Since I sent “The World That Forgot How to Dance” into the world, I’ve gotten some good feedback on Denise – one of the secondary characters in the story. People liked her passion. They commented on how a character can be brave in a quiet way. They enjoyed the juxtaposition between her methodical ways and Lester’s rashness.
What most people don’t know is that Denise originally had a much larger role in the story.
If fact, in one of the earliest drafts, Lester didn’t even exist and Denise was the only supporting character to Ellsie. (Hard to imagine now, but that sort of thing happens a lot.) I liked Denise from the start, and going back through my notes, it seems that I considered making her the POV character instead of Ellsie. I even had plans for her to be Officer Grove’s daughter – a fact that wouldn’t come out until the climax, at a moment where Denise’s intervention is what ultimately saves Ellsie. Read the rest of this entry
This post features Snowiks
from A Book Without Dragons.
I was taking a walk with my iPod, browsing for soul songs—
[Hannah – You should prooobably explain what you mean by that, Liv.]
[Me – Good point, thanks.]
Music has always been very important…
[Hannah – no, not here. In a separate page with a linky thing. Like you do with my name.]
[Me – Why?]
[Hannah – Because you tend to be really long-winded, and I don’t want you to take up the whole blog post with the explanation.]
[Me – Okay, fine.]
Click Here for more info about Soul Songs.
[Hannah – Lol, why is it capitalized? Feeling self-important today, are we?]
[Me – Get out.] Read the rest of this entry
This post contains the following characters:
Willow from A Book Without Dragons
Lester from The World That Forgot How to Dance
Drabble type: Crossover / Two Character Mash Up
Welcome to another of my Two Character Mash Ups! (Yeah, I really didn’t need to capitalize that… but it makes me feel all important and stuff…) This story is the product of Willow x Lester x Disneyland. Enjoy!
“Hey, buddy, did you see a bunch of kids go by here?”
Willow looked up at the owner of the question, wondering how he could possible word his response so as not to hurt the guy’s feelings. After all, they were literally surrounded by children. “Can you be more specific?”
“Kids. You know…” Lester held a hand at his thigh to indicate the approximate height of those he was so frantically seeking. His other hand clutched a plastic tiara. Read the rest of this entry
Here is the final installment of my Chapter 0 series for A Book Without Dragons. (Which hits the shelves in less than a week, can you believe it?? Have you been keeping up with your clues for the coupon code? By the way, it is precisely 7:55. Click Here if you’re not sure what I’m talking about)
Let’s take a look at what Willow was doing just before the book begins…
Jasper told him to keep the windows covered at all times, but it was a rule that Willow broke at least once a day. It wasn’t that he was claustrophobic or even all that unhappy about being in the hotel suite every day—he was never particularly “outdoorsy”—but he did enjoy seeing the sky.
Willow sat on the floor and eased the heavy curtains away until he saw sunlight. Without meaning to, his mind did some quick calculations to determine if any of his satellites were currently over Chagrin Heights. They weren’t, but one would be orbiting in another hour. He’d have to remember to look out the window again then. Read the rest of this entry
Here is the second of my Open Letter Series for the upcoming novel, A Book Without Dragons. And now, I shall turn the keyboard over to Bethany…
You’ve been told (more than once, I believe) that the clocks are wrong. I think you’ve also been told that this is a much larger problem than it sounds, but no one has yet explained why.
Let me start by saying that I was skeptical in the beginning as well. After all, people aren’t idiots. People can make a guess at what time it is. People know approximately when stores open and close. People can put brownies in the oven for around twenty-five minutes without timing it to the second.
That’s all true. The problem is that people aren’t the only ones that use time. Read the rest of this entry
Hi, everyone! Here is the second of my Chapter 0 series. Let’s check out what Bethany was doing right before the start of A Book Without Dragons…
You stand at the checkout line in the grocery store, listening to the methodical beeping of the items as the sweet, young girl scans them. You don’t look at her. You’d really rather be invisible.
All the same, you imagine her expression—shock, perhaps a touch of disgust—when she sees what you are buying. A pregnancy test? At your age?!
How old was this girl, anyway? Maybe not even 18. Half your age.
To that girl, a pregnancy test is reason for panic rather than hope. You wonder if she’s ever purchased one; even watched it with stalled breath, begging it to be negative.
