Spill. What techniques do you use when you develop your characters? Characters are the most important foundation for my stories, and this novel, The Harvest, which is coming together nicely even for a down draft. I start with the image of a character and some action they are doing and go from there. In fact, many of my stories being with a character and some tension. Yet, as I develop them, I don't name them until later because I hone in on how they talk first.
I am raising these issues because it's high time to take the characters in my novel on a weekend outing and get to know them better. Truthfully, getting to know your characters is very much like dating. You want to get to know them in different contexts. Plus, that's the only way to really get to know them well, by spending time with them. Yes, they change over the course of a story, so you have to visit them often.
In real life, we are going on a Father's Day weekend trip, and I will be taking my characters along with me in the car. I want to focus specifically on Alan and Cherry, then Ashley and Jackie. You all know how much I love to write in hotel rooms, so besides revising another horror story, I will be doing this foundational relationship building.
Today, I am also crafting more take-home exercises for my creative writing students and offered a random character generator for students who are really stuck. There are multiple ones you can find online, if you are really unable to craft your own.
This morning, drum roll, I also saw the draft of the *.epub that my friend Kindled for me! It is fucking gorgeous! The cover looks amazing, and I designed it, but his craftsmanship makes it look amazing. He did this one book for me for free, but I will be paying him in the future. He also needs to come over for mole and some tequila, much overdue. (Come on Yankee. Cut the chains loose.)
On a practical note, I find that Calibre is not a bad software for simple e-books, but there are gorgeous design elements that I can't do in Microsoft word, like those fancy chapter dividers. They are something else. It really is a beautiful book. I can't wait to show you!
Unfortunately, this will have to be a short victory dance. I have to grade some short creative writing exercises. I am also trying to schedule a creative writing group, but my time has been really tight this summer with meetings and regular job obligations. The goal is to schedule a CW group if the students want to meet on Thursdays or Fridays for a couple of hours.
Have a great day and spread that writing joy.
Basque in joyful writing days and victories! Shine a light on your friends who help you. #Resist
Dr. Jesú Estrada,