Skip navigation
1 2 3 4 ... 56 Previous Next

Resources

835 Posts tagged with the writing tag
0

Writing a novel comes easier to me when I know the title of the book I'm writing. I can't explain it, but once I have the title ensconced in the creative centers of my brain, I tend to find the "zone" effortlessly. When a title hasn't taken root yet, I'm more prone to meander and get distracted, making for a far from satisfying writing session.


For me, the title reflects the tone of the book, and for me, tone is a big part of finding comfort with a story. It establishes the emotional baseline of the book, and that is key for developing character and defining the rhythm of a story.


Jaws by Peter Benchley is a perfect example of how a title reflects the tone of a novel. You know by the title that fear is the emotional baseline of the story. The word "jaws' alone is enough to inform the reader that something sinister may be afoot. You don't need to see the cover. You don't even need to know that the book is about a giant shark. The title hints at a terror-infused story.


Now, I have no idea if Benchley came up with the title first or if it came at some other point during the writing process, but based on my experience as a writer, as soon as the title is chosen, it influences the writing choices thereafter. Whether it's the first draft or rewrites. I would be surprised if the title Jaws didn't affect the tone of Benchley's book once it was established.


What is your process? Does the title come before you write, or does it come after you start writing?


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

Can your book title affect the way you write?

What is the tone of your novel?

851 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, novel, writing, title
0

 

The following words are super easy to confuse with each other, so here's a quick explanation of the difference:


Complement/Compliment, Complementary/Complimentary


To complement (verb)is to complete or make whole

  • That necklace really complements your outfit


A complement (noun) is something that completes or makes whole

  • That necklace is a great complement to your outfit


To be complementary (adjective)is to go well with something, to serve to complete

  • That necklace is complementary to your outfit


To compliment (verb) is to offer flattery

  • Thanks so much for complimenting me on my outfit


A compliment (noun) is a flattering comment

  • Your compliment about my outfit made me feel good


To be complimentary (adjective)isto be free of charge orto be expressing praise

  • An open bar means the drinks are complimentary
  • He loved your book and wrote a complimentary review


Elicit/Illicit


To elicit (verb) is to bring out

  • I hope my new book elicits both tears and laughter from my readers


To be illicit (adjective) is to be unlawful or not morally acceptable

  • She could no longer trust her fiancé after she found out he had repeatedly engaged in illicit activity, so she called off their wedding


Forward/Foreword


Forward (adjective) is to be near or at the front of something, or to be somewhat brash

  • First class baggage always goes in the forward overhead bins
  • Some may say she's a bit forward for their taste, but I love how she always speaks her mind


A foreword (noun) is a message at the beginning of a book that is written by someone other than the author

  • I was thrilled when my good friend Gloria offered to write the foreword to my new book about grammar


Which words do you find easy to get mixed up? Please let me know in the comments!


-Maria


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


You may also be interested in...

Are you mixing up these words?

More Grammar Pet Peeves!

716 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, word_choice, mix-up
0

The plot

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 10, 2016

"What if?" That is the question that you asked yourself before you started writing your novel. You may not have even realized it. The question is innate. It is tattooed on the creative psyche of every writer who's ever put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.


Your "what if" question is the main plot of your novel. It is the reason for your novel. You will add backstories and subplots along the way, but what your book is about is in the "what if" question that lit your creative fire and sent you on your novel writing journey.


How you answer the question relies completely on your writing style and author voice. Recently, I just finished writing a novel that was structured around the following "what if" question:


What if a small town deputy accidently uncovered a human trafficking ring in the mountains of East Tennessee?


You can see that the plot is clearly defined. The genre is apparent, and you even get an idea of tone and setting. All that was left for me to do was to add supporting characters, action, and resolution. OK, so that's still a lot of writing, but the writing process was fairly painless because I knew the central theme of the book from the first word I committed to the page. I also knew the genre, and knowing the setting gave me a lot of room to play around with colorful characters who would do my bidding.


My advice is to identify your "what if" question early on in your writing process. It will make you more confident as a storyteller and help you develop a rich, engaging novel.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

The Importance of Plot Points

The Plot Plight

730 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, plot, what_if
1

Last Saturday I met up with a friend to visit a store I wanted to describe for a scene in the novel I'm currently writing. It was dreadfully hot that day, so after I'd finished my research we made a beeline for a quiet (and air conditioned!) pub on a random side street in Manhattan. As soon we'd ordered our drinks I looked around and thought to myself, This would be a great spot to have a book launch party. I didn't even know what the place was called, and it would be months and months before I had a new book coming out, but I just had a feeling about it. When I mentioned the idea to my friend she told me she'd been there several times for going-away parties, and that the owners didn't charge a fee for use of the back area.


