Emotional Wounds Thesaurus Entry: Infertility

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

Characters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect. 

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Courtesy: Daniel Lobo @ CC

Definition: Being unable to bear children, either with or without medical interventions.

Basic Needs Often Compromised By This Wound: esteem and recognition, self-actualization

False Beliefs That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound:

  • I’m less or a man/woman because of this.
  • This is a punishment for something I’ve done in the past.
  • There must be some reason why I can’t have kids.
  • God knows I would be a bad parent; that’s why he won’t let me have kids.
  • People will pity me if they find out.
  • Without children, I’ll never be complete or fulfilled.
  • Why bother taking care of yourself if things like this are going to happen to you anyway?
  • I’m going to grow old and die alone, with no one to care for me.

Positive Attributes That May Result: discreet, empathetic, optimistic, patient, persistent, private, resourceful, 

Negative Traits That May Result: callous, cynical, evasive, irrational, jealous, martyr, needy, obsessive, pessimistic, resentful, temperamental, ungrateful, withdrawn 

Resulting Fears:

  • Fear of growing old and being alone
  • Fear of one’s spouse dying
  • Fear of what others think
  • Fear that one is incapable of parenting or caring for others
  • Fear of other latent illnesses or conditions within one’s body
  • Fear that one will never find happiness or contentment

Possible Habits That May Emerge: 

  • Becoming obsessed with conceiving a child, regardless of the inconvenience or cost
  • Tirelessly researching and trying new or unusual fertility methods, treatments, and remedies
  • Becoming obsessed with one’s health
  • Lying to others about why one hasn’t had children
  • Struggling with depression
  • Self-medicating
  • Distancing oneself from couples with children
  • Throwing oneself into a job or hobby
  • Clinging to one’s spouse or parents out of fear of losing them and being alone
  • Avoiding children
  • Building relationships with other childless couples
  • Joining support groups

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. For our current list of Emotional Wound Entries, go here.

For other Descriptive Thesaurus Collections, go here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Launching One Stop For Writers: Will You Help?

knotYou know that twisty tightness deep in your core when your release day is approaching, or you’ve just sent your novel to an agent, or you’re submitting to a critique group for the first time? Every nerve feels electrified, you can’t eat and your brain skips backward and forward until it returns to those perennial writerly worries: Did I do good enough? Did I work hard enough? Will readers connect to my book, love it even?

Well, I sit here, chest tight and nerves singing with excitement and anxiety….let’s just say can I relate!

When we released our first book, The Emotion Thesaurus, in 2012, I had insomnia for weeks trying to set everything up to launch it in a way that gave it the best chance. A lot was at stake, and we had a huge task, releasing a self-published book in an area dominated by traditional publishing and highly visible writing experts who were often editors, agents and NYT bestselling authors. Becca and I believed we had something special, yet doubt clawed at us – who were we to challenge the status quo? Who were we to think we could play with the big kids, to change the way people thought about what a writing how-to book was? And yet now here we are with three more books, foreign translations, international speaking invitations…and blessed to have the trust of writers all over the world.

My gratitude, Becca’s gratitude…there really are no words. You guys did this–you helped us bring something to life that changed the way writers write! We can never say thank you enough.

OSLogoFAnd now, Becca, Lee and I are asking for your help again. Our One Stop For Writers™ brainstorming software will release October 7th, and we’re heading into more uncharted territory. It’s exciting to frame our content in a way that transcends books, because the world is changing, and we need to change with it, making sure our resources always align with what writers need. We want to provide you with the tools that will help you write efficiently and creatively, in the format you need, and we believe One Stop will do this best.

Here’s a secret from someone who has needed to step outside her comfort box many times on this crazy ride: those worries, those hooked and fanged doubts? They don’t go away. But with your help, maybe we can mute them and together launch this newest project as best we can.

If you are interested in joining us for yet another adventure, and are willing to help with visibility and discoverability as we launch in October, please fill out this very simple form so we can get in touch. And thank you for always being there for us!

