Character Development

Written by Jeff Colburn

Continued from page 1

Physical Characteristics: Name (It must fit. Don't call a 98 pound weakling Thor, unless it's some kind of nickname), appearance, age, voice (sexy, gravely, lisp), annoying or unusual habits (knuckle cracking, nail biting, pencil chewing. I wrote a fictional piece called "One Per Customer," and whenrepparttar main character gets upset, he likes to throw his heavy glass paperweight throughrepparttar 129749 office wall. He's a cop, and his office looks like it's made of Swiss Cheese.), wardrobe.

Mental Attributes: Personality, how they relate to their relatives, their intelligence and schooling, fears, wants, goals, dreams, priorities, drives, skeletons in their closets.

Environment: Where they live (house, trailer, apartment, condo), it's condition (new, old, dirty), how it's decorated (salvation army, creative on a budget, antique, fashionable), their job (politician, crook (if there's a difference), manual laborer, computer work), sports, hobbies, friends, enemies, pets (I have a pet wind-up goldfish in a jar of water. Low maintenance and high neglect threshold.), relationships (single, married, divorced, widowed, dating, kids).

As I said earlier, it depends on your personality and your writing style. I often don't do much of a character development because I like to see how my characters grow, and I like to be surprised by my characters and stories as I write them. Because of this I sometime have to go back and make changes in paragraphs, or chapters, butrepparttar 129750 surprises are worth it.

So experiment and find out what you feel comfortable with. You can change it whenever you like. Above all, find a way to write that you enjoy. That's what it's all about.

Have Fun, Jeff

Jeff Colburn is a freelance business writer. He can be reached at his site, The Creative Cauldron (, or at

Publishing Information For Genre Writers

Written by Jeff Colburn

Continued from page 1
Publishers seem to haverepparttar attitude that authors who write genre books are doing it as a hobby, not a career. Short stories are selling better than novelettes. Preferred novel length for most places is between 85,000 and 100,000 words. You need to determine how your work is like other works out there (so that readers are familiar, and comfortable, with your work) and how it is unique (to make it special to readers, something different that they will want to read). Even if your book is published, it must be carried by bookstores, which only stock a fraction ofrepparttar 129747 books available to them. Without aggressive promotion byrepparttar 129748 author, sales will be slow or nonexistent andrepparttar 129749 major chains will remove your book fromrepparttar 129750 shelf in two to seven days. When that happens, your book has essentially reachedrepparttar 129751 end of its life. So, you spent at least a year writing your book, maybe another year finding a publisher and one to two years forrepparttar 129752 publisher to have a finished product. Allrepparttar 129753 efforts you put into seeing your book in print, a minimum of four years of your life, can go downrepparttar 129754 tubes in less than a week.

And a little writing advice: You should have no more than five main viewpoint characters for a 100,000 word story. You can have more for longer stories. For a 100,000 word book one author usesrepparttar 129755 first 25,000 words to set uprepparttar 129756 story and introducerepparttar 129757 characters,repparttar 129758 middle 50,000 to ramp up torepparttar 129759 ending, andrepparttar 129760 last 25,000 words to wrap uprepparttar 129761 story.

Yes,repparttar 129762 facts appear grim, but remember, many writers do make a comfortable living in their profession. Ifrepparttar 129763 above facts make you want to run away and hide, then maybe you don't have what it takes to be a full time writer. Someone truly dedicated to a writing career will see these things as challenges to be overcome, and know that even though it will take a lot of hard work, they can indeed achieve their goals.

So cheer up, put your heart and soul into your work, loverepparttar 129764 process and have faith in yourself.

Jeff Colburn is a freelance business writer. He can be reached at his site, The Creative Cauldron (, or at

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