Characters of Character

In honor of ‘NaNoWriMo and the need to prepare, I’m starting a series of posts on things to prepare. And one of most important things to know is your character and their character.

Once you have a story idea, you need to decide just who your characters are and the role they will play in the story. Generally, every story has a hero or heroine and a bad guy of some sort. You may also have some of the classic characters such as a mentor/teacher, an ally, comic relief, a victim, a red herring, or love interest. When you know who takes part in the story, you need to know who they really are. And that does matter.

If your character has hair like this, you need to know why.

If your character has hair like this, you need to know why.

For example, if your character seems to be an animal hater yet is constantly confronted by people who love animals, it will create lots of tension. But, the why of hating animals will have a huge impact on the story. When this character was a child, did a beloved pet die a horrid death, right in front of their eyes? Or perhaps the pet was stolen or taken from them. Their heart broke so to keep from getting hurt again, they decided they hate animals.

You may have to dig down deep inside the character to find this information. One of the coolest ways to get to know your character is to interview them. Image sitting across from each other — you ask, they answer. Which is why I have put together a list of over 60 character interview questions. This isn’t the standard, hair color, height thing. It’s questions meant to discover just who they really are.

There are also questions you can ask the best friend of you character. These are kinda cool…think there are about 20 or so. And then I have some questions you, as the author, must answer about the character.

I planned on offering my list of 91 Character Questions on the sidebar, just click and download, but due to life, I haven’t figured out just how to do that yet. So, if you’d like a copy of those questions, just email me at and request them. I’ll be happy to send them to you. And, yes, I’ll probably keep your email addy and send you an update ever so often but I promise not to give out your email to anyone and not to over send stuff to you. :-)

So, prepare for NaNo. Get your story idea then start getting to know the characters.  Remember, it’s the writer’s job to bring those characters to life for your readers.

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Posted by on October 14, 2015 in NaNoWriMo



Do you NaNo?



NaNo, or formally NaNoWriMo is coming soon.  That’s National Novel Writing Month to those unfamiliar with the term.  For the whole month of November, thousands of writers will be putting words on the page in the annual writing madness.The goal — 50,000 words in 30 days. You can find more info on the NaNo Website. The website is awesome, by the way.

I’ve taken the NaNo plunge a couple times and even won, but it’s been a while. This year, though, I’ve decided it’s time to jump in the NaNo pool again. One of the things that really helps with NaNo success is planning ahead. So, for the next couple days, I’ll be blogging some helpful “get ready for NaNo” posts.

First, here’s a helpful book to help with your planning.


I’m not one to like every little detail plotted ahead of writing time but having a general guideline or roadmap sure makes it easier to get the words on the page. This method of plotting gives that roadmap but still leaves plenty of room for creative wordplay.

So, are you going to take part in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, look me up on the NaNo site and let’s be buddies.


Posted by on October 12, 2015 in NaNoWriMo


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Ten Things

Coming up with blog ideas is sometimes tough. Plus a lot of the time, things I come up with don’t seem interesting enough to share. So, here’s a bit of fun.

Ten Things…

Eating this… Roasted pecans. So yummy.

Reading this…Am editing for my publisher. I’m about to start the Maze Runner over again and read the series though.

Browsing this site…Sigh, mostly browsing Facebook. It’s such a time-suck but I can’t seem to stay away.

Writing this…Working on short story. I hope to submit it to Ellery Queen soon.

Drinking this…Lemon Propel water. And Heart & Hydration…I love this stuff and it’s so good for me.

Using this… Second monitor. The kids got it for me for Christmas. It’s so nice to have bigger screen for editing.

Watching this…I don’t watch a lot of tv but I am hooked on NCIS and Major Crimes.

Buying this…Nothing special now, just the usual things. However, I want to get a projector to connect to my computer soon.

Listening to this…Phil Vassar. He did the Neal McCoy benefit last weekend and I was reminded just how much I like his music.

Using this new word…Espial – the act of spying. I need to work on my espial skills.


Share  your ten things in the comments. :-)


Posted by on October 1, 2015 in Ten Things



Today I was the cause of censorship. And I have to admit, I’m not sure how to feel. I understand that it wasn’t my Facebook group and the owner of that group can allow/delete anything she wants. But on the other hand, I’m torn. If a civil discussion is deleted, just because the opinion expressed is different than your own, don’t we have enough of that now?


Here’s the gist…Many of you know I am an Independent Associate for TruVision Health. They have awesome products and while I haven’t promoted them a lot as a business, I still love them. Except for that new shake/energy drink they came out with. And that’s not their fault. It’s totally mine. I’m really, really, really, really, picky about such things. . That said, I really do love their main products, TruFix and TruWeight & Energy. And I plan to give the energy drink a try in pill form. Their Heart & Hydration is totally awesome!!! (I’m drinking one now.)

Apparently though, I stepped over the line when I suggested calling their pills a “miracle” wasn’t totally accurate. I mean, how many “miracle” pills or potions have you tried to lose weight or seen advertised?

