writing


What if something had happened when you were in high school and you couldn’t have completed it? A family tragedy, a major life mistake, lack of adult encouragement. Even the most entry level jobs require a high school diploma or a GED. Today we celebrate with those who for whatever reason didn’t finish high school in the most traditional way. They completed their GED. Today we say Hats off to you! Congratulations for sticking with it. Way to go, setting your goal and accomplishing it. What’s next? Trade school, a certification program or college? You have now overcome some obstacle and you are ready for the next thing to better your life.

You may not know us, but there are thousands of us cheering you on.

Please share this post or your own with #GEDGradDay included.

Thanks,

Karen

 

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As we have discussed before, I’m a writer who reads. I don’t understand writers who don’t. There is much to be learned about our craft from reading. This year, I have ventured out of my standard and safe fiction genre to read some non-fiction, business and mystery. I’ve read critically acclaimed novels and some very light and fluffy stories.

Here’s what I’ve learned — award-winning does not mean it’s a good story, it just means someone with credentials decided it was well written. Think about it, there’s a difference. I won’t mention titles, because I realize this is my opinion. You may have loved the book.

I’ve also learned that I do not enjoy novels written in first person. Ugh, they are tiresome to read. First person does not let the reader choose which character he or she will most relate to. It’s difficult to relate to other characters because you are never allowed inside their head. Thoughts or feelings are revealed from the first person’s reaction or observations.

The most recent book I read changed point of view every other chapter from first person to third person. It was ok, but many times the author retold the previous scene from first person. And I was a little disappointed each time I turned to the next chapter that was first person. The story was good. But unlike other books I’ve read, I didn’t miss the characters the day after I finished.

Those are a few thoughts on first person point of view. What are yours?

Karen

#writing, #kentuckywriter, #amwriting

 

I shared with you that I now need to go back through my manuscript and add better descriptors for my characters. I know what they look like, but you, the reader, won’t at this point. Every writer has their own tips and tricks to creating list-1character. While it’s impossible to not pull some attributes from real people, you don’t want to fully model characters after a single person.

My characters have been given some characteristics of people I’ve encountered. But no one character is exactly like a real person I know. That being said, I need to give them hair, skin tone, body structure. In order to write descriptions, I needed something to look at. I’m a very visual person. So I spent some time with Google searching for images of people who looked like what I see in my head for Maggie, Dan and the gang. I tried to choose generic images that had no names attached to them. So if you know any of these folks don’t tell me. These images will ONLY be used for me during the writing process, they will not appear anywhere in my book.list2

When I told my son about the exercise, he looked at the pages on the wall and then asked “what did you Google to find these people?” With that, I will caution you if you try this to be both as general and specific as you can or you may wake up your internet blocker. Adding the word “head shot” in your search helps.

What are your tips to describing the features of your characters?

I’m closer than I’ve ever been to completing my first novel (cheering appropriate here). Part of the delay is my own slowness and every time I learn something new about writing I go back through the entire draft and make changes. Nonetheless I have a goal to get this thing completed and to an editor by the end of the year (more cheering please).

The other morning on my way to my writers’ group meeting it occurred to me that I have been so careful to show and not tell that there are no descriptors of how my secondary characters look. Maggie’s mom, Jen’s husband, the kids.

So this week, in addition to tightening up the ending, I am going to start at the beginning and go back through adding appropriate descriptors.

The other thing I’ve gone overboard eliminating with this draft is backstory. In my first draft, instead of peppering backstory throughout,  I basically barfed backstory everywhere to the point of stopping the story.  So, I need to go through and be sure I’ve rounded out my main characters for my readers.

What are you working on this week?

 

books proposeOk, so I’m busy trying to write but wanted to touch base with my writing friends. You never know where your inspiration will come from.  Do you live with a reader? I do (even married him) and it is great to be together and yet in different worlds. I imagine my historical characters dancing about the room dodging the bullets and car chases of his action adventure heroes.

I heard an idea for character development (probably from one of you). Find pictures of people who have similar features to your characters. For example, you may do a Google search for females with brown hair (I tried it to be sure nothing inappropriate popped up). best weaponsHaving a real image of a person may help your character become more real.

What other tips and tricks do you use when forming your characters?

reading and ignoranceHi ho, hi ho, it’s of to write I go.  You never know where your inspiration will come from. Go people watching and find your next great character.

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