Character Writing Tag

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Hello everyone!

It’s wonderful to have you here this week. As many of you know, I have been doing my kitchen remodel and that lead me to having very little time to come up with a blog post. So, I decided to do something a little fun this week. I found this list of questions on a fellow writer’s page and I thought it would be fun to try to answer them using my characters. This also gives you a little bit of a sneak peek into their personalities.

I had a lot of fun answering these, I hope you enjoy reading.

  1. A crazy hacker’s gone into your computer and has deleted all of your music, except for one song off of your writing playlist. Which song is it?

Well for one, it’s strange that wiping my computer of music was the “crazy hackers” motives but hey, to each their own. Second, I don’t think I actually have any music on my computer so there would be nothing to wipe, I use Pandora. Third I guess it wouldn’t matter much because I prefer silence when I write, so is the sound of my turtle tank filter a song? Because I find it relaxing. But to answer the question if I need to get into a particular mood, I usually flip on something instrumental music with no words. So something along those lines.

  1. Your protagonist and antagonist have been paired up by friends to go out to lunch together. Where do they go?

First off, I highly doubt they have any mutual friends. But funny story, they’ve already gone out together so I think that they would head on one to the local Vampire bar, Atè like they did on their first “date.”

  1. You’re crossing a bridge when the troll living under it stops you. He demands to read a chapter from your novel, and won’t let you cross otherwise. Which chapter do you give him?

Oh jeez. Well since I lost track of my chapters a while ago so it would be a bit hard but, I would say right now, Chapter One. It’s the only one I feel confident in showing anyone, and it needs work. However, the climax chapter would be a possibility because it’s awesome and it shows Charley and all her badassery.

  1. Your friends have invited you out to a party. Surprise! All of your characters are there. Who do you choose to hang out with?

I honestly don’t know how that would go in the first place. Most of my characters are enemies to the core, think like the Montagues and the Capulets. Everyone hates each other. So, I feel like it wouldn’t be that great of a party because there would be a huge divide in the room with nasty stares. Charley, Alma and Breccan would just sit in the middle like, “Can’t we all just be friends?”

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Image Credit

But anyways…Well duh, Charley. She’s my main character, and she’s awesome. I would make my way around the room, briefly stopping by the Ettore’s because no one wants to be around Lace too long. Of course, I would have to spend time with Gabby. She is a tell it as it is, fireball of energy and she would be a blast. Then I would spend the rest of the evening with Charley, Alma, and Breccan. They are entirely good-natured, and it would be an excellent time.

  1. Crap. You left your car keys in your house, and you’ve (somehow) locked yourself out. Which of your characters picks the lock for you?

Probably Gabby. She is very crafty and sneaky. She knows how to get into wherever she needs to be.
6. The zombie apocalypse is happening right now. (It sucks.) Everyone is fleeing the planet, and moving to Mars. ONE of your characters can go with you. Who do you choose?

Well, most of them are Vampires, so I don’t think living with the living dead would really be a problem for them. That being said, I would probably take Breccan because he is the sweetest, most loyal friend someone could ask for. Plus, he can sing and play guitar so he will be entertaining once we got to Mars.

I would say, Alma, Charley’s sister but she can be super bossy, and I don’t think I would want to deal with that all the time.

  1. You’ve been given the opportunity to travel to one place (town, building, landmark, country) in your book. Where do you go?

Ooo. This one is tough. I would probably pick the Silvano estate. Ambrogio is the last remaining Ancient vampire (original), so he has accumulated all of these artifacts of vampire history and has them in his home. It would be cool to walk through there and see all of those things.

  1. You meet your main character and start a conversation with them. The problem is, you’ve only got six words or less to do so. What do you say?

Trust in yourself.

I don’t even need six. All of her life she has been ridiculed for what she thought she saw as a child. This led to a mental disorder and her never trusting her gut. She feels the need for everyone to tell her what she should be doing which makes her easy to control even when she feels something is wrong.

  1. Crazy acid rain is falling from the sky. Which of your characters would you use as an umbrella?

Lace. She’s a bitch.

  1. You’re out at a restaurant with your main character, and the time has come to order dessert. What do you order for them?

Blood and Chocolate. What else?

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I hope you enjoyed my post don’t forget to follow my page on the way out to keep up on the progress of my novel and any writing tips I find along the way. If you have any questions feel free to drop a comment below, message me on the comment page or tweet me @shauna_philp

I would love to see the answers using your characters in the comments below! 🙂

Questions credit: Coffee and Calligraphy

The Secret to Becoming a Writer.

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Just Write.

It’s as easy as that. Put your pen to paper and write.

Now, now before you start calling me names, I honestly believe, like myself, you are seeking a slightly different answer. You aren’t necessarily looking for “How to become a writer?” but “How to become a good writer?”

Luckily for you, I’m going to answer that too! Without further ado here are my:

5 Characteristics That Every Writer Should Have

1. Confidence.

No, I don’t mean like the quarterback of your high school football team who refused to throw the game-winning touchdown at Homecoming because he wanted to run the ball. That’s arrogance. I’m talking about the shy girl with the glasses, that stands in the middle of the field and sings the national anthem for the first time before the game.

What I’m trying to say is don’t be afraid to write because you don’t think you’re good enough. You can always improve your work. That’s what the editing and revising stages are for. Absolutely, no one’s first draft gets published, because they’re going to make mistakes. The key is having the confidence to start.

