Crazy, Sad Day

I’m so glad to have the words flowing again. 9300 words plus of the 50k on Blood & Sex 4.

So far today, I had to deal with a neighbor shooting my Doxie, emotional moments too from the one year annivetsary of my
Grandma Darlene’s death.  Then I put all that to the craft.

Another bit of editing a scene that didn’t feel right. Fighting Jonas out of the scenes as usual. I swear, Im gonna give him his own series one day!

Plus, I re-read my story in an upcoming anthology. I’m so excited, and will give you more information,on that soon. For now, I’m going back to my fantasy world for a little peace.

Long Time, No Post.

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Have a good Halloween?

I’m hoping today is the start of a new life to my blogging. During the last two years, Ive faced some daunting challenges, interesting hurdles, and shocking occurances. Among them have been the birth of my second child, a historic tornado outbreak here, and the deaths of eight close friends and family members. This week another life hangs in the balance as someone very close to me tried to take her own life. She is still in ICU, but we are hopeful.

Tonight, I am setting up this new Android phone and working on notes for the new Blood & Sex book. Its plot has changed over time, but this hero really has me in his greedy little grasp. In short, I love him. 🙂  He is possibly the most vivid since Jonas for me.

So, Im off to spend a little screen time with him. Goodnight!

Imagination At Large…

For some reason, while I’ve been working on the samples for a non-fiction book, I’m suddenly bombarded with ideas for fiction. I generally have a fertile imagination, but this is ridiculous. I’m losing sleep over it because I can’t stop thinking about it. And it’s somewhat frustrating knowing that I can’t work on them and follow these characters where they’re trying to lead me until about July. For now, I’m jotting notes and hoping they stick around long enough for me to come play.

Great Quotes on Writing

“If you want to write, write it. That’s the first rule.” –Robert Parker

“If you are a genius, you’ll make your own rules, but if not–and the odds are against it–go to your desk, no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper–write. “–J. B. Priestly

“To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write.” –-Gertrude Stein

“The writer’s duty is to keep on writing.”–William Styron

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” — Stephen King

“Good writing is essentially rewriting.” — Roald Dahl

“I can’t write five words but that I change seven.” — Dorothy Parker

“When I say writing, O believe me, it is rewriting that I have chiefly in mind.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

The best writing is rewriting.” — E. B. White

Getting to Know Your Characters

I’m asked a lot of questions about characterization. That is (apparently) one of my strong points, but I’m not exactly sure how to explain it.  So, I’ll do my best.

It’s a feeling as simple as knowing whether you want chocolate or blueberry ice-cream. Sometimes, you just know the character. For me, I get to know the characters as I write and then they do what they want to. There is some plotting that I do in the beginning. I sit down with a legal pad or Microsoft One Note and sketch out the basics of the main characters as they are in my head. At this point, the story has already begun to form, though the end may not be clear. Or perhaps the beginning and end are defined, but not the middle, depending on the story.

In any case, I don’t learn every detail of the character in the beginning. They come out as the story develops. Most of the time, I’m writing along and suddenly I realize that I just wrote something about a character, whether it’s the way he speaks, a part of his history, or simply a trait that I never knew was there. The characters reveal themselves to me rather than me forcing a life upon them.

Characters have personalities, too!

Some of them are strong, like Jonas. When I wrote Blood & Sex, Vol. 2, he was almost like another person living with me. I’d be working on something else and start hearing his voice in my head or see images of him in my mind, trying to coax me back to writing his story. He was very demanding, and I loved him for it.

Other characters are harder to get to know. In Night’s Fall, James was dark and mysterious. His personality came out slowly, through edits and scenes that I wrote from his point of view simply to get inside his head. The differences between the two processes were as different as the characters themselves.

Confused yet?

If this explanation has been as clear as mud, that’s because it is to me, too. So, let’s look at the process I generally go through.

  1. First, write down any basic details on the characters in your mind.
    1. What does he look like?
    2. His name?
    3. How old is he?
  2. Focus on one of those characters, think about what he’s like. Is he wild and untamed? Or maybe he’s shy and reclusive? Now go to the net (I prefer YouTube) and start searching out music that fits this guy. What would he listen to? Make a list of five or six songs. That’s your playlist for working with this character.
  3. If anything comes to mind while you’re listening to this playlist, whether it’s a scene, wardrobe, or just his mode of transportation, JOT IT DOWN! He’s showing you things about himself.
  4. Fill in a little more detail. Imagine that you’re interviewing this guy. Write down the details of where you two are at and your initial impressions. Things you might notice are:
    1. Age
    2. Height
    3. Weight
    4. Hair Color
    5. Color of eyes
    6. What he’s wearing, drinking, eating, etc.
    7. Visible scars, tats, etc
  5.  Then, ask him about the following: (keeping in mind that he could be lying, jot down if you think he’s telling you something other than the truth)
    1. Scars, handicaps (physical, mental, emotional)
    2. Sense of humor
    3. Basic nature
    4.  Ambitions
    5.  Philosophy of life
    6.  Hobbies
    7.  Kinds of music, art, reading preferred
    8.  Favorite colors
    9. If it’s a woman, what does she carry in her purse? If it’s a man, what is in his pockets?
    10.  Education
    11. Occupation
    12.  Best friend
    13. Enemies and why
    14.  Parents
    15.  Family background (economic, social, nationality, religious)
    16. Description of home (physical, emotional atmosphere)
  6. By now, my characters are usually tired of answering questions unless they’re attention hogs. So, feel free to just watch them interact with other people in your setting. Note the following on your character notes:
    1. What are this character’s strengths. This could be trouble for them. (i.e. If he’s a financial wizard, maybe a jealous supervisor frames him in an embezzlement scheme.)
    2. What are this character’s weaknesses? The biggest weakness may be what changes in him by the story’s end. (i.e. Is he lonely but scared to be vulnerable? Maybe he has to be to win the heroines heart.)
    3.  Sees themselves as.
    4.  Seen by others as.
    5.  Most important thing to know about the character
    6. If it’s a villain, name something good about him. A hero? Name something negative in his character…a flaw.
  7. You’ve just met your character. Now, if you need a character photo, cruise the net to find one that you can tuck into your notes and refer to when you need to see him clearly.

 

That’s it.

If you don’t have all the answers to these questions, don’t worry. Just start writing your story. Sometimes you just have to watch and see what happens. And don’t be surprised if your character lied to you about something. That’s all a part of who they are.

Now, share your tips with me, if you have any. I’d love to hear how you work on characters.

At Night Owl Romance Discussing Werewolves

At Night Owl Romance today discussing Werewolves in Romance! Come over and talk with us about why you like shifters.  http://bit.ly/19jgYs We’re all authors and readers, just talking about why we love the wolves andwhy they’re so popular in modern literature, specifically romance.