On the ‘Legends of Windemere’ blog, Charles Yallowitz published an interesting view on character bios. Thanks a lot for this post, Charles!
I can already hear at least once pantser preparing to explain why they don’t do this. If it helps, person with fingers at the ready, you’re right. Character biographies don’t work for everyone. They aren’t even universal because everyone has their own way of doing them because every author has different needs. Some even change from story to story or as our own skills grow. I know that I’ve been all over the map as you’re about to see.
Character bios are where I started since tabletop games were my first inspiration alongside fantasy books. This resulted in my originals being more about numbers stats and basics instead of depth. I had hair, eyes, height, weight, skin, and physical attributes with very little variety. I couldn’t tell you what the real difference between a 4 and 5 in strength really was. A 1-5 ranking was probably a dumb choice.
Charles Yallowitz, owner of ‘The Legends of Windemere’ blog, informs us about ‘The Binge-Worthy Book Festival. Thank you, Charles!
As I mentioned on my Saturday post, N.N. Light is hosting a Binge-Worthy Book Festival through the month of August. Every weekday will have a new set of authors. Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero is on for today alongside others of various genres. It’s a great selection, so I recommend checking it every day. There are contests you can enter as well.
Charles Yallowitz published two blog posts about the difficulties of physical descriptions on his ‘The Legends of Windemere’ blog. I decided both are worth sharing. And here they are. Thank you very much, Charles!
The Physical Description: A Necessary & Surprisingly Difficult Piece
I think we can take this for granted. Physical descriptions come off a little like a ‘duh’ concept. We need to know what our characters look like to some extent. Otherwise, every reader gets their own visual with no similarities. Not necessarily a bad thing until people begin fighting over it. You also lose a dimension if you avoid it entirely. Yes, we have a personality, actions, and words, but there can be a sense of lacking if we don’t have even a basic appearance. This goes for places too, but we’re going to focus on characters for this week. So, why is this?
Readers have these things called the five senses . . . Oh, that’s going too far back into the details. We all know this. We also know that an author should try very hard to hit as many of them as possible. This is much easier…
Questions 3: How Do You Describe the Physical?
It’s been a week with a topic that was more difficult than I expected. You would think doing a physical description is basic and easy. It’s part of a foundation for a character and a story when your goal is to create an image in the reader’s head. Everyone has their own opinion and strategy. So, let’s not beat around the bush and end the week by opening the floor:
- How important is physical description to you as an author?
- What tip would you have for a new author struggling with this?
- What is the funniest thing you’ve done with a physical description? (This can be accidental or on purpose. For me, it would be the switching eye color on Luke Callindor.)
Charles Yallowitz of the ‘Legends Of Windermere’ blog provides us with an excellent blog post posing the question if we should know the ending of our book. Thanks a lot, Charles!
I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to disagree with this sentiment. The path of the pantser if fairly common. Not the way I do things, but I’ve run into many who simply fly into a story to see where it goes. There could be an ending in mind or it could just be a beginning or middle that they have. One thing I can be sure of is that it differs from person to person. Then again, I’m a severe plotter, so I shouldn’t speak as if I understand the other side of the pasture.
While I don’t come up with my endings first, I do like to have them in mind before I start writing. This helps me keep things on track and avoid running the story into a brick wall or minefield. Some would say that the downside is that your writing becomes too linear and dull because you remove the chaos of creation. I can see how you can come to that conclusion, but deciding on the ending doesn’t mean you know how you’re going to get there. Most of my books had the finale planned out, but I only had a general idea of how to get there. That goes for chapter and book endings. Probably why I had the outlines and still had that excitement of not really knowing what will happen.
To read the entire blog post go to:
Should You Know Your Ending?