Character Cheat Sheets

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Introducing (drum roll please) the Character Cheat Sheets!

A lot of times when we’re writing a book, especially a series, it’s hard to remember little but important details we put in, like hair colors or ages. When we come across the same character later we sometimes forget what they looked like, or what their last name was. That’s why before, or during, my course of writing a book, I scribble down these details on a chart. If I forget what Elizabeth Wilson’s hair color was, or what job Joseph Martin held, I can just scroll down my sheet and . . . voilà! Saved! No long search through the entire manuscript for that little detail.

And now I’m sharing these sheets with you!

There are two versions, complex and simple. Use the one which fits your type of writing best.

Choose Word or PDF:

 

Complex Character Cheat Sheet Word

Simple Character Cheat Sheet Word

Complex Character Cheat Sheet PDF

Simple Character Cheat Sheet PDF

 

 

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After You Write Your Novel…

Well, you should be working on your next book, but….

There are things you can do after writing your novel to keep your readers interested and looking for more of your work. I would suggest to get your author name online, so when they research your book they can find out more about you and if you have any other works out there.

Some sites you can set up an author profile on are:

Author Central-Amazon

AuthorsDen

BookBub

Goodreads

Also, why not start a Facebook page? I’ve found that as the easiest way to go, and the easiest to keep your readers interested.  Make sure you like a lot of writing sites so if you don’t have anything to post you can always share theirs. Then don’t forget, there’s always the blog. On my blog, I give my readers more information about my book, recipes from the book, etc. Depending on how professional you want to be, these can be free, too. There are several blog hosts so before you begin I would suggest looking them up so you can find the one that works best for you. Some hosts are WordPressAltervista, and Blogger. You can also set up a Gravatar.

Then there’s what I’ve just started looking into, which is making activities that go with the book. I used Playbuzz to make quizzes and am looking into other things.

For lots of these options you will want to upload photos that go with your post/quiz/etc.  If you don’t want to take these yourself, there are some great free stock photo websites out there.  For ex. Pixabay and Stockvault.

Hope that was helpful. Get to work putting your name out there!

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Getting to Know Your Characters

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I recently decided to make some fun online games to go with my book, one of them being a character personality quiz. I thought that would be easy, but boy was it a lot of work! I didn’t know as much about my characters as I thought I did. It ended up with me taking an online personality test as each of my characters just so I could learn more about them. Not a bad idea! I learned so much about my characters that totally made sense, but I never realized before. This said, I plan on taking that quiz for my characters before writing my books now, and I would encourage others to try it. Such a help for character development.

Here’s the link to the personality quiz I took to learn about my characters:

Free Personality Test / 16 Personalities

 

Character Interviews

 

Are you trying to jump into a story but you can’t figure out exactly what each character’s personalities are? Are your characters sometimes inconsistent? Do you know their hopes, hurts, fears, dreams? How about a heart to heart interview with each of your wonderful  penned-up friends and learn more about them…and you! You can start simple; it’ll get fun as you go along. Think your characters are boring? Let them speak for themselves! Stick yourself in their shoes and you’ll learn things about them you never knew. You can make the interview as simple or complex as you want. Here are a few starter questions:

What’s your name and how old are you?

What annoys you more than anything else?

What is your greatest fear?

Who do you hold dearest?

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Seriously try this! It’s like meeting the creative side of you all over again.

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Organic writing vs. Outlining

Which is the way to go?

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There is a lot of debate about whether to write an outline or not. Organic writers like to just “go ahead and write.” Outliners like to figure out what happens in every chapter and plan each one carefully. The question? Which is the way to go?

As for me, I started out with organic writing. I didn’t like being told what to write, and wanted to just write out what came into my mind. Halfway through, I realized that I wasn’t going anywhere with the story, no matter how interesting it may be. I didn’t have a set plan on where the story was going. I tried outlining next, and I liked it, but outlining isn’t for everyone. So…here is the answer:

Organic writing and outlining are both great ways to write, it just depends on what kind of writer you are. But what every interesting story must have is architecture, a plot or point you want to get across, a beginning that leads to the ending. You don’t start a road trip without knowing where you’re going, you don’t start a story without knowing what you’re writing. First, decide what your object is, then figure out how you’re going to get there.

So before you start the first chapter, pen out a sheet of paper that gives a brief summary of what happens in the book. Figure out what your plot/purpose is and make sure it gets played out. Start with a significant beginning and finish with a memorable ending.  Add exciting and compelling road stops along the way.

Once you have perfected the architecture of your story, then start writing. Please don’t neglect the importance of this. Having a basic plan of your story will save you from a lot of writer’s block later.

© Hannah Loviisa