AlvaradoFrazier, BookNook, Character building, Day of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos, fiction, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Building Fictional Characters

Feliz Day of All Souls or Dia De Los Muertos (DDLM). The last two days have been a whirlwind that rivals the 75 degree Southern California Santa Ana winds that we have today. I began NaNoWriMo on November 1st, while getting my micro mini bookstore, The BookNook, ready for opening this afternoon. The last week has been dedicated to unpacking books, retail labels, printing bookmarkers, and all that kind of stuff.

I had the nerve to take off to Los Angeles yesterday evening to catch “Come Fly Away With Me,” at the Pantages, in a quest to relax before opening day.  Ten minutes before the curtain rose I received a text that my cake pop treats would not be ready for me today after all, ‘so sorry.’ There was a problem at their bakery. I moaned and groaned (not in the text), said a prayer and began searching for other bakery numbers. Everyone was closed for the evening. Curtain rose, the musical was non-stop dancing to Frank Sinatra songs and I was taken away for 80 brief minutes. Turned my phone back on and a sweet mini-miracle, the bakery texted, everything fixed, your order will be ready.

I call the BookNook micro-mini because it is within a consignment shop, very nice, where I rent a small space for new and ‘gently read’ books. At the shop today is a DDLM commemoration and local artists will build an altar within the store for the community. People are free to bring candles, sugar skulls, marigolds, papel picado and Pan de Huevo.

Before I take my crates of books to the car, double check on my cake pops, and gather up my equipment I thought I’d post some references from my favorite sites on “Character” building for those who are interested in using this information for their NNWM challenge. (I’m already behind with only 1,643 words, but there are 28 days left).

Writer’s Digest did a good job on How to avoid Parenting your Characters. If you haven’t visited Holly Lisle  blog now is a good time to follow her and pick up some valuable pointers. IMHO she has one of the most helpful blogs for writers. Over at Kirsten Lamb, who is also a wealth of information and who collaborates with many authors to provide great info, is her article for creating legendary characters.

After my bookstore opening I hope to come back and do some more NNWM words. But in between what I hope are many customers, I will be over at the DDLM altar saying some prayers for the departed and enjoying some Pan De Huevo.

AlvaradoFrazier, Antagonist, NaNoWriMo, Plot, Protagonist

NaNoWriMo: Think about the Plot

Countdown time: 2 days to NNWM. The last week has been filled with great advice from some wonderful bloggers, writers, and authors.

For step by step assistance, via, see Martha Alderson, the Plot Whisperer or go to her very helpful blog. She gives specific advice on what to think about before you start writing. Pre-plotting can be done in your head or on paper.

First we can ask ourselves who is the character we want to write about? Then, what does she/he want. What is she striving for or passionate about?  Think about it for a few minutes, grab your pen or hover over your keyboard and jot down your ideas.

Now, what is your character’s flaw, their weakness, their vice? What is it that gets in the way of her getting what she wants?

Next think about the setting at the beginning of the story. This includes the physical and emotional setting of your character. What does their world look like? Now, what is the setting in the middle, after the circumstances change for the character?

Do you have a clear picture of your character and where she/he is going? That’s a great start. And for the purposes of NNWM I believe it’s enough, unless…

you are participating so that you can jump start a novel you want to complete in the future. You may want to review all the Plot Whisperers steps as well as visit Inky Girl for a load of other suggestions. IG has a great section for KidLit and YA writers.

And if you are really getting in deep with your NNWM go over to Kristen Lamb’sWarrior Writers for a slam bam thank you…on developing your BBTM (the antagonist) and do her ‘crash test,’ with her L.O.C.K system. Well worth the read.

Time to bid adieu, adios….going to a fiesta tonight. I have to work in a little fun before the clock strikes on November 1.