Protagonist vs Antagonist Worksheet

I am on a worksheet spree. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Fill this in for your two main characters and keep it close.  

Happy writing.

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. First Draft Checklist
  2. If John Green feels like fraud, how am I supposed to cope?
  3. 14 Points To Consider Before You Write The Ending

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    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

    The Makings of a Great Business Story


    Once we understand the power of stories and accept the need for them in our businesses, we need to learn how to tell them. We believe this is crucial on our business writing course.

    The best business stories are the ones we can relate to. If you want to get an audience's attention, use these tried and tested fiction storytelling techniques. It is vital to focus on specific events with sensory details. Do not write about abstract concepts. Do not generalise.

    You should Include:
    1. People who act to achieve goals - passive characters are boring
    2. Insight into what they are thinking and feeling - their doubts, hopes, fears
    3. Showing, not telling, how the character evolves or changes
    4. Brief explanations to show why things happened as they did
    5. A well-constructed beginning - something causes change 
    6. An entertaining middle - how the character acts to achieve a goal
    7. A satisfying ending - does the character fail or succeed?

    Use this outline to help you write your story:


    If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme

     by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter.  


    If you enjoyed this article, read these posts:
    1. Six Reasons To Embrace The Power Of Stories
    2. The Seven Points You Need To Build A Story For Your Business
    3. Storytelling for Business - 12 Tips For Better Business Writing

    ~~~

    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

    Social Media 101 - What is Tumblr?

    I have written about the importance of bloggingFacebookPinterest, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter in my Social Media 101 series. Today I am going to talk about Tumblr.

    What is Tumblr?

    Tumblr is a free user-friendly micro-blogging platform. It allows you to mix social networking and blogging in a single website. The platform lets you share original content in the form of text, links, quotes, music, and video content. It has a loyal user base and if people like your posts, they 'reblog' them. 

    Why is it important?

    There is a strong sense of community on Tumblr. It gives users the opportunity to show their personalities and give insights into their lives and businesses. The content format is ideal for sharing photographs from events, audio clips, videos of your working environment, and interviews. 

    How to set up a Tumblr account
    1. Set up a page for yourself or your brand by visiting Sign Up Tumblr.
    2. Tumblr will assign you a URL, but you can change it. Mine is amandaonwriting.tumblr.com
    3. Choose an avatar (your profile photo) and a theme for your Tumblr (there are around 200, many of which are free) and start tumbling. It really is that easy.
    How to use Tumblr
    1. Tumblr allows you to share seven different types of posts — links, conversations, photos, quotes, audio clips, videos and text-only blog posts. Find content you want to share. Go to your Tumblr dashboard and click on the appropriate icon for your type of post. Add anything extra you want. And blog it.
    2. Tumblr posts are longer than those found on Twitter, but shorter than a usual blog format. Use it to combine images, videos, or audio with text. 
    3. Reblogging other Tumblr profiles’ content is important in this community. If you share what you are interested in, others will reciprocate.
    Tumblr Tips
    1. This is a great platform if you or your business are associated with culture and the arts, including books, literature, and libraries. It also has a strong community following in history, education, medicine, and science. 
    2. Animated GIFs and pictures attract more attention than video and audio content. Spend time choosing great images - Tumblr has a visually driven audience. Make sure your pictures are cropped and adjusted if necessary.
    3. Tumblr demands that you post regular interesting content.
    4. Use hashtags to make sure your content is sorted into the correct categories. This allows it to show up in other user's searches and interests on Tumblr.
    5. You can choose whether or not you allow comments on your posts, which is a relief if you don't want to monitor everything you share.
    6. Always link to the original source of any third party content you post so the owner gets credit.
    7. If you want real engagement with your community, it's there for the taking.

    If you want to learn how to write for social media,  email news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

      9 Famous Anti-Social Fictional Characters


      Having an anti-social personality disorder does not mean that your character is unsociable. It means that they are indifferent to what others think of them.

      They violate and disregard the rights of others and they do not believe that the rules of society apply to them. Anti-social characters frighten us because they lack empathy.This makes them formidable enemies and a great resource for writers who can create villains that show no remorse, no guilt, and no shame. 

      Remember that not all people with anti-social personality disorder are psychopaths or sociopaths, but every psychopath and every sociopath has an anti-social personality disorder.

