Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda…

Okay, let’s talk characterization. Or, more specifically, hero-ization. At any given moment, what does your hero do? You’ve opened a scene file, you’re stuck her in a setting, with a few other characters around, and you’ve presented her–via story–with a choice. She’s facing a path with two or three forks in it. Which way does […]

What Does Your Hero Carry With Her?

In case you aren’t YET a fan of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, and you aren’t aware that the newest book, Changes, has been on bookstore shelves for a while, I’m here to let you know about it. I’ll also mention that I haven’t read it yet. It’s just come out in hardback and, while sometimes […]

First Draft: Peopling the World or Who ARE These Characters?

WARNING: You’ll be getting a lot of posts about first drafts in the next few months. But don’t worry, those revision posts will be coming along after that! My friend Jana McBurney-Lin talks about a character in her book My Half of the Sky who came out of nowhere. I think, if I remember right, it’s […]

Valentine’s Day: Why I Love My Main Character

I got back into writing a new scene for my WIP this week, and fell in love all over again with my MC. For a quick, semi-random Valentine’s Day post, here’s why: 1. She is totally antsy. If she isn’t doing something, she’s not happy–she gets impatient and frustrated and just starts looking for something to dig […]

Making Connections, Deepening Story

When I went away to college many, many years ago, I moved about 5 hours away from home. Not far, probably, compared to some of you, but for the shy kid I was, it was a good distance. It meant that coming home for weekends was not a given, and it meant one miserable trip […]

What Would Caro Do?

Today, I will get closer to Caro, the hero of my YA WIP. Well, that’s the plan. I’m still plotting into the middle. I’d say “through” the middle, but not yet feeling that optimistic. And I’m realizing that part of the problem I’m having with the current mish-mash of scenes is that I haven’t honed […]

Friday Five: Hey, Mama!

One of my wonderful critique partners pointed out the other day, in a very nice way, that my MC’s mother is NOT very clearly drawn. Yes, I’m still writing that rough first draft, so this is to be expected. BUT…the mother is also the main antagonist. So, really, it would help if I understood her […]

Keeping My Hero’s Story HER Story

So I’ve been doing a lot of research this week. Finding out more about the world my MC lives in–the places she’ll go and the things, and people, that she’ll see. It’s helping, I think, as I hone in on problems she’ll face and scenes she’ll act out & through. It does, however, keep bringing […]

Conflict AND Connection

Here’s what I worked on this afternoon. Okay, well, I filled it in, too. Earlier this week, Jenn Hubbard blogged here about reading actor Jeff Griggs’ book Guru. You should read Jenn’s post to see all she got out of the book, but the thing that stuck with me was her realization that our characters need to […]

I’m a Wimp. Who’s Going to Grow a Spine.

The last few days have been traumatic ones for my WIP, my characters, and me. I’ve been whining (or whinging!) about it on Twitter & FB, and today it’s going to stop. Not the trauma. But definitely the whining. After this explanation. It’s not that I don’t want to do the work when I write. […]