Know Thy Characters


“Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King
Cartoon by George Booth Copyright 1993

I discovered something this week. If you’re writing a story, you need to know your characters — well. I had created a brief workup on supporting characters that included appearance and a few interests. But I neglected to get at their core. I started writing without any real knowledge of who they were. Because I didn’t know them well enough, I mixed two of them up. I couldn’t remember who did or said what a chapter or so behind. I didn’t know how each would react.

Grant it, we get to know more about our characters as our stories unfold. But without an outline that includes more than the basics, we can get stuck. So I went back to a few books in my writing library and searched the internet for advice on Writer’s Digest. Continue reading


Stuck in the Middle

myykM0i_2Feeling stuck is the worst. Feeling like things are stagnant—that nothing is moving forward in life—is hard to handle. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel like an animal in a cage. I know things need to play out, so I try working more on what I am feeling. Sometimes, I look for ways to feel freer by changing a routine, doing something creative, or trying something new. So this morning I tried something new. I had been doing research on EFT and found a session about releasing resistance. I believe that everything is energy and so tapping on certain points of the body made sense to me. I also believe that we tend to create resistance without realizing it. The session was easy to follow and took about nine minutes.

Thinking back, I now realize that afterwards, I had a sudden burst of energy. I decided to get that one-mile walk in by heading to a local supermarket. I met an acquaintance on the way who said, “Wow, you must have found a new job. You look so refreshed! You don’t have a lot of worry anymore.” I was stunned. I knew I felt jazzed, but I didn’t realize that I “looked” any different. I told him that I had not found a new job yet, but that I was not as worried about the timing of it all. I felt more confident about things working out. Continue reading

Laws of Cause and Effect

mtJKXso_3A few times this week, the subject of karma (the laws of cause and effect) came up in conversation. I never knew that so many people embraced the philosophy. It didn’t matter their religion or belief system, most people agreed that the Universe was large and in charge. They held tightly to the belief in a causal Universe. They felt it was natural, automatic, and unavoidable.

“Call it what you will,” they said. “The results will always be the same.” Each person had a word or phrase they used to express their belief:

The Laws of Cause and Effect
What Goes Around Comes Around
Sooner or Later You Have To Pay the Piper
What You Give Out, You Get Back Continue reading

The Write Time

nTh9Mm8_rgbstockI decided to create a writing schedule for myself so that no matter what, at a certain time of the day, I’d write for at least an hour. I started with an hour, because it didn’t feel as intimidating as two. Although I have read about authors who write for about two hours or more each day. I’ve chosen the end of the day, because I’m job hunting and even if I freelance, it will need to be on my own time.

I am at a stalemate with characters and the storyline for a children’s book. I’ve done my research, it happens. Sometimes the best thing to do is to put it aside and work on other things. Taking a break creates enough space so that a new perspective can develop. Continue reading

Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing

Sin-Death-and-the-Devil-GillrayMany years ago, a group of coworkers and I were talking about the Catholic Church. The subject came up because one of the guys in the group was getting married. He was a devout Catholic and the wedding was not far off. I remember that a few of us were attending the wedding.

One person in particular wasn’t familiar with the Catholic religion and was eager to find out more about the ceremony. As the future groom spoke, I suddenly heard the words…venial sin. I almost keeled over. “Wait,” I said. “I don’t know whether to genuflect or cross myself. I haven’t heard that since I was in school.” Everyone laughed. Continue reading