Writing strong character’s is what can make or break a book. When writing a book you want the reader to fall in love with the characters just as much as you do. So how do you create strong and believable characters?
Create your characters beforehand
If you are a plotter this will be a no-brainer but for those who like to write by the seed of their pants this might not be so obvious. My characters are the only part of the book I plan out before starting. I like to have a good grip on who my characters are. I suggest getting a piece of paper and filling it entirely with stuff about you hero/heroine. What do they like to do? How did they grow up? What problems or issues do they have? How do they eat do they scarf their food down or take small bites? Write down everything even if it’s not essential to your story line. If you don’t have a good idea of who your character is your reader won’t either.
Once you start writing you might discover that your character is more self-conscious than you thought. Or maybe they are coming across on the page different than you intended. Either way you want to make sure you are consistent in your writing. I often have to go back to the beginning of my story and ask myself, “Is this something X would really say?” In the beginning you are still learning your character so make sure to go back and check for consistencies.
Dialogue, dialogue dialogue!
This is something that I personally struggle with but I’m getting better. You can tell a lot about a character by the way they talk. Are they a people pleaser? Do they say yes a lot when they really mean no? Do they have a accent and say the word Y’all all the time? Don’t forget that dialogue is going to be a huge part of creating strong believable characters. Also make sure the dialogue is actually matching who they are. If you character is uneducated they probably aren’t going to be using big descriptive words when they talk.
Your character will develop
Your characters should go through some kind of change. Isn’t that the point of a story, to see a character go through change? So just because you have this perfect plan about who you character is don’t forget by the end of the book they are going to change a little bit. They shouldn’t be a completely different person but there should and will be character development.
I hope these tips were helpful. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more information.
Self publishing is all abut trying to publish the best books you can as fast as possible. This can be difficult if you work a full time job and if that is the case check out my post on Writing with A full time job
Now that NaNoWriMo is over and a lot of people are in the editing phase of their book. I thought it would be a good idea to mention ways that I have increased my writing speed. Because there will be always be another book to write. For most of us it doesn’t just end when NaNoWriMo is over.
Now let me say with each of these tips it is not going to work for everyone. You might have a work schedule that won’t allow you to write each day which is fine. I just want to share what has worked best for me and has allowed me to write a new book every one to two month. I write everyday. Writing everyday helps me to stay consistent and feel like I’m making progress. In reality when it comes to writing there will be days when the words are just flowing out of you and then there are days where it just feel like you are banging your head against the wall. Both days it’s important to write. Make some progress each day and then when you go back to look at your word count you will be amazed at the amount of work you were able to accomplish even on the days you were banging your head against the wall.
This has been probably the number one thing that has made me write faster. A word sprint is where you set a timer for a certain amount of time, I usually do 20 minutes. And during that time you completely focus on your writing. You don’t get up to go to the bathroom. You don’t change the music your listening to, you just write. The secret to this is that when you know you are being timed you tend to move faster and you know there is an end. After 20 minutes or however long you set your timer for, take a quick break. Get up and stretch, use the bathroom, make yourself a snack and then get right back to it. I usually aim for doing three writing sprints, a total of a hour of writing and I’m able to get a good amount of words written. The key here is to turn off your inner editor and focus on actually writing.
Now I am a pantser so I can completly understand the small freak out that some of you might have when seeing the world structure. If you are a plotter this is 2nd nature to you. For the pantsers I don’t mean plan your whole novel out or even think to far ahead. What I do is everyday when I am done writing I make one to two bullet points that say what I want to happen next. It can be as simple as “-Sabrina goes to the store.” This way when I sit down for my next writing session I don’t have to re read what I wrote the day before and I have a starting point for my writing.
These are three of the ways I have increased my writing speed. Don’t be afraid to write because then you never will. Don’t forget for updates on book release and blog post make sure to follow my newsletter http://eepurl.com/dF1a0D .
Also my newest book Apprehension is available for pre-order here.