Know Thy Characters

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“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

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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

It’s About the Storytelling

1219898_sxc.huSomeone recently asked me why I enjoyed reading and writing so much. We were having a conversation about books. I was passing on a few I had finished reading. They couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about and I couldn’t understand how they did not read. They shook their head and laughed as if reading were a waste of time.

I’ve told my grandchildren that there’s nothing cooler than reading a book, because “you become the director of the movie that starts playing in your head.” Most people will envision characters and places differently. And if they do make a movie based on a book they’ve read, it makes it more interesting, because they will get to see if there are any similarities to what they envisioned. Continue reading