Breathe Life Into Your Characters

Writers are told to breathe life into your characters. But how? Some how-to experts claim that to write believable characters you must fill out page after page identifying every mundane detail of their lives. Is it wrong to do so? No. Some writers may need tool to learn who their characters are. Unfortunately, many writers take this advice to heart and spend days, weeks, months crafting the “perfect character” whose wooden speech and actions leave readers cold. There are four basic points you need to understand in order to create realistic, relatable characters. The Basics Yes, your character needs a name, a background, and likes and dislikes. But details will not make your character real. Breathing life into your characters takes understanding people and, dare I say it, liking people. More importantly, it takes understanding yourself. If you don’t understand why and how you react to the triumphs and tragedies of your life, your characters will fall flatter. No, you don’t need a degree in psychology, but you need to understand basic personality types and how they are likely to react to different trials and triumphs. Don’t know where to start? Document your daily emotional reactions. Explore why you reacted […]

Character Reveal: Wanda

It’s another character reveal! Characters from my books (in print or works-in-progress) answer questions from a standard personality assessment test. (See previous ones: Miranda, Irene, Beryl, Leslie). Today’s character reveal: Wanda Terry. Wanda is Miranda’s second mate, chief engineer, and ship’s cook in If I Should Die, book two of the My Soul to Keep series. Who Wanda Terry is twenty-two in If I Should Die. When she was eighteen, she wriggled under her bed to get her shoe. That was when the Angel of Death Took her father and cousins. She ran and hid on the streets of town for months. After she was raped a second time, she collapsed in an alley and waited to die. But a kind black man who was a member of the rebels found her. She never learned his role in the rebel group, Soldiers for the American Bill of Rights (SABR). He and his wife hid and fed her until she was strong enough to make the trek to the Missouri River. On that first trip to the ocean, she proved her worth to Miranda by fixing the Lady Angelfish’s engine when a fuel valve malfunctioned. 1. Who is your role model?  I had […]

Character Reveal: Leslie

In a character reveal, characters from my books (in print or works-in-progress) answer questions from a standard personality assessment test. Today’s character reveal: Leslie. You first met Leslie, Ian’s sister, in Fellowship. She also appears in the second in the My Soul to Keep series, If I Should Die. Watch this website for sneak peaks and cover reveals in the third quarter of 2020. Who Leslie Ann Elizabeth Hobart was sixteen when she appeared in the Fellowship. Younger sister to Ian, Leslie worked as an aide at a local physician’s office for her school sponsored work program. She appears in If I Should Die with vital information that challenges Miranda and a doll that brings back unpleasant memories for Beryl.  1. Who is your role model? When I was in school, my role model was Clara Barton. Clara was a self-taught nurse who risked her life to care for soldiers in the battlefield during the Civil War. And she founded the American Red Cross. Now, it would have to be the woman who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Revolutionary war, I forget her name—Deborah something—Sampson? Yes, I think her name was Deborah Sampson. 2. Who knows you […]