I’m excited to announce my new workbook, Creative Characterization, is now available on Amazon!
This workbook demonstrates six different methods I’ve taught in workshops over the last few years:
- Describing Photos and Paintings
- Writing Letters
- Writing in a Different Point of View
- Accessing Character’s Inner Child
It’s filled with exercises to help you create characters that will keep readers turning the pages. Who knows? You might even discover a little something about yourself!
*** GIVEAWAY! ***
To celebrate the release of Creative Characterization, I’ll be giving away a copy of the workbook. All you have to do is complete the following exercise excerpt from the book:
I. Choose one of your characters, and in your character’s voice, answer one of the following questions:
• If you could be a fly on the wall, where would that wall be, and who would be there?
• Who do you need to forgive?
• What do your friends not know about you, and why not?
II. Share as a comment to this blog post, and include the following:
- The title of your book or manuscript
- A little about the character who will answer
- Answer to one of the three questions above
- Did you learn anything new about your character?
You must include answers to 1,2 ,3 and 4 to be eligible for the drawing.
III. Comment before Friday, May 22 at noon. (Central Standard Time)
I’ll pick a winner via random drawing following the deadline and will announce the contest winner by Saturday, May 23. (NOTE: Only residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia will be eligible to enter.)
I shall buy one from you at OWL 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you xox
Thank you, Alice! Looking forward to seeing you!
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That English Lady.
Emily Kendall is an young English woman in her mid twenties. She meets August Smith, an American, in a support chat-room in 2008 and they hit it off instantly. She visits him after a year of talking online and on the phone. But Emily holds secrets deep inside. Something happened to her when she was four that she finds hard to talk about. In fact, she has all but succeeded in putting the whole thing to the back of her mind. The event had an unexpected result of forcing her to look at life in a more lighthearted, positive way than most. Sometimes too much so. She worries that she offends people at times with her sharp wit and, some might say, over-optimistic outlook on life.
She also craves August’s personal attention, but he seems to be unwilling to take that step. Is he hiding things too? She is compelled to find out, but knows to tread carefully and stop her mouth running away with itself. Not something she has been used to.
“Hello, Jan. I’m Emily. I’ll answer one of your questions.
1. I’d want to be a fly on August’s bedroom wall. That’s my, (hopefully, at this point), prospective significant other, in case you didn’t know. Oh, my giddy aunt! He never lets me in there and I’d love to know what it looks like. Do you know, Jan, he put me in the spare room when I visited him? The spare room! Arse! I didn’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved, I can tell you. Still, I think he will let me in one day. I just have to be patient… not one of my better qualities.
I have other reasons, too, but I’m not going to go there! I mean, I hardly know you. Let’s just say… I wish he was a little more forward. I am hopeful that he feels as I do and will open up soon. Meanwhile, where the heck is that fly??”
Emily is not always as positive as she might appear, or think she is 😉
This is AWESOME! Just what I was looking for! Thank you for being the first to enter, Alice!
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I hope you get lots of wonderful entries 😀
April Grace Reilly is the star of the series “Confessions of April Grace.” She’s a spunky 11-year-old country girl who speaks her mind when she’d be better off keeping her mouth shut. Witty and observant, she tells the rest of us just what she thinks. It’s hard for April to realize not everyone is on the same page as her, but in every book she learns a valuable life lesson. Sassy? Yes. A bit judgmental of the world around her? Yes. Funny? You betcha!
She confesses about being a fly on the wall:
“I’m April Grace Reilly, and I don’t want to be a fly on the wall in anyone’s house. I want to be five flies on all the walls of everyone’s house. Folks say I’m nosy, but boy howdy, I see things that everyone else just ignores. I’m curiousier than a litter of alley cats, so you better not be doing anything underhanded or sneaky to the people I care about because I’m gonna figure it out. Let me tell you something. When I grow up and open my own detective agency, some folks will be plenty glad I snoop around, and others are gonna wish I hadn’t. Come to think of it, that’s kinda the way it is now.”
I do believe April Grace isn’t going to change a whole lot just to fit what everyone else thinks she should be.
I love April Grace, KD. I especially love her answer about wanting to be not one fly, but five flies on everyone’s wall. Perfect!
Addie moved toward the closed door. She held her trembling hand out toward the door knob then snatched it back not sure if the answers to all of her questions would be as innocent, or terrifying, as she imagined. Her source had suggested that his great grandfather did more than care for patients behind that door in his home office.
She turned the knob. It was locked. She pulled a key from the pocket of her jeans and unlocked the door. It gave way but she had to push hard to make it open. The front part of the room held a dusty desk, several hard back chairs, and two end tables. Moving forward she walked through a curtain in to an exam room. Medical equipment nearing one hundred years old sat neatly on a white metal cabinet. She looked down to see the blood stains on the hard wood floor.
A page-turner scene, Winona. Thanks for sharing!
