Adding characters to your story
Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
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Adding characters to your story

I've set up a new system to help me send off queries. There is a company here on the net that organizes your interests and who you have sent what too, but that's kind of a pain in the tail to work with. So... I have made my own. Sometimes the company doesn't have all of the publishers or agents that are accepting new clients. I get email newsletters from several sources that give me one or two here and there. I have collected all of them and split them up into the different types of books that they accept. Now I just need to decide which one of my books I am going to promote. If I can I am going to send just a few to all of them. Well... one to each but some want fiction, while others want science fiction and some want something else. So each publisher or agent will get pitched one book that is within their desired genre. I should have several books out there at a time being pitched to someone. The fun part is not overlapping where the publisher does not allow overlap. In other words, some publishers do not like to accept what they call multiple submissions. This is where you send say Veteran of the Silent War, to two different publishers at the same time. This makes the submission process slow down to a crawl.

In the mean time I am still working on the restructuring of my cookbook Un Sabor de Mexico. This is a fun one to work on, as it means that I have to prepare meals and then take pictures of the finished product. It is still selling in its present format, which is always encouraging. Still people are going to Amazon to purchase instead of here. Consequently they are paying way too much for their books. I suppose that shows me just how much they want it. 

I am also still writing my new Cali adventure, book number 8, The Look of Evil. This is a real challenge for me. I am not writing anything majorly different, what I am doing is changing the style in which I am writing. Instead of a simple chase or even a complicated chase, I am changing it up and misdirecting both Cali, and hopefully my readers. I want them to focus upon the wrong thing so that when the right thing shows up under their nose, they are surprised. I like it when an author can do that to me and thought that I would try to duplicate the experience. It is harder than it seems. 

In the past I have belabored myself with trying to tell my readers everything within the story. I think that this might be a mistake. I should allow the readers to make connections on their own without feeling the need to tell them about it. So that is another thing that I am changing up with this book, Cali is no longer going to be telling all of her thoughts to the reader. The readers will now need to connect the dots without a cheat card.  I think that this is a natural progression of both the character and my writing. 

In the beginning, when you first start to write, you have all sorts of story running through your mind. You want to put it all down on paper, but even more than that you want other people to understand what you are thinking, so you explain and sometimes you over explain. A perfect example of explaining inside of a book is J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series. Anytime that she needed to explain something she simply used dialogue with Hermione Granger. Hermione explained whatever it was that J. K. was thinking and the story progressed. I do this in the Cali books by using thoughts. Cali is not a big sharer, so unless she is speaking with one of her closest confidantes then she just thinks to herself. It works. All of that being said, I think that there is a time when you begin to share too much and the story becomes a giant explanation or it loses any kind of mystery. I think that readers like a story that makes them engage their brain. 

If you have been keeping up, in the latest Cali book, I have also added several new characters that are going to remain, but not necessarily in the same capacity that they occupy in The Look of Evil. I realized that Cali's universe was too limited, so I added more permanent characters. They will add different personalities and help fill in some logistic blanks as well as some emotional holes. Generally a cop shop is filled to the brim with personalities, and most of them are A type personalities. This means that they are dominant personalities, you know, top of the heap type people. Some of them are wanna be A personalities and a few of them are B personalities that only feel useful and loved if they are helping the A personalities and receiving their praises.  So, I am in the process of placing these people into Cali's life. I plugged in 5 new people, one of them will be transitory and the rest will make regular appearances from now on. 

Writing these people in is difficult and a whole new challenge, that is very different than what I did with my epic novel Michael's Folly. In Michael's Folly I actually followed each character and wrote their own story and how it tied to the whole story. That has its own challenges. Writing in an entire group of new characters is more difficult than it sounded in my head. Eventually I think that I will need to give them more substantial back stories, to help flesh them out for my readers. But, for now they are supporting cast for Cali and as that they work just fine. 

Okay, so I need to get back to that novel and see where Cali leads me today. 

I am still waiting on the results from the last contest. I'll keep you posted. Don't forget that you can get almost any one of my books as an Ebook for only $4.39 each and if you're not sure if you would like the book, you can read the first chapter free and then you can decide. 

Live well and be good to each other.

4 Comments to Adding characters to your story:

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