Tag Archives: Writer’s block

Character Creation/Development

You need a character, huh? When creating characters, I’m going to suggest not picking the name first. With names come a lot of pre-existing concepts and ideas of what that person will be like. Every character should be at least mostly thought out if not completely.

So first, you should pick a gender (hopefully this will be easy for you). If age is necessary for the novel, pick that now. if not…then you should eave it until later. If you need to call them something, their temporary name can be Character.

Think about your novel, and the character.*

  • Where does Character live? Has s/he always lived there? If not, where is s/he from?
  • What is Character’s full-time job? Is s/he employed full-time, a student? Whatever it is, does Character like it? Does s/he work two jobs?
  • What activities does Character like to do for fun? Has s/he got any hobbies? Why hasn’t s/he decided that this passion isn’t what s/he wound up doing for a living?
  • Ah, romance. Does Character have a significant other? What about in their past, any heart-breaks or tragic affairs? If not, why not?
  • How about pets? Is the pet special to Characters, or does s/he hate it? Has it ever saved Character’s life?
  • Who are Character’s closest friends? Any old friends that have grown distant? Regrets? How about enemies? Who is Character’s main enemy in the story? You should think about the people that effect Character’s life, and how.
  • How about family? Who raised Character, has s/he got any siblings, cousins, or anyone they consider family?
  • Why does the enemy hate Character?
  • What are Character’s fears?
  • What are Character’s innermost desires?
  • What is the one thing in the world your character would do anything to avoid? Why? What has he already done to avoid this? What do you see him doing in the future to avoid it?
  • How about sacrifice? What is the one thing in the world your character would do anything in the world to have? Why? What has he already done to try to obtain it? What does he hope to try in the future?
  • Name at least five of Character’s biggest flaws/weaknesses.
  • Name at least five of Character’s strengths.
  • Any medical conditions? Any physical or mental disabilities?
  • If you haven’t already, what is Character’s age?
  • Describe what Character looks like. Any distinguishing features? ie: tattoos, piercings, scarring…
  • Finally, you should give Character a proper name. Does s/he even have a middle name?
  • You should now have enough to go on to write a decent biography about Character’s life so far. You should do that, and make sure you write everything you know about Character.

    *I took a lot of questions from Holly Lisle’s website, and added a lot of my own.

    I hope this was a helpful guide (:

    Happy writing!


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Writer’s block driving you crazy?

We live to write, but what can we do when we don’t feel like writing or we stumble upon writer’s block? Instead of hitting your head against the desk there are some things you can try.

Magazines – RT magazine is filled with author’s books. Read through your genre, and see what others are writing about. Sometimes this will spark an interest in something you never thought about before. How would you change the story? Let your imagination wander, and sometimes the simplest thing can get you to writing.

Keep a notebook – Jot down all those ideas that pop into your head at the supermarket or as you’re reading an email. Pretty soon you have a full notebook of ideas ready to be turned into a story. All you have to do is open the notebook up.

Lists – This is my personal favorite thing to do. I make a list of things I love. Pillows, sunsets, laughing, kisses, Levi jeans, staying up late, white chocolate, surprises, and money. I just made up this list, and while I was typing it, I started thinking about a woman who is working in a pillow factory and the stuffing machine goes haywire. Feathers fill the air, and despite the chaos, the heroine finds it hilarious to be covered in feathers. The boss walks in. He is not pleased, but boy is he sexy. The heroine has had a crush on him forever, but he hasn’t noticed her until he hears her laughter. It’s music to the ears. After hours of cleaning up, getting to know each other, they slip off to a restaurant for a drink…and white chocolate cake. Over the table, they smile at each other as he picks a stray feather still stuck in her hair. Now you give it a try…

People watch – This is a fun one! Did you notice the elderly couple holding hands while walking across the street? Adorable, huh? Now imagine them young, in love. They were just like us at one time. Maybe he was serving in the army, she was a nurse where his buddy recuperated. He asked her out for coffee. Or, maybe he was a wild young man, flirting his way through girlfriends, until he came across a young lady…a librarian. She, of course, made him mind his manners and showed him how to love himself first, before falling in love with her. There are lots of people in the world, and they all have a story. It’s always fun to ask your coworkers, relatives, and neighbors how they met too. Sometimes they’ll shock you!

Polls – Put a poll up on your blog/website. Ask questions on Twitter or Facebook. Everyone loves to talk about how they fell in love.

Read – Authors should never stop reading. Ever. It’s a wonderful thing, and a tax write off when you become a published author. You need books for research, for ideas, to study the industry. The benefit is it will get you thinking of your own story to write.

Think outside the box – What happens when a cowboy goes into the future? What if there was a new type of animal…a cross between a gorilla and a dog, and you have the only one? What happens if you found the cure to all cancers? What impact on the world would curing the common cold have? What would you do if you met your fantasy partner? (If you have children, this is a fun one to involve them in. Kids are naturally imaginative. Have them ask you silly questions.)

Last one for the day is…

Write! – It doesn’t have to be a story. It can be a grocery list, a blog post, or an email to a friend. Still can’t come up with anything? Start writing a recap of how your day is going. If you get in the practice of setting an hour a day to writing, it becomes a habit. Once you have that hour down pat…try two!



Debra Kayn writes for Carina Press (Harlequin’s Digital 1st Imprint), Etopia Press, and Breathless Press


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