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Getting to the Heart of Character Development

PHS:

Interesting insights about character development from Autumn Birt.

Originally posted on Guild Of Dreams:

– by Autumn Birt

Every story needs a unique idea (or at least a new spin on a classic!), but good character development can keep a reader going despite plot flaws far longer than a brilliant plot with flat characters. At least for me. And if you go by the comments and complaints out there, for most people as well. We write in a era of character driven novels.

The typical problems are stories with great ideas and cardboard characters. There are so many levels of poor character development: no interaction with other characters, speeches that are information dumps, no nuanced emotions. What is your pet peeve? Mine – have you ever begun a story where it felt like the character showed up the same time you did? A character who knows as much about the fantasy world as you on page one, but they supposedly grew up there?! Those…

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The Ugly Truth About Book Sales

PHS:

A very informative warning about book promotion and sales.

Originally posted on Leona's Blog of Shadows:

Today I am going to share some eye-opening truths, which might shatter the illusions regarding the book publishing business and crush the dreams of some folk out there. I have recently come across a rather interesting blog post link in the comments section under a post at Suffolk Scribblings blog.

It was a rather grim post by author Kameron Hurley. For those who are not familiar with her, she is an established author who has been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Locus Award and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Her short fiction has appeared in prestigious SFF magazines such as Lightspeed, EscapePod, and Strange Horizons. Her fiction has been translated into Romanian, Swedish, Spanish, and Russian. She is also a graduate of Clarion West. Impressive credentials many of us dream about accomplishing some day, if ever.

According to her…

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Keeping Your Creativity Flowing

MorgueFileWaterfallI use several tools to assist me with writing. Scrivener is my “Swiss Army Knife” for developing all of my content and keeping me organized. Social media keeps me in contact with the world. My website presents my content.

But one tactic I use to keep me moving along is my journal. Here are 3 ways journaling improves my writing.

1. It stimulates ideas: the mere action of writing in my journal gets my mind working in such a way that I begin to sprout ideas. These cover blogging as well as fiction. Oftentimes, I realize that what I’m journaling about holds the kernel of a blog topic or an aspect of fiction that are begging to be written. Sometimes I’ve gotten multiple blog and fiction ideas during one day covering several journal entries.

2. My journal builds consistency: I’ve found that the more often I journal the more often I write. On the other hand, the less I journal the less consistent I am with writing. It takes time away from writing other content but the trade-off comes in the form of the benefits. The activity serves to prime my mind for other content and by writing often in any form it becomes easier to write both fiction and blog content.

Writing3. Keeping a journal also keeps me fresh: I find that “blocks” tend to be resolved by writing in the journal. If I encounter a problem with what I’m writing then I can explore the issue and come up with an answer. If I’m bothered by something else, I can write it out and get the issue(s) off my mind – possibly even develop uses for them in fiction. If I need to figure out why I’m not getting enough done I can examine my goals, priorities and schedule and often arrive at a way to alleviate those problems.

Journaling serves as a mutli-faceted method of exercising my writing muscles. It’s like one of those all-in-one exercise machines. It certainly keeps my creativity flowing un-checked.

Do you journal? Are there other methods you use to write consistently? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Waterfall photo courtesy MorgueFile (free photos)