So badass

Hi everyone.

While writing my novel, I’ve come to appreciate what badasses each of my characters is in their own way.

This got me to thinking about what exactly is a badass? How can you tell if someone has achieved the state of badassery? Or if they’re merely posers who wish they were badass?

Please note, these are my personal definitions. There are other definitions out there, but if you want to be a badass in my book, here’s the deal …

First off, let’s talk about who is NOT a badass:

  • Anyone who thinks being an asshole to other people is a sign of strength
  • People who are cruel to animals for ANY reason
  • Anyone who never stops talking about how badass they are
  • People who do cruel or questionable things simply to impress another cruel or questionable person
  • Anyone who breaks shit just for the hell of it, or who starts fights for no goddamn good reason

Now, how do we define a true badass? A badass is:

  • Not an asshole
  • Someone who doesn’t go out of their way to look tough. They ARE tough.
  • Kind to animals. Period.

 

 

 

 

  • True to themselves. They refuse to live inauthentic lives to try to impress others.

 

 

 

  • Someone who never preys on the weak
  • Never afraid to show kindness

 

How about you? Would you describe any of your characters as badasses? How so? Do you personally know any badasses? How does my definition measure up to yours?

I’d love to hear about it in the Comment section.

A rose by any other name

Hi everyone.

Today I want to share something from my current WIP.

One of the characters, Kostya, is Russian, and I am using Russian curses or insults wherever possible in order to give his dialogue some flavor.

It turns out, there are a LOT of Russian curses.

So here are a few of my favorites (so far). Please note, I’m not including the original Russian words, obviously, since that would require a Cyrillic font on my computer.

These are best spoken with a heavy Russian accent. Enjoy!

  • Durak – fool (starting off nicely. If you are easily offended, NOW would be a good time to visit some other blog.)
  • Govnyuk – shit, shithead (this was Vladimir Lenin’s favorite word, I’m told, so use it at your own risk)
  • Razyebi – a fuckup, a screw up (ah, this describes so many people I know)
  • Urodina – feminine: gargoyle (apparently, there are no masculine gargoyles? Who knew?)

  • Sukin syn – a son of a bitch (a classic)
  • Blyadina – a big-time whore (well, at least I’m a BIG-TIME whore, and not some nasty, little poser)

 

 

 

 

  • Huy – prick, dick, cock (that’s pronounced hoo-ey, ladies and gents and others)
  • Pizda – cunt, pussy, twat (is it just me, or does this sound a LOT like pizza?)
  • Zhopa – ass (well, what can you say after you’ve said zhopa? I mean, really?)

Well, let’s stop here.

There are SO MANY more it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole.

Please don’t bother sending me hate over this. I’ve been in love with the Russian language since I was about 9 years old when I taught myself the alphabet. Don’t ask me why.

I would LOVE to know if you use words or phrases from other languages to give your characters some depth? If so, which ones?

Please let me know in the Comment section.

Thanks for reading.

What the HELL is a Johari Window?

Hi everyone.

I recently discovered an amazing writing tool, courtesy of another writer. (Shout out to Kristen Lamb @authorkristenlamb.com).

It’s called the Johari Window.

It was created by two psychologists in 1955 – Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. They thought it would help people to better understand their relationship to themselves and others. Self-help groups and corporate team-building exercise leaders loved it.

Ugh, I know. Snoozefest.

However, if you stop reading right now just remember this – these two guys named their creation after themselves – JO for Joseph and HARI for Harringtion – which is kinda cute.

Still here?

Great, because if you don’t think, Wow, this would be a great tool for character development the first time you see a Johari Window, then I don’t know what I can do for you.

That first box – OPEN (sometimes called ARENA) – this is all the information that your character knows about him/her/their self and that everyone else knows, too. Like – he used to be a lap dancer, but then he became an EMT, and now he’s a convicted felon out on parole.

That second box – BLIND SPOT – contains stuff about your character that other people know, but that your character is currently ignorant of, or blind to.

Like – she feels worthless and ashamed because she can’t afford name brand clothes, but other people see her as creative and stylish.

The third box – HIDDEN (sometimes called FAÇADE) – is full of all the crap your character knows about themselves, but that they keep hidden from everybody else.

Like – they have a shoe fetish, only no one can tell because they have 40 pairs of the same style shoe.

 

 

 

 

The fourth box – UNKNOWN – is where all the stuff that no one in your story knows about yet.

Like – aliens have been keeping an eye on your character ever since they were born, because your character’s bio-dad is the leader of a great civilization on Alpha Centauri.

Once you use the Johari Window to map out your protagonist, you can continue to use it to structure your story. The way you do that is to design a story problem that will eventually help your protagonist finally see their blind spot and how it’s negatively affecting their life and other people’s lives too. And in the process of doing that, you want to shrink that UNKNOWN box by the story’s end with the goal of ending up with a more balanced, whole person who knows who they are, likes who they are, and knows where they’re going.

Have you ever seen the Johari Window before? And have you used it in your writing?

Let me know in the Comments section.

Thanks for reading.