Sunday, January 09, 2011


God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward

I was talking to a writing friend yesterday, who'd just gotten a rejection. She was in the dumps, of course, but said she had an invite to resubmit. So we talked some more about fixing the problems ... and she mentioned that one of her Crit Partners had asked what the character's "core values" were.

This led to a discussion about how I interview my characters and the pre-plotting exercises that I do. They aren't extensive, and I don't outline the entire story, just make a loose map with a couple of stops (or scenes) along the way to keep me on track.

She doesn't do anything. She is a "pantser" in the truest form of the word. I admit I was a bit gobsmacked... I couldn't work without at least my character forms (which are a bit fluid since I learn things about them as the story progresses, but I add those things to the form). If I didn't have a form, I'd forget things: where they were born or their mother's job, or the name of the cat they had as a kid... even their eye color!

And after our discussion I realize how blessed I was to stumble across some truly amazing people who guided me through learning how to write. I got to feeling a little sappy and sentimental, so wanted to share some thanks.

To Writer's Village University, who introduced me to all the people I mention below. Without WVU, I never would have become an author. A writer, yes, an author, no.

To Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance -- who were students in the first EVER class I took on romance writing. They were the first folks who shared some "rules" about things like passive voice and showing instead of telling. I owe them the greatest of debts.

To Allie Boniface, who invited me to join a crit group at Writers Village University. My experiences there built upon the things I'd learned in class and without which I never would have gotten hungry to actually get published.

To the Persist & Publish group at -- a group of VERY serious writers (none of whom were romance authors). They gave me completely different insight into writing since most were either literary writers, some were poets and all were very serious about honing their craft. I have to admit to being a little sad that my name is no longer in the list of members...

It's because of them that I began to hone my craft. While I'm not perfect, I am miles better than I was when I began and it gave me the impetus to keep on learning and growing and realized that there even WAS something to learn! Writing is far more than stringing words together.

Thanks, guys.


You Are Soap Bubbles

You are free spirited and a heck of a lot of fun. You refuse to act your age.

You can always find a chance to play a little. You bring whimsy to an otherwise boring day.

It drives you crazy to be cooped up inside for too long. You need to be outdoors to be able to breathe.

It's likely that you crave a nontraditional life. You have to do things your own way!

About 50/50...



Angelina Rain said...

I’m a complete pantser so I don’t really plan my characters ahead of time. For me, they develop as the story develops, and then by the end of the manuscript I know that characters like the back of my hand. That makes editing very difficult as I usually have to re-write the entire beginning because the character actions are ‘out of character’ at that point.

With some of my many ideas, however, the character comes to me at the same time as the idea and before I even start writing, I know the character very well and write the story around them.

Diane Craver said...

I've been doing what you do - write some scenes I want in my book, have character sketches (I'd forget the eye color, too, if I didn't have this listed for a reference)and I have a pretty good idea how the book will end and etc. But I don't do an extensive outline. I'm reading a book on outlining by Karen Wiesner. I need to figure out how to write faster but I do like how my characters take over as I write.

That's neat how you listed what helped you. Happy Writing today! I saw all the projects you want to finish this year.

Dru said...

You Are a Bubble Gum Bubble

You are bold, daring, and totally outrageous. You love breaking rules.

You are a bit of a show off, and you love to shock people with your antics.

You have a wild streak, and you love to be challenged. You're dying to be dared.

You are over the top, and that's what people love about you. You refuse to be normal.

This not me at all.

Brandy said...

I'm glad you have had good friends to help with your writing.

I am a Bubble Gum bubble and it's NOT me.

I hope you have had good day.

Tori Lennox said...

I'm mostly a pantser but I do a fair amount of background plotting. Just not actual book plotting. :)

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Hee that wouldn't be our conversation, now would it?


Thanks for helping me see where I truly needed to grow.

Ceri Hebert said...

I'm just not sure how to do a character sketch on a demi god. :)