How Do Your Fictional Characters Get Around? by Traci Kenworth

How Do Your Fictional Characters Get Around?

Traci Kenworth

On the offhand, how do your fictional characters get around might not seem like a thought-provoking exercise. An automobile, you say. What kind? What year? Does it take gas? Is it electric? Powered by a flex-capacitor? Not so simple, hm? You need to consider a lot of factors. How big are they? What shape? Do they stick to the ground or soar to incredible heights?

Even animals need to be considered. You suggest horses. What breed? How old? Saddle-broke or harness-broke? That is, do you ride astride or are the horses driven in some sort of contraption? Even that, needs thought. Wagon? Buggy? Perhaps Santa’s sleigh in the North? Or try buffalo instead. Wild? Or tamed? Hunted for meat, or used strictly for the brute strength of farming? There are endless possibilities.

And just as many restrictions. Once you make one choice, you’re taking away another. That’s how it goes. What should be a “simple” task becomes loaded. It’s like the types and sizes of light bulbs. More than you think when you go to the store to make a purchase. You don’t realize how many there are to choose from. And that’s an awesome thing. You don’t have to be limited to one thing.

You have a wide variety of choices. Have your people acquired the ability of watercraft yet? Small areas only? Or are they able to go out into the seas? I wonder if you’ve considered cruise liners. Or are submarines more the style? Are there nothing more than floating boards to get your peoples from one point to another? What obstacles might they run into? Alligators, crocodiles, for instance? Some creatures that we’ve never seen before?

See, that’s how the magic happens. One insight leads to another. The links grow from there. If something doesn’t work out, you can always get rid of it and start again. You’re never stuck with something forever. You can always find a way to make it extinct. That’s what society does, that’s what life builds up to. There are comets, volcanos, you name it. There are many ways for something to end.

Just like there are many ways for something to begin. Think about it. The big bang theory. On your world it could’ve happened different. You don’t have to be boxed in when it comes to creativity. Forever’s out there. So when it comes to inventing the way your characters get around, shoot for the moon. Heck, even set it on the moon if you want. Just have a plausible excuse for the setting and why things are the way they are. Or at least, suggest such. Star Trek does it all the time.

Happenings: The car is in the shop again today for struts, a battery and a passenger side headlight that went on me a few days ago. The wrong struts were ordered so we may have to wait a day or two for that if they don’t arrive by noon tomorrow. Otherwise, starting to use those compression socks again for the swelling. They do help. Had to update my medicare/medicaid since I moved to a new county which I thought I did when we moved here. I have the letters and all but they tell me that they have no record of my new address and some benefits will go down here as opposed to my old county. Life, huh? Enjoy your week, everyone!

Some posts around the web that you might enjoy:

  1. Writers Helping Writers Fear is a disruptive force, even though its job is to keep us safe. When there’s a perceived physical or psychological threat, our brain blasts us with a shot of adrenaline so we respond, fight, flight, or freeze, whichever helps us navigate the danger we’re in. But fear is also insidious. It can sink into our thoughts and memories and become an ongoing dark force that cloaks us, changing our behavior and how we see the world. We become ever-watchful for new threats and avoid things that have the potential to lead to another painful experience. In fiction, characters also feel this dark weight, and it can be as detrimental to them as it is to us. Fear may cause a character to… I have used their site for years to build my stories. It is expanding all the time. Take a look, you might like it.
  2. Story Empire Blog Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, I’d like to start a new series of posts on Homonyms to share with you. Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs: Words that fall under any of these three categories often confuse readers and writers alike. So, what are they? HOMONYMS are two or more words that have the same sound or spelling but differ in meaning, such as Wave and Waive. HOMOPHONES are two or more words, such as Knew and New, which we pronounce the same but that differ in meaning, origin, and–often–spelling. I admit, I get confused by the tongue-twistedness of it all. I’m hoping Harmony can help me sort it out!
  3. Life in the Realm of Fantasy The transition scene is the hardest part of a story for me to figure out when writing the first draft. I get stuck, trying to decide what information needs to come out and what should be held back. I forget that the first draft is only the foundation. In my work, the first draft is really more of an expanded outline, a series of scenes that have characters doing things. But those scenes need to be connected so each flows naturally into the next without jarring the reader out of the narrative. My first draft manuscript is finished in the regard that it has a beginning, middle, and ending. But it’s only a skeleton, a pile of bones I’ve unearthed, waiting for the anthropologist’s forensic reconstruction. It still needs muscles and heart and flesh. In a story, muscle is applied to the bones in the form of the transition scene. Transition scenes propel the weight of the narrative, pushing things forward. Action, transition, action, transition—this is called pacing. The pacing of a story is created by the rise and fall of action. We have our characters do a little something, then they show something, then they tell us something, and it begins again. I love how she explains things!
  4. Legends of Windemere I stumbled into this topic because I saw an ad talking about ‘green noise’.  I’d heard of white noise, but not green.  I went looking and that’s when I discovered ‘pink noise’.  I then found ‘blue noise’ and ‘brown noise’.  Needless to say, I was confused.  The picture above does help though. First, what is it with background noise and concentration?  Well, it stems from the whole ‘reptilian brain’ part of our psyche.  We all have it.  These are the older parts of the human mind, which evolved to keep us alive and out of danger.  They can circumvent the rational parts of our mind in certain situations.  They are also easily distracted, which is where the ‘noise’ can come into play. You see, these types of noises area all built around steady patterns.  The human brain will become used to them in a way that they get filtered out.  Along with the ‘noise’, it will get rid of other sounds that can trigger the ‘reptilian brain’.  This promotes an increase in focus, productivity, relaxation, and creativity.  You can see that it can also help with tinnitus. It was interesting to find out that ‘pink noise’ is also what we call ambient noise.  It is a steady background noise, which is the same thing as ‘white noise’.  What’s the difference then?  Pink uses deeper sounds and lower sound waves, which is supposed to make it smoother and more gentle.  This is why you see that it helps with relaxation.  It also feels like ‘pink noise’ is more natural stuff while ‘white noise’ is more electrical/tech.  It’s still confusing to me.  So, what does this have to do with creativity? Interesting to find differences in background noises. I thought there was only white noise. Research brings us startling facts.
  5. Writers in the Storm Interested in appearing on a podcast to promote your work—or in starting a show of your own? I asked some of my fellow podcast hosts and great guests for tips about what makes for a good show experience. Energetic My friends Hernan and James Sias produce and host the Business Bros podcast, and their advice for guests and host is simple: Let me tell you something, it’s hard not to have high energy on their show. I have guested on it and interviewed Hernan on my show, PR After Hours. The Bros are fun, and the show is impactful—they do several episodes a week, live, and you should check it out. Be a Storyteller Jamie Green started podcasting about two and a half years ago. An environmental consultant during the day and musician by night, he wanted to highlight the vibrant Kansas City music scene, so he created and hosts the Trading Fours podcast. It has really taken off. He’s interviewed local musicians, Kansas City music legends and some big names in the world of music and other artistic endeavors. His show is respected by industry insiders, and guests compliment him on his professionalism and hoisting skills. His advice to podcast guests? I couldn’t agree more, Jamie. That’s why I ask guests to provide some topic suggestions—besides helping me conduct the interview, it gets them thinking about what they will say. (And thanks again for composing a piece of excellent theme music for MGO!). Keep it Pithy
  6. Legends of Windemere This is a teaser from War of Nytefall: Ravenous.  It focuses on a character who caught me by surprise.  Desirae wasn’t supposed to get as big as she did in this book and the ensuing adventures.  Yet, she ended up becoming a key figure for major events.  Pick up her debut as a 99 cent eBook or a $12 paperback. Desirae Duvall adjusts the basin sitting beneath the naked calico, who has been suspended from the ceiling. Feeling an itch behind her pointy ear, the vampiric elf keeps her hands free by stretching her tongue to scratch the spot. She taps her bare foot on the cool floor of the laboratory while she watches blood slowly drink from the groaning woman. Hearing a bubbling from her left, Desirae reaches across the room to snuff out a candle and pours the contents of the heated vial into a vat that changes from orange to pink. The love potion fills the room with a sweet smell that she finds nauseating, but knows that some of her employees need the boost since they are still mastering their seduction skills. Pouring the mixture into a series of bottles, she taps at the calico to see if any more blood will come out of the woman. Seeing that there is still color in the skin, she wraps one of her legs around the nearly dead prisoner and squeezes it dry like one would do to a lemon. Satisfied that she has what her client wants, she uncoils her limb and sheds her gore covered clothes that are tight enough to show off every one of her curves. Donning a white coat that stops at her knees and is missing the top two buttons, Desirae stretches backwards until her head is touching her heels and her back cracks. With a wide swing of her arm, she spreads all of the blinds to let the rising sun enter the stuffy laboratory, but finds that all of the openings are being blocked. “What have I told you about staying by the windows?” the Dawn Fang asks in a musical These type of stories sound like they’ll do well. I wasn’t sure what a Dawn Fang was (I’m sure it’s explained in the series) but she sounds properly gruesome and in control of her subjects.