Perfect!


I approached the bar and asked for a card. The bartender didn't have one, but he handed me a matchbook, which I tucked into my purse for safekeeping.


Many first-time authors think launch parties have to cost a lot of money, but that hasn't been the case for me. All I do is find a bar like the one I mentioned above and ask the owner/manager if it would be cool to bring in a bunch of people who will buy drinks (and hopefully books) while I sign books at a table in a corner. If the answer is yes, I'm good to go! It really is that simple. Of course it takes effort to get people to attend, but that's my time I'm spending, not my money. (In my experience, the most successful book marketing strategies take more time than money.) So keep your eyes open the next time you head out for a drink. You never know when you might stumble across the perfect location for your book launch party!


-Maria


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


You may also be interested in...

How To Throw A Book Launch Party For Free

Book Parties Don't Have to Cost Money

547 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, promotions, book_launch_party
0

Bending genres

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 3, 2016

Genre is not a dirty word. Recently I had a conversation with an author that got somewhat heated because he thought it was tacky to identify one's work in terms of "genre." He felt it prevented an author from being taken seriously. There was no convincing him that genre-identification was a crucial marketing tool. It is, in fact, a service to readers. It helps them discover authors and books that match their tastes.


The key is to not run from genre-identification. The key is to embrace the genre tag and write genre-bending material. How? It's all about the characters. If you create rich, multidimensional characters who are deeply flawed while remaining likeable and relatable, you have written a book that has appeal beyond its genre. As difficult a task as that might be, it is a clear-cut path to writing a book that has the potential to reach mass-market appeal.


Shunning genre-identification because you feel it hurts your chances of being taken seriously as an artist is a bit short-sighted. An artist should always challenge social convention. What better way to do that than to expand a genre, to write something that adopts the basic construct of a genre but also grows it at the same time. That is a spectacular feat, and dare I say, a noble endeavor.


That is my challenge to any and all authors reading this blog post. Adopt a genre, embrace it, and then change it. Make it yours. Take risks and give the readers something they've never seen before.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

Write a Genre-Bending Novel

A Genre Conundrum (and Solution)

567 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, writing, genre, characterization
2

Earlier this year I did something I never thought I'd do: I pulled the plug on a novel I'd been working on for more than a year. It was sad and painful and caused me a great deal of stress to make that decision, but you know what? I should have done it a lot earlier for two reasons:


1.    It wasn't an interesting story


If I've learned anything about writing novels, it's that you have to have an interesting story to tell. In my case I'd just finished a previous novel and put too much pressure on myself to begin a new one too fast. I did this because my books pay my bills, so if I'm not writing I feel incredibly guilty and stressed out. Instead of stepping back and taking time to come up with a solid idea, I started writing with only a half-baked plot that wasn't compelling, and then I dug myself into a hole and kept digging and digging.


2.    Writing it wasn't making me happy


Normally I enjoy the writing process, but in this case it was making me miserable. I would spend most of the day procrastinating before sitting down and forcing myself to hit my word count (1000), and even then I would find myself adding adjectives to beef it up. More than once my mother commented on how I'd clearly lost my love for writing, which she found alarming. But I didn't listen to her because I thought I could get through it and turn my uninteresting story into something worthy of publishing. I was wrong.


After I (finally) pulled the plug on the novel, within two months a new idea came to me. And it was a good idea. I ran it by my editor, and she agreed. So I sat down and started to write, and last week I finished the first draft, less than three months after I began. Now I have 1) an interesting story that 2) made me happy while writing it. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to get here. Please learn from my mistake!


-Maria


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


You may also be interested in...

 

Writing tip: don't be afraid to cut

 

When to walk away from a story

 

8,240 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, writing, writing_process
0

Today, we start the blog with a quote from Ernest Hemingway:


"I learn as much from painters about how to write as from writers. You ask how this is done? It would take another day of explaining."


Since Hemingway did not offer an explanation for this statement, let us dive as deep as we can into it and see if we can find logic in it. How can a writer learn from a painter?


