My Gifts to my Characters

Book HeartAs authors, we cannot help but leave a piece of ourselves behind in our characters. While each of my characters are wholly unique, I give each of them a part of me. Both the good and the bad.

While I have a large cast of characters, those below are the ones who have been given a chance to speak through their own, unique POV in my stories.

To Adrienne Deschanel, I gave my ability to see the world with wonder and potential, and my unintentionally selfish consumption of it

To Aidrik The Wise, I gave my unfailing pragmatism, and my lifelong search for a way to marry my faith and my reason

To Alex Whitman, I gave my desire to save others from their bad decisions, and my perseverance on seeing a task through to completion

To Anasofiya Deschanel, I gave my tragic sense of self-punishment, but also my deep-seated need to protect others

To Anne Fontaine-Deschanel, I gave my ability to find courage and trudge forth into the unknown, and my resolve to push through unspeakable odds

To Augustus Deschanel, I gave my need to see things done correctly, and my unbecoming intolerance of stupidity

To Finnegan St. Andrews, I gave my desire and ability to see the best in others, and my commitment to diplomacy

To Jonathan St. Andrews, I gave my sometimes paralyzing fear of social situations, and my profound need for structure

To Mercy, I gave my stubborn insistence on always staying the course, and my strong belief that one should stay true to themself, despite the opposition

To Nicolas Deschanel, I gave my prolific love of the “f” word, and my unwillingness to take anyone’s crap for long

To Oz Sullivan, I gave my annoying habit of constantly second-guess myself, and my stubborn tendency to not let things go until there is closure

B is for Biographies (To Character Bio, or Not to Character Bio?)

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Or does one?

All writers approach character development differently. Some start with nothing other than the very basics and let the character grow naturally with the story. Others create simple “fact” sheets for vital stats. Other still create in depth notes about their character’s deepest needs and wants, every important childhood memory, and the date on which they lost their first tooth.

I’m not here to persuade you that any of these approaches (or any other) are the right one for you. In fact, if there is but one universal writing truth out there it is this: everyone should do what works for them, period. So instead, I’m just going to cover some of the pros and cons of doing bio sheets, for anyone who might be trying to make the decision whether to bio or not. Continue reading

Expendability (Or: Keep Killing Those Darlings)

expendability

Well, I did something sort of awful today. It was for the best, and I’m sure future readers will thank me, but it still sort of sucked.

I didn’t kill off a character, exactly, but I might as well have because I took away her voice…downgraded her to nothing more than a mention…completely removed her POV chapter.

Normally I am a happy, remorseless editor. It actually makes me feel better because it happened for a reason, and that reason is usually cleaner, tighter prose and story.

Except…this was Adrienne! Continue reading