Updating Character Sheets

In January 2017 I published a blog post, asking if OneNote is a writer’s tool?

Since then many of you know that I use OneNote as a writer’s tool, not only to take notes, but to actively use it to take information, writing notes, reminders, and lists with me.

Since I am a big fan of OneNote, I also use it to create my character sheets.

Writing a series as the one I do now makes it necessary to keep track of my recurring and new characters and what better way is there to keep my characters as close to me as possible at all times than to use OneNotes?

Now, changing from my former desktop to my current laptop has lost me my entire OneNote. It almost broke my heart, until I realized that I did have one local copy on an external memory device. This means I got my brains together when I made a OneNote data backup. Unfortunately, this was an older version of all my notes. Big chunks of the writing notes were missing, and the character sheets were more or less on the basic character drafts.

Nobody can say I’m not learning from my mistakes and this disaster taught me a few things:

1. save your writer’s notes on a current device
2. make sure the data isn’t only on the cloud but also on the device
3. keep your character sheets as current as possible at all times

Point three has caused me sleepless nights. I realized that I occasionally took notes on the characters wherever I was and on whatever piece of paper I found, but rarely updated the character sheets with new developments.

In a series as of mine, there are definitely a number of characters, the planned returning ones and new ones that come up with the story of new books. When I started my series I had fourteen returning characters on the ‘Good’ side and at least eight characters on the ‘Bad’ side to begin with, and no matter how good I am, I cannot memorize every single small development each of these characters took with the progress of the series.

That means, right now, I’m busy searching my finished manuscripts and drafts for the developments that I had not written down in the character sheets.

I’m therefore spending some of my time reading, taking notes and updating character sheets, with the defined resolution to keep my character sheets up-to-date from now on! It is a lot of work, but I know it’s worth it.

After all, I want my books to be comprehensible and with no obvious character flaws.

While I wrote this blog post, I was asking myself if I’m the only one working like this? Am I complicated? Does that make sense? And how are other authors developing character sheets? Where do other authors keep them? If you can give me some advice, I’d be grateful to hear it in the comments. Thank you!

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author, creative writing, writing Synopsis Writing: A Step By Step Method – by Uninspired Writers

M.L. Davis of Uninspired Writers provided us with a very helpful step-by-step method to write a synopsis. Thank you very much!


Morning writers, I hope you’ve had a lovely week.

A couple of weeks ago I started writing a synopsis based on the early draft of my second novel. Like many writers, I find synopsis writing tedious, difficult and frustrating. However, they are a necessary evil, published or unpublished.

The method I ended up using this time round actually made the process much easier, and I did it in steps. Please note this is by no means a tried and tested method, with no guarantee that it’ll work for you. But it worked well for me, so I thought I’d share. If you have any synopsis writing tips of your own please pop them in the comments below, as I’m always keen on new ideas and advice.

1. Write a bullet list of key points
In this first step it’s important not to think too hard. Write a list of the key points in your story, but don’t worry about what you’re including. Use the first points that come into your head. Chances are that if they stand out, they’re important.

Continue reading here

How Could 1 Body Decompose at 3 Different Rates? – By Sue Coletta

Crime writer Sue Coletta provides us with a fascinating forensic case which I read with great interest. To my surprise the comments to the post are about as informative as the post and I couldn’t resist sharing it with other writers!


In late November/early December, something on a Discovery ID show blew my mind. On the dramatization of this real case, the detectives investigated a dead body found in the Oregon forest. Nothing new there, right? Here’s the kicker … The victim was decomposing at three alarmingly different rates. The corpse was not dismembered, either. One intact body, from head to foot, but with three different decomposition processes taking place at the same time.

The legs looked fresh. No change in appearance, very little, if any, discoloration. The torso had decomposed enough to show most of the ribcage, with exposed, decaying organs. As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, only hair was left on the head, the scalp sliding off a bare skull. No face, no tissue, nothing left but bone and teeth.

This rarity baffled the forensic expert they called to the scene. It also drove me crazy, because they never said what caused it. Instead, the show concentrated on the multiple homicides and finding the suspect. Probably made for better TV. A short comment at the end of the show stated they hadn’t unraveled the mystery. At the time of the homicide, that may have been true, or they just didn’t want to shift focus.