 

Pic 1: Antranius @ Pixabay

Posted in About Us, One Stop For Writers, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Why Is Your Character’s Emotional Wound So Important?

flawedEmotional wounds hold incredible power, steering a hero’s motives, actions, and beliefs. They damage their sense of self worth, filter how they view the world, and dictate how they interact with other people, making it harder for them to achieve their goals. So what exactly is a wound?

An emotional wound is a painful past event so emotionally damaging that it changes who your character is. This negative experience triggers a psychological reaction: the need to protect oneself from further emotional hurt. This need is so great that behaviors change, new negative traits (flaws) form as the character dons emotional armor to create a wall between himself and others. The idea of experiencing this kind of emotional trauma again becomes a deep fear, one he will do anything to avoid.

Because wounds act as a devastating emotional blow caused when one is in a vulnerable state, they often involve the people closest to the protagonist. Family or caregivers, lovers or friends. Betrayals, injustice, neglect, isolation or disillusionment are all common themes that lay fertile ground for hurt, mistrust and the desire to avoid situations where that same pain might reoccur.

Like in real life, characters suffer many different smaller wounds throughout their lives, but the “wounding event” that factors into your character’s internal arc should be symbolic of the false belief they must reject in order to become whole once more. This false belief is known as “the Lie” the character believes about themselves as a result of the emotional wound. Let me show this through an example.

Let’s say our main character is Tim, a teenager who was turned over to Foster Care at age ten (Wound). His parents were alcoholics and neglectful. As a result, when he enters the foster system, he is mistrustful, uncommunicative and moody. Because of his parents’ abandonment, he believes that he’s defective, that he’s not worth loving (The Lie he believes about himself because of the wound).

Tim stays with families who provide the essentials to live but no love or affection. This suits him after what he went through. He keeps his emotional armor on, keeping people at a distance, because he’ll just be moving on in a month or year, and getting attached means getting hurt. However, as Tim is fostered out for the fourth time, something changes. His foster family shows genuine interest in him and they work at trying to pull him out of his shell. There is another child there, a foster child who was adopted the year before. Hope enters the picture…could this somehow be different?

At this point, Tim must make a CHOICE (as all protagonists must.) If he continues to keep his emotional wall in place (using his flaws of mistrust, moodiness and an uncommunicative nature to keep people from getting close) he will not forge a bond that will make him part of the family. But if he is able to move past his wound (fear of neglect/abandonment) and open up to this family to receive and give love, he might at long last get his happy ever after.

happinessThis is what character arc is all about: growth. Learning to let go of the past, learning to see The Lie for what it is, and moving forward free from one’s fears. Once a character can let go of the past, they can find the strength to achieve their goals, finding happiness and fulfillment.

Do you know your character’s Emotional Wound?

If you need a place to start, check out this list of Common Character Wound Themes or brainstorm the list of entries from our NEW Emotional Wound Thesaurus.

Have you put yourself on the list to receive updates regarding our One Stop For Writers™ creative brainstorming software launching October 7th? Sign up here!

 

Image 1: Didgeman @ Pixabay
Image 2: Jill111 @ Pixabay

Posted in Character Arc, Character Wound, Fear, One Stop For Writers | 12 Comments

Emotional Wound Entry: Infidelity

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

divorceCharacters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect. 

INFIDELITY (EMOTIONAL OR PHYSICAL)

Examples:

  • a spouse engaging in a one-night stand after a fight or argument
  • a partner who gives in to desire after drug or alcohol use
  • one’s husband or wife having an affair with someone at work
  • discovering one’s spouse is cheating through online chat rooms or sites
  • a partner who confesses he’s in love with more than one person
  • a partner discovered with a prostitute
  • a partner who visits an ex and old feelings rekindle, leading to intimacy
  • discovering a spouse has multiple relationships on the go or even a second family
  • a partner who believes in an open marriage when one does not
  • a spouse who turned to one’s friend for companionship as well as advice
  • a spouse struggling with sexual identity who chooses to explore it while married
  • a spouse who cheats with an old flame from school to relive glory days
  • a partner who accepts the sexual advances of another from a strong need of approval
  • a partner who finds satisfaction elsewhere because of a lack of intimacy at home
  • a partner who emotionally cheats (sharing intimate feelings) with someone else that leaves one feeling betrayed
  • a partner having an affair out of loneliness due to a prolonged absence (frequent or long term work travel or deployment, for example)
  • discovering a spouse has profiles on social dating sites
  • discovering one’s partner has cheated with a family member (a sibling, cousin, parent, etc.)
  • rebuilding a marriage after infidelity only to discover them cheating again