      As writers, we often use sociopaths or psychopaths as antagonists in our novels. Here are nine examples:
      1. Tom Ripley from The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Tom will do anything to maintain his fraudulent life of luxury. He is an expert at forgery and deception, and he does not mind murdering anyone who threatens to reveal his true identity.
      2. The Jackal from The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. The assassin known only as 'The Jackal' is hired to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France. He is a chameleon who plans his mission meticulously, evading capture, mercilessly killing anyone who stands in his way.
      3. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Patrick is a stylish investment banker with the meanest of streaks. He tortures, kills and mutilates his way through the book. This detached killer never shows any emotion or remorse.
      4. Tyler Durden from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Tyler, along with the narrator, is the co-founder of Fight Club. He launches Project Mayhem, commiting violent attacks on consumerism. He is magnetic, unhinged, lethal, and demands blind obedience from his followers. In a terrible twist, we find out that Tyler is really a projection of the narrator.
      5. Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. Anton is a relentless, cold-blooded assassin who enjoys his job. He kills almost everyone he meets, occasionally allowing a coin toss to decide their fate. He is devoid of compassion and immune to pain. He is terrifying.
      6. Casanova from Kiss the Girls by James Patterson. Casanova is a serial killer who 'collects' beautiful, intelligent young women. He keeps them captive in an underground harem, where he rapes and eventually murders them.
      7. Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Alex is pure evil. When he isn't killing, torturing, raping and destroying, he relaxes by fantasising about more violence.
      8. The Joker from Batman. The Joker is a vicious, calculating, psychopathic killer who is responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life. He is a criminal mastermind with a warped sense of humour and zero empathy.
      9. Hannibal Lecter from Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. Hannibal is a cultured, charming man - a psychiatrist who loves good books, music, wine and food. His favourite dish is human flesh.

      The best thing about having a strong antagonist is that you have to create an equally strong protagonist to confront and defeat him.

      Who is your favourite anti-social fictional character?

      Join us for Writers Write - How to write a book - and make sure you're creating a compelling crazy villain.

       by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  FacebookGoogle+,  Tumblr  and Twitter.  

      If you enjoyed this post, you will want to read:
      1. Personality Disorders - DSM-5 Resource for Writers
      2. Personality Disorders - A writer's resource
      3. Eight Personality Disorders - Illustrated

      ~~~~~

      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

      7 Ways To Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills


      It doesn’t matter if you’re a personal assistant who must draft correspondence on behalf of your boss, or a marketing director putting together a new strategy, everyone in business needs to write better to communicate better.
      1. Find the right shape for your message. Spend some time figuring out why you want to write the piece. What is the message you want to get across to the audience? Decide what format would work best for this — an email, infographic, report, brochure, and so forth.
      2. Know your target audience. Keep the reader in mind. Is it an internal message going to your staff? Do you want to engage existing clients — or target new ones? What do you want them to know? Write this out in a single sentence and keep it in front of you when you’re writing.
      3. Get the draft down. Once you have an outline of the piece and you know who your reader is, write the first draft quickly. ‘You have permission to write badly’ applies in business as it does in fiction. It’s better to see your thoughts on paper than keep it locked in your head.
      4. Get out your scissors. Try to put your document aside for a day before editing. Cut out words, sentences, and paragraphs that are repetitive. Always try to adhere to the principles of plain language. If your company has a style guide, refer to this as you edit.
      5. Go for clear rather than clever. The idea is always to get the right message in the mind of the reader as quickly as possible. It’s not to prove to the reader than you know many big words and have mastered business speak.
      6. Strike the right tone. You don’t want your tone to come across as too cold and formal — but you also don’t want it to be too chummy and relaxed. Look at words or phrases that change the tone in your piece and see if they can’t be rewritten.
      7. Get out your scissors – again. People don’t have time to read today — so don’t give them more to read. It’s the quality of your writing rather than the quantity that matters. 

      If you want to learn how to write for business, join us for  The Plain Language Programme.

       by Anthony Ehlers

      If you enjoyed this post, read:

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      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

      First Draft Checklist

      For the last few weeks I have been writing about first draft planning. Visual aids are a great way to help keep you on track. They also act as a safety net when you veer off course. This worksheet will help you with that. You can follow this link to help you fill it out.

      Print it out, fill it in and stick it to your wall. 

      Happy writing.

      If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

       by Mia Botha

      If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

      1. If John Green feels like fraud, how am I supposed to cope?
      2. 14 Points To Consider Before You Write The Ending
      3. Seven Ways Blogging Improves Your Writing

      ~~~

        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

        September 2015 - In Writing


        Course

        Description

        September 2015

        October 2015

        Writers Write

        How to write a book

        14-17

        26-29

        Writers Write

        How to write a book

         

        10,17,24,31

        The Plain Language Programme

        Advanced business writing

        8-9

        20-21

        The Social Brand

        How to write for social media

        18

        16

        kids etc.

        How to write for children

         

        18

        Short Cuts

        How to write a short story

         

        4

        If you want more details, please email news@writerswrite.co.za

        ~~~

        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

        25 Proven Ways To Beat Writer’s Block

        For many people, there are days when it is difficult to get motivated and be inspired by their jobs. For writers this situation often results in writer’s block. If you write for a living then it is something to be avoided at all costs. 

        There’s some debate about whether writer’s block truly exists, but a study of 2000 writers has confirmed that it does.  According to Stop Procrastinating, the productivity website and website blocker, more than 60% of writers said they had suffered from it at some point.

        As with most productivity issues, there’s a range where some writers may find it difficult to work for a few days, and all they need is a break, while for others the block is far worse and needs some radical intervention. Thankfully, all of the writers overcame it. The survey also found the solutions that the writers used to get them writing again.

