My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Chart Your Characters’ Lives On and Off the Page

If anyone’s ever asked me to beta read for them, they know I will annoy them to death about what the characters’ motivations are. My margin notes are filled with “why?”. There is so much happening “off camera” which drives the action on the page. Knowing your characters intimately is a cornerstone to continuity. I extol the virtues of character profiles; I can’t write without them. I have tinkered around with the card system in Scrivener and found world building remains organic, now there’s more clarity. This article contains some good advice.

Writers In The Storm Blog

by James Preston

The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. — Sun Tzu

First, thanks for having me back.  I really enjoy these opportunities to talk about our work.

About this entry —

If you have a first draft and wonder what to do next, this is the essay for you.

If you don’t have a first draft, this is the essay for you because reading it will relieve some of the worry about your first draft not being perfect. (Hint: it probably won’t be and that’s ok.)  It will give you permission to drive on to the end.

I wanted to find a nifty segue between “Thanks” and Deconstructionism but it eluded me. Maybe I’ll find it in the revision of this essay, which leads me to what I want…

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4 thoughts on “Chart Your Characters’ Lives On and Off the Page

  1. Thanks for posting “Chart Your Characters.” I appreciate the cool comments. I saw your note about 50,000 words in, what? A month? I need to do almost that to have my new book ready for Bouchercon in November. Your goal was very encouraging! Wish me luck!
    James R. Preston
    PS Did you have any kind of life while you were doing the 50,000 words? Maybe I don’t want to know.


    • daphodill on said:

      Fifty thousand words…I failed miserably, James, but I did start something I think has real potential. It’s slow going, but it’s going. That’s what matters, I suppose. I have found my calling in editing, so I’ve focused on learning those skills and practicing them on some of my friends who were gracious enough to allow me access to their manuscripts. Best of luck in your writing goals!


  2. Thanks for more blog love, Daphodill!
    -Fae Rowen


  3. This kind of geometric passing of information is something new — and I think just possibly more important than anybody realizes. And very very interesting. My thanks to you both.


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