Thursday, October 27, 2011

writing inspiration - coolness

As you can see from my Secrets, I wasn't very cool growing up. In fact, I went through a pudgy phase where I was down-right the nerdiest thing north of the equator. I was the most un-cool girl around.

(Picture borrowed from

So now as I try to write characters that are the essence of all things cool, I sometimes find myself doubting aspects to their design. From clothing, to vehicles, to their speech.

So to deal with my shortcomings, I googled coolness.

This is what Wiki How has to say: 
"Have you always wanted to be the cool guy, who always seems to do the right thing? Or are you dying to be the cool girl, who flows through life with ease and grace? If you think about all the people who you think of as cool . . . they have several characteristics in common: they're all confident, unique, and on friendly terms with everyone . . . Everyone has their own definition of cool; there is really no true universal definition on how to be cool, but here are some guidelines to get you started."

I like that. Confident. Unique. 

But really, is that enough? I want to know how you create a cool character. What's your recipe for cool success? 
If you read my last secret, it's clear I ain't got one. 


Faith E. Hough said...

I think another quality for real coolness is being unaware of said coolness. Did you ever read "Peter Pan"? I always laugh at Hook's musings on how to really have good form you can't know you have good form!

Jennie Bennett said...

I agree with that statement. Being yourself and being comfortable in your skin is what defines cool to me. Who cares what you wear if you're likeable and relateable.

Jessie Humphries said...

Erin you are such an enigma (look that one up on wikipedia:) You are totally cool! The epitome of cool. I dont know about the ugly duckling stage you are purporting occurred...but these days, you rock. I think all the time, "How can I be more like Erin?" or "Erin is so cool." What makes you cool you ask? Its how you make everyone feel like they are your best friend. So there!

Precy Larkins said...

I think we all go through the ugly duckling phase at some point in our life--it's almost like a rite of passage, a coming-of-age story grounded in reality.

I think you're COOL. No, scratch that. I BELIEVE you're COOL. I like what Faith said: "real coolness is being unaware of said coolness". See, Erin? You're cool and you didn't even know it!!


Shallee said...

I'm afraid you and I could have battled it out for the ultimate nerd award, so I don't have much advice for coolness. But I think confidence is a big part of it!

Jenny S. Morris said...

Confidence without having a huge ego. Cause then their just a jerk.
But, I think the dorkiest person can actually be cool, if they don't care what people think, and make others feel comfortable. Personally, I like characters that are a little awkward, yet still cool. Oh, and a sense of humor, which you totally have tons of. So, making your character funny, is cool to me.

Also, I agree with Jessie. You are SUPER cool.

Abby Fowers said...

Confident and unique, yes! But sometimes the cool kid is really the nerd just pretending so he can fit in. Other times the cool kids (or popular kids) can be real a-holes! I try to use them as the (how not to be a cool kid, example.)

The kind of people I think are really cool are the ones that are willing to be themselves, be different... but they're nice and everybody likes them

Iain said...

I think that kids will identify with characters that are as flawed as they are. Just normal kids with teh same kind of worries and insecurities. Cool kids aren't real. :o)

Robyn said...

You were cool in HS! At least I thought so! I wouldn't have wanted to be friends with a nerd, I was trying too hard to be cool; a nerdy friend would have blown my cover. So, by my reasoning, you were cool! (If I'm wrong, please don't point it out all these years later!)

i'm erin. said...

Robyn, I'll pay you for that comment later. ha ha.

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

How to create a cool character? Make them a side character. XD

Srsly though, it's so hard for me to make my protagonists "cool," yet the guys on the sideline totally rock my socks.

I say give them a really strong sympathetic trait, and then a wonky quirk. And sunglasses. Voila: cool.

Sarah Tokeley said...

Cool is following your dream and being yourself. Cool is not worrying about what other people think about you, and treating others as you want to be treated - also, really good shoes :-)

DEZMOND said...

well, if you suffered for not being cool as a kid, shouldn't you do the right thing and instead of making "cool" characters create some "cool" nerdy characters and give some hope and inspiration for kids who are suffering now, like you did back then? :)

i'm erin. said...

good point dez.

Melissa Sugar said...

She must be charismatic and she must not act like she thinks or knows that she is cool. The cool girl is never a follower (oops, I love to follow on blogs). She is a leader and she does not participate in putting others down. She is liked by the other cool kids, the geeks, jocks, nerds and all those in between.

She is original and unique and a little quirky said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

Obat Untuk Ibu Hamil Trimester Pertama
Obat Herbal Wasir Cair Untuk Ibu Hamil
Obat Penghilang Kanker Mulut
Obat Insomnia Atau Susah Tidur Yang Aman
Capsule Pembangkit Gairah Pria
Obat Untuk Mempercepat Proses Penyembuhan Luka
Cara Alami Menghilangkan Batu Empedu Tanpa Operasi
Obat Polip Hidung Berdarah Tanpa Operasi
Obat Alami Jantung Rematik Yang Aman
Mengobati Asma Akut Secara Alami