What to do with a stubborn character

Damned if I know.

I’ve been writing, on and off for the past few months, on a novel. Working on the idea and research for much longer. I was motoring right along when all of a sudden the story began sputteringfuel-2741_640.

Ever happen to you?

In an effort to nudge my protagonist along, I played with the outline and plot adding bits of information here and there, but she wasn’t in the mood. So I turned to my villain who was not in the mood to be evil.

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There was nothing left for me to do but take a break, do more research, read a little, and write a few blog posts.

mud-652410_640At last, I returned to my WIP. Each sentence was like slogging through mud.

 

 

Then last week, as I was dusting our living room floor, my protagonist began whispering in my ear. She had the nerve to explain how the story should happen.

Whoa! Wait a minute!

Did she expect me to rewrite the whole damn story? Apparently. Well, to be honest, about two-thirds of it.

But, I’ve got to admit, her tale sounded a lot better than the direction I’d dragged around her butt all these weeks.

The premise is still the same. However, the antagonist is a different character, and the twist is much bigger and the bang bolder.

Why did this happen?

Here’s my theory. Over the past months of plotting, outlining, etc., I’ve gotten to know my protagonist. I mean really know her. Like we are best buds. And like best friends, she spoke up telling me what she thought. That’ll teach me to keep my distance next time. Sigh…

So here are my questions for Y’all.

  • Has this ever happened to you?
  • Why do you think this could happen?
  • Did you rewrite or persevere and keep with the original plan?
  • And isn’t it always better to go with bigger, bolder and different?

As always, at the end of this post, I’ve added terrific information for your reading pleasure.

Leave me a comment – I love comments.

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Please stop by and say hey! The lights are on, and I’m waiting.

WHEN A CHARACTER GOES ROGUE

Good Character Writing

6 Secrets of Writing a Novel Without an Outline

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How do you know what your character is thinking?

How do you capture that ever elusive “voice?”

I find it’s sometimes hard to get out of my own head and into the mind of my character. To find that unique “voice.” Understanding the characters is paramount to understanding their actions and decisions.

So how do we do find the right “voice?”

The last thing I want is for all of my characters to sound alike!

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I just finished reading a book called Voice by James Bell

This is a must read for writers. Mr. Bell keeps suggestions are simple and easy to understand. I will reread this book again and again. Of the many, many books on writing, rereading is not something I do often.

What helped me find a voice?

  • The “voice” should not be mine…
    • Unless I’m writing a memoir
  • Images help…
    • Pick an image that fits the character.
    • Avoid people you know or famous people.
  • When searching for an image…
    • Enter several descriptive key words.
      • Tall, dark and handsome isn’t enough. Get creative.
  • A journal can be a great tool…
    • But write in the journal as if the character is writing. Not you.
  • Interview the character…
    • Ask questions and write the answers from the character’s POV.

How do you capture the “voice” of a character?

Any tips to help me? Please share.

Want more? Check out Judy Reeves’s “A Writer’s Book of Days.

Leave me a comment – I love comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and Amazon.com.

Please stop by and say hey! The lights are on, and I’m waiting.

How to take your idea to story

Do you understand how to flesh out your ideas?

Not me, I’m still learning. Taking an idea and writing a full novel is not easy, not easy at all.

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Writing sounds so easy when an idea burst into my mind like fireworks on the 4th of July. But, as they say, the devil’s in the details. And then I’m stumped.

Ever happen to you? Great idea but…

Reading books and articles help me. One of my favorite go-to bloggers is Janice Hardy over at Fiction University. She gives writers good step-by-step instructions to take an idea to finished story.

Another great resource is She Writes. This is a great source for tips on how to flesh out a scene. And isn’t that what makes up a chapter? Scenes?

What did I get from the articles below?

  • know what the scene is about
  • can I relate to my character’s emotions
  • write like no one will read it, go crazy
  • use images to invoke place and time
  • find the problem, find the stakes
  • ask if each scene moves the protagonist toward her goal
  • know what is important to the characters

Tell me – 

Do you have trouble launching your ideas?

Do you have a tip that would help me flesh out an idea?

Read these articles and share the tips helped you. I’d love to know.

I Have An Idea for a Novel! Now What? by Janice Hardy

7 WAYS TO “FLESH OUT” A SCENE POSTED BY ELISABETH KINSEY

Leave me a comment – I love comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and Amazon.com.

Please stop by and say hey! The lights are on, and I’m waiting.

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Do you think it’s easy to find a book reviewer?

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not!

Some writers/bloggers indicate it’s easy to locate willing reviewers. I’m here to tell you it is not. No not easy at all.

I’m not sure if finding reviewers is different that finding people to review a children’s book.

While following all the tips I could find on getting a valuable review, I still found it difficult.

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Image Source

So what have I learned?

  • Don’t ask a quid-per-quo. You read mine, I’ll read yours.
  • Writers are busy writing. To stop and read my book takes time from their writing.
  • Blogs dedicated to book reviews are swamped with requests. I found most have a “no longer accepting” note on the blog.
  • Contacting a generalized and not to mention lengthy list from Amazon is exhausting. Results are a shotgun effect.
  • To move the needle and generate book sales, you need a lot of reviews.
  • My best source was my readers here at Jean’s Writing. I can’t thank Y’all enough!

What will I do next time?

  • List my book on blogs that connect readers with authors. Amazon frowns on this practice.
  • Use social networks more. Like Reddit, StumbleUpon as well as Twitter and Facebook to search for reviewers.
  • Google! I don’t know why I didn’t think of using this search engine for reviewers. I use it for everything else.
  • Reach out to friends, family and my readers here.

Click and read 10 places to find reviewers for your self-published book by 

books-1841116_640Leave a comment and tell me which tips worked for your books? 

What things did you try that didn’t work?

Do you have any successful tips for getting willing reviewers?
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Is a children’s book reviewer different from a fiction novel?

 

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and Amazon.com.

Please stop by and say hey! The lights are on, and I’m waiting.

Please remember to share this post with your Twitter  peeps and Facebook fans.