Basic Needs Often Compromised By This Wound: physiological needs, safety and security, love and belonging, esteem and recognition

False Beliefs That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound:

  • I am unworthy of love
  • I am an unsatisfactory lover
  • I am better off alone
  • No one could ever be attracted to me
  • This is my fault for not being good enough
  • There is no such thing as a committed relationship
  • All (men, women) cheat and I am better off alone
  • If I let people in, they only hurt me
  • If I want a relationship to last, I have to become someone better

Positive Attributes That May Result: analytical, cautious, disciplined, funny, honest, honorable, independent, introverted, loyal, nurturing, merciful, perceptive, private, proactive, protective, sensible, supportive

Negative Traits That May Result: catty, confrontational, controlling, cynical, grumpy, humorless, impatient, inflexible, irrational, insecure, jealous, needy, obsessive, possessive, resentful, self-indulgent, suspicious, vindictive, withdrawn

Resulting Fears:

  • fear of intimacy
  • fear of love
  • fear of betrayal
  • fear of making another life-impacting mistake
  • fear of relationships
  • fear of trusting the wrong person
  • fear of being alone forever
  • fear of not being in control
  • fear of not being able to make ends meet on a single income

Possible Habits That May Emerge:

  • avoiding dating and close relationships
  • second guessing one’s actions and choices, especially revolving around trust and relationships
  • keeping one’s emotions close to the vest
  • looking for signs of deceit when one is around potential romantic partners
  • following up or questioning someone to try and suss out whether they are telling the truth
  • general trust issues, becoming evasive
  • wanting to account for a partner’s time when not with them
  • control issues and difficulty in giving a partner privacy
  • wearing clothing that hides (body issues emerge or grow)
  • obsessive dieting or worrying about one’s weight and appearance

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. For our current list of Emotional Wound Entries, go here.

For other Descriptive Thesaurus Collections, go here.

Image: StevePB @ Pixabay

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

One Stop Adventures: Choosing The Right Name

We all know the struggle of naming a novel: trying to think of something catchy, something that aligns with current trends in our genre, but is also highly unique. A title that pops. Of course, our title should also convey the “feel” of our book, the theme that weaves through it, and give potential readers an idea of what the book is about…you know, in only a few words, or even just one, whichever the case may be.

Sounds…er, simple? Yeah, right. Naming a book is a lot like writing that query pitch: not at all easy, and a ton of pressure to hit a home run.

hello CCSo, you can just imagine the jittery stress that cropped up when Becca, Lee and I knew we couldn’t keep calling our brainstorming software “the product.” We needed a name, and a good one. Something that stood out, was professional, and hinted at what the software will do. A name that conveys our desire to help writers in areas where they need it most so they feel empowered to write their amazing novels.

And so the agony began. Here’s a few of the original ideas:

  • Writer’s Genie
  • Creative Genie
  • Descriptive Genie
  • Word Wizard
  • Descriptive Wizard
  • Creative Wizard
  • Imagination Box
  • One Stop
  • Writing Muse
  • Muse for Writers

After much debate and research, we thought maybe it might be better to go with a single word, something punchy that represented inspiration. Because at the heart of One Stop, that’s what we’re doing–offering writers that spark, that brainstorming nudge, that sends their fingers tapping like mad across the keyboard. Our goal is to get writers actually writing, rather than spinning their wheels as they think about what to write. Of those, we came up with:

  • Activate
  • Flare
  • Blaze
  • Boost
  • Spark
  • Burst
  • Inspire
  • ESP

sparkWe all really connected with Spark. In fact we loved Spark. Spark for Writers. Cue singing, the glorious shaft of white light, all that. We imagined logos and letterheads. This was it, our name which would infuse us with purpose!

