Friday, March 23, 2012

Character Development: Give him a desire

When I first began writing, I thought I could just sit down and write the story. For a beginner, that worked fine, I guess. I generally start my stories with a character in mind and a situation to work through. My stories ended very quickly because once my character got past the situation, that was it.

I have since learned that in order to make my character real and believable, I needed to create a CHARACTER for my character. It's like reading a biography. The person writing the biography learned as much about their character as possible, maybe even interviewing him or her more than once. Getting to know your character will enable you to write a better story. In order to do this, you MUST know the CHARACTER of your character. Who is she? What made her so happy? Angry? Bitter? Scared? What made him so strong mentally? What happened to him that caused him to be mean, insensitive, careless? Why is he such a gentleman?

Let's learn about your character. It's time to give your character some CHARACTER!

First step: Your character needs a problem he or she wants to see resolved or fixed. As an example, I will create someone, give them a problem, and together we will create a character. Someone who readers will want to read more about. Someone who will leap off the first page of your novel and capture the audience from the first page. Ready?

Let's begin with Olivia Shae Conniers. From the time she was a baby, her parents called her Shae-Shae because Olivia sounded so grown up and she has been Shea ever since.
One night, Shae woke up in a strange place and could not remember who she was. Not only that, she didn't know where she was. She couldn't remember anything, really, not even her name.
I'd say that is a problem, wouldn't you?
Now, if Shae was your character, what problem would you give her? What her greatest desire be? More than anything in the world, what does she want?
Feel free to comment below...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Mason Cambs is a character from my book. This is his journal. What do you suppose he has written? What does this photo tell you about his character?

Creating Intrigue

Before I begin my character development lessons, I wanted to ask my readers opinion about this photo and font. Does it stir the emotions, create intrigue, or evoke creativity? Is it too dark, plain, or unreadable? What emotions does it bring out?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Developing Characters

Writing a novel that grabs a readers attention is not only necessary, it is vital to the success of any story. Creating believable, living characters enriches your manuscript and breathes life into the pages of your book.

I found a website that offers a character worksheet. This worksheet can be printed and used to help develop your characters. Use this worksheet and watch your hero take shape.
Character Worksheet from the Writer's Craft
My next series of blog entries will be spotlighting CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. You can signup to receive this mini-writing course by email!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Writer's Block Wall

Take a few moments and sit down and simply write. Write whatever comes to mind. This is what I am doing right now and I'll show what happens:

A ship
Take a trip
History in the making
Time Travel
Silk Dresses
Loving to hate

Now, these are the ideas that just popped into my mind as I wrote. No meditating. No reading someoneelse's book or article. I started with the word ship and simply wrote down the first thing that popped into my mind. Now, I am going to take a couple of the thoughts and turn them into a one line idea that I may be able to expound on in the near future.

A ship- Like the Titanic. Unsinkable, yet not promised and someone actually paid the passengers to gamble with their lives.

Take a trip- To an exotic island where a known murderer has been hiding for 5 years, alone, and wants to make things right with his victims family, but is tempted to take on the visitors to his island.

History in the making- A cure has been discovered for Aids, but at what risk to the developers of the cure?

Vintage - A young girl becomes enamored with a vintage trunk that contains a vintage dress and finds it holds more secrets than she can bear to reveal to others: the secrets may jeopardize her family and her life.

Retro - A disco? Hmm... A novel set in 1960, centered around the mystery of a missing boy.


Time Travel - A young girl dreams of traveling back in time to the day her mother died. She is trapped in the time machine and must continually live the day over and over until she realizes...

Silk dresses -  A young Victorian lady falls in love with her neighbor, only to learn that he has a secret identity.

See how I took a simple word or phrase and turned it into an idea?

Insecure Writer's Support Group

I've rejoined the IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group, and I'm super excited to be back. I missed the post for July, but will...