One of the most thrilling aspects of writing, to me, is that there is always something new to try. There’s always a technique, a structure, a theme, a genre you’ve never broached before.
In a recent video, I talked about how I loved working in cafés but spent most of my writing hours at home. That’s still true, but recently I’ve kickstarted a new tradition of …
It’s been a while since I’ve been at Step One of an all-new project.
Legend Says was the product of a few years of good solid work, and I got pulled into the novel so completely that I forgot what it felt like back when the story was just threads of ideas and what-ifs. Now that the writing and revisions are done (for the time being, at least), I’ve plunged myself headfirst into the world of queries and synopses…
And started something new.
While brainstorming a sequel for Legend Says, I will also be developing a new story concept, one that isn’t based on or even slightly related to anything I’ve written before. Being in the position of square one again, after being so wrapped up in revisions for the past several months, feels like the strangest combination of first-day-of-school jitters and coming-home-at-long-last bliss!
For one thing, I had forgotten just how many pieces you have to put together before you can even start thinking about the nitty-gritty details of plot. Like, what exactly is this new fantasy world that I’m diving into? What are the rules, the traditions, the history? Who exactly do I want to spend the next months (or years) of my life with, breathing life into them, giving them a past, present, and future?
It’s a challenge to take away the safety net I had crafted myself in Legend Says and start from scratch. But I’m so very excited to stretch my creative muscles and find out where this new story takes me!
It’s finally time for my soon-to-be-finished book to graduate from being dubbed TBA to getting its own name.
So much of a great novel is defined by its characters. What they look like, what kind of history they have, how they act and think and feel. As a writer, it’s our job to do more than just create a fictional person who is entertaining enough to keep readers flipping pages – we have to make that person come to life.
For me, this includes a lot of things: keeping a spreadsheet of basic info, taking notes on important features or characteristics about them, exploring how they speak or mannerisms they have…and actually casting my characters.
When I’m writing a new person into my novel, I usually have a pretty good idea in my head of what they look like, but I can’t draw or sketch to save my life. What I can do, though, is Google. So I put on my casting director hat (which isn’t a literal hat, but if it were it would probably be a beanie) and start searching for a person who embodies the same look and attitude as my character.
I’ll usually pick out some general features to find a list of options – “blonde actresses under 30”, “underrated latino actors”, “unknown male actors over 50”, etc. Why actors, you wonder? While you can find faces of all kinds (celebrity or otherwise) online, actors will usually have some more interesting pictures available, ranging from classic headshots to dramatic stills from films or series, sometimes in scenes that match up pretty perfectly with the character I’m casting them for!
One important note on this selection process: I always try to avoid actors I know well from movies, series, or even interviews. This is because I normally already imagine them in this other role, and that could have a heavy influence on how I end up writing my own character.
So, although looking them up and discovering their tone of voice and way of speaking can sometimes be helpful, I generally avoid it and use their pictures only. Then I just leave the rest up to my imagination!
What do you do to help bring your fictional characters to life?
I can’t believe this is finally happening!
It’s been quite a long time now that I’ve wanted to have my own website, as the perfect place to host all my various platforms, project details, and more. Making a website is a pretty big task, though, especially when you want to get it right, down to the very last detail.
Now, I’m not saying, of course, that what you’re looking at now is the final product. This is something that I’ll continually be working on, updating, and experimenting with to make it exactly what I want and need it to be.
That being said, I’ve put a lot of hours into this and waited to announce it until I felt it was ready to be debuted. So…let me know what you think!
If there are more things you want to see from me here, leave a comment or send me a message on social media. This is my internet home, but I want it to be someplace you want to visit and explore too 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! Talk to you soon!