What is a painting? In essence, it is a story. The old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words. A painting, if carefully examined, has a beginning, middle, and end. Hemingway is known for creating descriptive prose while being very economical in his use of language to do so. A painting has a limited space in which to tell its story. True, in the right hands, the pallet can provide an almost infinite number of colors in which to paint, but the actual amount of space a canvas provides is finite. A skilled painter uses seemingly simple techniques to fill the canvas and tell a complete story. When it is done right, it is a marvel.


Hemingway, I believe, adopted this method when creating his literary masterpieces. He uses basic language, sometimes repeating words and themes throughout, to tell deep, complicated stories. He gave himself limited space in which to write, and masterfully used his pallet to create simple prose that, upon closer examination, is complex and inclusive.


The point is that writers don't just learn the art of storytelling from other writers. We learn and borrow techniques from all different kinds of mediums. Reading is important when it comes to learning how to write, but so is opening yourself up to the techniques of all sorts of other artists.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

You are an artist

How to kick-start creativity

962 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, self-publishing, writing, painting, ernest_hemingway
0

Each time I go through the process of writing a book, I find that ideas of things to include frequently pop into my head but not always at the right time. For example, I'll be out to dinner with a friend, and she will say something funny that I might like to use in my story at some point. Whenever that happens I whip out my phone and send myself a text message, then later add the item in question to a document that is literally called "To include at some point."


Over time both my first draft and the list of potential additions grow, and now and again I look through the additions document to see if there is a logical place for any of them in the latest version of the story. I write contemporary fiction/romantic comedy. Here are some examples of the additions I've jotted down over the years, all of which made it into one of my novels:


*Guy shows up on first date wearing one of those tuxedo T-shirts

*Something how the "dang humidity" ruined her blowout the second she left the salon

*Have Daphne toss a rock into the ocean at the end

*Make sure she mentions that she's a late bloomer

*At some point have them do something with heights so Daphne can conquer her fear

*Sprinkle in highbrow vocabulary words for Daphne


When the first draft is complete, I give the document one more look to make sure I've used all the items I feel will complement my story. For those remaining, there is always the next book! I also find that consulting the list is helpful during those dreaded bouts of writer's block. Sometimes it just takes one fresh idea to rekindle the creative spark.


-Maria


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


You may also be interested in...

Writing Tip: Keep a Synopsis as You Go

Writing Tip: Keep the Story Moving Forward

929 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, writer's_block, creative_spark
1

The imperfect writer

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 19, 2016

One of my literary idols, Erskine Caldwell, was a deeply flawed writer. He cared almost nothing about plot. He focused all his efforts on developing characters, and his characters aren't particularly likable. They are fascinating, to be sure, but they rarely have any redeeming qualities. I know all this, yet, as I stated previously, Caldwell is one of my idols. In fact, I count one of his books as my absolute favorite.


So, how is it that an author who is weak at plotting a novel, a crucial element of storytelling, is one of my favorite writers? I simply connect with his quirky characters. The messy, ill-defined plot doesn't really bother me because I'm so engrossed by his multidimensional characters.


I'm faced with the knowledge that one of my literary heroes isn't a perfect writer. It didn't hold him back. He was highly successful in his day. I would even go so far as to say that he was so successful because he wasn't perfect. He had a passion for writing stories that featured colorful characters. That passion is evident in the final result.


Chances are you are not a perfect writer either. There is no shame in that. It's OK to not master every element of story. Every writer has his or her strengths and weaknesses. Those strengths exist because they are rooted in your passion. Don't drive yourself crazy honing and fine-tuning a novel to try and make it perfect. Do rewrites, of course. Carefully edit your manuscript, of course, but don't let elemental imperfections prevent you from publishing. Embrace your strengths, and publish with passion.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

Taking a Character from Good to Bad

The Importance of Plot Points

847 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, character_development, imperfections
1

Many novelists, especially those who are writing a first book, create protagonists who are based on themselves, so it is natural for them to write their stories in the first person. (I did this with my first four novels.) Other authors choose to write in the third person.


Here's a quick refresher on the difference between the two in case you're not sure:


First person uses I:

  • I was glad it was coming to an end
  • I couldn't believe Sally would say that to me
  • I looked around in disbelief. What was I doing there?


Third person uses he, she, or the character's name:

  • Dan was glad it was coming to an end
  • Dan couldn't believe Sally would say that to him
  • Karen looked around in disbelief. What was she doing there?


