In my last ‘Writing Progress’ post, I wrote about finishing the draft of my second book in the series which I just had drafted by then. In the meantime, I had typed it in, edited it and sent it to my editor. It, in fact, turned out to be a novel, not a novella, like the other two books, number one and three in the series.
Shortly before I went on vacation, I had finished drafting the fourth book in the series. I posted this in my newsletter, and I’m still very proud of it.
I took the fifth and sixth book of the series with me on vacation. I had started both but wasn’t too far yet. But my friend’s backyard and pool were extremely calming and relaxing and tickled my fantasy. It’s November, and even though I’m not a participant in the NaNoWriMo, I still finished the fifth book of the series and continued the sixth one.
I’m very surprised, but then I shouldn’t be. I love writing this series and create these characters in each book and meet the existing ones again is such an adventure for me.
I hope very much you will meet some of them soon.
At this point, I do feel a bit worried about my editor being ‘overflowed’ with my manuscripts. And I have to type in two more novellas as quickly as possible.
Wish me luck.
Author Don Massenzio provides us with tips on characterization. Thank you very much Don. These are very helpful!
This post is focused on a very important, if not the most important, aspect of your writers, your characters. Readers become invested in characters. They learn to love and/or hate characters. They sympathize and/or empathize with their flaws, quirks and events that shape them. Character development is both essential and difficult.
In this post, I hope to pull together some useful tips that I have tried to follow in my own writing or have learned from those that are respected and successful in the craft.
- Be consistent with what you call your characters – If you’re character’s name is John Doe, stick with calling him John or Mr. Doe or Johnny. But don’t alternate or you will confuse your readers. I actually broke this rule in my first book, Frankly Speaking, and in it’s subsequent related books, I have a character named Clifford Jones, III. He is an attorney…
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Lisa Hall-Wilson on Kristen Lamb’s blog writes about creating strong female characters, a blog post I read with interest and find worth sharing.
Character, not caricature.
Portraying strong women authentically is tricky. Most of the time, I find strong female characters are caricatures of an extreme: the dim-witted blond, the stock-in-trade man with boobs, the femme fatale. These are stereotypes sure, but what they really are is extreme examples of real life. Can you find an example from history of a female warrior in a male-dominated society – sure, but she’s an outlier. If you want to write an outlier character that’s fine, but let the traits that make her an outlier be the source of her strength not her ability to wield a sword.
Let’s look at a real-world example, Malala Yousafzai. She’s a strong woman, but is she strong because she survived a bullet wound to the head? Yes, partly, but moreso she’s strong because of the choices that led to her being targeted, and the friends and family who empowered her to follow her heart.
Are you able to portray women without these extremes that’s both likable (or at least worthy of cheering for) and surprises readers? That’s the tricky part.
Please continue reading here:
Kristen Lamb has posted the new upcoming W.A.N.A. classes for September 2017! Thank you Kristen!
It’s back to school for everyone – not just kids. Vacation’s over. Fun’s over…or maybe the fun is just beginning.
This fall, W.A.N.A. is back with new classes, new instructors, and lots of exciting announcements coming up. Bookmark W.A.N.A. and make sure to subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date with all the news!
Don’t forget to hop on over to the W.A.N.A. Tribe to join in our daily writing sprints in the chat room! The Tribe is a thriving community, and we are planning on some awesome upgrades to the entire Tribe experience this fall.
NEW CLASSES FOR SEPTEMBER 2017 – (click the link for the classes)
By now I guess, it’s known that I have been sick for a few weeks, being ‘blessed’ with shingles and pneumonia to the same time. I could have done the one without both, but after all, I’m afraid, I had to take it the way it got me.
Now, being in pain and feeling sick, having a fever and not finding any comfortable position, I wasn’t able to do much more than drinking, resting, sleeping, watching TV and trying to keep my cats away from climbing on me.
And here exactly is the point I start complaining…
I’m a writer. A sick writer. And I would have loved to ‘use’ the time getting some work done. Typing, blogging, scribbling, planning new stories, reading and whatever else belongs to a writer’s life, but I had no chance.
Shingles caused me that much pain that all I could do was trying to find a way to spend the days on the couch with plenty of pain killers inside of me that nearly knocked me out. There was no way I would have been able to sit behind the computer and type much.
I was unable to turn onto my stomach to write by hand on paper. And when I tried to read I started feeling dizzy enough, I was ready to vomit.
I wanted to work, develop ideas, find new characters, plots, storylines, whatever came into my mind, and nothing was possible.
But of course I’m smart, right? I got my phone next to me. And whenever I had an idea, I recorded it. What a wonderful girl I am! The idea would have been amazing, if…
… yes, there’s an ‘if’…
… if, I hadn’t been too sick to make sense.
Yes, you can laugh. I did too once I listened to my ‘notes’. I was sick enough that I couldn’t hear much more than some mumbling. And if there was a clear word or two, it didn’t make sense.
My fever was high enough to cook my brain, which means, the ideas I got are entirely useless. This is annoying and nearly make me consider getting either a secretary, a nurse – or both.
I’m almost sure I’m not the only writer ever being sick. How are you doing this? Are you able to use your time fruitfully during this forced break? If yes, how are you doing it? Thank you for your advice!
So far I introduced three of my characters to the public.
November 13, 2015, a short article on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ was published. It looked like an entry of a demon called ‘Ethel.’ Ethel is hard to describe, very hard. I think it might be a good idea to refresh the memory here.
December 4, 2015, I was introduced to the followers of The Story Reading Ape, and the introduction is still in his “Hall of Fame.” Thank you, Furry Friend. Since I’m not yet published, I decided to interview one of my characters instead: Simin Arnatt, a woman guarding many secrets. If you like, please re-read the interview here.
December 15, 2016, I published an interview with one more of my characters, a shadow named Rapha Golden. It seemed that interview was quite successful. Rapha can charm a woman into ecstasy, I know. Just in case you don’t believe me, check it out here.
I ensure you, none of these characters are wasted or created only for P.R. purposes. They are in fact characters showing up in on of my books. (In my case, novellas).
When I published the interview with Simin Arnatt, I knew she would be one of my protagonists. I did not whatsoever know that the shadow Rapha Golden would become a bigger character than I had expected him to be. They both are currently woven into a story of passion, jealousy, and cruelness and I’m not sure yet how this will end. But I’m soon going to find out.
The big secret is Ethel. I’m currently working on the fourth, the fifth and the sixth novella in the series – and Ethel still hasn’t shown up. I regret this very much, and I hope this character, which I somehow got a liking of, will fit in somewhere soon.
I know, Ethel is my character, my creature, my possession and I could build more strength, but then it wouldn’t be Ethel anymore. Ethel is weak, a bit helpless, a bit evil, a bit of everything – but just “a bit.” Ethel isn’t a protagonist, not the main character. I figure I’ll wait and find out where to create a spot for Ethel.
Have you ever created a character you liked and then found out that you don’t know what to do with this character? Or that the character you created is the worst opponent you could have made and you hate him? Please, let us hear it.