Friday, March 4, 2011

Hello Character.... Do I know you?

So, I am determined to post more often... hopefully I won't slip up and disappear for weeks on end. :)

Sometimes I just don't know what to write about because my days are pretty much the same and nothing exciting ever happens to me. Except for awesome TV shows like Supernatural, Fringe, Modern Family, Vampire Diaries, America's Next Top Model, and American Idol (though this is likely the last season that I will be watching Idol. I do love JLo as a judge though). Anyway... let me also give a shout-out to my favorite TV show of all time: The X-Files dodo do do dododo <--start of the theme song. Fringe is a good "substitute" for X-Files, but nothing will ever replace it in my heart. So, I doubt that people want to hear "wrote today" or "edited today" in every post, so I'll try to keep it snazzy by talking about some random things as well as the craft of writing.

So, on to today's "craft" note: Character Development

After completing the first "readable" draft of "Surrender", I've decided to get to know my characters a little better by employing the use of character worksheets (check out an example here). I looked at a bunch online and decided to create my own with the help of several different sites. I'm even going to attempt to "draw" the character as I see them in my head. I'm a horrible artist though so they'll likely be stick figures. Anyway, my goal is to create as much detailed information about each person from the novel and put them in a binder so I can 1) remember who the hell I write about, and 2) remember fine details so that I don't give Jordan brown hair in one scene and blond hair in another (I've done this). I'm excited about this project, and I think it's important.

As I write, I keep a notebook where I write down character names as they're introduced, and where I map out basic outlines for the chapters/novel. This notebook is vital and important. During the editing process, once I was finished with a chapter I would write a summary, which I hope will help me when I start writing the synopsis of the novel. Sometimes, especially since I write so fast, I tend to forget small details and plot points of what happens, so I think this will help me overall. I hope it also helps me see the plot as a big picture thing.

End of craft note.

I have a new "must read" author to share. I picked up Daniel Waters' "Generation Dead" from the library last week on a whim and have already plowed through the first two books (book two is called "Kiss of Life") and am nearly halfway through the third ("Passing Strange"). This is an awesome series about zombies or "differently biotic" people. The concept is unique and original, and the books are well written. I've never really be into zombie movies or books (although I loved Simon Pegg's "Shaun of the Dead"), but Waters has really inspired me. This is definitely an area of paranormal/abnormal that isn't huge on the YA market right now. I'm not sure how well his books are doing, but they definitely deserve to be read.

A "must see" movie is "Temple Grandin" with Claire Danes. This made me cry and laugh and is a great movie about autism, humane livestock handling/slaughter houses, and the ability to be fearless in the face of your fears. Definitely rent/Netflix/or whatever. :)

Side Note: Although it may be a bit premature, I've decided to post the prologue and first chapter of "Surrender" here on my blog under "Read Me." If you feel like leaving a comment, please do so. But know that while I did edit these pages there are likely typos not to mention some wordy sections. I will be starting another round of edits in April to take care of these issues. For now, I just want to know if you'd read more (or if you even got through the opening). Thanks!


  1. In regards to posting more, I think you should post snippits/prologues under their own blog post because then you not only get a new post but it's right on the front page for people who check your blog regularly. I'm following you so your updates pop up on my reading list but that new page thingle you did didn't show up so if I didn't read this post all the way through I wouldn't have seen that you had it up.

    One thing I've seen people do to post more often is to designate certain days for certain things. So Tuesday would be snippit Tuesday, Wednesday would be review Wednesday etc. that way you don't have to wrack [rack?] your brain for what to write since you have a guide line.

    OR you can make a note to post once or twice a week that way you are updating more, at least four times a month instead of once every blue moon.

    I have to say I find the craft note really cool. I love seeing other writer's process and how they get through the editing stage/keeping track of their world's characters.