If I claim all you must do to lose weight is take these two pills twice a day and nothing more, what is your thought? Great, another “miracle” pill. What a bunch of hooey! It makes you think of a scam. I mean, how many of those Dr. Oz ads have you seen saying the same thing?  I’ve even tried some of them only to be disappointed. And that’s all I was really getting at in my post on the Facebook page.

If we claim a miracle but no miracle happens, as it won’t for some people, then we are in the wrong. Every “body” is an individual body that has different needs and issues. Would it not make more sense to let a customer know that sometimes it doesn’t happen right away. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes you have to go the extra bit and change some things in your life for a product to have the wonderful results others are getting.

My post was deleted because…and I quote…”I don’t think it’s a good idea to post it in the group to discourage others from promoting the products”.  My intention wasn’t to discourage others but suggest there was a different, maybe better way to promote the product.

Anyway…I’m not upset, just perplexed. For example, if we say all you have to do is take two of our pills twice a day and nothing else, no changes at all, why is practically the first question we ask a client who isn’t getting results if they are drinking enough water? I mean, if I wasn’t drinking that much water before, why should I have to  up my water intake now?

So, that’s my rant. There isn’t much point to it but now I have it out of my system. And hey, it’s my blog! I can post what I want (basically) and no one will censor it.


Speaking of censoring…my daughter and I use the :-# when we are texting and censor ourselves. :-)


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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Misc.



Blogging Should be Fun!

smiley face


As a beginning writer years ago, I was told I needed a blog. I needed to blog on a regular basis, have great content that speaks to my readers, and fills a need in their lives. In fact, “they” were quite insistent about this. So I started a blog. And remembered why I never managed to keep a diary as a kid. You can find that blog here. I also took part in a multi-writer blog that is closed now but still has awesome posts. There is some good stuff there.

Then, I was told I really should have my blog on WordPress. That all the best blogs were there. So, I came over here and started blogging. Naturally, I couldn’t figure out how to import all the old blog posts into the new blog so now there is the old blog and a new one.

If you look back over the posts you can see when I suck it up, get serious, and blog for a while. Then something happens and I don’t. But not long ago, I figured out the issue. Too much pressure to have a perfect blog post. It’s not fun. And blogging should be fun. It should be something enjoyed.

I still believe a writer needs to have a blog or at least an online presence. And a blog is a great way to do that. It’s a way to let the reader know about you and your writing while peaking into your life without being a crazy stalker.

I believe the content needs to be something of use to the reader.

But, I also believe blogging should be fun. So, as of today, I’ll be blogging but I’m not going to stress over the perfect post with the perfect content that touches every reader.

Here’s to having fun with a blog. :-)

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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Misc.


Virginia’s Diary by Suzanne Peyton

Not long ago I had the privilege to meet Suzanne Peyton and hear a bit of her story that inspired this book. It’s an amazing tale and I want to encourage y’all to check it out. The book has been updated and will release on the 4th of this month. And the really cool thing, there is a movie in the works for this. It’s going to be awesome. So, get the book now.

Virginia's Diary


What would you do if you went to bed tonight and had a dream that changed your life and your family’s history forever?

January 3, 1958 – An old woman, who had been wrongly committed into a mental hospital, took her own life. I found out later that woman was my great-grandmother, Virginia Avery.

January 3, 1999 – I had a dream that causes me to challenge every story my mother had been told about Virginia, who supposedly abandoned her children in 1904.

As the lies began to unravel, my journey led me to New Orleans, and what I found, rocked me to my core.


Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Books


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Use a comma, keep Grandma out of trouble…


Many of you are acquainted with my daughter, Beth. She’s the author of the cutest kid’s book, A Tough Little Squirrel. We’re working on the sequel, Stop That Turtle. It’s going to be even cuter. But that’s not what this post is about.

Our church held VBS today. That would be Vacation Bible School for those not familiar with the terminology. But. late Friday afternoon, after work, Beth and my mom went to the church to do some decorating. And that’s cool. She has her own car and could come home when she was ready. Well, it was almost 9:30 and she still wasn’t home so I had my youngest daughter text her to see what’s going on.She replied that she was painting and stuff.

Now, I admit I’m a bit overprotective. I guess when you lose one child, it naturally happens. I had youngest ask if anyone else was there. Our church is safe, but still, it was getting on to 10 p.m. and I didn’t want her there alone. That overprotective thing.  Beth’s reply was “No other people here.” And this is where Grandma was about to get in trouble. My mom is a bit protective too so I knew, or at least thought I knew, that she’d never leave Beth at church alone. Through youngest, I told her to go ahead and come home and we could finish early this morning.

When she got home, we were talking and she was telling about the other people there. I had to ask her to clarify her message. It should have been, “No, other people are here.” She left out the comma.

Because there was no comma, there was a whole mix-up in the message, and I was about to start looking for a “home” for my mom who was obviously loosing it. (Joking here.)

I still haven’t gotten all the comma rules down. I am working on it though and am better than I was. What about you? Got those commas figured out? Here’s a few links that might help.

Ten Simple Rules for Using Commas

Basic Rules of Commas in Writing

5 Simple Comma Rules to Live By

Comment and be entered to win a free 10 page critique from me. I’ll pick at least one person from all the comments this month as my way of giving back to all those who helped me.

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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Writing


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