Hello! Glad you made it to Tuesday. So, let’s discuss character bios. Yes, we’ve discussed those before, but it needs to be brought back up. Recently I read a post from a fellow writer that said they were writing a series and were constantly flipping back and forth. That’s time consuming and eats up your writing time.
Here’s my suggestion, take it or leave it. And it helps me!
Grab a notebook, binder, or make a file on your computer. If you use Scrivener, you’re already there!
As you start a new series or book, write down every characteristic of each character and place that comes up. It’s important to know if they have blonde hair and blue eyes. Also, birthdays are essential in case you need to throw a birthday party. If a character gets a scar, make note of it.
Add marriages, births and deaths to this also. Nothing is worse than getting to book three and not remembering if Mary is married to Burt or Ernie. Believe me, this is time consuming as well as frustrating to the reader if Mary marries Burt, but keeps kissing Ernie.
It’s worth the time and effort, believe me. Getting called out on a mistake that you could have avoided isn’t fun.
As a writer you learn many tricks of the trade. For me I outline almost every book from start to finish. Of course as the story develops so does the outline. One of the most important factors in the writing process is the character list. It helps keep you from renaming a character mid book. Yeah, I did this. *Grinning* Also helps you remember the different aspects of the characters that don’t take forefront in the story.
Of course I didn’t learn this nifty little practice until about 5 books in. It really stinks when you’re in the midst of writing and suddenly you can’t remember what one of the side characters does for a living. I always keep my character outline at the bottom of my screen. It sits there ready for action when I need it. I just pull it up and get the info and bam, I’m back to writing.
The book that I used this the most was ‘Victoria’. She had 5 brothers and they had wives and children too. All of the characters played a part in the story so I had to remember what wife went with what brother. Also, in this one I had a timeline beside me too. I’ll get into that in another blog. But if I didn’t have that list, it would have been a nightmare.
This outline started out on paper, handwritten, but after I lost it once I put it in my computer so that it was available at a moment’s notice. This also helps with series. That way you can pull from this all the way throughout. You can add new characters and new additions to old characters. It’s a wonderful tool and so easy to set up.
So, if you’re writing a book and don’t have a character list, then I suggest setting one up. It helps immensely to have a mini bio on your characters. List their likes, dislikes. If your character has blonde hair, put it down. If they are vegetarian’s thats important to make a note of. Also if they have a scar or disability, definitely worth a mention in the bio. This also helps if you decide to do a question answer session with your characters. These are really fun!
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…
Don’t forget that “Finding the Right Time” is available for Pre Order on Smashwords.com. It should be up this week on Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple iTunes. It’s only .99 while on Pre Order, but will go to $3.99 on March 31st when the official release date hits.