Sunday, August 27, 2017

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 character, two ancillary characters, and a bit of background. What I would like to discuss today is how I am defining my characters - what information I feel that  I need to know about them, so that they will come across as real/believable.

Some of the information that I include is:

1. Character's full name and birth date.
2. Physical description of the character.
3. Physical location of the character.
4. Physical description of their home.
5. Background information: Where they were born, where they went to school, where they have worked, who their parents are, who their siblings are.
6.  What are their goals - what is important to them?
7. What is their moral compass?
8. What are their strong points?
9. What are their weak points?
10. What is this character's relationship with the other characters in the story?

When we are building our characters, we need to keep in mind whether they are meant to be a: protagonist, antagonist, background person, background person that moves the story along.

Above all - know the purpose of your character to your story. Without purpose, the character will be ill defined, and your story will flounder.

If you would like to sign up for my (recently birthed) author's newsletter, you will find the form on my site.

(c) August 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.




Sunday, August 13, 2017

Where Does Time Go?


Time really has been flying by! I had hoped to put more work into a chapter that I am writing for a book that I am co-authoring, but that is not to be. I realized, albeit a bit late, that I had set a goal last week to write the outline for the Christmas themed novel that I plan to write in September. (That will get done, becuase I need to have it edited before I can put it up on Create Space and Kindle.)  

I have the bones of the book in my head. It will take place all in one night, at a Christmas party. I intend to introduce my main character, and two or three supporting characters, as I have fond hopes that I can turn this into a series. 

I also hope to introduce a bit of the nuance between my characters, how they know each other, and just what they have the power to accomplish.  Cats - as well as a dog or two - will have prominent roles. This will be a vry loose outline, as I am not what coult be considered a "plotter" - one who creates a plot and then sticks to it. I am a "pantser" - someone who writes by the seat of their pants! My work goes with the flow - which is sometimes good and sometimes ... challenging. 

What this series is going to be like has changed drastically over the past two weeks - primarily because how it "could be" flew full blown into my head! I will be introducng the characters,  creating a light tension between certain characters, placing a few false clues, and letting the ending evolve. Well, I know what the ending is, but getting there is where the evolution comes from.

I would like to mention that I have just started writing a monthly newsletter aimed at writers, and am running a contest through the end of August. Anyone who signs up before the end of August will have their names tossed into a hat, with the winner receiving a copy of Barbara Berger's "Find and Follow Your INNER COMPASS". You can sign up for my newsletter here. (Look on the right hand side, under apps.)

(c) August 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Newsletter Coming Out In August!



Taking the plunge, and entering the world of e-newsletters! My first newsletter will be going out on August first, with monthly newsletters to follow. The newsletters will be focused on my writing, and things that are going on in the writing world.


I am running a contest in my first newsletter, where I will be choosing one subscriber from all of those that subscribe before  August 31st to receive a copy of "Find and Follow Your Inner Compass", by Barbara Berger. Feeling overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information coming into your life? Find out how to align with your own internal guidance system!

You can sign up for my newsletter here: bonniecehovet.com.

© July 2017 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Perspective Is The Key


I have been absolutely distraught over this year's 4th of July celebrations. With our current government, we closely resemble a sinking ship! Our president has appointed people to high positions with the thought of deconstructing our government, not of making it better. There are so many issues going on that I doubt that I would be able to list them all - including disappearing healthcare, pulling out of the Paris accord, pulling the legs out from under Planned Parenthood, dissolving women's issues in general, taking environmental protections away, wasting untold millions on playing golf, and the president lying about anything and everything. And choosing Twitter as his means of reaching the people! We have had two major resignations within the DOJ -  Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B McCord , and former federal prosecutor Hui Chen

In the eyes of the world, America looks like a bunch of fools! With all of this going on, how could I in good conscience celebrate our country's freedom! Have so many men and women given their lives so that it could come to this? I finally realized that I needed to calm down and get a broader perspective on what the 4th of July (Independence Day) meant to me, and how I should celebrate it. 

