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16

There is indeed such a term. Phil Farrand of The Nitpicker's Guide to Star Trek called this "being the cabbagehead." Certain information had to be revealed to the audience, but it was information which the characters would reasonably already know. So the writers picked someone in the room to be the "cabbagehead," meaning someone developed the I.Q. of a ...


9

Not all ESL speakers will sound the same, for the simple reason that they all had a first language. If you want to add realism, you need to determine what language they natively speak. Your native language shapes your ideas of tense, sentence structure, and what phonemes you're used to considering as actual word-sounds and not mere noise. Some oriental ...


8

According to the tvtropes entry for The Watson, The Watson is the character whose job it is to ask the same questions the audience must be asking and let other characters explain what's going on. A sidekick sometimes acts in this role. According to wikipedia, Sidekicks can provide one or multiple functions, such as a counterpoint to the hero, an ...


7

In addition to the points made in SF.'s answer, one can also express the act indirectly or express the effects of the wit without showing the wit itself. Here are some examples: Joe whispered something to Susan and her face contorted in an attempt to suppress her laughter. - "Then the waiter brought three glasses of water," Helen continued. ...


7

Jokes have been extensivle researched by folklorists, linguists, ethnologists etc. If you need to write about humor in China, go read a book or journal article on humor in China. Really, writers need to learn to research like scientists and journalists. Don't think like a writer ("How can I make this up?") but like a researcher ("Where can I find this ...


7

The specific issues you are dancing around are "Trade mark dilution" and "Libel and slander". Trade mark worries can be mitigated by: not using the exact mark, and not using it in the same industry. Pepsi and Microsoft do not write novels. Using anagrams of the mark is not the same mark. For example, Pepsi-cola and Coca-cola are different trademarks. ...


7

First, a word of warning, the first thing most people will think after reading that paragraph describing your character is that she is a vampire. Aside from the vampiric similarities, I think your best bet to create an enjoyable character without human emotions is to look at how other similar characters have been portrayed previously and take what you like. ...


7

Everything is about him. The other characters talk about him, plot about him, worry about him, try to contact him. Everything is about what he's doing or where he's going and with whom. Scenes where he isn't there detail the effect his actions or words had on the other characters. If it's his story, then tell his story. The TV show Person of Interest is ...


6

Before starting your story, write as much as you need to feel comfortable with the character. That could be pages and pages, or only a paragraph. (For example, the Harry Potter trio were asked to write up something in the voice of their characters. Radcliffe did a page, Watson did 20, and Grint did nothing. When asked why, he said, "Ron would never turn in ...


6

Australia is no different to other countries in that accents can be predicated by the person's origins such as whether they grew up in a city or a rural area. In general, most Aussies tend to shorten/contract words, use informal and colloquial terms, and drop parts of sentences as though implied. Unfortunately (for some) many TV and movie characters depict ...


6

Let me reach for that resource and hope I don't sink in the process... For The Evulz - he's a destructive force, a person who "likes to watch the world burn". No deeper reasons, no hate, no revenge. Simple love for destruction. One I can't find the trope for, "Burn down a national park to steal a bag of french fries": the disaster and resulting chaos was ...


5

Some possibilities: It was an accident. This would give him something to cope with. He works at the site, and his neglect or incompetence or other personal failing caused the problem or made it worse. He works at the site. He tried to get his superiors' attention about problems at the site. Though he did not cause the accident, he believes that he allowed ...


5

Custom Meta-Data in Scrivener. You can do some custom fields in Scrivener. See the "Custom Meta-Data" button at the bottom of the inspector (it looks like a little tag). Here's a photo where I added a few fields: You can add fields by clicking the gear button. When you add a metadata field, it becomes available for all documents in the project. You can ...


5

Scrivener has features that can be used for this, specifically, templates. You can put all your character notes in one file and use that as a template for other characters. Or, if you insist on having them in separate files, you can create a folder for each character, but you might need to manually copy each file for each new character (may be as simple as ...


5

Perhaps the best example of creating the POV of a developmentally disabled main character comes from the first part of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. One big issue there, though, is that it is really, really hard reading. The character (this bit is portrayed in first person) doesn't have a great sense of how to tell narrative and as such the story jumps ...


