Writing your first…

…illustrated children’s book. This is a great insight into some of the challenges and solutions for writers itching to get their story told: a piece by Michael Gallant for the BookBaby blog. Read, then get writing!

Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree
Illustration from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

 

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Five tips to make readers love your characters

Jen Blood, writing on the Creative Penn’s blog today, explains five ways to make readers come back to your characters, book after book, episode after episode…

Guest blogger on wheredoyougetyourideas.net
Jen Blood

“From television to movie franchises to fiction in every genre imaginable, the world loves a good series.

But why?

Plot is certainly part of it, but, with rare exceptions, we can just as easily see the same story played out in a standalone feature. The reason we keep coming back to the series – whatever medium it may be – is because of the characters. We want to know how they’re doing, where they’ll end up, who they’ll hop into bed with next. We want to see them conquer the bad guy… Or get conquered doing it. We become invested in them; they become like better looking, cooler versions of ourselves, our friends, and our family.

As a writer, the question of how to craft the perfect serial character may seem on its surface to be no different than how to craft any great character: Just come up with a general background, give them great hair and a few charming quirks and… Voila, you’ve got yourself a bonafide hero – someone the world will love to come home to, time and again.

Not so fast.

Because there are things like character arc, consistency, story arc, believability, and the matter of maintaining interest over the long term, creating a great serial character is a whole different ballgame. Here, then, are five steps to creating a character who will stand the test of time…  Read the rest here

Jen Blood is a freelance journalist, reviewer, and editor, and author of the critically-acclaimed Erin Solomon mysteries All the Blue-Eyed Angels and Sins of the Father. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing/Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine, and does seminars and one-on-one tutorials on writing, social media, and online marketing for authors.Jen also runs the website http://bloodwrites.com, which features reviews, interviews, excerpts, and writing-related posts for readers and writers of the mystery,suspense, and thriller genres.

On October 15th, Jen will be releasing a collection of short stories on Amazon with four other authors of serial mysteries called Serial Sleuths, Volume I: Haunted. The stories feature each author’s serialized characters in ghostly or paranormal mysteries, to celebrate the Halloween season. All five authors featured in the collection have agreed to donate 100% of their profits to the non-profit organization Doctors Without Borders. To learn more, visit http://erinsolomon.com/serial-sleuths.

… and all that jazz, from Senny Dreadful

Jennifer Williams, on her blog Senny Dreadful, describes her experience of generating ideas:

“Supposedly one of the most exasperating questions a writer can get is “Where do you get your ideas?” Presumably this is because we’re not allowed to answer with: “My grandfather bequeathed to me an ancient and magical book, and within these goblin-encrusted pages new ideas breed like rutting succubae…” or “I stole them off my mate”. I have to admit I can’t recall ever having been asked (although I do occasionally get: “You enjoy that, do you?” and “Why, Jennifer, why?”)

I think it’s a largely impossible question to answer, because most of the time we just don’t know. I was considering this yesterday when I started writing a short story out of the blue. I haven’t written a short for yonks, and when the initial flurry of activity had died down, I did stop and think: “Where on earth did that come from?”

You’d think there would be something. Was I looking at a particular word at the time, or was it the tinny beat of someone’s MP3 player that triggered it? I don’t know. The thing is, short story writing is like hunting an animal, something lithe and speedy with a twitching nose and twisty little horns. Once you get the scent of this shy creature, you’re off, streaking through the forest after it; you follow it wherever it twists and hops and leaps, and you can’t stop until…”  Read the rest here