Saturday, 28 March 2009

Writing Exercise - Developing Characters

When thinking about characters for your novel you can gain ideas from examining personality types and leadership styles. Do a search on the Internet under these headings and see what it throws up.

Look at the different styles of leadership below, these could be applied to some of your characters.

1. The Little General - These lead by dominating and intimidating. They inspire fear and require obedience. They don't want any ideas or suggestions. Their organisations have a high turnover of staff and a lack of motivated staff.

2. The Wheeler/Dealer - These lead by manipulation. They require returns of favours and inspire mutual dependence. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. They are not trusted by their staff.

3. The Role Model - These lead by example. They inspire hope and require loyalty. They can believe in their own ego too readily.

4. The Wizard - These lead by including other people. They delegate and inspire commitment. They need help and support.


Under each of the headings flesh out a character that fits each of those styles. You can describe their body language, how they move and behave, the way they speak, the language they use, how they react with others.

Put your character into a fictitious situation and write how they handle it.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Pauline Rowson talks about her Marine Mysteries

Pauline Rowson talks to Rob Richardson of Express FM about her marine mystery crime novels featuring the flawed and rugged Inspector Andy Horton, her thrillers, In Cold Daylight and In For The Kill and discusses point of view.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Top Writing Tip For Today

Character Development - Villains

Villains need to be worthy adversaries – intelligent enough to hurt the hero or heroine, and have the opportunity and power to do so.

They must be well rounded characters with hopes, fears and weaknesses and perhaps a few good points to make them more interesting but not more interesting than the hero or heroine.

They need to have motivation for what they do and should be punished for their misdemeanours, or at least not get what they want.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Top Writing Tip For Today

Character Development

Crime fiction is usually plot led but the reader has to like/love the characters especially the main ones. In romantic/relationship fiction most readers will want to identify with the heroine and fall in love with the hero.

Main characters need to take control, they should not give in under pressure and should take an active part in solving their own problems.

They should be people the reader can love, admire or find interesting, who change and grow, who react to what happens and learn from it, and from what went wrong in the past.

Heroes and heroines need to win through and get what they want – or die tragically in the attempt. They can have faults, but we can forgive them for these. They must deserve our affection. They must be real and we must feel for them.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Top Writing Tip For Today

When pitching your book to an agent or publisher, or if you are self-publishing, try and have a clear picture of the type of people your book would appeal to.

Are they primarily men or women, or is it a children's novel? What is the age range and background of your prospective readers? What is their lifestyle? How do they spend their leisure time? Which newspapers and magazines do they read?

In addition, think about what makes your book different to all the others on the same subject or in that genre? What is its unique selling point? Define it if you can to help it stand out from all the others.

Use this information in your covering letter when making a submission to an agent or publisher.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Top Writing Tip For Today

Sum up what your book is about in one sentence. Imagine you are in a lift with a top literary agent or publisher and you have thirty seconds to tell them what your book is about.

Or imagine you are on a radio programme and the presenter asks you to explain what your books is about in thirty seconds.

Time yourself.

Make it a soundbite.

This is what you will need when pitching to an agent or publisher whether that be face-to-face or as a sentence in your covering letter.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Writing Tip For Today

Your plots spring from your characters. Know your characters well. Here are two exercises to help you develop your characters:

1. Think of a person you know well and list all the points about them that make them the person they are e.g. background, education, position in the family, traumatic events etc.

2. When you are on the bus, tube, train, or sitting in a cafe, look at the people around you. Focus on one of them and build a story about them from what you see. What is their name, their background, their family life, their hopes and dreams... Make sure you don't stare though or you could find yourself in trouble!

For more on character development listen to the short video below.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Top Writing Tip For Today

When it comes to finding a publisher or literary agent for your book you need to ask, 'Who would be interested in my type of book?'

Don’t waste your time and theirs submitting work that they are not publishing, for example, sending fiction to a non fiction publisher. Rather obvious I know, but it happens. Do your research.

  • Look through the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook and make a note of the publishers you’d like to try. (Scroll down to see the helpful books section on this web site, where you will also find links to the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook)
  • Study the books in your local bookshop or library to see who is publishing your type of book and make a note of the publisher. Then look them up on the Internet or in the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.
  • Conduct a search on the Internet for a suitable publisher or literary agent.
  • Check if they will take submissions and what they require. Most provide guidelines on their web sites on how to submit your work.
  • Attend writing conferences where literary agents are present and where you have the opportunity to meet them.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Pauline Rowson Talks About Developing Characters 0001

Top Writing Tip For Today is via this short video. Know your characters.

Pauline Rowson talks to Rob Richardson of Express FM about developing characters.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Top Writing Tip For Today

Top writing tips includes tips on how to get published, how to find an agent, how to self publish and how to promote your book.

Write what you want to write. Write what you enjoy reading. Don’t write what you think will be a hit or a best seller, because by the time you’ve written it the market will probably have moved on. Write from the heart and with passion no matter what the genre or whether it is fiction or non fiction. Experiment with different techniques, constantly improve. Read books that are similar to the style or genre you write and learn from other writers.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Crime Writer Pauline Rowson Talks to Rob Richardson

Pauline Rowson talks about how she writes her marine mysteries in this short video interview.