I do know that it will be a private celebration, as I work on the 4th, but how can I get my mind straightened out? What the 4th of July actually represents is the day in 1776 that the Continental Congress adopted the  The Declaration of Independence, which set us free from Great Britain. 

Freedom is a right, and a gift. How it is reflected in our lives has evolved over time. What we are currently seeing here in the U.S. is a body of wealthy elite that want the "rules" to be in their favor. This is not government of the people, by the people, or for the people. As so many men and women have died so that we may have these rights, it is up to us to honor them by taking actions that will help preserve our rights.

I have always voted, but since the past election I have consciously taken continued action to educate myself on what is going on politically. and to keep up ongoing discourse with my political representatives, by phone, e-mail, and snail mail. The one thing that I can do is to make sure that my voice is heard!

I look at our country, and I see cities and states asserting themselves.   California, New York, and Washington are rebelling against Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Six states are taking action against Trump's travel ban regarding Muslim majority countries. Many cities and states are declaring themselves as sanctuaries for immigrants. 

We the people are speaking up, we are becoming stronger, and we can preserve the best quality of life for the majority of the people in this country. Ideally, it would be the best quality of life for all, but that is a goal that we must strive for. We are not there yet.

On this Independence Day, I honor those that have gone before me, and made my way easier. I commit to doing all that I can do to bring my country back up to the standards that are its foundation.

(c) July 2017 Bonnie Cehovet

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Should Indie Authors Give Away Free ebooks?

One of the things that really make me happy are getting free ebooks. Usually they are promotional in nature, and I try to remember to leave a review on Amazon.com and Goodreads. Sometime I have to sign up for the author's newsletter, which is fine with me. I want to get to know mystery author's, because one of my current WIP's is a mystery that I want to turn into a series.Win/win for author and reader, as far as I am concerned.

It turns out that there are pros and cons to this issue.


  • We have to take into account how many people will unsubscribe as soon as they get their free ebooks. My thought here is that if the newsletter is viable enough, people will stick with an author that interests them. 
  • Another thought is that with all of the free/low cost (99 cent) ebooks out there, readers will not purchase a full price ebook. There is always going to be that segment of the reading population, but there will be those who do go on to purchase at full price. My belief is that the numbers here are greater than the number of people purchasing at full price without having read a free ebook as a dangling carrot.
  • Then there is the thought that free ebooks may not get read. Personally. I have never chosen to not read an ebook that I have downloaded - paid for or free. So we take a chance as authors sending out free e-books. IMHO, the what I consider to be a small percentage of books that don't get read are far outweighed by those that do get read.
  • I should make note here that if you have a book up on Kindle, you can offer it for free for five days out of ninety with KDP Select.
  • Free ebooks are a great way for new authors to get known, and for established authors to introduce new work (as in a new series). It is a good idea when offering a free ebook to have a paid for ebook ready to go at the same time. Include an excerpt from the paid for ebook in the free ebook.
There are many sites where you can download free ebooks. This includes:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Where You Can Find My Work


As an author, I am probably not alone in this: people do not seem to be finding my work. So the command decision was made to put up a post that gave my readers the links to where they can find me. Bored? Then move on while I chat away!

My website lists links to all of the writing that I do (okay - it's a mess, but it will be cleaned up one day!): bonniecehovet.com.

If you are here, you know that this is where I place posts related to writing. I also have a Facebook page that is devoted to sharing posts about my writing: Bonnie Cehovet - Author.

I have specific blog sites set up on Word Press:

On Another Musical Note is where I put anything related to my music interests.

Astrological Views is where I write about astrological goings on. While this is largely dormant now, there is some interesting material there.

Bonnie Cehovet is where I place non-Tarot reviews.

The World of Flash Fiction is where I place my flash fiction writing. Generally under 100 words, there are a couple of longer pieces.

Gateway To Tarot is an old newsletter that I used to write.

