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!

Advertisements

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

Are You a Prolific Author? – Written By Don Massenzio

Don Massenzio wrote an educational blog post about being a prolific author – and useful writing techniques everyone of us should know. Thank you very much, Don!


When you think of prolific authors, who comes to mind. I immediately thought of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Patterson. In reality, these authors are small fries when it comes to being prolific. Stephen King himself said he was considered to be prolific despite having written “only” a few dozen novels to date. He also stated that some renowned novelists have written fewer than five books in a career. His quote on this was, “…I always wonder two things about these folks: how long did it take them to write the books they did write, and what did they do with the rest of their time?”

What about you my fellow authors and bloggers? Are you trying to write the one great American novel like To Kill a Mockingbird?

I started writing my first published book five years ago. Since then, I have published eight fictional novels, a book of short stories and a non-fiction books. I guess that’s considered prolific. But I also have some secrets that helped me get there quickly. They’re not really secrets, but useful techniques. Here are some of them.

To continue reading this post go to:

https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/are-you-a-prolific-author-2/

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/

 

The Key to Greatness: Get Your Head Out of Your ‘But’ – Written By Kristen Lamb

Another informative and educational blog post by my favorite blogger Kristen Lamb. Thank you very much for your work, Kristen!


Get your head out of your ‘but.’ Yes, that’s ‘but’ with a singular ‘t.’ If we want to accomplish anything remarkable we have to own all of it—the good, the bad, the ugly. Often fears, doubts, insecurities, and bad habits wriggle in, and they’re so sly it’s frequently tough to notice them. How do we SPOT these dream killers?

It’s all in the ‘but.’

How do you know if you need to get your head out of your ‘but’?

You might find yourself saying things like:

‘I wrote as much as I could for NaNoWriMo, but this is just a really bad time of year and so busy.’

‘I was going to go to the gym, but there were all these emails I had to answer.’

‘Sure, I thought I had it in me to be an author, but it’s impossible to sell books these days unless you have a massive marketing budget.’

 

Continue reading the entire blog post here:

https://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/11/get-head-out-of-your-but/

Interview With Writer Aurora Jean Alexander – On Ari Meghlen’s Blog Today

I was honored to be interviewed by Author Ari Meghlen who published the interview on her blog today. Thank you so much, Ari! I’m truly grateful for all your efforts!


This week’s guest post is an interview with the wonderful Aurora Jean Alexander, paranormal romance writer, and owner of the blog the “Writer’s Treasure Chest”. Enjoy!

Q01 – Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m doing quite many things, by thinking about it. I work for a government-owned corporation as a part of the management team and travel a lot, as well nationally as also internationally.

Currently, I’m planning to move to a new home, together with my three beautiful active and demanding cats. In my rare free time, I love to play the piano, go skiing or horseback riding, amongst other sports, meet friends or go for walks.

I learned reading and writing at the age of four and realized quite early in my life that I love painting pictures with words. During my school time, I participated in poetry and short story contests which I won quite often.
Later on, I participated in writing and poetry workshops to learn the craft.

Creative and journalistic Writing;’ were some of my favorites during my University time. Part of my poetry I published on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’

I’m working on a series of paranormal romance novels and novellas. Writing fantasy books has always been my dream, and I’m looking forward to sharing my first published work with my audience. The need to write a novel had been nesting in my head for quite some time.

Q02 – What is your dream goal for your writing?

To read the entire interview, please go to Ari Meghlen’s blog:

Interview with writer Aurora Jean Alexander