Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Want to get to know your characters?

Want to get to know your characters? Jennifer Nielsen shared this chart at a writer's workshop I went to last April. Check out this link: Jen Wrote This: Young Adult Character Chart. You can print one out and make copies for each of your characters. The idea is to answer each item quickly, off the top of your head. Surprising things emerge that you might not have known about you character.

Another thing I like to do is from James N. Frey's book How to Write a Damn Good Novel. He says that to make a character three dimensional we need to explore the three dimensions that make up everyone. Physiological dimension is what we look like. It shapes our view of ourselves and how others treat us. Sociological dimension is how we are raised, family connections or the lack of. Psychological dimension is the combination of both physiological and sociological dimensions. Once I figure out and write down all of these dimensions then I do the next thing Mr. Frey suggests:

Make a journal entry or write the character's life history in his/her voice. A lot of surprising things come out when I allow my character to take over and just let the writing flow.

And last but not least, is Interview your character. What is their ambition, their goal? What do they really want? What is their greatest fear? Biggest accomplishment? Biggest regret? There are more questions on the Young Adult Character Sheet that you can use for a more in depth inteview.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Verb it Up"--Elana Johnson

This frustrated writer has difficulty with passive voice. See what I mean? So I visit Elana Johnson live video chat to pick her brains. I log on. I listen. I read other's questions. I don't see the one question plaguing me. I know I write with a passive voice. I know about find and replace, but when I find, I don't know what to replace with. I asked Elana for some suggestions. She said, "verb it up." She keeps a list of active verbs at her writing desk. So, I went to google, the source of all knowledge, and printed off four lists. I combined and edited. Not sure if this is one more project to keep me from writing, but I hope it will help. Please feel free to use this list, and maybe it will help you too. Please check out writingwithshelly.blogspot.com. Shelly added to the list. Gina Blechman also has an active verb list for romance writers at gblechman.blogspot.com. So "verb it up!"

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Congratulations to today's winners! Camille and Margot. Thanks for following my wee little blog and helping it grow. I hope you enjoy your gifts!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blog Hop in Honor of Possession by Elana Johnson

Possession by Elana Johnson was released today. I am not a dystopian fan, but I'm reading this book because Elana took the time to visit my wee little blog and give encouragement. So far, I find the characters very engaging, and their culture has piqued my interest.

The post for the blog hop is about breaking the rules. Think back to a time when I broke the rules. Hmmm. . . I rarely drive the speed limit, but that's about all I can think of. For true rule breaking, I'd have to go in the waaay waaay back machine to high school. I sluffed a lot. I snuck out of my house at night (many times) to toilet paper someone's house (usually some boy I had a crush on). I borrowed my mom's car one night to take my friend home (who lived about ten minutes away), but instead, we ended up in Bountiful to toilet paper the home of my latest crush. Then, I got a speeding ticket on the way home. Try explaining to your mom that you have to go before the Judge for that one. She actually went pretty easy on me. So did the Judge.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Freaky Friday Father's Day Freebies

   Granted, a lot of fathers would rather watch TV than write, but for the father who has the heart of a writer consider a cool, hardbound journal, or an awesome pen and pencil set. You can see photos of these on my Writing Wrelics page.

    Become a follower and post a comment on my blog to enter the drawing. I will be giving away 3 journals and 1 pen/pencil set. Drawing will be held June 9th--I will post a list of winners. All prizes will be mailed out June 10 and should arrive in time for Father's Day. Good Luck!