Perspectives On Tarot is where my Tarot related reviews can be found. Note: Many of my reviews can also be found on Aeclectic Tarot.

I also have reviews and articles in several issues of The Cartomancer. Note: Check under the "Shop" link, and you can pull up the index for each issue.

Books that I have either written or co-written include:




Seek Joy ... Toss Confetti (Co-Written with Brad Tesh)


I have a WIP on decision making that will be out later this year, and plans for a Tarot themed Christmas book, also due out this year. 

Now you know where to find me!

(c) April 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Draft2Digital - A New Way To Go


Self-publishing has become the preferred way to go with many writers. We can write at our own pace, we have control over thing like cover images, and we can promote our books where we want to and how we want to. There are many avenues for self-publishing, such as Create Space, Outskirts Press, Book Baby, Lulu, Author House and many more. I currently have a WIP that will be out later this year, and I was sure that I knew where I wanted to publish it. A new (to me) little gem just came into my radar, and I am seriously considering publishing with them.

The site that I am considering is Draft2Digital. They promote themselves as a publishing site that provides support for authors. Authors do the writing, chose their list price, chose their digital stores, and submit their work. Draft2Digital does the formatting, submits to the chosen digital venues, and keeps track of daily sales. And authors can make  unlimited changes to their work.

As an author, you submit a word doc, which Draft2Digital converts into digital format with clean chapter breaks, and a functioning table of contents. Formatting is pure hell for me, so this sounds like a giant reprieve! I also like that I can check daily on my sales with no problem. 

There is no upfront cost, no style guide or special formatting requirements. ISBN numbers are assigned free of charge, unless provided by the author. Vendors include Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Scribd, Inktera, Tolino, and 24Symbols. If an author has a set publishing date, preorders can be arranged with vendors. End cost is a 15% commission on net royalties (approximately 10% of list price). The author retains all rights.

Draft2Digital is currently pursuing contracts with several other digital publishers. They will also send authors a PDF of their formatted book that can  be used for submission to other publishers. This means I can continue with my original plan to submit to Create Space and Kindle, while working with Draft2Digital at the same time.

Please remember that this is a site that I have not, to date, worked with. I am not recommending them, just saying that they look viable to me.

(c) March 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author. 


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Why Create A Bible For Your Book?



I am starting over again on the creation of what will be the first in a series of cozy mysteries. I have attempted the creation of this book several times, and each time the characters and plot shift. Is this normal? Of course it is! So how do we keep track of all of this? How do we make sense out of it? For me to keep track of my characters, as well as the story line as it develops, I have always kept a bible.

What is a writer's bible? Our bible is where we keep all of the details of the concept behind our story, detailed descriptions of our characters, plot twists, settings, and cultural references. We use our bible to keep the story straight, to keep it believable, and to keep our characters "in character". 

How do we create our bible? I do mine as a series of e-files (mainly because my writing is illegible, even to me). You can do a hand written file, if that works better for you. With an e-file, you can choose to keep it open as you write, so that you can add details as your writing progresses. This works best for me, but it may not work for everyone. I print mine out and put them in a three ring binder, for easy access as I am writing, as well as for brainstorming.

What do I include in each section of my story bible? It goes something like this:

Concept:

The story concept is the bones of the story - the How, What, When, Where, Why, and Who. In defining my story's concept, I include:

1. The genre I am writing in. For me, it is cozy mystery.
2. Where the story is to take place - the physical location or locations.
3, Who my main character is. (For me, this will remain the same through a series of stories.)
4. What is happening, and what is going to affect what is happening.

Location:

1. Where the story takes place - city, state,country.
2. During what time period the story takes place. 

Plot Twists:

There are actually sites that will generate plot twists for you: 


1. Main plot (where the major action is).
2. Sub-plots: used to build the narrative, and move the action along. I list each of the sub-plots separately.
3. Use a plot twist to either create or eliminate suspicion.
4. Use a plot twist to deepen the story.