Raised by her crazy, witchy granny in deepest, darkest Arkansas, Zoraida Grey runs a little head shop in the tiny town of Bear Hollow, Arkansas. She does tarot readings on the side and hangs out with Johnny Lee, the black cat who lives with her; Zhu, her BFF; and Al, a good-looking tattoo artist and sometimes-boyfriend who wants her to marry him and start popping out redneck babies. To save Granny’s life, Zoraida goes to Scotland to steal back an ancient healing crystal. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida becomes entangled in a family feud, threatened by a wicked curse, and ensorcelled by handsome Scottish witch. It seems Granny didn’t tell her everything.
Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones is Book 1 of a three part series. Sometime in September of 2015, amidst great pomp and fanfare, Oghma Creative Media will release it upon an unsuspecting populace. The remaining two books of the series will follow in 2016. Here is Zoraida’s answer to the third prompt about what her friends don’t know about her.
“I live in a small town so my life is a freaking open book, from Granny’s witchy ways to the real product I sell in my little shop. But even my BFF Zhu doesn’t know one thing about me. Zhu knows Granny raised me to be witch––not a green one with striped stockings––a real witch who sees magic in the Universe and knows how to use it. Since I was a little kid, she trained me in the old ways. Zhu knows all this. And since I was a little kid, I knew I was smarter and braver than anyone else in Bear Hollow, except maybe Zhu. What Zhu and nobody else knows is how scared I am to leave this little cocoon Granny and I have made for ourselves. My self-assurance and confidence dissolve like mud puddles in the Arkansas summer sun when I get on a plane for Scotland. “Remember your own power,” Granny told me, but I’m not sure I have any power at all, much less enough of it to deal with the ancient and deadly forces I find at Logan Castle. “
Yeah—I learned a bit from this exercise. I knew she was insecure—it’s her inner struggle through the series, but this exercise reminded me how much she doubts her own abilities. It also reminded me to add those thoughts to the story regularly so readers also wonder if she is up to the challenges she finds. Thanks, Jan. Best of luck with this nifty little guide and with your other writing endeavors.
Love the voice of Zoraida Gray, and the plot is very intriguing. I look forward to the “great pomp and fanfare” which will announce your book’s release! Thanks for entering, Sorchia!
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Reblogged this on Sorchia's Universe and commented:
A nifty guide by a nifty writer: check it out and enter her contest.
Thanks for sharing, Sorchia!
What has helped me write my characters is to listen to the kind of music that they will listen to, especially if they’re from another time or place. I have discovered I’m a Perry Como fan.
I do that, too, George, and have that listed as one of my suggestions in the book. And, I like Perry Como, too!
I also do this, and find it extremely helpful 🙂
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Title Jewell and Shirley
A daughter of a mother who is in a geriatric detox center for the excess of prescribed medications would be a fly on the wall in the detox center listening to the conversations between the mother and other patients. Jewell agreed to enter the center but is not participating in the sharing groups. She tells the daughter in a weekly phone call with a whisper “I’m not telling them everything”. Daughter wonders just exactly what the mother is telling if she refuses to “tell everything”.
Even though the twelve prescribed medications were eliminated and replaced with just one medication “Paxil” and a water pill, and the mother lived five more years until she was eighty nine with only those two prescriptions, she always complained about the doctor in the detox center because he did not listen to her heart, poke around on her tummy, etc.. She never fully understood the process of determining that Paxil replaced the medications for blood pressure, strong sleeping pills, anxiety, leg twitch, etc.. She would occasionally admit that her life was a lot happier.
I should have spent more time after mother’s release to learn how the detox center determined Paxil was the only medication needed to replace all the others.
This sounds like an important book, Shirley. Thanks for sharing what you learned!
My novel and current project is, The Informant’s Agenda. Monica is my lead character, or ‘protagonist.’ She is a genealogist archivist/historian and employed by the U.S. Dept. of Genealogy Research and History, presently on assignment in Russia and former USSR provinces. She would choose a wall in Russia, with her other genealogist peers who support her and understand her work and her quest to dig deep into the German Jewish history of Ukraine and Moldova, particularly the history of the Jewish Holocaust massacres by the Romanian Iron Guard. But, none of her friends or coworkers know that she her family were German Jewish and a family member was killed in the holocaust. It is her secret and quest to find out what, why and the how of their history and story. What do her friends learn about Monica that they did not know before? They learn how really afraid she is while in this quest, not questioning her ability to learn the truth, but that she continually walks with fear every step she takes as she travels alone to Ukraine and Moldova while her peers go to other former Russian republics while on their assignment and Monica is placed in situations that jeopardize her safety and career.
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This sounds fascinating, Joyce, with lots of research involved in writing it. Good luck to you, and thank you for entering!
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Glad I could share. Thanks. I have done over 30 yrs. of research on my paternal German jewish grandfather’s family from Odessa region (old Bessarabian villages) so am using much of my research findings in my story with a lot of other resources.
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Announcing the winner!! Congratulations to . . .
Sorchia, I’ll contact you to get your address so I can send you a copy of Creative Characterization.
Thank you to all who entered. I enjoyed getting to know your characters and hope you got to know them better, too!