Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Guest Post - 5 Ways to Make Characters Believable by @KSterlingWriter #WriteTip #OBRT

“5 Ways to Make Characters Believable” 
One of the surest ways to make a novel fall flat is to fill it with characters that are unbelievable, uninteresting, unimaginative or inconsistent. I think it’s easy for authors to fall into their own personalities and allow them to resonate through all the characters in a book. If that happens, readers often get bored.
There are many ways to make characters more believable and interesting, but here are five that I often use, and my readers appear to like the results.
  1. Get to know your characters first. Despite how valuable I think they are, I don’t typically use character bios, but I do spend a lot of time getting to know my characters before I start writing them into a book. When I’m done with my “getting acquainted” process, I know them quite intimately whether I actually like them or not. Then I turn them loose in the story to do what they want, letting them stay true to themselves rather than impose my preconceived notions of what they should feel or do. If your characters are not vividly alive in your mind, don’t hesitate to write bios to get them up to speed. Most authors do.
  2. Find pictures of them. One way I animate characters in my mind is by searching online for a representative photo of them. Then, when I really need to connect with what’s going on with them, I pull up the photo, and we spend a little quality time together. It’s amazing how visual imagery conjures up so much thought and emotion.
  3. Allow them to change the story. Part of allowing characters to do their own thing is allowing them to change your plot or storyline. I often feel like I have no control over what some characters are doing and that I’m just finding clever ways to describe what’s going on. So, if they go off on a tangent, whether I like it or not, I need to let them be and work my story around it.
  4. Pay attention to speech patterns. Everyone uses different terminology, expressions and speech patterns, so it’s important to research or at least recognize the dialect of each character, hear them speak as you type their dialogue, and stay consistent. For example, many of my books include people in Europe or other parts of the world who speak English as a second language, and unless they’ve spent significant time in an English-speaking country, they probably don’t use contractions. So I’m very careful to make sure they don’t. However, in my latest book, two of the characters are from Egypt, but they have both lived in England for several years, so they were an exception to the no contraction rule.
  5. Let them be different from you. When we’re on the prowl for new friends, we usually look for people who share the same interests and opinions we do. The likelihood of compatibility increases exponentially, after all. But book characters are there to fill a role, and you don’t have to like them. In fact, some of your characters, most likely the villains, should be uncomfortable to spend time with. Just be sure when you’re writing from their point of view that the feelings and attitudes are theirs, not yours…as distasteful as that may be.
Happy writing!
Kevin Sterling

The Jack Lazar Series has it all from mystery and suspense to action, humor and romance

Jack heads to Egypt to investigate a crash-landed World War II fighter plane that was recently discovered in the middle of the Sahara. But something remarkable was left onboard, and people will stop at nothing to possess it.

An Egyptian Girl with Blue Eyes? Just Stunning.

But Jack soon finds himself in the middle of a hornet's nest as he becomes enthralled with Dalia, an exquisite woman of Egyptian and English descent whose father is the Egyptian Head Consul to the UK, not to mention a formidable ex-agent with the Mukhabarat. The man's skills and weapons come in handy as he and Jack join forces to battle a faction that has plans to kill millions of innocent people and subject the world to their twisted ideologies.

A Race Against Time

The trail leads to Northern Europe as all hell breaks loose. And before long, it's up to Jack and Jack alone to cheat death as he struggles to save Dalia, her father, and scores of unsuspecting people from the plot of a deranged madman.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Action, Mystery, Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Kevin Sterling on Facebook and Twitter
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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