2. Thick skin.

I get it. Your book baby is made of hard work, dedication and a little bit of pixie dust. But let’s be real, it’s not perfect, and sometimes we are just a little too close to notice. I am in a few writing groups (If you’re not. Do it.) and I see people posting pieces of their work for “Critique, ” but really they just want people to shower them in confetti and throw them a party for their award-winning work when it’s simply not the case. Don’t be that person. You don’t want to be that person anyways because they will NEVER improve their work. I give you permission to go cry in the corner for five minutes but then get back in that chair!

Now, that’s not saying that you have to take every bit of advice that someone gives you and you definitely don’t have to take it from the A-hole that just tells you that you suck. Ignore the asshat and move on. A simple “thank you” will do for those that you don’t agree with.

3. Willingness to learn.

You’re off to a great start; you’re here after all. Keep learning. Always. I read at least one article a day about improving my writing skills. Not to mention the copious amounts of videos I listen to on the way to and from work. It is so important for you to continue growing your skills if you ever want to be taken seriously.

4. Dedication.

You can’t go chasing every new shiny idea into the forest… where the fairies and gnomes are at war… because the gnome king took over Mossy Rock… oops. 

Write down those shiny ideas but don’t allow them to take over. It is important that you stay focused on your main project or you will never finish it, and you will eventually have a million half-started great ideas and no masterpieces. I want to read your masterpiece.

5. Patience.

Wow! You are so excited because you have just started your new story and it’s got griffins and centaurs that are being oppressed by the almighty unicorns. You have to show your fantastic idea to the world, right? No. No, don’t. Please.

When I started Spark over a year ago, it had elements that don’t even exist anymore. The first draft should be for you. Need brainstorming ideas? Absolutely have a critique partner. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about letting your romance-loving mom and sister read your story because now they’ve  given you ideas, and your Griffins are dating Unicorns and are having Grifficorn babies. Your adventure story is completely changed. Get it done. The second draft is for your reader.

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Now, you have completely finished your epic Unicorn/Griffin story, and you have re-wrote it fifteen times. You’re ready to hit publish. It’s going up on Amazon today! Yes!

Wait, have you had an editor look it over?

Well no. I had my Aunt who is a complete grammar Nazi look it over, so it’s fine. I really just want to get it up and sell it.

Bad idea, now your book baby is going to get slammed. Remember how we talked about being close to your work? You’re going to miss things, and you need someone who has an eye in the field to look it over.

ALWAYS take the time to get an editor. It’s not worth negative reviews because your grammar was bad or because you missed a major plot hole.

BONUS TIP!

Practice. Practice. Practice. Do you think that Michael Phelps would have won 23 Olympic gold medals if he never practiced? No, he probably would have needed a lifeguard to come save him. Writing is no different. So, practice, practice, practice.

That’s it. Those are the five key characteristics I believe every writer should have. I hope these tips were helpful and if you can think of any characteristics that I missed I would love to hear them! I want to thank you for stopping in and don’t forget to follow my page on your way out, so you don’t miss out on any of my writing tips I will be posting every Wednesday.

If you have any topics, you’d like me to cover in a future blog you can comment below or tweet me @shauna_philp. I look forward to talking with you!

Happy Writing!

Shauna

My Story.

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“If God gave you something to do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”  

– Stephen King

The two hours before my store opens usually consists of listening to the deafening fans blow or the stale, repetitive music corporate chooses for our cd’s. I swear if I hear “Big Girl’s Don’t Cry” one more time, I’m gonna… I digress. Instead, on Saturday morning, Stephen King whispered “If God gave you something to do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?” into my ear from the audiobook I was listening to, while I was mulling around my store setting ad.

I immediately dropped the stack of ad papers I was working on to write that quote down. It struck me that I have spent my whole life doing things that I felt like other people thought was appropriate. I went to college right out of high school, despite not knowing what I actually wanted to do. I never even explored writing because “it wasn’t a career” or “I’d never make money from it.” Who says that by the way?

In tenth grade, my English teacher Mrs. Bradley, we’ll call her, gave us the assignment to write a short story that had to include the random items or events that she provided us. The subject doesn’t really matter, but I wrote a line in that paper that sticks out to me like the spark that got me started.

“Twisting the door handle, bits of rust flaked off into my hand.”

I suppose the only reason I remember this line is because Mrs. Bradley commented next to it with her blazing red ink “Great imagery!” accompanied by a smiley face. Was it the best line? No. But it most definitely changed my perspective on writing.

After that, I tried my hand at a bit of fan fiction. I added myself to J.K. Rowling’s cast of characters headed to Hogwarts. Oh boy, that was a mess. I’m glad I’m not able to resurrect that from the fiery gates of Hell. It can stay where ever all unfinished stories go to die.

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I have tried to write several original stories in the past, but they all eventually got scrapped before the first few chapters were completed. However, these heaping piles of crap showed me one thing: that I enjoyed writing. I was able to be someone else; be somewhere else. Writing has allowed me to escape the anxiety and stress that was beginning to take over my life.

I knew Spark was different. This is the story. I am in love with it, and I get excited when I talk about it. Every time I figure out another puzzle piece I run to my husband, anxious to tell him about it. I’m currently at 60k words and counting, far passed the 40k words for it to be considered a novel and I couldn’t be more excited for the day that I get to share my work with everyone.

Writing is no longer just a hobby for me; it’s my passion. What do I have to lose? I’m a college dropout with a bachelor’s degree in a little bit of everything. Nothing has filled that void for me. Nothing, until Spark.

Happy Writing!

Shauna