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Posts Tagged ‘characters’

I apologize for not blogging in a week. Last Wednesday, lightning hit my internet connection and I had to get it fixed. Not only did I have to get a new modem for my laptop but I also had to get the internet lines in my house looked at. It took about a week to get everything worked out, but it’s all good now. Thank goodness.

These past couple of weeks I have received a lot of interest with my zombie apocalyptic novel that I’m working on. I understand that it’s not everyone’s “cup of tea”, but there are people out there who are genuinely interested in the whole zombie culture.   For those of you who are waiting, I am working hard on it, so hopefully by next year, I’ll be going on my own blog tours and promoting the release of my book. It’ll be a great time.

Lately, I have really been focusing on characterization. I love to write books that are “character driven”.  I’ve been told that I write characters that tend to jump out of the pages. I take pride in that. In my opinion, a good story needs memorable characters. I want to be able to relate to them and either cheer them on or want them to fail (in the case of a really good villain).   I’ve read books that the moment I put the book down, I have forgotten about the characters. Why? Because they weren’t memorable enough.  I always make sure that there is at least one character that a reader could actually know in real life. Maybe that character reminds them of their neighbor, family member, or a teacher. Whoever it is, they’ll end up remembering that character even after they have finished the book.

So, that’s why I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters. I write “character sketches” for each one so I know them inside and out. This way, I know their flaws and their quirks. I know what they like to eat and what they hate to watch on television (if they even watch television.) It’s sort of a bonding experience with my characters, I guess. It really does help.

In other news, I am finally announcing that I am hosting another blog fest. The last one I had was a lot of fun, so I wanted to try it again!  For a book I was working on before, I posted some character interviews with each character in the book (another great way to get to know your characters!). So, for this blog fest, I want you guys to do the same.  This blog fest is called “Interview With The Character” Blog Fest.  Pick a character from the story you are working on and make up an interview with them.  You will be the interviewer and your character will be the interviewee. You can make it as serious or as comical as you want it to be. That part is up to you.  Ask your character questions and then try to get into their head and answer how you think they would respond.

Post these interviews on your blog on Friday, September 16th.  On that day, I’ll make a post with all of the participants and the link to their blogs. On your post, all I ask is that you link back to my blog so your readers can check out everyone’s interviews. You can sign up by commenting on this post or by e-mailing me at thestoryinme@gmail.com.

I would love it if you also helped me spread the word by promoting this blog fest! The more people who participate, the more fun it will be!

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In previous posts, I have mentioned how I enjoy creating character “sketches” before I start the actual writing process.  It doesn’t really involve any sort of drawing (which is good because I’m no artist..), but it’s more of a written outline of who each character is.

For this post, I am going to include an example of a character sketch. Feel free to use it for your next writing project and hopefully, it will help you!

  1. Full name:
  2. Age:
  3. Occupation:
  4. Family:
  5. Pets:
  6. Address:

Physical Characteristics (color and length of hair, eye color, any scars, anything unusual):

Personality (quirks, introvert or extrovert, etc.):

Relationships:

Favorites (if any):

  1. Food:
  2. Music:
  3. Books:
  4. TV show:
  5. Movie

What does he/she like to do in their free time?

What is one past experience that has affected them the most?

Do they have anyone they look up to?

What is their role in the novel?

How do they react in an emergency?

Are they viewed more as weak or strong?

 

This is just a rough version of what I use.  Again, you are more than welcome to use it for your characters if you feel it will help you. If you think of something else to include in it that I have listed, please do! Let me know how it works for you!

 

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Yesterday was supposed to be the deadline for my interview blog fest. As you may have noticed, it didn’t happen. I wasn’t able to post mine and I haven’t seen anyone do theirs  which is fine. I’m not mad or anything because well, I didn’t do it either. Maybe there was a mix up in communication or some didn’t quite understand the task, but it’s okay. Let’s just scratch the interview blog fest and move on. We will start anew! I thought of a better one the other day anyways, so we’ll just go with that. All is well! 🙂

I have a writer’s reference book that deals with scenes in novels. It breaks things down with the dialogue, setting, plot, description, characters, etc. It’s quite informative and it really makes you break down the scenes that you write as well. So, for this blog fest,  I want to focus on that. So here are the guidelines:

  • This blog fest is called “The Secret in a Scene” blog fest.  For this one, participants are to write one scene where a big secret is revealed. The twist is that you end it right after that without giving any other character a chance to react to it.
  • The scene doesn’t have to be terribly long. Around 700 or so words should be okay. If you want to make it longer than that, then go for it. 🙂
  • At least two characters should be in the scene.  More can be included if you desire.
  • The bigger/dirtier the secret, the better! So make it good.
  • The deadline for this blog fest is Friday, February 4th. If you need more time, let me know and I can push it back.
  • On deadline day, please post your scene on your blog (or if you want me to post it on my blog, just let me know). With your scene, please include a link to my blog and I will have a post directing readers to yours.
  • To sign up, either comment below or e-mail me with your name and blog link at thestoryinme@gmail.com.
  • Most important, just have fun with it!