Characters:

1. Name
2. Age
3. Where and when born.
4. Who the parents were/are, where they live. (I list this even when I do not intend to use it int he story, as it is part of who the character is.)
5. Siblings
6. Spouse
7. Children
8. Where they live.
9. Where they work.
10. Where and when they went to school,
11. Languages spoken.
12. How they dress.
13. What music they like.
14.What food they like.
15. What food they don't like.
16. Where they like to travel.
17. Where they have traveled.
18. Income
19. Talents/skills
20. Personal interests
21. Personal conflicts
22. Height
23. Weight
24. Race
25. Eye Color
26. Hair Color
27. Distinguishing features
28. Style of dress?
29. Favorite sayings
30. Speech patterns
31. Best quality
32. Worst quality

As you can see, each writer will define their Story Bible as they see fit. They will include what is important for them, and for the story's they create. As you start writing, start your Bible. Add to it as you write. Take the time each day to transfer what is necessary into your Bible. In this way you won't have to go back and rewrite sections due to an error in continuity.

Have fun with this!

(c) February 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.



   


Monday, January 2, 2017

How Are You Going To Handle 2017?


How are you going to handle 2017? You didn't realize that you were supposed to handle it? Think about it this way -what we don't attempt to handle ends up handling us! IMHO, resoutions are not the way to handle anything. I do not make New Year's resolutions - haven't for years. They seem to have no relevance, no meaning, and were quickly left behind (often leaving me feeling as if I had failed). I spend time each December tying up loose ends, and releasing that from the previous year that I do not want to carry into the new year. I make peace with the old year, and honor it for what it brought to me, and for the lessons that I learned. I take the time to think about where I am going in the new year, what I hope to accomplish, and how I can get it accomplished. I set goals for the different areas of my life, and I make a list of steps that I can take to accomplish those goals. 

Numerologically, 2017 is a number one year, a year of new beginnings, a year in which we find independence, a year in which we align with our creative natures. If we do the work, this is a year in which we become that person that we are capable of becoming. This is of course an overall energy for the year for everyone. It overlays what is termed our personal year (see more about personal years). It all sounds nice and easy, doesn't it? Well, 2016 was an election year in the U.S. - quite a disruptive year politically, and as a country we are going into a new year with a proposed cabinet that is top heavy with people that are totally inappropriate for the positions they have been proposed for, and a president-elect that a large part of the country wants to see impeached. Can we, with clear minds, focus only on personal goals for the coming year (as we would for most years)? For me, the answer is no.

Part of what the Trump administration wants to do is dismantle/privatize both Medicare and Social Security. I am of an age when I depend on both, so I will be watching whatever actions are being taken in Washington DC, and taking whatever personal actions that I can to make my voice, and my opinions, known. This is part of my "handling" the new year. I want to be part of putting the breaks on Trump et al, and fine tuning the political environment in this country so that a debacle like this does not happen again. This is one major area that I will setting goals in.

Other areas that I am setting goals for the new year in are finances, health, profession, personal relationships, personal development, spirituality. (Note: Each individual will define different life areas to set goals in. As circumstances change, the priority for these goals will change.) I found this article helpful in looking at how I determine my goals, and making sure that they support me. Here is another article that I found to be helpful.

Before we can even think about setting specific goals for specific life areas, we have to determine an overall view of who we are, and where we want to be in life. All of our goals should be set to support us in becoming the best person that we can be, so that our actions reflect our belief system. So that we are authentic, so that what we say and what we do reflects the same person. We need to know what our life path is, and how we want to follow it. 

You can determine your life path here.  What is your major energy? How do you want to reflect that energy into your life? What lessons do you need to learn? What opportunities await you? What challanges await you?

My hope for each of you is that you take the time to acknowedge the circumstances that will be surrounding you for the coming year, how they will affect how you walk your life path, and how you determine your goals. That you take advantage of the very positiv energy of 2017, that you do not hold yourself back when you set your goals, that you activate the creativity within you, and that you allow yourslef to shine!

(c) January 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.



   

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...