Continue reading here

 

How To Publish A Book The Right Way To Reach More Readers – By Derek Haines

Derek Haines informs us about how to publish a book the right way to reach more readers. Thank you very much for all your information, Derek.


Are you ready to publish your new book?

Stop for a moment before you jump into publishing your new title on Amazon Direct Publishing (KDP), Draft2Digital or Smashwords.

Check that you know how to publish a book correctly and how to give it a boost from launch day.

Can you answer yes to all the questions in the following 10 point checklist?

1. Is your manuscript perfect?

2. Did you check your title and sub-title against existing books?

3. Is your ebook cover the right size and high-resolution?

To continue reading the entire post, go to:

https://justpublishingadvice.com/how-to-publish-a-book-the-right-way-to-reach-more-readers/

How Celebrating Diversity Can Make Your Ad Campaigns Better – By Nicholas Rossis

Nicholas Rossis advices us to celebrate diversity to make our ad campaigns better. Thank you very much for all your information and help, Nicholas!


Diversity and identity politics can be a minefield. In my science fantasy series, Pearseus, I had as diverse a cast as possible, with strong female leads, a main hero of Indian descent, another one of Chinese descent, Masai warriors, a lesbian leader, etc. Even so, I got flak from people who felt their preferred minority was underrepresented because, for example, my warrior heroines were slim and slender (even though one of my favorite characters, Head Priestess Tie, was a big woman with a shaved head).

So, should we, as authors, shy away from diversity?

In one word, no. With Pearseus, I didn’t set off to create a diverse cast; it came about organically as that was simply what fit my characters. I seem to have an eye for the quirky and the unusual when people-watching and that shows in my own work. And I find it boring when I write stories with only one kind of heroes.

But I had never thought of a possible relationship between my Ad campaign and diversity.

To continue reading the entire post, please go to:

https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/how-celebrating-diversity-can-make-your-ad-campaigns-better/

Rest for Success & Why Busy is Seriously Overrated – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kirsten Lamb published a blog post about resting for success and tells us why busy is overrated. Thank you so much for all your help and advice, the past years and, of course, in 2019 too!


It’s winter here in Texas, which means almost next to nothing since Texas is a female state. Today, I think I will be SPRING! No…winter. Wait, why not BOTH?

While the temperature is all over, and most of the time we have no clue what to wear each day (aside from one of everything), the plants and animals at least seem to have a plan. They go dormant, hibernate and basically take time to REST.

**Sorry about the four-letter word.

Rest might seem an odd topic for the first week of January when everyone is ALL SYSTEMS GO. Yet, failure to appreciate the importance of R&R is why I believe so many people fail to ever reach those goals, meet those resolutions.

We can fall into all-or-nothing thinking and that is a fast track to burnout.

Ask me how I know.

Last time, we talked about New Year’s Resolutions and why it’s imperative to choose our pain. Because anything worth having or doing in life involves some sort of pain.

We exercise agency when we can embrace the process as much if not more than that glorious—and often short-lived—summit. Now that we’ve addressed pain, let’s talk about peace.

 

To continue reading the entire blog post, go to:

https://authorkristenlamb.com/2019/01/rest-success-busy-overrated/

January & February 2019 Writing Submissions [Writing Contests] – Written By Rachel Poli

Thank you, Rachel Poli, for all your hard work in the past years – and of course in 2019, to keep us updated on the current writing contests. We appreciate all your efforts!


 

As always, I whip up a blog post at the beginning of the month to share some writing contests or general submissions with deadlines for the current month and the next month. Here are some January & February 2019 writing submissions. I try to find submissions with no fee or at least a fee on the cheaper side, though that’s difficult sometimes. Regardless, if you know of any that I’ve missed, feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

January 2019

Genre: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction
Website: The Glass Mountain
Deadline: January 11, 2019
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: $100

Genre: Short short story
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: January 14, 2019
Entry Fee: $30 (additional entries are $25 each)
Prize: First – $3,000

Genre: Fiction
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: January 15, 2019
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: First – $1,000

To read the entire blog post go to:

https://rachelpoli.com/2019/01/03/january-february-2019-writing-submissions-writing-contests/