Tag: characters

Writers Confess Phrases They Overuse

John Boyne, legendary author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, tweeted today asking other writers if they’ve wrestled with phrases they overuse, and if so, what they are:


Are there writers who find themselves using the same lame phrases over and over & having to cut them? I'm terrible for "he hesitated for a moment, then looked away" & I've realised that my characters spend so much time shrugging that it's like their shoulders are on springs *crying laughing emoji*


If you’ve done any volume of writing, you can probably relate. Beyond a signature style, authors sometimes have words they use more often, or in this case, concepts and sentence pieces. A surprising number of them have to do with actions the characters are taking. The tweet got an enormous number of responses, causing the topic to trend on twitter. The whole thing gives the impression of characters doing things without the authors’ permission.



And I mean… they probably shouldn’t. But whether they’re blinking might not always be relevant. And she’s not the only one whose characters have gotten a little unruly.



Why won’t these characters hold still? Don’t they know what medium they’re in?



It isn’t always character wrangling, though. Sometimes the words won’t work. Or sometimes there are just too many of them.



Paraphrasing yourself is a lovely new take on the self drag. Though the original tweet’s tone was of amused annoyance, in some cases it devolved into actual advice, as though THAT’s going to change anything.



I mean, sure, you’re probably right, but sometimes a person’s gotta shrug. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Only when the moment’s right, I guess.



Featured image via ZDNet 

Six Galaxy Brain Tweets from SparkNotes

If you’re anything like me, SparkNotes has always been there when you need it. Now, they’re not only helping you pass your classes, but also serving you the spiciest of literature memes. They’re all pure gold, but here are just a few.



Theseus or not, YOU. ARE. VALID.



Unfortunately there’s no third option, so if you want to set the Minotaur up on a blind date with your friend, you’re kind of out of luck. Otherwise, you’re good though. What color do your sails need to be if you didn’t slay the Minotaur but you’re seeing it this Friday?




Some people appreciate attitude



I mean, he’s already in love with her by that point, but you get the idea. He’s always talking about how mean she is, and then boom, marry me! Of course, the same could be said of her. What a stressful ship. Still though, you know, I’m on it.




Want to delay your problems forever?



Curiosity may not have killed the cat, but it sure killed Dorian Gray. Still, he lived a while looking fresh and evil in stead of old and evil, so if you’ve got the attic space, why not? In this economy though? The thing’s going under the bed.




Do You haunt an old building? Then you need…




Sure, you might not be the most conventionally attractive, but your secret underground hideaway is second to none, and isn’t it what’s on the inside that matters? What’s under the surface? (What’s directly  under the opera house?)




People can’t know we sit! And… murder!



Maybe not as relatable as the original video, but definitely a strong mood, and just as futile. The body stays right under the floorboards after all. If only there’d been seashells on the doorknobs, maybe things would have gone better.




Hindsight is… Ah man I botched it.



Don’t look back in anger (or at all). Going to the depths of hell is a nice gesture, and who doesn’t like musicians, but you’ve gotta stick the landing by actually fulfilling the deal. Just one opinion, but if both of you don’t come back alive, that’s a bad date.




All images via SparkNotes


You Can Now Eat Your Favorite Character at This Sweet Macaron Bakery

I’m not sure why I always crave sweet things. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes—you name it, I want it. And if they’re decorated with cute designs and characters then it’s simply a plus. That’s why I find this bakery in California brilliant.


It seems like nowadays, macarons (which are associated with French culture, but were actually created by Italians) are as common as brownies or sugar cookies. Their popularity has shot up in recent years, making them easy to acquire by anyone anywhere. So an Irvine-based bakery in California ran with that notion and created something special.


Honey & Butter combined their macarons with the faces of all our favorite characters from TV, movies, and, of course, books! What were originally flavors like oreo, matcha, and sea-salted caramel turned into: Harry Potter, IT, Stranger Things, Peanuts, and countless other sugary designs! It’s actually a work of art when you really look at it.