If you write in the first person, you only have one point of view. If you write in the third person, you have a choice: You can write from the perspective of a single character, or you can write from the perspective of multiple characters. When aspiring authors ask me which is the "right way" to go, I always tell them to do what feels right to them. For example, in my third-person books I write from the perspective of just one character. I do this because my brain isn't wired to see the story from multiple angles. But every brain is wired differently, so what works for me doesn't necessarily work for other writers.


I received an email a couple weeks ago from a man who was working on a novel and wasn't sure which point of view to use. He said an editor had suggested he write one chapter both in the first person and the third person, then read them both and go with whichever sounded better to him. I thought that was great advice.


Have you struggled with this decision? If so, what did you do? Please share your thoughts in the comments!


-Maria


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


You may also be interested in...

Make Your Readers Care About Your Characters

Switching Perspectives

1,185 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, self-publishing, writing, first_person, third_person
2

An individual who moderates a writer's group I belong to has one primary criticism or concern when he provides feedback on material. We meet once a month, and for the seven pieces that are read during our meetings, he will ask every writer to consider this particular element of story. He'll even insist that it is the foundation of every story worth telling. You are first baffled by his question because you think the answer is obvious. By the time you've heard the question from him three or four times, you become frustrated because you feel like he's just asking the question for the sake of asking it. Then a funny thing happens when you sit down to rewrite your piece or write something new; his question is all you can hear as you write. Without even realizing it, he's turned you into a more conscientious storyteller.


What is this puzzling, annoying, crucial question?


     What makes today different from any other day?


That's it. There's nothing more to his inquiry. He won't even allow you to answer the question. If you attempt to do so, he usually replies that he doesn't need to know the answer. He simply wants you, the author, to know the answer. What event or feeling or interaction for a particular character is different from any other day? You'd think that's a simple question to answer and sometimes it is, but there are a surprising number of times when it is difficult to answer. Examining the question forces you to justify the existence of an element of your story. It's an extremely powerful storytelling tool.


Pick a chapter from the book you are writing, and as you read it, ask yourself, "What makes today different from any other day?" If you have trouble answering the question concisely, you more than likely need to do a rewrite.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in..

Split Personalities of Indie Authors

The Perils of Rewriting

685 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, rewriting
2

By zombies

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 6, 2016

A teacher by the name of Rebecca Johnson has developed a shortcut to identifying if you've written something in passive voice or not. Her ingenuous rule is that if you can add "by zombies" after the verb, your sentence is passive voice. Its brilliance is in its simplicity.


Now, contrary to popular belief, the use of passive voice is not grammatically incorrect. Those who don't like passive voice will tell you that active voice is a much clearer sentence structure and therefore preferable. However, I would argue that context often does make passive voice a perfectly acceptable practice. Particularly, if you're writing dialogue. People use passive voice all the time when they speak. Nevertheless, it's not a bad thing to recognize when you've used passive voice as a sentence structure.


According to Kimberly Joki of Grammarly.com:


     Passive voice is when the noun being acted upon is made the subject of the sentence. (Active voice is when the noun doing the action is the subject.)


Here is an example of passive voice:


     The car was driven.


Using Joki's definition of passive voice, the car is being acted upon. In other words, it received the action. And thanks to Johnson's simple rule we know that it is passive voice:


     The car was driven by zombies.


The easiest way to turn this example from passive voice to active voice is to start the sentence by identifying who drove the car with either the proper name or pronoun of the driver.


     Jerry drove the car.


So, what happens if we apply Johnson's rule?


     Jerry drove by zombies the car.


As you can see, we get a hot mess of a sentence. Now, I'm not saying that the "by zombies" rule is ironclad. I'm sure you'll find exceptions because I've yet to find a rule that doesn't have exceptions, but it does seem to be a good starting point, and I have to admit, it's kind of fun adding "by zombies" to my work.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

Be a rule-breaker

Reexamining dialogue attribution

708 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, grammar_tip, passive_voice, by_zombies
0

Last week I received a lovely email from a man named Keith. He'd recently self-published his second book and signed up for my newsletter looking for any and everything he could learn about marketing. Beneath the message he included his name and a (long!) hyperlink to his book's Amazon page, so in my reply I suggested that he embed the link into the text to keep the signature cleaner. This is something I recommend authors do not just in email signatures but in all marketing materials, e.g., a bio, a book's description, or emails about a book.


