I shampooed the entire upstairs carpet of my house today (#cleaninggoals). However, that also meant I had exactly zero energy to write. But did I give up? Never! Not sure how coherent my writing was today, but I got it done thanks to caffeine (it is my best friend).
Today, I focused on characters, as currently I am introducing the main characters in my story, as well as the current state of the world in 1936. I’ve written so many character profiles (for this book and others), I’ve learned what information is imperative to know as an author at the beginning of a book and what is useless or filler information. There are so many character templates around the internet, but here are the five things I find out about my characters when I start a new book.
5 Things to Know About Your Characters
- What do they look like? (physical features)
- What is their background? (how old are they, who are their family, in what atmosphere did they grow up)
- What is their personality? (interests, quirks, motivations)
- What do they want in their life? (what are their motivations/goals, what are they working towards)
- What is their story you’re writing? (are they to be your tragic hero, a protagonist’s best friend)
These are the most important questions I ask about my characters, even as I continue to add new ones into my books as I write. I usually don’t get into detail with any of these questions. For example, in answering question three, I might just answer in three short words: smart, petty, and arrogant.
I find it’s a great way for me to get to know the basics of my characters without getting bogged down with details (those I add later as I write).
Words written: 5,412/50,000
Goal words needed: 3,226/50,000
Difference: 2,186 ahead of schedule!
Current chapter: Chapter 2.
Time spent writing: approx. 4 hours total (though, admittedly, most of that was just rereading my previous sentences and feeling sorry for myself)
Current weather: Bright, sunny, and super hot. Thank God for air conditioning!
Tips: I love to start off my chapters with a quote from another author. It can add depth to the meaning or message in the story. For example, my first chapter I started with a quote from the writings of Buddha, “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” I’ve done this with other books I’ve written before, and I love it when other authors do this.
Extra notes: Oddly enough, usually my chapters tend to be shorter (1000 to 2500 words). But in this book, my first chapter was nearly 4000 words (3,887 to be exact). I’m curious to see if I will continue this length of chapters as the story moves forward.