Monday, June 27, 2011

Character Development

Today I have a guest blogger. Ms. Judith Marshall will share with us some do's and don'ts about our character development. She is the author of, HUSBANDS MAY COME AND GO BUT FRIENDS ARE FOREVER, which was recently optioned for the big screen.

If you are having trouble with your character's development, here are a few pointers...

Some do’s and don’ts about character development:

Do pay attention to your characters.   Remember story is as much (if not more) about character as about plot.

Do make your characters original.  The beauty of this approach is that your plot will often grow out of a unique character, instead of vice versa.

Do use a less expected way of describing your character; instead of saying her eyes was were “blue,” you could say, “Her eyes were the color of the lake behind her.”

Don’t use stock, cliché, or outrageous names.  You will either look lazy or like your trying too hard.

Don’t introduce too many characters at once.  Figure out a way of staggering them or focus on one and ignore the others.  You can switch the focus later.

Don’t describe just the usual characteristics, such as eyes, hair, and face. Go farther.  “The sun reflected off his bald head.”  “The skin on her face was drawn tight across her cheekbones, eyelids stretched smooth, forehead shiny and line-free -- all the signs of recent cosmetic surgery.” 

Remember readers don’t want the ordinary, the everyday; they want to be captivated.  Ask yourself:  Are my characters interesting?  If not, there’s more work to be done.

Judith Marshall
Author of HUSBANDS MAY COME AND GO BUT FRIENDS ARE FOREVER, recently optioned for the big screen.

Judith Marshall with book

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Laptop Distress

I used to write every single day. I loved it! It's my 'drug' of choice. If I can't write I am lost.

Right now I am lost because my laptop has taken a break, a mini vacation, a hiatus. Who am I kidding, my laptop has gotten seriously ill.

Now, I am like a flounder flopping around on a fisherman's boat. I'm having a hard time breathing without my laptop.

My laptop was my best friend. I pushed that power key and when those blue lights came on, I got a rush! My heart pumped faster and my hands got sweaty because I knew that within a minute I would insert my flashdrive and my "world" would come into view and I would escape for the next few hours with my characters. Sadly, my laptop decided she needed a break.

Right now I'm suffering from laptop envy. I see people walking around with their laptop bags and I get instant attitude. I see them sitting in Borders, drinking their Frozen Chocolate Coffee Crunch and pecking away at their keyboards and I get jealous. My poor "Gracie Gateway" shut down two weeks ago and has yet to come back. I'm suffering from withdrawals.

I look at my empty laptop bag and remember the good times we shared. Typing that new scene,or accidently deleting a whole chapter, but she knew my distress and "auto recovered" my document. We've been through a lot together and I refuse to let her go. I'm diligently searching for a "doctor" that can bring her back to life. I am dreading those words, "there is nothing we can do" and I know I will be in mourning, as she has been with me for five years. She had everything you could want. She held my secrets, my music and pictures of my family. She was someone I could "talk" through and she knew what I wanted to say, even when I didn't know how to spell it; she knew.
So today I sit and wait for the 'doctors' opinion and hopefully he can patch her up for just a little while longer.

Gracie Gateway I miss you and need you to get better soon!