How to prep for creating realistic characters

home 9Nathan Bransford recently blogged about how to flesh out a character, listing three really important aspects of the preparation process: how it’s absolutely essential to understand what your characters want; how you really need to know their history; and how you should imagine your character at each part of their day (the choices they make, how they eat, where they go, what they think, etc.)

It got me thinking about how much work is actually involved in fleshing out characters and how much preparation you need to do in order for the characters to really come off the page. There is a great video on the BBC Writers Room here about the processes that very well-known authors use to do this. Some have to answer 50 questions about each character before they start and others find their characters come to them through a very physical process – talking out loud, walking around the room, etc. Above all, they talk about how essential it is to put themselves in their characters position.

The conclusion? Well, it’s nothing we didn’t know before but it’s worth reminding ourselves before we jump into the writing process too quickly that we really need to do a great deal of prep, probably before we start, on who each of our main characters are and secondly, we need to do a great deal of work.

Better get to it then…


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How should writers get paid by streaming services?

home 8I find it bizarre that people still buy DVDs when you can stream most of the movies you want for the same price per month as you’d pay for one film in a shop. And I look at people as if they’re dinosaurs when they show me CDs they’ve bought from actual record shops (do these even still exist?) when I listen to all my music online from spotify. Legally. For free. So it would seem logical that I would run towards a streaming service for books – makes sense, right? – and I’ve been trialling Scribd for a while (8.99 for unlimited reading each month) but it’s obviously more tricky when I’m wearing my author hat and I wonder if this sort of service is as appropriate for authors as it is for other creative genres.

Turns out, it’s a bit of a thorny issue.Continue Reading

Revision checklist

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Found a great revision checklist on Nathan Bransford’s blog (he’s a US author and former literary agent) covering everything that needs to be considered in the revision process, e.g. pacing, voice, writing tics, descriptions, tenses, etc. It’s a really comprehensive list and completely invaluable. The blog entry can be read here but the checklist is provided below in full.Continue Reading