Is Your Charcter Friend or Foe – Do You Know?

How well do you know the characters of your book?
Do they come to life on paper as you write? Or, do you have an idea of who you’re creating before you sit down and write your first word?

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Are your characters based on somebody you know? Even a loose rendering of that person? Maybe it’s somebody from your past, or somebody that you aspire to know. How do you create your character?

Your main characters are usually pretty easy to come up with. Sometimes they may even be loosed based on yourself. Yet the supporting & minor characters, the villains & opponents of your main character are a bit more difficult to create. Have no doubt, they are very important, a glue that holds your story together. These are the characters give your main character substance as they play off each other, giving each character their own importance.

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A sub-character can give background for your main character. They can be your Watson to Sherlock, they can be your Ethel to Lucy; depending upon the type of character that you want. But it’s important to develop them and stick with that development.

Your villain or your character’s opponent should be interesting, not just a persona of evil. Anybody can write something about a mean person or a hateful person, but to truly find what makes somebody evil you had to know more about them. And your readers want to know more about them, what made them the character that they are?

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A lot of writers use character development sheets. This is simply taking your characters and writing on a separate page, notebook, or flash card as much as you can about them. Include their physical appearance, their likes & dislikes, their habits and their history. Visualize scenarios and how they will react. What makes them tick –  do they like green jellybeans and hate yellow jellybeans? Do they love cats and hate dogs? Are they a city person or a country person? These are all characteristics of your main characters that need to be consistent throughout your book. If you continue on into a series you need to take these basics and develop them; as your series grows, your character grows.

So, are your characters a complete figment of your imagination? Or maybe a reflection of somebody you know, or maybe even a bit of yourself? It’s important to put as much details about all of your characters into your manuscript, so that your readers get to know your characters, and love them or hate them the way that you do.

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Develop your characters like you would a real relationship.

What does the Driver Next to You See?

I’ve come to the conclusion from my own personal experience in from watching others around me, that as human beings, we just don’t like silence.

A perfect example of this is to watch somebody as they are driving along the highway. They may be alone in the car, but is sure looks as if they are having one very animated conversation.

It’s easy to see many drivers talking on their phone, singing along with songs, or even talking to themselves. I’ve even noticed a few with their favorite pet sitting in the car next to them- and they are having animated conversations with the animal.

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I wonder if anybody really thinks about how they look to the person in the car next to them. I know I’m guilty of doing this myself. I’ll be singing along to a song, totally oblivious to anything going on around me. If I really like the song, then the music is turned up, windows are rolled down, and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.
Okay, when the music is playing and the windows are rolled down, most people can tell that you’re singing along to a song. But what about those people that are talking to themselves, or at least that’s what you think is happening? There’s no visible phone in their hand, but their hands are moving, their lips are moving a mile a minute and they‘re shaking their head. There’s no one in the car with them and you wondering what’s going on. Then they turn their head slightly and you see at the wireless headphone! They are talking on the phone to somebody. Or, maybe they’re doing like I am right now-using their phone for dictating.

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But I think the thing that gets me the most is watching somebody talk to their dog or even their cat while they’re driving. They carry on conversations with these animals as if they were human beings. And let’s face it, to some of us, our pets are more important than some of the human beings around us. The really funny thing is watching the animals. They seem to talk right back to their owners-some might bark, some pant and a few may even howl their answers. As they converse with the driver, the animal may get close, climbing onto laps, so that it looks like they’re actually doing the driving. And all around them traffic is flowing people that take notice are doing a double take to look at them.

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So the next time you look at somebody and you’re wondering if they are talking to themselves, singing to the radio, or talking to the animal next to them…

think about how you look when you’re doing the same thing.

Weather to Write?

I have a question for you writers out there – how does the weather reflect in your writing?

For example if you’re writing during the winter months do you find your including holiday or Christmas scenes in your book? Or perhaps you’re writing during the summer months, do you find that you have camping in beach outings including your book?

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Does the day’s weather affect how you write; if it’s rainy and cloudy outside do you find that you dragging? You’re writing the things might have more of a gloomy feel to it as you’re putting the words down on the paper. Or, perhaps it’s a beautiful, sunny day and the words just popped onto the page and your characters are doing everything they are supposed to. The words are going smoothly and the pages are filling up.

So how does the weather mirror you not as person, but as a writer? Do you find that you’re more productive on certain types of weather days? Some people are better in the morning  or the afternoon, but what about the weather – how does that effect your writing habits – think about it.

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Does the weather effect you to the point where you actually can’t write on certain types of days?  Do you find that you do better with doing promotions and research on those days? Maybe you just put the pen and paper aside and give it all up and wait for the next rainy/sunny day that fits your mood.

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We writers are creatures of habit. We don’t like things to get in the way of our writing, but some things we can’t control, and one of them is the weather.

So, do you work with the weather or do you like the weather work against you?

My Published Books

My Published Books.

Road Trip for the Mind

Have you ever gone for a ride, taken a road you’ve never take before? Have you turned down country lanes and seen sights that were something to write home about? Whether it be the wildlife, the flowers in bloom, or just the overall atmosphere of a quaint little town or a picturesque landscape, did it grab your attention?

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And, on one of those drives have you ever come across an old building that catches your imagination? It can be an old house, an old barn, or even an old storefront. Something eccentric, or that looks old and forgotten. If you’re like me, you’re mind starts to wander. You begin to wonder what happened to that building, what stories does could it possibly have to tell you?

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…Were there happy times that families got along well with each other? Did the kids and parents spend weekends working in the yard together? Were Sundays spent with grandparents telling stories of their youth, and keeping family traditions alive?

…Or was there something little more sinister about the building, could it store secrets that no one knew about? Secrets of a tragic event that had happened there.

What dreams were kept or lost in that house, barn or storefront? What promises were made and kept, what promises were broken?

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A building can tell much about our history- be it our private history or the history of our country. The region that you find the building can tell you of wars from the past, or the economic decline and recovery. These buildings can tell you about generations that have lived here.

The styles of ages that have come and gone can be found from the building’s history. Sometimes, even the trash that you might find out behind the barn can let you in on a whole generation’s secrets. I can tell you that generations of inventions, people’s coming and going through their everyday live can be found if you look hard enough.

But whatever the building has to say, are you observant enough to notice, or maybe even learn from what you see?

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