Welcome to the place where I rant, rave and discuss books, writing, the town of Cobourg Ontario and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Character Sketching

Let's look at Character Sketches to start. Now I'm at the point in writing my novel where I need to do my Character Sketches in order to keep my brainstorming going. I've read a LOT about Character Sketching on different websites. Most author's websites that have suggestions for new novelists focus loads of attention on the characters. Apparently, according to most, the character development is the most important process of writing a good novel. If the reader isn't interested in who the person is, they won't care what the person does and that pretty much leaves your novel discarded.

What everyone seems to agree on is the more effort and background you put into your character sketches, the better. It's all about the detail. Even if the reader never finds out that when the hero of the story was a little boy, he threw worms at his sister and because of that she never truly trusted him, or worms for that matter, as long as YOU know it, you'll be able to build up the character accordingly. Here are a few websites with Character Sketch Sheets or ideas, if you can fill in all the blanks, you may have yourself a full bodied, 3-dimensional character that your readers will love to follow. ( http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/writersblock/sketch.html http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/FDmap.html http://www.engl.niu.edu/wac/char_sk.html)

The Epiphany!

Don't you just love a good epiphany? I'd been mulling over in my head a story series where everyone is co-mingled and brought together. There are actually a few storylines running through my head, and some that have actually been put somewhat to paper, with this idea of major cohesion. But finally, FINALLY, I've come up with the basis for my novel that will introduce the following series. YAY ME! I have a good idea for a story, and I've started to develop my characters in my head. Now just to get it on paper...

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The next section in my How-To book is all about the researching. I'm guessing researching is a lot like brainstorming in the sense that it's really a "to each their own" kind of thing, but the ideas in the book were interesting. Once you've figured out what kind of story you're going to write (after the brainstorming), there will inevitably be some things you need to research. If you are writing a story based on a certain time period, you will need to know the clothing styles, customs and the basic day-to-day life in that period. Depending on where your story takes place, you would need to know such things as climate, diet and regional information about said place. What about your character's occupation? You may need to research a little more than a few ER episodes if your character is a doctor or a nurse. This is all pretty basic information that most writers would have thought of.
According to the How-To book you should have most of your research done before attempting to write your novel because within the research your story will develop. That's not to say that researching isn't going to go on a long ways into the book.
My issue at this is point is; by reading this book I technically am researching. But I don't already have an idea in my head for a specific novel to correspond this information with. Then I think I should start to plan my novel, but I don't want to do so and bypass important information I'll acquire from the book. It's kind of a catch 22.
Regardless of the setbacks and confusion, I plug on...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Art of Brainstorming, Part 1

I added a part one to the title there because I'm guessing there will be quite a few articles on brainstorming. So reading along in my how-to book, I reached the part on, you guessed it, brainstorming. While reading this section my fears from my previous post were subsided. Apparently it's pretty normal to phase out like I do when thinking about a storyline or character. Yay to not being insane!
So here's my current set-up for brainstorming:

* I have a nice red binder filled with lined paper and dividers to add notes, ideas and such into. I'm going to make a few "pocket" pages to keep little articles or pictures or stubs of paper I might use on a whim to jot an idea down. (Making a pocket page is as simple as taking a piece of paper, folding over 3/4 of the page and either stapling or gluing it to make a pocket.)

* I have my favorite red little LuLu Lemon gift bag that holds all sorts of stuff like colorful highlighters and pens, paperclips, books I use for reference and such.

I assume eventually I will graduate to a bigger bag and a few more binders or journal books to write in as more ideas come to mind, but for now what I have should work out just fine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And so it begins...

Ok well not really. It began years ago. I've been trying my hand at novel writing for some time, but this specific journey pretty much begins now. Like most writers, my creative juices for a novel are running a good part of the day. I play scenes and characters out in my head, often for hours while doing other tasks. It gets pretty busy in there sometimes and I find myself having to purposely shut my thoughts down. I hope it's the same way for most writers and that I'm not just a freak on that one.
So today I read the first chapter of my How-To book (if you want the title of this book just ask, but I won't post it publicly). It makes promise of some good ideas, but I have to say, the amount of typos (like words being completely omitted from a sentence) is a little disconcerting. Regardless, it's a start.