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Friday, March 20, 2009

Jen's Writing Tip# 6 Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Character


When writing a story, it's important to know your character. It's been said you should know your character as well as you know yourself. One way to do that is to "interview" your character. You aren't going to use all the information you come up with, but you will have a rich background of information to choose from.


How do you interview a character? Put yourself in the frame of mind of your character. What would she say or do in response to the questions? Before you know it, your character might not be able to stop talking.


Here are my top ten questions I ask my character:


10. Where do you live?

9. Who is in your family?

8. Do you get along with your family?

7. Who is your best friend and why?

6. What do you think of school? Is it fun, boring, horrifying?

5. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? Worst?

4. What do you like to do when you aren't in school or with your friends?

3. What do you do when you get upset? Do you have a special place you go, or a routine you follow?

2. What do you think of boys/girls?

1. Tell me one interesting thing that your best friend doesn't even to know.


I'm sure you can come up with even more questions. Once you get an idea of who your character is, you might end up with pages of questions to ask them. That's okay. The more you know, the better your readers will enjoy your character.


Happy Writing!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Article featuring My Light Magazine


Author Mayra Calvani interviewed me about My Light Magazine and my books that are under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing.

In the article, we discuss what My Light contains, our contents and our submission policies. Don't miss the book descriptions at the end about my upcoming picture books: A Star in the Night, Teresa's Shadow, and Angel Donor.

Click here to see the article on Suite 101.
You can also visit Mayra's blog here. Check out her pet blog also. You don't want to miss out on the fun over there!

Come Visit My Light Magazine


The March Issue of My Light Magazine is up and running. Be sure to stop by our latest stories, articles, poems and activities. As always, Candace J Hardy supplied us with her monthly contribution of paper dolls Tessa and Patrick. Don't forget to leave a comment in our guestbook. Or you can send your comment to the editor with "Light Beams" in the subject line. When you do this, you could see your thoughts or comments up in our Light Beams section of the magazine.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jen's Writing Tip #5 It's Fiction,But Is It Real?


The 10-year old hero of your story meets the villain. Before your hero jumps in a car, flies a plane or a space ship, make sure these elements make sense. Is your story set in a normal, human world where you wouldn't see these events, or is it set in a new world - maybe another planet. In our every day life, it would be hard to believe a young child would fly a space ship or plane. But, if you created a world in your story where this is the norm, flying a spaceship to catch the villain may work nicely. When you are trying to sell your work to an editor and the reader, you want to make sure your story makes sense and the reader can "see" the events happening. Readers are clever and they sense when a character is being true to the story. If the reader feels cheated, we loose the reader. So go ahead and write that fabulous story! When it's finished and your readers read that fictional story - will it feel real to them?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jen's Writing Tip #4: Watch Passive Voice

Jason ate the cookie.
The cookie was eaten by Jason.

Which sentence above do you find more interesting to read? Did one of them provide a better picture in your head of what was going on? Both sentences tell us about Jason eating a cookie, but the first one was more clear and you can easily visualize the action.

The first sentence is Active Voice. The second sentence was Passive. Active voice makes for more interesting reading and is likely to keep your reader interested. The readers will find themselves caring more about your character as well because it would be as if they were actually there.

There's a bonus to using Active Voice - it helps when you are revising and cutting words. If you take a look at the two sentences above again, you'll notice the first sentence (Active Voice) has four words. The second (Passive Voice) sentence has six. Imagine cutting two or more words from many sentences in your manuscript. You may find it easier to meet your word count requirement, which can only improve your chances of publication.

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