Keith's reply to my suggestion made me smile. He called himself "a senior citizen with limited technical abilities" who didn't know how to embed hyperlinks in text. But he was eager to learn, so in an email exchange I showed him how to do it. He found my explanation quite helpful, so I thought I'd share it with you here:


For email programs, here's how it usually works:


  1. Use your cursor to select and copy the URL of the link you want to include. For this post I'll use my own Amazon page, which is: https://www.amazon.com/Maria-Murnane/e/B002BLP3B2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1469804374&sr=8-1
  2. Use your cursor to select and highlight the word(s) into which you'd like to insert the hyperlink. Let's say those words are "Amazon page."
  3. Somewhere on the screen you will see the icon of a chain. Click the chain and paste the URL to your Amazon page there.


Then, instead of a messy URL, your signature will look like this:


Please visit my Amazon page


For other marketing materials (e.g., the general text of an email or documents written in a word processing program), the process is similar:

 

  1. Use your cursor to select and highlight the words into which you want to insert the hyperlink.
  2. Right-click and look for the drop-down menu that says "hyperlink."
  3. Paste the URL into the "link to" or "address" field, and then your text will look like this:


Learn more about Maria's books here


See how much cleaner that looks? If you have additional questions about how this works, please drop me a note here.


-Maria


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


You may also be interested in...

Marketing Tip: Keep Your Email Signature Clean

Marketing Tip: Use Text in Your Hyperlinks

689 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: author, self-publishing, writing, promotions, hyperlinks, marketing_copy
0

Get to the kissing

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 29, 2016

I attend a couple of writer's workshops every month where we all bring in material to be read aloud. After the readings, we are critiqued and then sent on our merry way. The one rule that both groups share is that all criticism must be constructive without being rude. The core group in one particular workshop has been together so long that we've also found a way to be blunt without being rude. We all know one another, and we appreciate that we only have one another's best interests in mind.


My favorite bit of criticism by one of the moderators is a pearl of wisdom that he often repeats. It is blunt. It is concise. It is jarring, particularly for first-time participants. I can't post the actual phrase here, but I can give you the PG version: "Get to the kissing."


The first time I heard him say it, I had two reactions. One, I let loose a loud, hearty laugh, and two, I instantly understood what he was saying even though the story in question did not feature anything resembling such intimacy. What he was saying was to stop writing and get to the point. Don't ruin a perfectly good conceit by watering it down with a lot of unnecessary prose. You risk losing the reader's interest by relying on layers of buildup.


Don't spend your time and words trying to impress readers because such a tactic will most likely have the opposite effect. Instead, focus your talent on developing pacing. Find the rhythm in your story that allows you to get to the kissing before your reader loses interest. My advice is to find a group of writers that will help you find that rhythm.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

 

Authors Criticizing Authors

 

A Guy, a Girl and a Bad Critique

 

653 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, writing_workshops, overwriting
0

Everyone I know

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 22, 2016

I am frequently asked if my characters are based on anyone I know. I'm sure most writers get the same question. To me the question is a bit baffling because the characters in my stories don't often represent the best of humanity. Even the good guys are extraordinarily flawed. Why would I admit to them being modeled after people in my life? My standard answer to that question used to be, "No, absolutely not." And it was an honest answer. I didn't think I knew anyone like my characters walking among us in the real world.


But the older I get and the more I write, I realize that my denial wasn't completely accurate. I still maintain that my characters aren't based on any one person I know. They are, however, based on everyone I know. I've come to recognize certain individual traits in my characters from people I've met. They are often exaggerated versions of those traits, but they are similar to the real world edition. And one character may possess different qualities from a wide range of people in my real life, a mashup of the most interesting--and often most troubling--aspects of real world folks. And, I'm more than confident that a few of my own shortcomings appear in the characters I create.


The point is that I don't live in a vacuum with no other people around. I can't help but pick up, on a subconscious level, those traits that I find interesting from the people around me. Whether it's a speech pattern or an attitude or even something as simple as the way someone smiles, those things are going to seep into my writing. But for those who know me, rest easy, I'm not writing about you. I'm simply borrowing an interesting aspect of your personality that makes you refreshingly human and can give my characters depth.


-Richard


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

 

Connect with Your Characters

 

What would your characters do?

640 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, character_development, characterization
1 2 3 4 ... 56 Previous Next

Actions