Character development

Things I’m Doing When I Should be Writing!

Things I’m doing when I should be Writing!

  • Napping
  • Watching Battlestar Galactica
  • Reading books (Written by people much more talented than me.)
  • Pinning tattoos I’ll never get on Pinterest.
  • Pinning EVERYTHING on Pinterest.
  • Forcing my dog to cuddle me. (Love me!)
  • Fantasizing about my dream job.
  • Napping
  • Working over time at my real job. (Gross)
  • Staring at my computer screen blankly.
  • Looking up random greek mythology.
  • Daydreaming myself into adventures instead of my characters.
  • Wondering how my brain got so disorganized (Who's in charge here?!)
  • Napping  

                 So it looks like I need to try harder to schedule my writing time. I should also start going to bed sooner apparently. With my new work schedule it’s safe to say I have been a bit thrown off my writing game. Not to worry I’ll be making a comeback, just need to focus more. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but so are a lot of things I have done. Fiction Friday will be a day late. I know, Friday is right there in the title, sorry. Sometimes life is exhausting.

Getting to know a Character

Getting to Know a Character

Anyone that has even read a book or watched a movie can not deny one thing. We all like characters. We might not all like the same characters but we are all there for the same reason, we are interested in the characters. Whether you’re a villain loving hero hater (i.e. Siths, Death Eaters, Hydra members) or you’re the kind of person that roots for the home team (i.e. Avengers, Jedi Order, Justice League, or any protagonist hero really) .  We all want to know more about characters and how things turn out for them. We can all agree this is true, if you don’t, Well you’re lying mister.

We want to know the characters, then once we do they can often become like old friends to us. It’s the reason we always buy the next book in the series, reread old favorites, re-watch movies and binge watch season after season on netflix, it’s the characters. Getting to know characters is the best, when reading and writing.

If you love a character in a book you are totally invested in them by the end of that book. You get to know them as if they were a living breathing person. In fact sometimes we know them  better that we know real people.  Gasp! Because we have spent the time getting to know them because some awesome author spent the time to make that character.

As a writer knowing your character makes it easier to write in “their voice”.

“Their voice” meaning how or what they might say. It doesn't have to be words it can be just a reaction or a look. Knowing your character means knowing their personality and how they handle situations. Making it easy to believe that they are the ones reacting or speaking, not you as the writer. That’s the goal right? I know it’s my goal.

Loving your character can really help you when you’re writing. I always get excited when I know I’ll be writing a scene where one of them gets to be cheeky, clever or funny. It’s what drives me. The parts of the book that come along and tell you who the character is, these are pretty much the best parts. With every reaction and statement the writer is helping determine who that character is to the reader. That’s a lot of power as a writer. 

This is why short stories are hard for me, because it gives you so little time to get to know everyone. That’s probably why I have yet to write a Fiction Friday that I didn’t plan a continuation to in my head. Sorry it’s just too difficult.

Whether you're writing your hero or your villain make them their own person, everyone reacts differently to different situations. A book that is full of people with the same personality sounds really boring. I love my cast of character and I hope readers will too.

Happy Monday to all! As if there could be such a thing. (Insert grumpy eye roll here.) I hope your weekends were filled with unicorns and rainbows… and Deadpool. I know mine was. But I also made a lot of progress on my manuscript. By progress I mean I still haven’t moved on to new sections because I’m still hard at work revising the old ones.

Usually one wouldn’t worry about revisions until after their first draft was done. But due to my own lack of foresight and commitment this wasn't an option for me. If you read my post “I have no Idea what I’m doing” You might remember (or not) that I had taken an extra-long break from my story and when I returned all I had to work from was a hard copy of my first 20 pages. Did I also mention that those 20 pages were written in a First person POV (point of view)? A format that I have since changed to a Third person POV.  So… that’s a thing.

My personal and very small amount of experience with revision will be summed up like this...

You're having an argument with two different versions of yourself, in which both versions think that the other is a moron, and in the end they are probably both right. Once things start looking very bleak they will find a minuscule and unimportant thing that they both agree on. Through this stupid detail they find a way to work together to accomplish their goals. Much like a Buddy Cop movie. (Writers, please let me know if this has ever happened to you. Or something like it.)

Despite that summary, I still found things to be thankful for while in the midst of my revision mess. Before I restarted I took a little over a week and a half to just focus on my characters. I wrote an in depth character profile of each of my main and secondary characters.

Where they’re from.

Who their parents are.

What kind of education they received.

How their childhood was.

Where they work.

What they like to do in their spare time.

Skills and Talents.

What they look like.

Their personalities.

Even what kind of foods they like.

The list goes on and on. My principal characters ended up with around 5 pages of notes on each of them. It wasn't the most fun part and I really just wanted to get back to my laptop and start, but I forced myself to finish the profiles. Now that I’m knee deep in revisions I’m so glad I did. Now, when my mind goes blank and I think… Wait. When was that? or Where were they from? It no problem! Just pull out the character profile and the information is right there. Hooray! Second best decision I have ever made! Regarding my manuscript that is. The character profiles have been invaluable to my long, tedious revision process. Oh, and the best decision was getting Scrivener. Which I’ll be talking about in a future post.

The good news is, despite wanting to bang my head against a wall after rewriting the first three chapters, (for the third time!) I’m really starting to like the story again. And I foresee being done with the rewriting portion by the middle of March! I wish it was sooner, but hey I work a full time job too. If that all works out it will put me about 25% of the way through my manuscript. YAY! Woohoo for premature celebratory "yays"!