They have Sailor Moon, so basically I need to go. Due to this bakery’s popularity, it will regularly advertise which time certain flavors and characters go on sale. “Our creatures are meticulously decorated by hand,” Honey & Butter states on their site. “We love the human element of making them.”


You could easily pre-order them on their site or just scroll through their confectionery goodness here!


Feature Image Via Honey & Butter

charlie weasley harry potter dragon brother

The 5 Greatest Harry Potter Characters Who Weren’t in the Movies

Whether or not the Harry Potter movies do justice to the beloved book series is a point of contention among fans of Rowling’s Potterverse. Many defend the films as the absolute best adaptation possible, and view the casualties as necessary sacrifices, while others maintain that the films over-simplified the nebulous plots of the later books, and made a total mess of what could have been something wonderful.


Personally, I love the films, but they are far from perfect and I would love to see them remade, or perhaps the series adapted for television, so that some of the greatest subplots and secondary characters who were excluded from the first round of films could finally get their shot. I really, really need to see the House Elf revolution brought to life on screen before I die. That’s all I’m saying. 


So, in no particular order, here are my top five characters whose exclusion from the films breaks my heart and who deserve to be represented on screen. 


1. Winky


Winky Harry Potter Wikia

Image Via Harry Potter Wikia


Okay, as a child reading the books I didn’t quite realize how dark Winky the house elf’s storyline is, or indeed how problematic the very existence and treatment of house elves is. Winky served the Crouch family, as had her mother and grandmother, until her dismissal by Bartie Crouch Senior. She was subsequently employed at Hogwarts, but did not adjust well to being a free elf and descended into alcoholism. Devastating. She was, however, on the front lines of the Battle of Hogwarts, led against the death eaters by Kreacher.


Winky’s treatment at the hands of Barty Crouch Senior was what inspired Hermione to create the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.), which is a brilliant subplot that I would love to see included in a future adaptation. But seriously. Justice for Winky! 


2. Peeves the Poltergeist


Rik Mayall as Peeves

Via Change.org


Peeves is one of the funniest characters in the books, a mischievous spirit who haunts Hogwarts wreaking havoc and mayhem wherever he goes. One of the great tragedies in the history of cinema is that Peeves was meant to be included in the films, portrayed by the hilarious Rik Mayall, an absolutely superb feat of casting. However, his scenes were left on the cutting room floor, and Mayall sadly passed away in 2014. There was even a Change.org petition (now closed) for the studio to release the footage of Mayall as Peeves. 

Peeves engages in all sorts of antagonization, from dropping walking sticks on students, to writing rude things on the blackboards, no one is safe from his mischief, except for certain students whose own troublesome natures he respects, such as Fred and George Weasley.


3. The Gaunt Family


fan art gaunts the harry potter lexicon

Fan art of the Gaunts in which they are, indeed, very gaunt. | Via the Harry Potter Lexicon


A pureblood family who were descendants of Salazar Slytherin. Marvolo Gaunt was Voldemort’s (Tom Marvolo Riddle’s) grandfather, and was extremely prejudiced towards muggles and muggle-born magic folk. His son Morfin lived with him and was a Parseltongue. His daughter Merope was thought to be a squib due to her emotional instability and reluctance to use magic. Her union with a muggle, Tom Riddle under the effects of a love spell, resulted in a son (Voldemort), Marvolo’s son. When he recovers from the effects of Merope’s spell, he leaves her and she dies soon after. The Gaunts are integral to fully understanding Voldemort’s backstory. 


4. The Gnomes 


de-gnoming the garden pottermore

Image Via Pottermore


The Weasely garden is home to an infestation of gnomes, which results in some hilarious ‘de-gnoming the garden’ scenes. Harry tells Ron, “Muggles have garden gnomes too, you know,” to which Ron responds “Yeah, I’ve seen those things they think are gnomes, like fat little Father Christmases with fishing rods…” Gnomes in the wizarding world are ugly little humanoid creatures, who are literally flung over the hedge and out of the Weasely’s garden, although often sneak back in as Arthur Weasley has a soft spot for them. They may be a not-so fantastic beast, but the gnome-flinging would have provided some great comic relief. 


