Friday, July 28

Did I Just Say That? When Characters Say Dumb Things

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week's Refresher Friday takes an updated look at characters who say the wrong thing--and how we can have fun with that. Enjoy!

There are moments in my life I wish I could take back. The kind where I opened my mouth and inserted my foot right up to my hip bone. They still haunt me even though it's been years and I'll never see those people again (it's worse with the people I still see all the time, ack). Sometimes, those verbal slips got me into trouble I would have avoided if I'd just kept my mouth shut. 

Characters can say stupid things, too. So at least my gaffes provided some good fodder for my stories.

Thursday, July 27

Producing Your Books in Audio Part Three: Picking Your Narrator


By Angela Quarles, @AngelaQuarles

Part of the Indie Author Series


In the previous post in this series, Producing Your Books in Audio Part Two: Auditions, I gave tips on getting the best auditions for your book on ACX. So for this post, I'm going to step you through some advice for what to do with all those lovely snippets!

Tip #1 - Things to Listen For


Some of your audition samples are going to be easy No's. Especially if they botch an accent. Side note: Can actors please learn to do some various Southern accents other than the Hollywood one? OMG. Seriously, some of my auditions I only listened to about 4 seconds of them the accents were that bad. So, good news is, if you know what you want, you don't have to listen to the whole audition. But what do you want to listen for?

Wednesday, July 26

How to Write Characters Who Don’t All Feel the Same

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

In a novel, all readers have to get to know the characters are the words on a page. Sure, characters speak and shrug and move around, but even the dialogue is read, not heard. As writers, we know our characters better than any reader ever will because we know all the details that don’t show up in the words.

We know what their voice sounds like, we know how they move, their little quirks and mannerisms, their smell, their physical presence and whatnot. We know the things that make a person a person and not just a group of words that describe that person.

Tuesday, July 25

Taking a Love Inventory Of Your Characters

By Bonnie Randall 

Part of the How They Do It Series (Monthly Contributor)


Any of you who follow my posts have become aware that I love to get into my character’s heads. I enjoy sifting through their mores and values to see where their choices and resulting conflicts come from when their stories get played out ‘on screen’.

The following is a worksheet I have adapted from an excellent Psychology Today article I saw on social media. It affords super potential for anyone crafting a romance (or who is crafting romance as a subplot) for it examines the minutiae of your character’s attitudes, beliefs, and values about love and connection. Executed interview-style, this inventory allows your character to say as much or as little as they like on each topic as most questions are open-ended. As a writing tool it can help you define such critical story elements as
  • Sexual tension
  • Romantic tension
  • Conflict
Remember—always ask your character ‘Why’? after any answer they deliver, but especially the answers that confound you. Example, from a male character: “Men think of women as…. “Machines who can do it all.”

Monday, July 24

Birth of a Book: The Development Stage: Creating the Setting and Building the World

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Part of the Early Stages of a Novel Series


This series has been discussing the early stages of writing a novel. We started with the Stage One: the Idea Stage, beginning with the Inspirational Spark, moving on to Brainstorming the Idea, Clarifying the Idea, and wrapping it up with Testing the idea. Next, we moved on to Stage Two: Development, which got us looking at ways to create characters, and then further develop those characters. This week, we shift to setting and world building.

Although setting looks like step three in this series (idea, characters, setting), I often do considerable world building before I development my characters. As a fantasy writer, the story and world are so interconnected I need to know how my world works before I can do any serious story and character work.

Sunday, July 23

Writing Prompt: The Challenge: Love, True Love

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt challenges you to write something outside of your comfort zone. It’s designed to push your creative boundaries and stretch those artistic wings.

This week’s challenge:

Write a love scene.


What type of love is totally up to you. It could be first love, passionate love, sexy weekend love, the love between a guy and his car, or a girl and her goldfish. As long as the emotion flows.

The goal here is to dig deep and draw on the emotions associated with being or falling in love.

If you already write romance, push yourself out of what you normally write and get steamier. If you write steamy, flip it and write a sweet, chaste love scene.

Have fun.