Saturday, May 26, 2012

Building Characters In Writing

I certainly hope that my characters are as strong as those of one of my favorite authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What I do know so far about the main character for my proposed cozy mystery series is that she will be in her 50's, well educated, with a partner whose job takes him away from home a lot. (I am not sure whether they are going to be living together or not ... more than likely not, at least in the beginning of the series.) She will have an interest in the metaphysical world, and will have studied it extensively. She will live in a large city (more than likely Las Vegas), and will have several close women friends that become involved in some way in her escapades.

A bible is in order, so that she and my other characters grow in the series in a comprehensive manner. IOW, elements of their past have created their present, and their thoughts/actions/reactions in the present will build their future. What else can I do to build my characters into realistic, believable entities?

Charlotte Dillon offers a free, downloadable character chart on her site - CharlotteDillon.com. This is an incredible chart that is comprehensive, makes a great deal of sense, and is highly usable. Note: Please give Ms Dillon credit if you are using this chart in a public manner. This is very much like what I did to create the bible for my characters when I made my first attempt at writing a mystery. Her's is quite a bit more extensive, and I intend to use it! Thank you, Charlotte Dillon!

Why am I not surprised - there is also a wikihow on this! How To Create A Fictional Character. There is a ten step process to follow here that makes absolute sense. As with all things, tweak it until it works for you. It provides a good foundation for building your characters, so you aren't spending a lot of time dead int he water about who they are, what motivates them, and how they fir into the story.

Here is another excellent site, from author/editor Lillie Amman - Creating Fictional Characters.

Last, but not least, from fictionfactory.com -Creating Characters.

(c) May 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Waylaid!

This started out to be a blog on creating a bible for your WIP (Work In Progress) but I go waylaid by a couple of interesting blogs (and a theme connected site!). The first blog is from Writers Write (http://www.writerswrite.com/#writersblog). There is a very interesting conference that was held at St. Andrews University, Scotland. Quite a unique two day conference, entitled “A Brand of Fictional Magic: Reading Harry Potter as Literature”. I am a huge fan of Harry Potter – of the magic, and the underlying cultural references. Sixty scholars attended, and addressed such subjects as Dumbledore and the Socratic method, paganism, food as it denotes British identity, and more. Worth a read!

The site that is thematically connected with this blog is one that has just recently gone live – “Pottermore”, from J.K. Rowling (http://www.pottermore.com/?utm_source=Badger-En&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=03052012-notify&utm_term=+&utm_content=). I have been waiting for this one, and it did not disappoint! There is a “sneak peak” video, and a video message from J.K. Rowling on the landing page. You do need to sign up for entrance into the site – they give you a username to go by – very “Harry Potterish”!

What can you do in Pottermore? Lots of things! Explore the Harry Potter stories in a whole new way! Discover new and exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling (worth the bother of registering!). Experience Diagon Ally, the Sorting Hat, and more! Share comments, and help your House win the House Cup! Enter the magical gateway now! I have just been playing on the site – you have to experience it to appreciate it! What fun!

On to the second blog that waylaid me – Anne R. Allen’s recent blog (http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2012/05/who-are-big-six-what-does-indie-really.html) on the “Big Six”, “Indies”, and “Small Presses” in publishing. Quite a well done b log, no matter what she is talking about! As a newcomer to publishing, and much more conversant with the publishing companies in the niche genre that I currently write in (Tarot), I found this whole article fascinating! The “Big Six” are readily recognizable publishing companies. However, the countries they are based in may surprise you (it did me!). She also goes on to mention their imprints, which are interesting.

Allen then moves on to mid-sized publishers – one of which I have actually worked with! For each publisher, there is a sound bite about what genre(s) they publish in.

Also included are sections on Retailer/Publishers, Independent e-Book Publishers, Small Presses, Micro Presses, Vanity Presses, Indie Publishing, and POD Publishing Service Providers.

Great blog, with a tremendous amount of usable information in it!

© May 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Writing Sites

I wanted to do today’s post on writing sites … places where writer’s can communicate with other writer’s, and find writing resources. Right up at the top on Google was writing.com (www.writing.com). It looked good to me, so I went about setting up a free account with them. Unbeknownst to me, I already have an account there! At some distant point in time I must have had the thought that I wanted to delve further into the world of writing. Good thought, Bonnie. I may actually follow through with it this time, as I am in a different place … cutting ties with on world, and moving into the next one.

I went into my account and set up a sig line … this will show up on all of my site messages and forum posts. For now, just my name and my web site info. I also deleted the 38 messages that had built up since I was last on this site. ;-) Now I am checking out what this site has to offer. I don’t have a portfolio up, but that will come in time. Looking at what resources are offered, I find that this site carries writing submissions in many diverse categories. I can choose to read them, and I can also choose to review them. I can also put my own work up here to be read and reviewed. To me, that is a bonus!

There is also a listing of authors by ranked in the following categories: Most Community Recognition, Most Referrals, Most Credited Reviewers, Most Active Reviewers, and Most Active Raters.

As far as placing my own writing, I find that I can do so as a static item (a single poem, essay, or article), a document, book, or web page, or a product review. There are also many ways to interact, such as message forums, community notes, Madlibs, user polls, interactive stories, survey forms, word searches, and more. There is a classified section, with contests, listings for editors and more. There is a section on copyrights, sections on editing, marketing, literary agents, newsletters, publishing, self-publishing, web hosting, writing classes, and writing prompts.

This is just the tip of the iceberg! I am going to make the time to interact with this site, and see where it takes me!

© May 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Next Step - Smashwords

The next step in my personal evolution as a writer is to focus on my mystery writing. I have already made the decision to publish through e-book venues, and that Smashwords is the publishing venue that I will use. My second "brick and mortar" book (in the field of Tarot) will be in to my publisher by the end of May. I have no plans at this time to write anything else in this field, other than articles and reviews.

This morning I pulled up the Smashwords site, to see that the process for submission there is. Scanning it quickly, I can see that it is self explanatory, which is a relief. They begin by posting the caution that no one should update their work without first checking the Smashwords style guide (which they provide a link to). So far, so good. They also note that the publishing page is NOT where you submit an updated version of your work. Kudos Smashwords! I hope people read this stuff! The last thing they ask is that the person uploading the work is the original author or exclusive publisher. Another interesting note is that they do not publish public domain work, or Private Label Rights books.

Then comes the usual - book title, short description, long description, language, whether or not the book has adult content, pricing (you can give it out for free, charge a specific amount, give a certain percentage of the book to be read for free (sampling). Then comes the good stuff - which formats you want to publish in! Kindle, Nook and Palm for me. I may decide at a later date to add others. I will have to think about PDF format. adn am not sure where plain text would come in. Choose your cover image, the title of the book, sign their three item publishing agreement, and you are good to go!

Well, good to go except for the tiny fact that you have to promote your book! ;-) That is for another day!

(c) May 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Creating A Fictional Character

I am in the process of building a bible for my WIP. Since this is the first book in what will be a series, I am starting small - the main...