Tag Archives: writing tips

Writing Prompts: Character Development (Harrison)

23 May

It’s been ages since I did one of these but I’m having to partially re-work one of my side characters. The time period is late 1890’s, set in the East Coast where Society is still rigid (more lax than it would have been in Europe but stricter than out West).

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Harrison James – American – Name means ‘Power’ – 19 years old at the beginning of the book – single child – brown hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 9 inches (taller than Amelia, shorter than Ian), trim

Standing in Society – In one of the Prominent families

Type of Childhood- pampered – High Society (raised by nannies?)

First Memory – a nanny getting fired for refusing him something?

Religion – in name/title only

Finances – wealthy and set to inherit the estate

Bad Habits – gambler, drinks, smokes

Hobbies – card playing/gambling, betting on horse races (does he start racing horses too?)

How does he spend a rainy/sunny day? –  at parties, club or the races

PERSONALITY:

Greatest Source of Strength – ????

Greatest Source of Weakness – gambling

Soft Spot – Amelia

Is this soft spot obvious to others? Maybe before he realizes it himself

If not, how does he try to hide it? – Tries to treat her the same as everyone else (but how does it ACTUALLY come off? is he harsher with her or is he simply not able to?)

Biggest Vulnerability – ??

ATTITUDE

Most at Ease when – he’s the center of attention/when he’s working hard at the paper

Ill at Ease when – he’s idle – in Society and after

Priorities – MONEY

Philosophy – ?

If Granted one wish, what would it be? – ?

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS

How does he relate to others? – on his terms – there are a few that he doesn’t act as arrogant around but not many

How is he perceived by the Heroine? –  Originally she is infatuated with him. She sees only the good. Time goes on and their relationship changes and she starts to see him in a professional light – someone to give her a chance.

How does he view heroine? – Until 1/2 way through the book (?) he sees her as a young girl with impossible dreams. But realizes she’s grown up – wants to help her gain independence/backbone – and snub Society. Is drawn to her.

First Impression and Why? – Depends on his mood – could be very good/charming or could be terrible. he decides in an instant if he likes you or not and bases it off that

What do family/friends like most about him? – He’s entertaining – when in the right mood. He can charm an entire crowd when he wants to

What do family/friends like least about him?- he’s cocky. Arrogant.

GOALS

Immediate Goals – none. Are you kidding? Life’s about having FUN

Long range goals – once tragedy strikes (in whatever form that happens..) to create his own fortune by growing a newspaper empire

How does he plan to accomplish this? – growing a struggling paper and then buy out others as he can

How will other characters be affected? – Amelia will be helped. Georgia will be helped/hurt in the 2nd book. What about his parents?

 

There are 2 more pages of questions but that’s it for now! You’ll notice there are several question marks still – and I didn’t even write all of the blank questions down, just the ones that I feel really need answered.

I recently heard advice for developing a character – take who you want them to be at the end of the story and flip it – that’s who the character is in the beginning. I am trying to follow that with Harrison. But let me tell you, it’s going to be a long road to get him where he should be.

~Laura

~Also, these are the ladies that I’m loving following for all things writing related lately – lara ferrari and Amara Luciano .

 

 

 

My Top Reads of 2017

29 Dec

I decided to do something a little bit fun – share a list of my favorite books of this year. We all love lists, don’t we?! We do.

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These aren’t in any particular order – just my Top 5 in each catergory:

New Reads:

~ Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

~ Failure is Impossible (Susan B. Anthony ) by Lynn Sherr

~Timber Ridge Reflections by Tamera Alexander

~Mermaid in the Basement by Gilbert Morris

~Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce

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Classics: 

~Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

~Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

~ Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

~ Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

~Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte’

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About Writing: 

~ Revision and Self- editing for Publication by James Scott Bell

~ The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

~ The New Book of Etiquette by Lillian Eicher

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Fantasy :  (note: remember I am still new to this genre. . . .)

~ Beauty by Robin Mckinley

~ Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

~ Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

~ Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

~ The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley

and a bonus one :

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

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Marriage/Faith: 

Jewish Roots by Dan Juster

When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

 

 

What’s your favorite read from this year? Do you love some of my top reads as well? I’d love to hear about it! 

~Laura

Character Creation : Aunt Angie

27 Sep

Hello again! Today I’m going to share some more information on another one of my characters from my book – I’m using this Character development sheet  although I will point out that it has changed and several of the new questions/areas aren’t what I want to focus on. So I’m a little bummed. But I pulled off aspects from the original sheet I printed last year (ish) and pulled the two together.

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So here we go!

Today’s character is Angela Barrington – nickname is Angie – American – widow – mid/late 50s – oldest of two girls – sister is Diana Hughes (Amelia’s mother)

~Loves the theatre and opera houses. Loves traveling.

Standing in Society – near the TOP

Eye Color – green

Height – 5 ft 7in

Type of body/build – slim/trim

skin tone – medium/pale

Is she healthy? – no. she has a debilitating disease that is as of yet unnamed (will it ever be?)

Favorite Literature – poets (named in story…)

Mode of Transportation – Carriages (she has several)

Daredevil or cautious – a bit of both – she had to be to end up where she is in Society

Is she the same when she’s alone? – yes. although she worries more when she’s alone

Good Characteristics – good listener, encourager, lighthearted (fun to be around)

Drives and Motivations – live life to the fullest while she can, give her niece a better life/chance to chase her dreams

Introvert or Extrovert – Extrovert

Optimist or Pessimist – optimist

Character Flaws – worries, has a hard time forgiving her sister

Biggest regret – that she didn’t have any children

Minor regrets –  won’t see Amelia wed (?)