  7. The Write Stuff Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who stopped by yesterday for #GuestDayTuesday with Gwen Plano, featuring her latest book, Redemption. It was lovely having Gwen visit The Write Stuff, and it was wonderful seeing all the beautiful comments from everyone, too. I wasn’t able to respond to  each one, as I usually do, though I know you all understand. You folks are the best! Gwen, thanks again for visiting here,  and I hope you’ll stop back by again, soon. You’re always welcome, my friend!
  8. Books and Such Hazel Sinnett is alone and half-convinced the events of the year before—the immortality, Beecham’s vial—were a figment of her imagination. She doesn’t even know whether Jack is alive or dead. All she can really do now is treat patients and maintain Hawthornden Castle as it starts to decay around her. When saving a life leads to her arrest, Hazel seems doomed to rot in prison until a message intervenes: She has been specifically requested to be the personal physician of Princess Charlotte, the sickly daughter of King George IV. Soon Hazel is dragged into the glamor and romance of a court where everyone has something to hide, especially the enigmatic, brilliant members of a social club known as the Companions to the Death. As Hazel’s work entangles her more and more with the British court, she realizes that her own future as a surgeon isn’t the only thing at stake. Malicious forces are at work in the monarchy, and Hazel may be the only one capable of setting things right. The first book in this duology held me spellbound, and I finished it in one sitting. When I learned another book was coming, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
  9. Fantasy Cafe Today is an especially wonderful birthday for me because I get to announce that the twelfth annual Women in SF&F Month starts tomorrow! For the last few years, April has been dedicated to highlighting some of the many women doing amazing work in science fiction and fantasy on this blog, and the tradition continues this month. This site will be featuring guest posts by some of these writers throughout April with new pieces appearing weekly. As always, they will be discussing a variety of subjects—the works and experiences that influenced their writing and ideas, the books and authors that showed them the power of fiction, representation, myth, history, STEM, and more. I’m looking forward to sharing their pieces with you this month! The Women in SF&F Month Origin Story In case you are unfamiliar with how April came to be Women in SF&F Month here: It started way back in 2012, following some discussions about review coverage of books by women and the lack of women blogging about books being suggested for Hugo Awards in fan categories in March. Some of the responses to these—especially the claim that that women weren’t being reviewed and mentioned because there just weren’t that many women reading and writing SFF—made me want to spend a month highlighting women doing work in the genre to show that there are a lot of us, actually. So I decided to see if I could pull together an April event focusing on women in science fiction and fantasy, and thanks to a great many authors and reviewers who wrote pieces for the event, it happened! I was—and continue to be—astounded by the fantastic guest posts that have been written for this series. And I am so, so grateful to everyone This is one of my favorite explorations of theirs! I look enjoy seeing the different authors and meeting older as well as newer authors within their posts.
  10. House of Heart I love you like sunlit waterfalls of lacy catalpa flowers. At daybreak Rainbow lorikeets rise up, fill the golden sky where a sun hangs like clustered cardinals. I offer you a leaf
  11. Smorgasbord Magazine Although we are heading into Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, here is a reminder of the changing seasons and crab apples.Her following thoughts on Spring are something I can get behind. I’m torn between wanting my soups and stews and wishing for the sun to stay out a bit longer.
  12. Chris the Story Reading Ape It is disheartening when you believe no one reads your writing, and it can lead to self-doubt, lack of motivation, or even quitting. Writing is a challenging art that requires a lot of dedication, creativity, and effort. You need passion and commitment, but sometimes you might get the feeling that it’s a bit like talking to yourself. But before you think about giving up, here are a few suggestions to help you find more readers for your writing. It’s a concern for all of us. Putting words down on the page. Posting them. It takes courage. It takes truth in ourselves. A truth that we believe in that one reader out there that will find and love our work.
  13. Fiction Favorites Reaching for the steaming cup of heaven’s gift for a no-morning person, the thought raced through my mind. What antic will those Warner Brother look-alikes have on tap today? The answer came swiftly after the first sip. A voice so loud the vibrations of my cup threatened a tsunami that would ruin both my morning and the living room carpet. “I say there, boy. I say hey, come out here. Yes, you boy. I say I’m talking to you” It was clear Foghorn Leghorn was in the tent. Taking what was left of my coffee to the tent’s darkness, the tense music caused me to stop. In the center ring, a spotlight was focused on Foghorn, slowly inserting himself into the muzzle of a giant cannon. Phil Harris was exhorting the crowd to cheer him on. The Tasmanian Devil, Beaky Buzzard, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Henery Hawk, Claude Cat, Arnold the Pit Bull, Hector the Bulldog, Baba Looey, Charles the Dog, and Lola Bunny were all dressed as clowns and holding a substantial net downrange of the cannon.
    Phil finally got to the point of saying, “Ready, aim ……….fire.” With that, a loud explosion and shower of sparks followed the form of Longhorn as he rose out of the muzzle and straight up to the tent’s peak. Newton Newton’s gravity could not be denied, and Fognorn slowly arched over and began an ever-increasing speed of descent. “I say, boy. I say, y’all on the net. I say, look smart now ’cause here I come.” Foghorn hit the net with such force that he created a hole that sucked the rest of the clowns into its depths. Foghorn managed to pull himself and the others out of the hole. “I say, boy” I’m happy for the soft Earth and sawdust ring.” He walks over and hands me an envelope before taking a large bow acknowledging the cheering crowd.
    Charming, charming characters and what a show!
  14. Entertaining Stories Once again, I failed to produce new words. Everything I did was writing-related, but it doesn’t involve the new stories. After getting paid, and paying the bills, I reached out to my formatter. Once I get the invoice, I’ll take care of that immediately. I then decided to make just one more pass over the MS. There were two places where I wanted to use the word ‘baritone’ in the story. It’s an author thing, I suppose. This led to another pass over the manuscript, and I’m still excited to share it with everyone. I’m parked on cover art and will share it once everything comes together. I’m hoping to have a May release for this one. It’s been finished since Fall, but I’ve been fiddling with other things. I also have a finished MS for Lizzie & the hat and hopefully can get it together for the Halloween season this year. In other news: This is the kind of life a non-writer doesn’t see. We’re not always fiddling with words. Although, in our heads maybe we are. There are other steps to writing. Other parts to the business that must be down. They might be the “boring” parts but they’re still part of the job.