But of course, we needed to remember we weren’t in the land of book titles any more. This was software, a product/service. In any business, there’s the legal end of things, like copyright and trademark. Loving a name isn’t enough–you have to actually make sure you CAN use it, or risk a lawsuit. If someone has secured a trademark for the same name, or even if there is an existing company or product with a name that is very close in the same industry, a person is rolling the dice to also try and use it. We started researching writing software and related services and took the name to our IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer.

And…it turned out that Spark for Writers was too close to something else out there. So, we had to let this name go.

(You guys know when you love, love, love a book title and then boom, an agent or publisher tells you to change it? Yeah, that feeling.)

We flirted with a few others, like Boost, and ran into more trademark issues. Finally we circled back and asked ourselves, how could we instill a sense of place with our product name? Because that’s what we wanted–a destination, a home. Somewhere for writers to come and get help when they got stuck or needed a spark of inspiration.

We looked at One Stop For Writers again (Becca’s brainchild) and realized this gave us both a sense of place, and told people exactly what they would find: a wonderful array of resources to help them write compelling stories. We decided to go with it. While there were a few similar names out there, we found nothing for writing software or trademarked within that realm, so our IP lawyer deemed we could file for it ourselves. Whoo-hoo!

informationOf course, this brought us to needing a logo designed, and in doing so, the question of what people might assume our name means came up. Our designer asked, “What is One Stop For Writers? In addition to it being creative brainstorming software, does it help writers publish books? Understand platform building? Give them a place to type their story out? Something else?”

These were good questions, and made us realize we needed to be careful about how we market One Stop For Writers. Because while we see ourselves as a one-stop destination for creative tools and descriptive brainstorming that will allow writers be more efficient while improving their writing craft, we aren’t a one-stop for publishing or self-publishing help, we aren’t teaching platform or social media or marketing or any other aspects of being an author. We are only about the creative end of the writing process and getting the right words, ones that paint vivid imagery and create powerful fiction, on the page.

After discussion, we decided to add a tagline to our One Stop For Writers name: elevate your storytelling. This helps to clarify exactly who we are and what we do (empowering & helping writers to craft strong fiction) while also saying what we don’t do: anything not about creating powerful stories. We’re glad our designer asked us these questions because now we can infuse this sense of specific identity in all our marketing moving forward.

The takeaway? Little things are sometimes big things, so don’t be afraid to take the time to get it right. Our name is a big thing–it is who we are and what we do. While it took so much longer to find one than we expected, we are all so happy with how it all worked out.

We hope you like it too. :)

Did you know there’s a new One Stop Newsletter out with instructions on how to apply as a Beta Tester? You can read it here.

Pic #2: Foundry @ Pixabay
Pic #3 Geralt @ Pixabay

Posted in About Us, One Stop For Writers, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Emotional Wounds Thesaurus: Losing a Limb

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

Characters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect. 

0984-JerrodFieldsSprints.jpg: U.S. Army World Class Athelte Program Paralympic sprinter hopeful Sgt. Jerrod Fields, seen here working out at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., won the 100 meters with a time of 12.15 seconds at the 2009 Endeavor Games in Edmond, Okla., on June 13. Photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs

Photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs

Examples: Losing a limb due to

  • a birth defect.
  • a traumatic accident.
  • illness or disease, such as cancer, vascular disease, arterial disease, or diabetes.
  • a bacterial infection that doesn’t respond to antibiotics.
  • gangrene.
  • frostbite.

Basic Needs Often Compromised By This Wound: physiological needs, safety and security, love and belonging, esteem and recognition, self-actualization

False Beliefs That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound: 

  • I will never be whole.
  • No one will find me attractive.
  • When people look at me, they only see my disfigurement.
  • The life I wanted is over.
  • I deserve what has happened (if one is to blame for one’s loss).
  • I can’t take care of myself or my loved ones.
  • I am a burden to my family.
  • They’d be better off without me.