Biggest Accomplishments- giving Amelia a new life

Character’s Darkest Secret/ does anyone know? – I can’t come up with a dark secret for her.

 

~Also, picmonkey has recently made it impossible to export photos without signing up and as I don’t want to pay/need that money for other things, does anyone have a suggestion for another free photo editor that I can start using? ~

~Laura

 

 

Writing Prompts: Character Creation (Edward)

11 May

I found this great little character development sheet that I’m going to use to help round out some of my characters in my novel.  (fun fact: I tried to print out 4… I ended up with 12 copies of it. Have no idea what happened. OY)

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Today’s will be the second-main character in my new novel.

Edward Kempthorne – English – Youngest of 4? kids – 32 years old – lived in the U.S. since he was a teen

Optimist or Pessimist: Why? – Pessimist. Learned it from his father and losing someone he loved only increased it.

Introvert or Extrovert: Why? – He learned to keep his thoughts/feelings to himself when he was growing up (was he ridiculed when he did share, reinforcing this trait?)

Drives and Motivations: He wants to make a difference in the world – not sell (WHAT?) like his father does/expected him to. He wants to make his family proud. Doing what’s right.

Talents: Reading people, (add to this!)

Extremely skilled at: writing speeches?

Extremely unskilled at:

Good Characteristics: honest, hard-worker, direct

Character Flaws: stubborn, lacks confidence in himself(?), resistant to change

Mannerisms: subtle

Peculiarities:

Biggest Regret: that he put his job above his family one fateful day

Minor Regrets: that he hasn’t married yet, he’s never _____, bitter words that never should have been spoken

Biggest Accomplishments: getting into the “Academy” to become a cop

Minor Accomplishments:

Character’s darkest secret: Hmmmmm

Does anyone else know? :  not yet

If yes, did character tell them? either straight out he does, or in a round-about way…

If no, how did they find out?

 

So obviously I’ve got more figuring out to do for Edward but I have fallen in love with him already.  I love that he’s English and is a searching, broken soul. His search through the darkness for truth and light will be interesting to write.

~Laura

Writing Prompt – Character Development

24 Feb

While I was feeling very uninspired to write a blog post (the couch and netflix sounding much more interesting), I remembered I’d downloaded a sweet little ebook filled with writing prompts that help in moving my novel along. So here’s to completing two tasks in one swoop : blog post and working on my book.

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The prompt I’m going to do is all about finding out what is missing in my hero. And how has it changed them, pushing them out of their comfort zone and into the special world of the story?  How has that missing thing left them broken? “Your hero’s flaw lies in that broken place”

Georgia is my MC (main character).  What I’m thinking so far is that it’s a broken heart/lacking purpose in her life. It’s kind of a combo problem because the person she fell in love with – years ago – was the one to make her look past her ‘perfect’ life and start searching for a purpose, a passion. She became more settled, less frivolous of a person as she sought to better herself and her life. For years though, she’s pushed the restlessness, the emptiness, aside and buried it deep. But it’s about to intrude on her life in a way that she won’t be able to ignore it anymore.

Having that emptiness, that pain, has spoiled  all her childish dreams for her future. She must let them go in order to seek the remedy for her broken heart. She’s going to have to disappoint those she holds most dear if she wants to find her purpose. She comes to realize that she can’t stay in the same routine she’s been in if she wants to be fulfilled.

I think she’s always been broken. The way she was raised was very…hmm, one could say, lacking in the most important things in life. She was taught that what’s on the outside is what matters. And that maintaining ones social standing is the most important thing, no matter really what you have to do to get there.

Does this mean she has a hard time looking past others’ appearance, and seeing into who they truly are?  Or that, even when she’s broken out of that world, and into the special world, that she still sees people based on their social standing?

I think I’m going to have to mull over how her flaw ties into that broken place….and how to work it into my plot board.

~Laura

Character Development – Amelia part 2

24 Sep

If you stopped by in the beginning of this week, you caught the first part of  developing my main character – Amelia. I found these tips and decided to go through them. If you go to the page I got them from, you might notice I have changed/skipped a few but if it doesn’t work for me, I’m just going to move along instead of trying to make it work. I hope that by sharing my process through developing a character, you will get inspired in your writing as well!

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4. If your character were an animal, which one would s/he be, and why?

Do the same exercise for:

a piece of music
food
a building.

Oy, i just cannot get ANYTHING for this one! I know I said above I wasn’t trying to follow the tips completely, but I’ve waited almost a week to post this just because of this exercise. But, I’m moving on, I’ve got way too much other work on my book to worry about it =)

5. In which ways would your character behave differently when interacting with –

mother – nervous, apologetic, clumsy, dutiful and daydreams a lot
aunt – a bit clumsy, dutiful, loyal and caring
friend – adventurous, easygoing, caring and loyal

stranger –  curious, easygoing, trusting and apologetic
(potential) love – clumsy, daydreams, innocent and shy

6. Write a short poem in your character’s voice.

Good luck!

Colors bright and bold flutter in the breeze

attached to a basket, sturdy and strong.

The colors unfold by several hands pulling, pulling, pulling

until they lay flat against the vivid grass.

Round bubble goggles are snapped on a forehead,

gloves are pulled on and the scarf is tossed across a shoulder.

The adventure of flight is about to begin.

A turn here and kick and shove there and soon a noise fills the air.

The colors expand and start to float above the proud basket.

Soon they shadow everything around, a large cloud of ingenuity.

What glories await up in the sky, hanging aloft in a big

hot air balloon.

prophetofwar.com

I will walk with you. Will you walk with me?

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