Seeing the Negative Approach

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

Today’s blog goes hand in hand with last week’s post.

One of my goals with these guides is to think about different ways to look at story development. You put your characters through the wringer in every way! Despite what some writers may claim, there is no such thing as a “right way” to approach your character’s problems without digging deep.

Skirting the surface is a disservice to your reader. In fact, with most issues, there is no single “one size fits all” path to take. Instead, the most effective way to approach a problem is by taking an honest look at the situation and deciding an unusual course of action. Treating a pain point in the way most appropriate for the position will help you tell the story in the best possible way in the long run.

There’s always talk of “subverting expectations,” but do it genuinely.

In that same vein, you should explore the negative side of emotions. Again, this list is a great place to start.

  • Accusing
  • Aggravated
  • Agitated
  • Angry
  • Apathetic
  • Arrogant
  • Artificial
  • Audacious
  • Belligerent
  • Bitter
  • Boring
  • Brash
  • Childish
  • Choleric
  • Coarse
  • Cold
  • Condemnatory
  • Critical
  • Desperate
  • Disappointed
  • Disgruntled
  • Disinterested
  • Facetious
  • Furious
  • Harsh
  • Hateful
  • Haughty
  • Hurtful
  • Indignant
  • Inflammatory
  • Insulting
  • Irritated
  • Manipulative
  • Obnoxious
  • Outraged
  • Passive
  • Quarrelsome
  • Shameful
  • Smooth
  • Snooty
  • Superficial
  • Surly
  • Testy
  • Threatening
  • Tired
  • Uninterested
  • Wrathful

It’s not that easy to see the negative approach. Maybe there’s something in you that is holding you back from a creative standpoint. But it’s possible even if it is difficult. Embracing the dark side requires you to see the world in the way it is rather than seeing the world in the way you want it to be. You must see things in a way that serves the story, and ultimately, your reader.

Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a writer and editor of color, but you may also know her as the host of the Raconteuse Radio podcast. Her work has appeared in Nevada Humanities and Helen. She has an M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally if one could call living there normal. Follow her on Twitter.

Use Your Words