Developing Characters and Creating Stories

writerWith every writer looking to entertain their readership—and ever reader looking to become addicted to the books they pick… there’s a great desire to know how the best characters are developed. This blog article is all about character development. Taking your character and turning that character into something readers will want to return to again—and again. Try these tips out and see if you can make them work for your book.

Getting To Know You…

Before you publish that first manuscript, I think it’s always a good idea to know your main character inside and out. What color is his hair? What’s his birthday? Do you know his Birth sign? Does your heroine have a preferred pizza she likes to eat?  Maybe a lot of this will never come up in the first, second or third book – in fact, you may never explore some of it over the course of the series. But you need to know, one way or the other, so that you don’t put your foot in it in book four by talking about how your hero has been a Catholic since birth only to have it pointed out by fans that he was a devout Jew in the first book. Those are the kinds of mistakes that make writers look foolish.

How Does Life Impact Your Characters?

In other words, the events in your novels should have some impact on your characters. To me, there’s nothing worse than a character who never learns from his mistakes, never draws from crucial experience, and doesn’t seem in the least changed by the events in their past. Particularly if you’re writing a mystery, thriller, or adventure series, those events are significant. Picture this– people are dying, battles are lost, a foe escapes… These things are going to have some effect on your character’s mental wellbeing and personality.

Keep The Journey In Mind

This is the way that your character changes and grows from book to book. This may be within a single novel or the entire series. The nature of writing means that our characters are always surprising us – insisting on going where they want to go– which means that a character’s journey may well shift from what you originally thought it would be when you first set out to write the series. But if your character is making the same journey and struggling with the same issues in every single novel, it’s bound to get old. Likewise, it’s to your benefit to move the journey at a believable pace, rather than making unbelievable jumps.

Characters Are People Too

In plot-driven books, it can be very tricky balancing a character with a storyline. Who wants to talk about how you feel about your lunch when there’s a mystery to solve?  The best writers understand how to do both at the same time – How someone deals with a problem says a lot about that person.

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Practice, Work & Achieve: Steps To Help Improve Your Writing

typeWriting can be one of the most difficult activities in the world. But like any skill it can be improved… the more you do it… the better it gets. This article, however, is about other ways you can improve your writing. All of these tips will help you improve your writing style… but do keep a few things in mind. Your first draft is always going to show some weakness. You are going to have to work at your writing to get the best out of it—but don’t be disheartened. The best writers must keep at it to create their art. Give these hints a go, and see if they help!

Practice, Work and Diminish Your Fear

If you want to get better at something, you must practice – and writing is no exception. Unfortunately, there are few shortcuts that can transform you into an amazing writer overnight, and even the most talented writers had to learn their craft over a period of many years. If you want to improve your writing skills, writing on a regular basis will not only diminish your fear of the blank page, it will also help you develop a unique style.

Conversation, Flavor and Stayed Away From Bland

Become more conversational by including questions in your writing. Study how to choose flavored words; and learn how to avoid bland phrases that make your writing tasteless and yuck. Again, these are all things you will learn as you write more often.

Smooth Transfer

Compose smooth transitions so readers glide from sentence to sentence, and from paragraph to paragraph. Experiment with your voice by changing punctuation and adding a dynamic rhythm.

Make A Friend

The chances are usually good that there is at least one other person you know who also secretly harbors a desire to become a writer. Although writing is typically considered a solitary activity, the best writers know when it’s time to get much-needed feedback on their work.

Talk to your friends and ask someone if they’d be willing to cast an eye over your work – they may spot mistakes that you overlooked. Finding a writing partner is also a great way to hold yourself accountable and keep going.

Be Cruel To Be Kind

So, you’re writing every day, and you’re feeling more confident about your work. Now you’re going to become your own harshest critic. Editing is a tough skill to learn for beginner writers, because they place immense value on the time and effort they put into writing in the first place. However, a lot of writing is rewriting, and this is where the cold, hard eye of an editor will serve you well. Develop the discipline it takes to eliminate words. Resist the temptation to write poetically and get to the point. Not sure if a paragraph works? It probably isn’t. Be tough on yourself, and know when to delete or rework something.

 

Winter Wonderland Giveaway!

Hey Book Community!
 
There is a Winter Wonderland Giveaway this weekend. Awesome authors, amazing books and fabulous prizes. Be sure to swing by to meet new authors, gain new friends and start your reading journey!
 
When: Saturday, January 14, 2016
Time: 4:15pm Eastern Time
Host: Vicki Rose

Amazon Book Hunter

All I wanted was to buy one book…
 
Black Rain By Matthew B. J. Delaney
The Gold Coast By Nelson DeMille
The Girls Next Door By Mel Sherratt
Hope’s Peak By Tony Healey
The Night Bird By Brian Freeman
Devour By Shelly Crane
Dancers in the Dark By Charlaine Harris
Born at Midnight By C. C. Hunter
Big Little Lies By Liane Moriarty
Do Not Disturb By A. R. Torre
 
10 exciting adventures purchased, but where to begin?

Are You Ready To Get Back To Writing?

writing1111Now the holidays are over it’s time to get back into the swing of things. If you gave up your writing during the holidays to have fun with your family—you will now be wondering how to get back into it. I thought it would be a good idea to share a few of my top tips. These are ways I use to get myself back into a good writing pattern.

It’s A Big Game

No matter whether your break is self-imposed or the result of outside forces, starting back is a process. It’s not something that will just happen. Getting back to work requires intentionality, patience, and perseverance. But trust me, once you find that new normal and start seeing the fruits of your labor, you’ll feel much more motivated.

One of the biggest hurdles to face is the reality that your life and responsibilities have likely changed while you were away, and so your writing practice will need to change too. Acknowledging this fact is a big first step. If you have realistic expectations and set measurable goals, you’ll be less likely to set yourself up for disappointment.

Keep Motivated & Organized

Do you use a daily planner or have a favorite scheduling app? Do you have a favorite work routine or dedicated writing space? Now is a great time to create new routines that inspire you to dig into your work. Maybe you’re not really a goal-setter. That’s okay—the point is to have a system that works for you.

Stick With It

You’ve been sticking to your new writing schedule, but what if you’re floundering and the words just won’t come? Try not to worry about that, it’s natural after so much time away. You must get back into the flow of a writing practice. You don’t want to waste this precious time that you’ve set aside, so don’t sit there and stare at a blank page. Try something as simple as a daily five-minute free write to get words—any words—on paper. Or write from a prompt, revise an old story you’ve set aside, or start a collaborative project with another writer friend. Just get started on something,

Try To Meet Your Goal—But Don’t Despair!

If you’re consistently unable to meet a goal you’ve set, don’t beat yourself up about it—just revaluate and try again. It’s easy to waste valuable time blaming yourself, wishing things were different, or trying to force something that just isn’t working. There’s no shame in admitting that you need to change. The important thing is finding a practical routine that inspires you to be productive again. If you can, try and focus on that instead of lamenting the fact that your writing life isn’t what it used to be. I promise that if you do that, in a month or two when you’re back on track, you’ll be feeling much better about your work instead of floundering in a place of frustration.

Don’t Forget To Praise Your Success

Creating a new normal isn’t easy because change isn’t easy. But change often means growth if we can embrace it with a positive outlook. For every small success or breakthrough, you achieve in this new season of your life, give yourself permission to celebrate. Let go of the expectations of how things used to be and be proud of your new successes.