Meanwhile, you’d give anything for it to be positive. Read the rest of this entry
This post features Ellsie
from The World That Forgot How to Dance
Hey, Everyone! I have another Character Survey for you. This one features Ellsie from my fantasy web serial, The World That Forgot How to Dance.
- Gender: Female
- Age: 22
- Hair Color: Light brown
- Eye Color: Dark brown
- Hair Style: Curly, cut very short, doesn’t cover the ears, no accessories
- Body Type: Medium height, thin, like a ballet dancer, carries herself confidently but modestly
- Favorite color: Baby Blue
- Typical Outfit: Skirt that comes down to just below the knees, flowing but not like the gypsy skirts, plain white tank top, flats, one bracelet, stud earrings
What is your ‘senior standout’ title? Best Dancer. But that’s really obvious, isn’t it? So, besides that, how about Most Likely to Come to a Class Reunion.
Name one thing you have no talent for: Styling my hair. I actually used to have much longer hair, but it was so curly and frizzy and I had no idea how to do anything with it. All of my attempts ended in hopeless disaster, so eventually I decided to cut it short enough that I wouldn’t need to mess with it any more. Read the rest of this entry
This post features Lisa from Ball Girl
Here is the Character Survey for my very first published story 🙂
- Gender: Female
- Age: 19
- Hair Color: Sandy-blonde
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Style: Shoulder length and normally loose, though she pulls it back when working soccer games.
- Body Type: Average height, slightly muscled but focuses more on cardio
- Favorite color: Blue
- Typical Outfit: Jeans, sneakers, T-shirt, sunglasses which she puts on top of her head when she’s inside.
- In a nutshell: Dedicated and perceptive, loyal to causes and people, passionate, driven by a need to feel included but indifferent as to whether she gets noticed for her contributions.
Read the rest of this entry
Here’s another craft exercise of mine that got me thinking long after I carried on with my day…
The challenge was to write the same character at three very different ages (15 minutes, 5 minutes per age). Here’s the Tri-aged character that ended up on the page when I was done:
Mattie acted like a kid with blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles. By some cruel trick of the universe, however, he was born with raven hair and eyes darker than midnight and skin so pale it was nearly transparent in the wrong lighting. But if Mattie knew it was his job, genetically, to act dark and mysterious, he grievously misunderstood what those words meant. Read the rest of this entry
In honor of it finally being springtime (Yay! I can’t even tell you how much yay!!) I took a nice long walk and found flowers that reminded me of various characters.
I normally link to the stories, but… I’m feeling lazy just now (I should be writing the climax of a novella this weekend, so I’ve been writing in high gear for a few weeks now. Rewarding. But exhausting.) So, if anyone’s interested in reading any of the stories, I have the links collected here.
Okay. And now for the pretty things.
Kaleb – Loved by Numbers
This flower just seemed like such an attention magnet. It could be in a garden of ten other varieties, and yet that would be the one I’d notice, and I’ll bet the flower would just love that. Very much like Kaleb’s attitude pre-story.
Read the rest of this entry
This post features Samantha from Waiting Room
Here’s another of my Character Surveys 🙂 (The first was Trevor’s a few weeks ago.) Samantha was just so much fun to work with. Even though I finished her story a long time ago, I end up thinking about her every time I go to the doctor’s, and I remember, “Aw, yeah… Samantha… You were weird and I miss you.”
- Gender: Female
- Age: 27
- Hair Color: Brown
- Eye Color: Dark Brown
- Hair Style: Long, worn many different ways depending on her persona of the day
- Body Type: Slightly taller than average, curvy
- Favorite color: Burgundy
- Typical Outfit: Haha… there definitely isn’t one…
Read the rest of this entry
This post features Trevor from School Spirit
This is a technique I’ve been using for many years to help develop my characters. I created a survey of 100 questions, and randomly choose 20. Additionally there are the bullet point questions which everyone fills out. I give the survey to the character (Yes, my characters frequently get homework from me. And they can get over it and stop grumbling.) They fill out the survey, and then the dialog section gives my trusty alter-ego a chance to delve into whatever strikes her curiosity at the moment.
Feel free to ask your own questions in the comments, and I’d be happy to pass them along to Trevor 😉 Read the rest of this entry