Your Favorite Characters: If You Had to Give Them Nicknames….

"Your Favorite Characters: If You Gave Them Nicknames...."" (blog post) | |

Nicknames are fun — I was once told I could be given the nickname of “Running Ulcer” because of walking quickly (in high school) and worrying a lot.

Most likely, some characters are given nicknames by the author. If you’re a reader, what nicknames might you give to some of your favorite characters? And if you’re a writer, what nicknames might you give to your own characters? (This is an especially useful tool for writers to really get into the world of their characters.)

Really quirky or eccentric characters would likely get the most interesting nicknames. Ebeneezer Scrooge, for example, could be “Cheapskate,” “Coldheart” or “Bah-Humbug Breath.” King Arthur could be “Master of Excalibur.”

Ebeneezer Scrooge could be “Cheapskate,” “Coldheart” or “Bah-Humbug Breath.”

Not all people automatically have nicknames (nor should they), so the fact that we may be inclined to nickname certain characters may show the power of the characters themselves.

Nicknaming Characters Really Makes You Think

If you’re inclined to nickname a favorite character, that’s one thing. For authors, however, the exercise of nicknaming characters is not always easy. For example, in trying to name some of my own short story characters, the only obvious one was “Tomb-Singer” for Mark in “Revvel’s Tomb” (though other nicknames for him are certainly possible, some of them being rather macabre).

Some people who may bother to nickname characters might be given the nickname of “Bookworm” — but then again, that’s not really a bad thing. 🙂


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Why Not Try Faber-Castell Gelatos for Big Art Pieces? (Experiment)

"Working with Art Gelatos for Larger Art Pieces" (blog post) | |

Faber-Castell Gelatos are a medium that are often used for art journaling, card-making and other paper crafts. They actually work well as an underpainting layer for oil pastels on mixed-media paper, too.

But what about using them as the main medium for a larger project? That seemed like at least a fun idea to test. And while doing a full-on scene could work, it seemed best—and quickest in terms of this experiment—to do fairly simple images.

But first, what are Faber-Castell Gelatos?

Gelatos are a pigment often compared to lipstick, at least in texture. They are very creamy but are different from oil pastels in that they are softer. As mentioned, they’re often used in paper-crafting.

To test how they would come across in a larger art piece, we decided to do an 80’s tribute and tried two different images of vintage My Little Ponies.

Drawing with, and Blending, the Gelatos

Gelatos are especially fun to work with because they’re so soft. They go on easily and blend with very little effort (if you choose to blend them). The drawing of Bowtie (below) shows best how the medium blends, as the blue on the body was blended (or rather, smashed into the paper). Blending Gelatos is often done with a baby wipe.

"Working with Art Gelatos for Larger Art Pieces" (blog post) | |

The areas with the mane/hair were blended underneath, then a layer of the strands was stroked on above. Those areas were not blended and can be seen best on the drawing of the sea pony, Wavedancer.

"Working with Art Gelatos for Larger Art Pieces" (blog post) | | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.comIt may actually be more effective, if doing a really large or complex piece, to do the Gelatos for larger areas and the detailed parts with something like chalk, soft pastel or conte crayon.

For more on art Gelatos, also check out “Oil Pastel Experiment: Trying Gelatos for Underpainting.

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How a Random Word Generator Confirmed a “Writing Year”

All writers use writing prompts at some point—it’s almost a given. Whether looking for non-fiction prompts or ideas for a short story (or even a novel), many writers turn to the prompt for inspiration.

When looking for writing prompts, I see a lot of really good prompts for fiction—but the non-fiction ones seem more difficult somehow (though this may not be the case for everyone). Either they just don’t resonate or they don’t seem like a topic that my readers would want to read about.

For some reason, I recently forgot about my best source for non-fiction writing prompts: looking up “writing topics.” So turned to another fallback: random words. Random words are fun, anyway, because you learn some new vocab along the way.

Going to, I chose the setting of receiving three random words—and here’s what came up:

Obviously, these words have a connection—at least to writers—so I did a test to see if most of the word trios I got had a connection of any sort.

Every other grouping I got was completely unconnected.

Other writers are sure to see the importance in this synchronicity, as it describes some main parts of a writer’s process:

Compose. Obviously, this is the first part of the process: creating the story or piece itself, the first draft or rough draft.

Flow: Catching any issues with flow is crucial when editing—if a piece doesn’t flow well, it won’t be as effective or will end up being complete nonsense. Again, this applies to both fiction and non-fiction.

Quotation: In this day and age, just about all writers hope to find quotable quotes in their works to share with potential readers and catch their interest.

Why is this important? To tell the truth, it may not be.

Then again, a friend in high school—also a writer—once said, “I don’t believe in coincidences.”

At any rate, it’s a good way for a writer to start a new year.

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