Positive Attributes That May Result: ambitious, appreciative, disciplined, independent, industrious, inspirational, kind, mature, nurturing, persistent, private, resourceful, simple

Negative Traits That May Result: controlling, defensive, hostile, humorless, impatient, inhibited, insecure, needy, oversensitive, pessimistic, reckless, resentful, subservient, timid, withdrawn

Resulting Fears:

  • Fear of being judged by others
  • Fear of becoming a spectacle
  • Fear of being unable to accomplish one’s dreams
  • Fear of losing one’s independence
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of being unable to provide for one’s family
  • Fear of hospitals

Possible Habits That May Emerge: 

  • Hiding one’s missing limb
  • Not taking chances; making safe choices
  • Becoming reckless in an effort to prove one’s capability
  • Withdrawing from others; becoming isolated
  • Avoiding public places and social events
  • Choosing careers, hobbies, and pastimes that one can reasonably accomplish
  • Pushing others away before one can be rejected
  • Clinging to caregivers
  • Becoming dependent on others
  • Being confrontational or defensive
  • Getting stuck in one of the stages of mourning
  • Becoming obsessive about safety
  • Grouping with other people who have experienced the same thing
  • Embracing hobbies or interests where one can succeed
  • Becoming perfectionistic
  • Accentuating other body parts in an effort to draw attention away from one’s missing limb
  • Clinging to one’s original habits and pastimes, even if they are difficult or impossible to now achieve
  • Becoming fiercely independent (moving out on one’s own, refusing therapy, not following the advice of one’s doctors)

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. For our current list of Emotional Wound Entries, go here.

For other Descriptive Thesaurus Collections, go here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Critiques 4 U, July Edition

cute-15826_1280

CONTEST CLOSED!

Happy Summer, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine and warm weather as much as I am. I’d like to see more of it, but I’m in the process of editing all of our thesaurus content to make it neat and tidy for our One Stop For Writers™ launch this fall.  do love to edit, but too much of it makes me crabby, so it’s time to take a little break and do some critiquing!

If you’re working on a first page and would like some objective feedback, leave a comment that includes: 

1) your email address. Some of you have expressed concern about making your email address public; if you’re sure that the email address associated with your WordPress account is correct, you don’t have to include it here. But if you do win and I’m unable to contact you through that email address, I’ll have to choose an alternate winner.

2) your story’s genre (no erotica, please)

3) the intended audience

~ONLY ENTRIES THAT FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED~ 

Three commenters’ names will be randomly drawn and posted tomorrow. If you win, you can email me your first page and I’ll offer my feedback. Best of luck!

*photo credit: Pixabay

Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Emotional Wounds: Accidentally Killing Someone

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

gravestoneCharacters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.

Accidentally Killing Someone

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect. 

Examples:

  • a car accident (either a passenger in the car or a pedestrian or cyclist one hits)
  • triggering an allergy (unknowingly serving food to someone highly allergic to it)
  • a poisoning (a child consuming a fatal dose of medication while in one’s care)
  • a drowning (a child drowning in one’s pool or bath tub, for example)
  • killing someone while impaired
  • instigating a prank and it goes wrong
  • a fire (failing to put out a campfire leading to a blaze with fatalities, etc.)
  • a boating or jet ski accident (running over a swimmer)
  • peer pressure (pushing a friend to drink who later dies of alcohol poisoning)
  • a freak accident (a fall or fatal injury) on one’s property
  • a firearm or weapon accident (mishandling of a weapon, a hunting misfire, etc.)
  • home protection accidents (shooting a family member in the dark believing they are an intruder)
  • poor home maintenance (stairs collapsing, falling through a rotten floor, etc.)
  • dares (e.g., to play chicken while driving) which leads to someone’s death
  • hitting someone too hard in a fight
  • selling a friend a bad batch of drugs
  • a sport-related accident (a slap-shot hitting someone in the head, etc.)
  • malfunctioning equipment (one’s tanning booth that electrocutes a client, etc.)
  • horse-play between kids (play fighting which leads to a friend falling down the stairs, etc.)
  • killing a bystander in the line of duty (in a police shoot out, for example)
  • bumping a friend who then falls off a high story balcony or ledge