Oh, and on another note, January’s poetry weekend will be January 21st – 23rd. So make sure to stop by and enjoy the poems that will be posted on here. I have some new ones to share and if you want to share some of your own, I’m giving up that Saturday for anyone who wants the spotlight. E-mail me the poems at the e-mail above (thestoryinme@gmail.com).

Have a great rest of the weekend!

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I’m happy to announce that I have made it to the halfway point in my w.i.p.  It’s smooth sailing from here, right? Haha.  Yeah, probably not…

I always look forward to the end. It’s so anticipated that I want to get to it. I guess my impatience to complete the story and see the finished product in its entirety gets to me.  Of course, I’m not looking forward to saying goodbye to these characters. I really enjoy writing their stories.

I’ve always had trouble starting stories. It’s the beginning that I’m always uncomfortable with.  The beginning and the end are critical when it comes to books. They’re what people remember the most. The pressure is on when you’re writing these parts of the story. I’m a perfectionist which probably doesn’t help.

With this book, the ending is the clearest part of the  story. Yes, it has changed some since I originally thought of this story, but that’s what I love about writing. Sometimes the story changes and you just have to go with the flow.  It’s like that with life really. Things change and you have to adapt with them. Nothing ever really stays the same.

This ending will be one of the most emotional endings I have ever written.  It has to be to fit the theme of the story.  I want people to remember the ending and walk away with a connection to these characters. That’s very important to me.  With some books that I read, I feel like the ending was hastily written without much thought.  The author rushed through it to either get it over with or they didn’t know how to deal with the end.

This is not something I want for my book.  Now that I’m halfway through, I can start to plan out the ending in more detail.I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters because I really have gotten to know them like they are real people.  But, it’s not really goodbye, right? 🙂

It is now Tuesday so you know what that means! It’s time for another installment of The Painter over at Serial Central! Click here to check it out and let me know what you think as always.

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It isn’t really a newsflash to say that writing can be very frustrating. Every writer feels the sting of writer’s block. We all get the urge to pull out our hair when the words aren’t coming out.

There is something I have realized though. I can’t really see myself not writing as frustrating as it can be.  Whenever I think about writing, I always get this feeling of excitement. It’s like I’m about to embark on some kind of journey that not everyone get to go on.

That realization of knowing that you were meant to be a writer can fuel the words.  It pushes your forward to a place you weren’t sure you could get to. Sometimes, I need that push. I need to be that driven.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the story I’m working on and where I should take it.  It has taken a different direction that I didn’t really see coming, but I have embraced the change. I think this will make the ending more powerful. It will really resonate with people which is what I want.  That’s what any writer should really hope for. You want to inspire others.

A world without writers and books would be a very sad place. I don’t even want to imagine my life without being able to create new characters and stories for people to discover.

If you’re a writer, can you imagine yourself not writing? How would you feel if that’s what happened?

Also, I’m taking the time to announce my next poetry weekend will be held October 15-17! I’ve decided since a lot of people really enjoy them that I’m going to host them once a month. 🙂  So, get your poetry ready to share because it is fast approaching!

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A few years ago, I did a literary theory paper over Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings. Being quite the Tolkien fan, I was pretty excited to be doing Tolkien research all semester.  After all that, I have a lot of interesting Tolkien information (well at least I think so..) stored away.

From the film adaptation of The Return of the King

Today is Hobbit Day. No, really, it is! September 22nd is a day where people celebrate Tolkien’s wonderful creation of those hobbits. 🙂  You can google it  if you don’t believe me  haha!

So, for today, I think everyone should pull out those copies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy to read or have a movie marathon to celebrate!  I’ll start the festivities by telling you my favorite hobbit (I think everyone should have one). I’m a fan of Pippin aka: Peregrin Took. He’s comical but loyal. He doesn’t take things too seriously but he does take his friendships very seriously.

Since today is Hobbit Day, I thought we could do a very special Writing Prompt Wednesday! 🙂

  • One day, you wake up and find yourself in another world. During your explorations, you encounter characters you  have never seen before. Describe your experience and these characters. What do they look like? What does the environment look like? Do they speak a different language? How do they treat you?

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So Emotional

Have you ever read a book that was just so boring and bland that you wanted to throw it out the window?  Who hasn’t, right? Do you know one of the potential problems of that book?

It lacked emotion.

I think emotion is very important for a novel. A writer should try to find the right balance so the readers are engrossed in what they are reading.  Emotion helps get the readers invested in the story and into your characters. They have to feel sadness when they fall and celebrate their successes when they accomplish something.

My book is full of emotion and sometimes it does leave me feeling emotionally drained. These characters are put through hell and it does affect me in a weird way. I feel for them and I want them to succeed. I want them to realize their own worth and get better. But, in order to tell the story, I have to make them suffer, too.

Once you begin to really feel for these characters like you’re friends with them, that’s when you know you’re on the right track with emotion.  I want the readers to cry, laugh, scream, etc. I want them to really learn what it’s like to live like these characters. I want them to walk away with a sense of understanding. To do that, I need some emotion to show through.

Nobody wants to read a boring book anyways, right? 🙂

What do you think about bringing emotion in novels? How do you make it really show?

In other news, part four of “The Painter” is up now at Serial Central! Click here to go straight to the post! I’ve been having a lot of fun writing this story for everyone and I hope you all are enjoying it. Let me know what you think so far!

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