19 responses to “How Do Your Fictional Characters Get Around? by Traci Kenworth”

  1. Thanks for the wonderful resources and links and for the Story Empire shoutout, Traci. Have a wonderful week. Hugs 🤗💕🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Harmony! Glad to help! You enjoy your week as well! Hugs!

  2. Thanks for the shoutout. Hope you get the car back soon.

    1. You’re welcome, Craig! Yes, I have the car back. It still needs some work but that can wait for now. Everything in it’s own time.

  3. I’m glad the socks are helping and sorry about the car. Great post and links. Thanks, Traci.

    1. Yeah, Staci, they’re helping if I use them here and there. The car is fixed for the moment. It’s a rotation of things it seems. Thank you for the mention about the post and links and for stopping by!

  4. You are so right about the character identification, Traci. Sorry about the medicare stuff and the car. Drives one wild to have to keep doing things over and over. Have a great week, and thank you for the link.

    1. Thank you, John! I find you can use just about anything really to get a character from point A to point B. It just takes some thought. Medicaid has worked out but waiting still on Medicare to see about that. The car also is fixed for the moment so that’s some good news too. You’re welcome for the link!

  5. Thank you, Traci. I had fun following your train of thought and identified with your questions. Thank you for the mention. Then I read about your car troubles – and health challenges. I’m sorry for both. With cars, I barely understand the basics and trust the mechanics to make it work. Pathetic, right? As for health issues and insurance, it’s become a way of life for many of us. Going back ten, or twenty years, would any of us have guessed how consuming it would become? I so hope you have relief soon – with medicare and your health challenges. ❤️

    1. You’re welcome, Gwen! I’m glad you were able to stop by and made welcome! Yeah, cars can be such a hassle but unfortunately, we need them to get around. As for healthcare, the Medicaid side worked out but not sure on the medicare yet.

  6. Thanks for the mention Traci… some of my characters have travelled on the backs of geese or a broomstick… and hope the medicare is sorted out so you get all you need.. hugsxx

    1. You’re welcome, Sally! Oh, how awesome! I would’ve never thought of the back of geese! So natural too! Thank you for the medicare thoughts! Hugs!

  7. A fantastic list, Traci! Thank you for sharing and especially for the Story Empire shout-out!

    1. Thank you, Jan! And you’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Thanks for including me, Traci!

    1. Anytime, Teri! Thank you for stopping by!

  9. This is a useful and informative list, Traci. Thanks for including Story Empire!

    1. Happy too, Beem! Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your day!

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