus on plot over character, but personally, I couldn’t care less about the plot. If the characters are nuanced, conflicted, and deep, I’ll enjoy the book, even if the plot is cliche or slow. Of course, this will detract from the story, but my point is, I read books purely for the characters. If the plot is cool, that’s a bonus XD

That authenticity of character can make the entire difference between a story that is a cliche Franken-trope and something that is really enjoyable. And as for plot, I think its primary goal should be to fuel character development. Most plots are very simple when you break them down, which makes sense since life is usually straightforward from that perspective. Moreover, even clever plots feel convoluted and contrived rather than intricate when disconnected from the characters that should be the driving force of the plot. When you boil it down, why we tell stories, and why we listen, is because of the change their example makes in us. It’s the human element.

Go for it! If you have a point you want to make, don’t back down on it! I’ve found that authors can get away with nearly anything as long as they do it wholeheartedly. (Basically, the entire philosophy behind Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which was just grammatically correct nonsense.) I’ve found that authors who seem uncertain generally don’t write as interesting a book as someone who is wholeheartedly writing something that will offend a whole bunch of people. This is very much a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’, though XD (What’s my theme? Who knows? Not me!)

(“So long and thanks for all the fish…” XD ) But in all seriousness, your right, thank you 🙂

Well, you already mentioned ONE theme already! “A common theme I find popping up in my writing is how even the people who have good intentions may do awful things to accomplish their goals and how even the evilest people think they’re doing right.” Honestly, you will probably find more and more themes popping up as the work continues. The truth is, in so much of life, we play catchup with what our heart is doing. You can think of it as a journey of discovery ^_^

Yes, the character castles are awesome! I’m in two, currently, one for villains and a regular one. I can honestly say it’s improved my writing dramatically. I get to know my characters much, much faster, purely because I write about them often and in strange situations. This is especially useful for side characters, who don’t get much screentime but who I still want to have personality.

Yeah, that is kinda what I am hoping for. Trying to write characters who haven’t fallen is… really challenging, and I am hoping this helps, lol.

Definitely! Before buying any new book, I always squint suspiciously at it for quite a while. (Both literally and metaphorically.) I’m usually on my guard throughout the entire book so I enjoy rereading a lot more than the initial read, honestly.

lol, I just pictured staring at a book like a disobedient pet “are you going to be a good book? are you going to behave? don’t make me through you in the trash…” XD

What’s a part of writing you’re trying to improve on? For me, that would definitely be descriptions, themes, and generally slowing down and deepening the story instead of rushing through it.

That’s what drafts 2-999 are for, right? XD

Descriptions are hit and miss for me. I feel I can write them really well when motivated, in the mindset, or just have a really clear image; but that part of my brain just feels different from the dialogue/character side of my brain so it can feel really draining. I often stay in the movement of the scene, writing all the things the characters say or do, and then put in the descriptions later.

But in all honestly, I would say motivation and confidence. To look at my work with an objective eye, to both not blow the critiques out of proportion and to let the praise be a celebration of the reality that it is good.

On a similar note, what do you think is your greatest strength as a writer? Mine is probably the characters, dialogue, and themes, lol.

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