5. Charlie Weasley 


charlie weasley the harry potter lexicon

Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon 


Charlie Weasley is the second oldest Weasley sibling and a dragon expert who resides in Romania for much of the series. However, Charlie first meets Harry at the Quidditch World Cup at the start of the Goblet of Fire, and later in the book assists with the handling of the dragon brought in for the task during the Tri Wizard Cup. Unlike his lanky brothers, Charlie is described as being short and stocky, with a weather beaten face from working outdoors. The more Weasleys the merrier and I’m dying to see who’d be cast. 


Featured Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon

Fictional characters

The 7 Steps of Falling Hard for a Fictional Character

Well if I say I’ve never done this, then I am a dirty rotten liar. We’re all guilty of it. When we read fiction novels we go hard, am I right? We’re not messing around here. Getting to know brand new characters is like sitting down to hear someone’s life story and seeing how they live through various situations. You’re getting quite a feel for their voice and how they react to certain scenarios. Quirks, vices, catch-phrases, inner-monologues; all these things begin to piece together. Now you’re in deep.

This character is charming, intelligent, lovable, and before you know it… BOOM. You find yourself falling for fictional person. I’ve been there, I know the struggle. You get that lame fuzzy feeling and you wish they could come to life. Yes, it’s rough. You’re probably thinking of a character right now. If you’re still not sure of your feelings, here are the stages of completely falling for a fictional character. 




1. Getting to know them little by little
It’s like going on a blind date where you can’t talk, only listen. You’ve had feelings for other characters in the past and now someone new is on the scene. Their tone of voice seems intriguing at first, but they’re basically a stranger. You want to know more and you’re trying to figure out what their deal is before you even get through the first chapter.


2. You start to analyze their life and have sympathy for their complexities
By now, you’re already starting to feel little blips of possible attraction. Who needs sleep when you could spend the night reading about this unusual literary specimen? When the character’s quirky friend makes a scene, their following reaction has you thinking, ‘damn, they’re cute and witty’. When an inner-monologue comes up you give it a voice that’s deep with emotion and feeling.





3. You’re convinced everything about them is relatable
‘Omg I feel the same, I always do that and no one ever gets it,’ yada yada. Now it’s feeling like they’re telling their story right to you, as if it were a coffee date or text message. Oh boy… Their jokes and quips feel real, like y’all would have a good time together if you hung out. You would totally be friends if you met each other at a bar… or at Target.


4. Attraction is key and they are smokin’
Sweet honey biscuits, this character is fine as hell. Usually I find that characters are a combination of people we’ve already seen and find attractive. Whether it’s the cute guy at the mall or a celeb we have a crush on, we take the ingredients the author gives us and cook up something hot. The worst part? Everyone you usually find attractive in the real world is now dull and can’t even compare. This is dangerous territory- tread carefully.



5. You feel like they’re actually real
Red alert! Red alert! If you have that warm fuzzy feeling even after you put the book down, as Usher would say, you got it bad. You could totally imagine them in a group setting with friends or exchanging favorite books with one another. If your phone pings with a text, you know damn well you wish it was them messaging you… Le sigh.


6. You read the book as if you were the character who’s their love interest
‘[Insert character’s name here] reaches out to quietly hold [insert your name here]’s hand as they walk along the avenue and…’ Hold it right there. You are here, not there, but that doesn’t stop you from letting your imagination run wild. Scenes that will most likely never happen just feel right, right? And if those sensual scenes make your cheeks flush, then you’ve gone too far my friend.


7. The bittersweet end
Alas, all good things (real and fictional) must come to an end. This includes your fictional fantasy dreamboat. It really does feel like the character left you. You could reread the book, but it’s not the same as that very first time. They feel like a part of your life, afterall, you’re not the same person you were before you read it. Although endings are hard these characters still feel present. You think of them often and rather fondly… But you’ll get through it… seriously.



It’s so hard for me to start a new book once I’ve fallen for a character in the last one. However, as bookworms, we always manage to make room for new stories (and crushes.) Plus, even if the character stays with us for a while, isn’t that just the sign of a really great book?


Feature Image Via Pinterest