    One way to visualise your characters if you can't draw is to find a substitute from a magazine or online or something and then make notes about what you would change to make her look more like your girl. or maybe one of those online girl dressup sites. I love those for character designs/outfits and even if they don't look exactly like my characters I have some sort of visual.

    I'm definitely going to steal your idea of writing out a summary of the chapter after you've finished editing, I've never thought of that but now that you've said it, it makes so much sense. It'll help when you have to write your synopsis and it'll definitely help with continuity issues.

    Do you have a series binder as well? Since you're working in a paranormal setting a series binder that has notes not just on your characters but on little things in your world, maybe little phrases or even just how the town is set up so that throughout the books it doesn't change and it'll make everything easier to find.

    In regards to shows: I have been a fan of Supernatural since Season 1 and can I say yay for Sammy with a soul! I don't know where they're going with this new mother of monsters character but it should be interesting. Not so pleased about another hiatus so soon after the last one.

    ANTM = guilty pleasure. Well... not that guilty since I adore it but you know what I mean, lol, by now I should be bored of it but I just can't stop.

    And Fox threw me off with Fringe. I watched it when it first came out and then I went to see it and they had changed the time/day or something and I missed like five episodes and when I tried to watch it again I was beyond lost.

    And I'll check out the Surrender snippits tomorrow when I'm more awake and cohesive, lol.

  2. Hey Jammi! I really like the idea of having designated days for what I post on the blog. I'll have to think about that for sure! And, if I post a new page like I did, I'll make sure to create a post about it (I'll do that right now, in fact). I don't have a series binder, not yet anyway, I guess I'm kinda making one now with my character worksheets (I'm putting them in a binder). Other than that, I only have my notebook with outlines, character names, and things to remember for the future.

    I'm glad Sam's got his soul back too, and I'm not sure what exactly they're doing with the storyline now. They had to find a way to extend it since they decided to go for more seasons. I too have been watching since the beginning and I absolutely love it. I especially love when they created the angel plotline (I'm a sucker for anger/demon stories).

    I can definitely see how Fringe would be beyond confusing for people who are missing episodes. It's definitely a series that you need to follow from the beginning. ANTM... I was so glad when Tyra cut the audition part out of this season and got straight into the good stuff. I too love this show, I like the photos shoots the best, I think. :)

  3. I like Jammi's idea of Snippet Tuesday and Review Wednesday, it sounds really good.

    I just watched epi 15 of supernatural, it was frickin hilarious. Loved Misha, he really does tweet alot. Lol.
    This episode felt like one of the old episodes when they were searching for Azazel but they had alot of one-off huntings. Until the ending of course. I really like Balthazar, he's got a nice british accent. Reminds me of Gordan Ramsey.

  4. Now that you mention it, Balthazar totally reminds me of Gordan Ramsey also! That was a great episode, lots of laughs. I kept wondering "do they really not talk?" I don't keep up with the behind the scenes gossip, so I'm not sure if that's where the idea came from. ;)

    I like Jammi's idea too, I just need to figure out a schedule.

  5. I just watched the latest episode 'worm in the ear' and when the credits rolled realised that Robert Singer does exist, so maybe it's true about them not talking.

    I find that a bit sad actually since they seem so close on television.

    But the part that stuck out for me was when Dean insulted the fan's of Supernatural.
    I was gobsmacked!

  6. No, they were making fun of the fact that they actually get along fairly well in real life. I mean, there was a jab that not many people watch Supernatural; it has a larger fan base then Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries even though those are the two that seem to pop up the most.

    Basically I got that it was a parody of what you expect for a popular TV show, drama queen actors [did you see how many pictures of himself Sam has? My favourite was the one with him riding a horse], actors doing drugs and no one caring as long as they film etc.

    And if you think about Dean's character I fully expect him to call out the fans, lol, he insults everything else. And Supernatural fans can get intense, I'm talking going to a comiccon and asking if they'd ever do a Wincest episode. I don't know, I think that's just something that should stay between you, your fangirl friends and your modem, lol.