        These solutions include an interesting mix of creative motivation techniques and unorthodox routines. From practical advice like pretending to write a letter to a friend or writing for shorter but more intense periods, to more unorthodox suggestions such as taking a break and baking a cake or having a cold shower, the full survey results can be found in this Infographic below:

        by Stephen Bennett from Stop Procrastinating

        If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

        If you enjoyed this post, read these:

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        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

        Social Media 101 - What is Google+?

        I have written about the importance of bloggingFacebookPinterestYouTube and Twitter in my Social Media 101 series. Today I am going to talk about Google+.

        What is Google+?

        Google+ is a Facebook competitor, with over 300 million monthly active users. Google+ in linked to the entire Google stable and it carries significant weight in terms of SEO and organic search visibility. Google tries to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. Users can group different sets of people into 'circles' and share specifically to those circles, and 'hangouts'.

        Why is it important?

        Anyone targeting a male-skewed audience should consider investing time in this platform. More than 70% of the audience is male. It is also ideal for selling and promoting technology. Ignoring Google+ is similar to ignoring Google. Google has been using Google+ to influence its search returns and page ranking. Developing a page under your Google profile allows you to link all the content you create across the web to your Google+ account. 

        How to set up a Google+ account

        1. If you want a Google+ account, you must have a Google account with a gmail address. Go to plus.google.com and follow the 'Create An Account' prompts. You will be asked for information, including your name, date of birth and email address. 
        2. If you want to set up a personal page, Click on the Join Google+ button and follow the prompts. If you want to set up a business page, click on the Create a Google+ page button and follow the prompts. 

        How to use Google+

        1. Add people, brands and companies to your circles. For example, you can create a circle called 'Publishing' and add anyone involved in the industry to that circle. When you want to find out what is happening in that industry, you can choose to see only people from that circle in your stream. When you share something, you can also choose to share to specific circles. Create another one for friends and so on. 
        2. Make use of Google+ hangouts. This is a free video chat service that enables both one-on-one chats and group chats with up to 10 people at a time. Hangouts focus on 'face-to-face-to-face' group interaction, seamlessly switching the focus from one person to another.
        3. Google+ Communities allow you to create, or participate in, focused groups of both individuals and companies who share a particular interest. This is a good way to raise brand awareness, create trust and get direct feedback from customers.
        4. Google+ is similar to Facebook. Use it to showcase blog posts, add profiles of people that interest you to your circles, and feature videos you have created on your YouTube channel.

        Google+ Tips

        1. Make good use of the ‘circle’ feature. It gives you more control over your social media presence, because you are able to target what you share. 
        2. Google+ Hangouts is Skype on steroids. You can host or participate in video or text chats with multiple people at the same time. Conduct conference calls via ‘hangouts’ with those people, or conduct training sessions with this tool.
        3. Put your staff into Google+ circles and share news and information with relevant groups. 
        4. Focus each post on a single subject and include links, questions, and clear calls to action in your posts to boost engagement.
        5. Google+ is not only focused on personal social sharing, which means that you can post more frequently. Experts advise that 3-5 posts per day is a good way to start.
        6. Follow this link for more Google+ Tips

        If you want to learn how to write for social media,  email news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

          Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr,  Twitter  and LinkedIn.

          If you enjoyed this post, read:

          ~~~

          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

          The 10 Secrets Of Resilient Characters


          'Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.' ~Josephine Hart

          The key to surviving in this world – and any fictional world you create – is resilience. It is not the strong who survive, but those who can weather change, because life is nothing but change. You do not need to be braver or bigger or louder. You do need to be able to bend with the wind, get up when you fall, and move forward when it seems impossible. This resilience strengthens you emotionally in either a positive or a negative way, and allows you to continue.

          This is why your two most important characters – your protagonist and your antagonist – need to be resilient. Resilience is neither good nor bad, which is why it works for all characters who have goals and the desire to achieve them.

          Are your main characters resilient enough for your story?

          Resilient characters:
          1. Accept help when they need it
          2. Adapt to change
          3. Learn how to cope with setbacks and disappointments
          4. Focus on finding ways to get around problems, rather than on the problems themselves
          5. Make mistakes and then learn from them 
          6. Learn to accept constructive criticism
          7. Make the most of their strengths
          8. Recognise their weaknesses
          9. Recover from failure and rejection
          10. See the bigger picture in challenging situations
          We do not enjoy reading about static characters who are trapped by their thoughts and circumstances. We want them to find that self-belief that forces them out of the prison of their heartaches, tragedies, and even the limitations of their victories. 

          So dare to create dangerous characters who have more moments of strength than moments of weakness. We love characters who are strong enough to withstand anything we throw at them - these are the characters worth rooting for.

          Join us for Writers Write - How to write a book - and make sure you're creating a compelling crazy villain.

           by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  LinkedIn,  Google+,  Tumblr,  and  Twitter.  

          If you enjoyed this post, you will want to read:
          1. Personality Disorders - DSM-5 Resource for Writers
          2. Personality Disorders - A writer's resource
          3. Eight Personality Disorders - Illustrated

          ~~~

          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate