In life, we are bound to face obstacles.

We may face naysayers in our personal life, crazy coworkers, or even family members that do not have our best interest at heart. What I believe is a true sign of your personal character is how you deal with the giants in your life.

As a child who was relentlessly bullied, I admit to shriveling and allowing myself to constantly get kicked. Around my junior year of high school, I met a new set of friends who showed me that it was time to stand up for myself and allow mean words to roll off my back. And there were a lot of mean words!

However, I took the mean words and used it to infuse myself with anger and strength. I would tell myself that “you will overcome this and show them all by being more fabulous than they could ever imagine.”

When writing your characters, think about how they deal with the giants in their life. How do the obstacles your characters face, shape their identity and their outlook on life? Once you map this out, it is sure to enhance your character development.

Nanowrimo Prep: Get to know your characters

After you complete you decide on an idea and outline how you see your novel break down, it is time to introduce yourself to your characters.

For my stories, I start with my main characters. I ask myself the following questions:

1. Who is this person (where was she born, does she have an accent, what is her nationality)?

2. What is her motivation in this novel (revenge, love, greed)?

3. Where do I WANT her character to end up. (I highlight the word want because as a writer I recognize this may change once the story unfolds and the character truly presents his/her true self)?

I then take this information and write a little snippet. It is like a scene that introduces me to character via the questions above. Sometimes these items get implemented into the story but many times I just use these stories as a reference point when trying to flesh out the character.

How do you get to know your characters? Share in the comments below:


Stop Holding Back

I started writing my first manuscript in a fit of passion. The words just poured out. I couldn’t get the story out of my mind. I would awake at not having to jot down not. I would text myself passages while on lunch or riding in the car with my husband.

But then I began to reread it – and felt self-conscious. Was this character too much like..her? Does this sound like him. How much of my life or experiences was bleeding into my work. How could I let this happen. Would I still have family after this?

Filled with fear and doubt, I began to turn my back on my writing. I couldn’t risk more of myself bleeding into my work. I couldn’t face the danger of my words.

This was the worst mistake ever! Sometimes holding back and watching what you say is not in the best interest. You are not only putting the kibosh on your muse but you are silencing your voice. There is a story inside of you that is beating down the doors to get out. Why silence that story.

Let your story take you where it needs to lead you. Maybe you will end up with a memoir. Maybe after revisions you end up with a YA thriller that pays little resemblance to any aspect of your life. You will never know unless you get the story out.

Stop holding back.