Novel Update

I’ve finally gotten back into working on the second book for my novel that’s currently being edited. It’s fun. I’ve really missed the characters, and I can see how much they’ve developed since the first chapter of the first book.

Originally I was going to write and publish the series as one big book, but I was instructed (thankfully) by my Dad to split them up…because the book would be enormous and who knew how long it would take for me to complete a three part book. So now the book is a three part series…or trilogy…or whatever you wanna call it. It’s less stressful.

I always told myself, after reading a few trilogies…which disappointed me…that I would only write them if it was planned from the start. It was very clear to me when an author only intended on having a single book, but was pushed by publishing companies to write more novels featuring their characters to help bring in big bucks.

I didn’t want to be that author who lets down their readers because I was writing for money. I write because I enjoy it. I started writing for myself, without any specific audience in mind. Now I try to think about my audience a little bit.

Once my novel is published I might share some of my character illustrations, but I personally don’t like to see cover art where there are people on the front. It really bothers me. I like to imagine what the characters look like based off of the descriptions given. I’ve done illustrations of pretty much all my characters…that I’ve ever had. I’ve debated creating graphic novel versions of some of my work. I may do it. I may not. We’ll see.

I’m still playing around with cover ideas in my head. I’m not going to attempt to do the cover art myself. I’m good at art…but I’ve never done that sort of thing and I didn’t go to graphic design school. I just finished my English degree…all I did was read.

Speaking of reading, have any of you seen this manga I bought recently. The illustrations were breath taking and I bought it for my birthday…and somehow while I was moving I misplaced it. I’m pretty bummed out.

I’m supposed to be going to some free thing at the gym today. Not really up for it. My Mom was hassling me to go outside and enjoy the weather…but instead I stayed in and translated then covered this extremely awesome Russian song.

Enjoy the sunshine!

–R.

 

 

Morning Exercise

Good morning, for some reason I’m up a lot earlier than expected…but I usually don’t sleep for very long. I should try harder to resist afternoon naps. They completely through off my schedule, and make me feel as though I’ve wasted my day…much like sleeping in.

I’m going to do a bit of light exercise this morning, since I’ve been slacking in that department lately. Then I’ll do some work on my novel and of course homework that I’ve put off far too long. I at least need to get some ideas down on paper. My schedule’s been pretty busy this weekend. I’ve had events since Friday evening, and after today it will be the end of that. I’m expecting it to go well today. Friday was…stressful.

I’m still trying to convince my younger sister to create a blog on wordpress.com for her art. She’s two won awards in the graphic narrative section of a yearly literary competition that is held for students in our hometown. She is her own worst critic however, so I believe this is what’s taking her so long.

I understand though. When it comes to my writing I am often reluctant to share it with my family and friends because I’m worried they’re judge me. Especially when it comes to my lyrics and poetry. A lot of the time my poems and songs are centered around characters I’ve created for stories I’m working on, so the themes behind them have a huge contrast. My creative writing professor last year was surprised when I shared a happy story that used warm imagery because all of my other work that I’d presented in class had a tendency to be very cold and depressing.

Speaking of cold, I think I’ll do my exercise in doors today. Burr…I’m shivering as it is. I like winter time but I don’t wanna be in the cold long if I don’t have too. I really love getting in a good work out early in the morning. Helps to lose all the stress from the day before. I always feel really pumped afterwards.

Until next time,

–R.

Fourteen Pgs. of Character Notes…And Writing Tips for Detailing Characters!

Fourteen pages of character notes. Wow. I don’t know how that happened but I’m glad it did.

I always try to give as much depth and detail to my characters as I can. I believe that the more I invest in a character, the more attached I will become and that attachment is what makes that character seem more real (that’s a lot of mores). Its great because my characters go from being an idea to becoming like a close, life-long friend (until you know…that scene where they get silenced by the pen aka they die).

It’s a fun process honestly, even though I’ll admit it takes time. Despite the time it takes to do it is a lot more fun than just naming a character and throwing them into your story. A name is only a fraction of a person, there are many other things that make us who we are.

A lot of the time I like to draw pictures of my characters: the facial expressions they might make in different scenario’s, what clothing they might wear, what their hair looks like, their height, the colour of their eyes.

It can be really helpful, but of course I know that not everyone likes to draw. What I used to do on my drawings was create a list beside my character. The list usually looked like…

  1. Name: Bob Robert Bobbinlee
  2. Age: 22
  3. Likes: cows, cats, cookies and cake
  4. Dislikes: anything that doesn’t start with the letter C (is for cookie)
  5. Family: Mama Bobbetta, Father Bobert, Juliettabobo Boblee, Bobafett
  6. Friends: Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum (yes I was talking to my 4 year old niece recently…any watching Pokémon)

What I’ve begun doing now is creating this same list in a table on Microsoft word.

Its pretty easy to do, you just go to insert, then click table…etc.

So now I keep my images and my charts separate, giving me more room to add written details about my characters. This is especially helpful when I have side characters. Usually I don’t know the personality of a side character. Some times I might just have some character who until named is called “Book Store Clerk.” The first thing I like to do is to draw this character out (or imagine what they might look like), then I take that image and I create a detailed character chart, similar to the list above but in chart form…and because it isn’t on the same page as my drawing I can add even more detail.

Using the same example from above:

Name Bob Robert Bobbinlee
Age 22
Appearance Hair: Crimson

Eyes: Crimson

Height: Average

Special Features: Tattoo of the letter C

Personality Hot-headed, sweet-tooth, perfectionist, crazy about cats and cows, creative, incredible cook
Family Mother: Bobbetta

Father: Bobert

Siblings: Juliettabobo, Boblee and Bobafett

Friends Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum

 

Partner (or partners for them playa’s) Cloe Ver
Pet Cactus the Cat and Carver the Cow
Hobbies Reading, eating and baking cookies and cake, chillin’ like a villain with his squad…I mean crew.

 

Occupation/Education Book Store Clerk

 

Fears The letter Z…because he isn’t sure if it should be Zed or Zee even though he’s Canadian. He just…doesn’t know.

 

Dreams Publish a Children’s Cook Book

See, its that simple, and even though some of these details won’t end up being in you story, they are details that are significant to who your character really is. Once you know this much about your character they begin to take on a life of their own, and as an author I have to say that is one of my favourite things that happen while I’m writing.

Whether you like to draw or not, this is a method that I highly recommend. It’s easy to set up and once you get going it can be a lot of fun. Before you know it you’ve got fourteen pages of characters and this amazingly long chart!

Also, if you are a tech-savvy person you can even scan a drawing of your character and place the image into the appearance box on the table. I’ve never done this but I’m definitely going to give it a try. The idea just came to mind.


 

I hope that this post was helpful!

If you’ve never tried to do this sort of detailing with your characters I highly recommend it. Its both fun and rewarding.

If you have any different ways of detailing and developing characters (or you’ve written a post with another writing tip) feel free to share in the comment section. I’m sure, myself and many people would appreciate it!

Happy writing everyone!

— R.

 

Lots of Homework….

I haven’t posted anything in a little while. Again, I’d like to apologize for this. I’ve been pretty swamped with homework. I need to know my priorities. I’m really beginning to think that I should have set days or times for blogging and writing so that I can stay on top of it.

I’ve done some work on my personal projects in between my homework. It’s probably the best thing for me to do in between school work because I’m still being productive. I find that if I stop and…watch a movie or something, then I don’t end up getting back to work.

I managed to get an assignment finished this morning. I hate doing things last minute but I’m still trying to get myself to stop procrastinating. I’ve mainly been doing this with my readings, which is why I’m got swamped last week. I was really behind in a book. This week my goal is to stay on top of everything.

No worries, I’m not working myself to the bone here. I’m going to get myself to the gym sometime this week (possibly after class if it’s not freezing outside) so that I can relieve some stress.

I wasn’t feeling well after school started so I fell behind in a project for class. Thankfully my professor is the greatest human on earth (you’re all great too…but he’s really awesome) and knows that I’m doing a 67 panel manga for my assignment. I love my project so much I could kiss it…but I won’t I’m just really happy with how its turning out. I’ve only got a few panels left to draw and then I’m going to outline everything, possibly add backgrounds (if I have the time) add the dialogue…all that fun stuff.

I hope to publish graphic novels as well. This is my practice run. Its fun. A lot of work but so much fun.

I’ll try and blog again this week. Probably won’t be until this weekend though. I’ve got two projects I’m working on for class…no three. Two classes, three projects.

Well that’s my update for now.

I hope that you’re all enjoying your Monday. You’ll get through it.

— Ryder.