Hey, Choppy here. I came early from school and thought I’ll share with all of you about some of the stuff on my fictionpress forum: “What about the manga section?” Contrary to the title, we actually don’t talk about mangas all that much. In fact, it’s infested with tons of writing advice (with randomness as well, but those are fun to read too).

The best way to know you’ve come across useful info on the forum? When the posts are long. It’s not hard to miss. You’ll have to go through tons of the pages to find them though, so I thought it would be nice to compile it on here.

So, let’s get started, shall we?


Everyone has trouble figuring out their character’s name. I know, for me, I go though all the time. Names always seem to be the thing- you want a name that fits. That will be remembered.

TheArchimage wrote this about it and I thought it would be really useful:

“When naming characters, I typically raid a book of baby names for ideas, especially ones that include meanings and origin. I try to have the meaning of the name at least vaguely relate to the character. I have a few other rules about names, as well, some of which are listed below:Minor characters will have names from the same origin, while major and main characters will have name origins different from the norm to help them stand out. If I have a scene involving Ronald, Frank, Bill, and Mikhail, it’s immediately clear who is the most important character in the room even if it’s the very first chapter. This can also help develop the characters of the main movers and shakers of the story. This is of limited use in manga stories taking place in Japan; their homogeneous culture means basically everyone will have a Japanese name.

The first name is exactly one syllable shorter or longer than the last name. These names sound the most natural to the human ear and flow more easily than names where the number of syllables is the same or the difference is greater than one.

Any main character with a name longer than two syllables should have a nickname two syllables or shorter. Any name longer than two syllables is too difficult for other characters to shout out in the heat of the moment (such as when the character is put into mortal peril or has done something that really ticks someone off).

Unless you have enough characters that it can’t be avoided, no two characters of the same “tier” (main-major-minor) should have names that start with the same letter, and above all no two names should be nearly identical. Anna and Annie are too similar for a reader to easily distinguish between them, but even Aaron and Addison can cause confusion over several hundred pages.”


 Okay, so hopefully that helps some of you guys! I’ll try posting other advice people came up with on the forum and bringing it over here when I have time (going through all those forum pages take a while.) If for some reason you can’t wait and would like to find the advice and follow the conversation on the forum, the link is below.

Lets get physical

That's actually my date for senior ball (he's a freshman) putting the corsage on me

I’m sure you have all seen something like this before:

A whisper in the main character’s ear from her crush-sure, he may just be that close to the main character (let’s call her Jenny) because the room was too loud otherwise to hear each other, but who cares? His sweet breath is tingling her cheeks. She could feel his body heat, hot and sticky. Jenny’s heart feels as if it’s going to explode.

Yeah. I’ve seen it. Or some sort of variation of it-a close one to “the whispers” is “the hug greeting” (in which case you could actually feel your crush’s chest rising up and down as he breaths). And I have to admit, people think like that when they are near their crush. A rush. Definitely.

And this is me not bashing it. That’s right. Those examples up there? I love them if done right. It’s a good way to get the characters to realize their feelings and to get close.

If anything, this is me giving more ways to get your characters closer. Like, really close. And hey! You just might want to try this out too. 🙂

Five ways to get physical:

1) Telephone

An innocent game. Similar to “the whispers.” This is a great game to play with a big group of friends. Of course, this is a bit different from “the whispers.” Because this game tends to get naughty (people mishear what was said and the words that are supposed to be passed along changes to more inappropriate phrases) your crush that’s next to you might not only whisper in your ear, but you might also get to hear his laughter…up close.

How to play: Everyone sits in a circle. Some one starts by whispering whatever they want in the person next to them, ears. It goes around the group. When you come to the last person, s/he announces what he believes the first person had said.

2) Hand games

Another innocent game. Well, depending on what type of hand game you play. But in general? Good way to get close to your crush. (And I’m talking about those children hand games like “Miss Mary Mack.” I know some people might take the wordings in a wrong way, so this is just to clarify.) It shows playfulness. Plus, that hand you always wondered about (is it smooth? Rough? How big is his hand compared to mine?), you can finally touch it without being weird.

How to play: Depends on the hand game. Basically, it’s different hand movements.

 3) The backseat

Not everyone can drive. And what irritates me a lot when reading YA is when a character is obviously not old enough to drive, drives. But if your friends can and you’re allowed to hitch a ride from them, the backseat is the way to go. Especially when the car is packed. Snag a seat next to your crush and not only would your legs be bumping into each other, but you may just have that awkward sweet moment when the both of you start blushing like mad as you both blurt “I’m sorry!” But, instead of you trying to separate, he holds you closer because “he’s trying to be a man” and would rather you be hugging him than the friend that’s on the other side of you.

4) Twister

A lil’ more advance here. But what better why to get physical? A little bit of hugging and awkward positions. But hey! You might end up this close to his face as you stare at each other from your position. And you might even crash into each other, so you can have the aww moment like this:

not so much as "Aww" but that game of twister was so much fun.

How to play: Spin the spinner. Follow directions. Nuff said.

But wait! We’re not done yet. One more, guys. And this one is fun. Trust me.

5) Lap Tag

If you haven’t played this game, do it now. It’s super fun.

How to play: there’s two circles. The inner circle and the outer circle. Everyone but one person is paired with an outer and inner person. For example: person A is outside, person B is inside. C is out, D is in. Person E is alone. B sits in front of A. And D sits in front of C. E is still alone.

You can have as many people to play, but it has to be an odd number since one person can’t have a partner. When E calls out two people who’s in the inner circle (in this case B and D), the inner people would try to tag E’s lap. BUT, the outer people would try to hold them back. Whoever gets to leave their partner wins, and it kinda goes on and on like so. If the person “keeps” their partner, then they switch places and now A is in the inside while B is on the outside.

Confusing? It’s not. It’s just hard to explain. Check out youtube. There bound to be a video on there.

So you could see how this could be very physical. I knew some of my guy friends who used this game as a way to hug his crush, hold him back, and to get the feeling of being held back and wanted from her. Plus, you could get into really sketchy positions that if done elsewhere, you’ll get strange looks (but because this is a game, it’s pretty normal to get into). It’s kind of sexy though, too, and fun to watch. Especially when you see your friend pin a guy down and sitting on top of him. RAWR.

Warning: It’s a pretty violent game. You’re clinging, wrapping your legs around your partner, and there can be times where you can’t breath since your partner is holding onto you so tight. There’s hair pulling, biting,veins popping, bruising, ripped jeans, pants getting pulled off, ect. If you’re a weak person, you’ll probably cry (or if you’re like me, you’ll get injured to the point where you’ll have to take a few days off of track because of the intensity of the game).

So, sounds like fun, right? Really, these are great way to get your characters of your novel close to each other in a physical manner without being too awkward and in ways that you normally wouldn’t see in YA novels (or any novels for that matter, so far I’ve seen. Though, it would be interesting to read). Frankly, I play all these game- played lap tag a few days ago actually with a group of friends. And can I say “intense.”

How do you have your characters get close to each other in a physical manner? Any unique ways?