Basic Needs Often Compromised By This Wound: safety and security, love and belonging, esteem and recognition, self-actualization

False Beliefs That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound:

  • It should have been me
  • I am a terrible and worthless person
  • I do not deserve to be happy or safe
  • I do not deserve a child of my own and when I took another’s child away
  • I do not deserve to be loved
  • I am only capable of hurting people
  • I cannot be trusted with responsibility of any kind
  • People will hate me if they know what I did
  • I should suffer for the pain I caused
  • I can never fix what I did no matter how hard I try
  • It would be better for everyone if I was dead too

Positive Attributes That May Result: alert, appreciative, cautious, cooperative, disciplined, empathetic, focused, generous, gentle, honest, honorable, humble, independent, inspirational, kind, loyal, mature, merciful, nurturing, obedient, passionate, private, protective, responsible, simple, spiritual, unselfish

Negative Traits That May Result: addictive, apathetic, cowardly, defensive, disorganized, fanatical, humorless, impulsive, indecisive, inhibited, insecure, irresponsible, martyr, morbid, obsessive, oversensitive, reckless, self-destructive, subservient, timid, uncommunicative, withdrawn, workaholic, worrywart

Resulting Fears:

  • fear of making another mistake that costs someone their life
  • fear of responsibility or being in charge (making decisions that impact others)
  • fear of losing control (if irresponsible behavior led to the death)
  • fears regarding being safe enough (if disrepair or a lack of safety protocol was involved)

Possible Habits That May Emerge:

  • paranoia or obsession regarding the circumstances that led to the death: installing safety railings everywhere (a fall), not letting children be alone even for a moment (a drowning on one’s property), refusing to drive if the weather looks even a bit poor (car accidents)
  • over-preparing: going to great lengths to research a situation so one does not make a mistake, keeping emergency kits on hand everywhere, etc.
  • avoiding positions of power and responsibility so one does not have a chance to screw things up or fail people again
  • withdrawing, avoiding friends, family or the public eye
  • not chasing one’s dreams because one believes one does not deserve to have them
  • giving up things that one loves for self-punishment
  • taking risks because one no longer believes one has value
  • taking risks in hopes death will occur, to atone for one’s mistake
  • drinking or drug abuse to cope
  • blaming others for what happened rather than accept one’s role
  • avoiding situations and people tied to the event

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus.

For other Descriptive Thesaurus Collections, go here.

Image via MemoryCatcher @ Pixabay

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Our One Stop Adventure: Sharing Lessons Along The Way

OSBanner_high_WHWRecently Becca and I announced we are bringing something new to WHW–the One Stop For Writers brainstorming software. While doing something not book-related is new territory for us, making the decision to create software was an easy choice, because we are passionate about helping writers, be it through books, our blog or something else.

As writers ourselves, we know that to be successful in this industry, we all must do more, be more, and juggle more. The problem isn’t that writers aren’t up to the challenge, it’s that tackling these things requires a shrinking commodity: time.  And while all of our books, tools and blog lists are geared towards giving you the information you need to brainstorm and create efficiently, they are stored in different places, and in different formats. This means a bit of a scavenger hunt at times. Hopefully our One Stop library will change this, and truly become a one-stop destination for anyone needing help with the process of story creation.

Now I did say the easiest part was deciding to drop the hammer, especially as our partner in crime, Lee Powell, is a talented developer who also works on Scrivener, is a writer himself, and fits in with Becca and I like the proverbial third pea in a pod. The harder part came after our euphoric decision…following through on all the many details.

becca and AngelaBecause of our books, Becca and I already share a company. It’s quite simple and straight-forward, all told. But creating a new one, from scratch, to house an entity like One Stop? Completely different animal. It took significant research (all Becca–she’s a superhero!) to find a way to set up a new company when all three partners live in different countries.

(And the business set up was just the beginning–there’s also the actual building of our One Stop framework, the content creation, formatting, account management set up, finding and testing a payment engine, dealing with trademarks, copyrights, logos, design, branding, deadlines…and so much more!)