5

I'm afraid then you're quite stuck. Note as the author you have significant advantages: no fear of L'esprit de l'escalier - you can always come back and add/modify given reply, or slowly engineer given joke. You create the situation for situational humor. Moreover, you can set up the victims of the wit to say or do things that will give the witty guy all ...


5

That depends on your audience. I wrote about a character with depression, suffering of terrible self-esteem, self-hate, very subdued emotions, complete disregard for own well-being resulting in suicidal bravery, a situation that would make others freak out taken in a firm stride, the most of his emotion shown when being murdered by the villain, after ...


5

Your problem is that your characters aren't rounded. They don't have distinguishable voices because they aren't distinguishable people. Do this as an exercise: Pick your favorite TV show, movie, book. Pick two or three characters from each. Interview them. For example: What's your favorite book? John: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Read it to tatters ...


5

Typically, Chinese ESL speakers routinely make mistakes with definite and indefinite articles. They leave them out, use them when not needed, or mix the two. They also mess up indefinite plurals and pronouns, and verb tenses. All of this is due to structural differences between Mandarin and English. So, this answer might sound like: The Chinese ESL ...


4

There is no problem in a character who is emotionless. Readers can accept it... Condition: You will have to make sure that you provide the explanation regarding why the person is emotionless. If that person has suffered so much in past, that now he/she won't be ready to feel that pain again. And if you succeed in writing such a story, then readers may ...


4

I also have multiple POVs in the story I'm currently working on, each mini-chapter switching between main characters and supporting ones, and the way I try to convey who the protagonist is is by making her related to all the conflicts that take place, whether her role in each conflict is central or minor. Of course the main story-line is hers, but when I ...


3

Started a nuclear disaster, potential for otherworldly elements — I'd say he's a fanatic trying to bring about the end of the world so that aliens will swoop down and rescue him. No seriously. The guy doesn't have to be sane. The chain of logic can make perfect sense in his own head (sort of a cross of Heaven's Gate, Rapture-awaiting evangelicals, and ...


3

When Hollywood puts an Aussie character in a movie their "accent" stands out like a sore thumb, I have no idea where they get their accent from but it sounds closer to British than Aussie. It's more that we don't accent sounds. I would recommend going more for slang and mannerisms that accent, without overdoing them, we don't say mate every sentence. I ...


3

I called up the Stack Exchange page just to see if anything had changed. "Hey, Cline," I called across the room, "check this out." Cline didn't even pull his nose out of the writing text. "I don't have to. Architect wants to know how to introduce multiple characters, right?" He flipped the back cover closed, and picked up the next book. "Why don't you ...


3

The two thoughts that come to mind are ask someone of that ethnic background if it exists, and for fictional backgrounds think about how the back story affects humor. A great example is where Teal'c tells a joke on Stargate SG-1. Tea'lc coming from a very alien background appears to have no sense of humor prior to his attempt to tell his joke, and only he ...


3

I'm a computer technitian. Every week, here at the office, we joke about a NCIS episode where the hacker and another guy fight against another hacker by using the keyboard at amazing speed and writing random commands. Evertybody from IT knows that is ridiculous. Hacking does not work in that way, neither it's possible to stop an invader just by starting a ...


3

Humor is notoriously difficult to translate. To take an extreme case, I saw an interview once with an American woman who had written a humor book. The publisher decided to produce a British edition, but they found that the book was filled with American cultural references and words that are different between the two countries, and so they added footnotes in ...


3

I am confused. Does without a soul mean without emotions? Or is the reverse true: no emotions means no soul? Emotional repression is more common than I care to admit, and at least according to genesis animals don't have souls and I know from experience that they have emotions. Therefore souls and emotions may or may not be synonymous depending on your ...


3

I recommend journaling as the characters. If you are a ways into a story (or even if you have outlined a story) you likely have a few events that they will experience in mind. Write journal reviews of how the characters felt about the situation, what they experienced, things like that. This will help identify what drives characters, how they feel about ...


3

One thing typical for all languages would be the speaker using the wrong word when they translate to the same word in their native language. For example, my native language has the same word for both 'roof' and 'ceiling' and I used to have trouble picking the correct one in English. Another one would be having slightly awkward phrasing: not the perfect ...



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