Thursday, May 3, 2012

Character Development: Don't Put your Character in a Corner

Character Development: Don’t Paint your Characters in a Corner
The characters in a story are what move us, their struggles, flaws, weakness, personality.  We hold tight to our chairs as they wiggle through endless roadblocks throughout the book. It is a must for the reader to be in love with your main characters, this will keep the reader flipping the pages to find out what’s next.
 Character development builds Conflict   Most of your main character will have to overcome several  difficulties, guilt, shady past, lost love, etc. these attributes make your characters seem more real to the reader. These conflicts should be peppered through the story, don’t reveal everything at once about the character. Try to put your character in as many real life situations as possible.
Be Careful you don’t put your characters in a corner. Poor characterization especially psychological profiles can limit the character. The reader will come to expect the profile you have painted for them.  Say Bob is a vial human being not capable of doing any good, so when he does it not really believable. Don’t give your characters such a narrow profile. Keep the reader guessing on the characters reactions and motives; build their profiles throughout the book. Have a good handle on your character’s traits. Make a list of all your characters with details; pretend you are describing one friend to another. How do they act around people, what does their voice sound like, how do the look. Doing this helps develop a deeper character that is more believable.
Inspiration for your characters can from the people you know, movies, books, especially people you don’t like. You can extract only the parts of that person you need for the type of plot you are writing.
Use the 5 senses when developing your character, in the scene what does he see, smell, describe the setting, what’s he doing with his hands, feet, what does he hear. In real life we are bombarded by all things going on around us, it would be rare we would be in total quite.
Who’s view point is it anyway? How is your character seeing things? Show, don’t tell.  Use dialogue to tell what happening around your character. Sit down at the mall or park and listen to how people really talk. They don’t usually talk back and forth, not hopefully for long periods; this would become boring losing the reader’s attention.
How about that body language?  Facial Expression especially eye contact, Personal space, Gestures, and Posturing. With some police departments and shows like “Lie to me” we are seeing how body language plays a big part in the person’s character. You can use any of these to make your characters more interesting.
On a final note, read your work out loud. You can catch more mistakes and hear flaws much better this way. Happy Writing!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE! Publisher Takes Back Mystery Author

Please excuse the double entendre, but we couldn't help it. These kinds of things don't come around every day you know. The fact that it's been SNOWING off and on here in Southern Oregon the last couple of days, and that a week ago today on April Fool's Day we got a surprise phone call from author Miranda Phillips Walker asking if she could come back home. Here's the backstory: Krill Press was founded in the fall of 2008 and our first title, "Absinthe Of Malice" by Pat Browning was published on December 1, 2008 and went on to be an Amazon Kindle Bestseller. Miranda Walker's "The Well Meaning Killer" was our third title, published on June 10, 2009. This awesome first novel about female FBI agent Megan McKenna, on the hunt for a serial killer in the Baltimore area, was in print and eBook for only a year before Miranda decided not to renew her contract with Krill and try her hand at going it alone. We wished her well (while kicking ourselves in the ass at the same time for only giving her a one year contract in the first place!) and kept our fingers crossed that she would be successful because that is, after all, the real philosophy behind Krill Press: to give great, undiscovered authors their first professional exposure to the publishing world and, hopefully, begin to establish a readership. With the help of her husband, prolific fiction author Robert W. Walker (and no, he didn't write her book for her!), Miranda changed her book's title to "Absolution" and published it as an eBook only. We're not sure, exactly, what's Miranda's experience has been with that venture and frankly it's none of our business. Suffice it to say that we feel LUCKY to get "The Well Meaning Killer" back and know that our readers are going to feel the same way. We have a 2 year contract in the mail to Miranda, who lives in Charleston, WV., So be watching for the return of "The Well Meaning Killer" in Trade Paperback, Kindle, and NOOK (and with brand new gorgeous covert art!) sometime in the next couple of weeks!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Book: How I Gave My Migraines the Boot

How I gave My Migraines the Boot, is my new short booklet on Smash Words, available for $1.99.
Go to to download a copy. Shortly it will be coming soon to Word Clay if you want a POD version.

Also available on on kindle ebooks for $1.99