Lee, Becca and I have had to really stretch ourselves to plan and set everything up. Most importantly, we had to come together as a team. And as we move forward with implementation, I can’t help but think of all we have learned so far. Becca and I have grown so much during this process, and gained new skill sets, so we thought maybe we could share some of what we’ve learned with you.

We know you haven’t seen One Stop yet, and it’s still a ways from being complete, but maybe some of our insights during this experience will be useful as you go forward and brand yourselves as authors, set up small businesses and even tackle similar challenges of your own. So, we’re going to blog about our journey a bit and hope you’ll stay tuned.

If you have any specific questions or areas you’d like us to cover, just ask!

Heads up: The One Stop library is slowly entering the Social Media sphere….find your favorite librarians on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!

 

Posted in About Us, One Stop For Writers, Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Emotional Wounds Thesaurus: Making a Very Public Mistake

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

Characters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. Please know that it is never our intent to create emotional turmoil. We also recognize that an event that is traumatizing for one person may have only a passing impact on someone else. Emotional wounds affect people differently, so we have tried to include many possible outcomes, to give writers many options to choose from. Above all, please know that we desire to treat these wounds and those who have lived through them with the utmost respect. 

5496629643_fe10542e9f_zExamples: Public mistakes are nothing new and have been happening as long as we all can remember. Luckily, they’re soon forgotten—at least, they used to be. In today’s technologically-advanced world, public mistakes are often recorded for posterity—on YouTube, Facebook, and even on websites set up with the express purpose of never letting anyone forget. This kind of reminder makes it even more difficult to move on after an embarrassing gaffe, such as one of the following:

  • Backing a cause or organization that turns out to be fraudulent
  • Getting caught having an affair
  • Getting caught in a public lie
  • Getting arrested
  • Being overheard saying something one would like to keep private 
  • Losing one’s temper
  • Making comments one later regrets
  • Getting drunk and acting inappropriately
  • Flubbing one’s lines during a performance
  • Literally “dropping the ball” during a sporting event
  • Experiencing a true wardrobe malfunction
  • Making public claims that one is unable to follow through on
  • Being responsible for a high-profile project or product that either fails or falls short of expectations
  • Saying something that makes one look stupid or ignorant
  • Making an accusation that turns out to be unfounded
  • Accidentally sending an inflammatory email or phone message to a large group of people instead of just one person

Basic Needs Often Compromised By This Wound: love and belonging, esteem and recognition, self-actualization

False Beliefs That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound:

  • This is all people will ever remember about me.
  • No one is ever going to let me forget what I did.
  • I can’t be trusted not to screw up.
  • I’m terrible under pressure.
  • I’m unreliable.
  • I’m always going to fail.
  • If I get in front of an audience, I’m going to mess things up.

Positive Attributes That May Result: ambitious, cautious, discreet, humble, merciful, private, proactive, responsible, tolerant 

Negative Traits That May Result: defensive, evasive, inhibited, insecure, irresponsible, perfectionist, pessimistic, rebellious, resentful, self-destructive, timid, withdrawn, worrywart

Resulting Fears: 

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of speaking/performing in public
  • Fear of letting others down
  • Fear of tarnishing one’s reputation

Possible Habits That May Emerge: 

  • Shying away from ambitious or challenging opportunities
  • Becoming very private and withdrawn
  • Becoming overly cautious or even obsessive-compulsive in an effort to avoid the same kind of mistake (obsessively checking one’s work for errors, over-planning, etc.)
  • Doubting one’s abilities
  • Not doing anything without a partner; relying too much on others and not enough on oneself
  • Avoiding social networking platforms where one might be reminded of one’s past mistake
  • Becoming highly ambitious or driven in an attempt to overcome one’s mistake
  • Avoiding the venue that was the cause of the public humiliation (public speaking, online interviews, debates, etc.)
  • Giving up one’s career for one that is lower profile
  • Going into hiding (becoming reclusive, moving to a new place, changing one’s name, etc.)
  • Embracing the false perception caused by one’s mistake (becoming promiscuous, flaky, irresponsible, etc.); living up to low expectations

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus.

Photo credit: opensource.com @ Creative Commons

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