Character DevelopmentWritten by Jeff Colburn
How much character development you do really depends on your writing style. Personally, I do little or no character development. My characters, to varying degrees, are living full-blown in my mind. I may make a few quick notes, but not much more than that. However, most of my writing is in short story and novelette areas. I have not worked on a novel, and all of my books have been nonfiction. If I were to write a "War and Peace" beastie, then I'm sure I would do at least a minor outline on all of my characters.
But why do a character development? To add depth and life to your characters. Most writers flesh out their characters to varying degrees before starting their story. Especially in a novel, this can prevent you from needing to go back and rewrite scenes because a character did something that, earlier in story, he would never do. Or to make sure characters are dissimilar. There's nothing more boring than having two or more characters with similar habits, attitudes or ways of speaking.
One writer I met, Elizabeth George ("Playing For The Ashes") goes into great detail for her novels. She creates a map of area where story is taking place, takes photographs of area, or an area like one she envisions, and has pages of information on each character. How they look, dress, comb their hair, their family tree, schools attended, etc. Elizabeth writes long novels, and says, "Why say in one hundred words what you can say in one thousand?" So with long, detailed novels like this, an indepth development of each character would be necessary. When doing a character development, you will want to know as much about main characters as you know about your family or best friend. As with your story, you should use all of your senses when describing your characters. Following are some of things you should know about your characters.
Publishing Information For Genre WritersWritten by Jeff Colburn
I finally did it. I went to my first science fiction convention, LepreCon 27, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and had a great time. (To see some pictures of LepreCon 27, go to http://www.CreativeCauldron.com/leprecon.shtml)
I found out that people at scifi conventions are different from people at any of other writer's or artist's conventions that I have attended. At writer's and artist's events, people are there mainly to learn. They treat event like a mini-school. While at a scifi con, main emphasis is on having fun. With a video room showing movies and TV shows, a gaming room for computer and board games, a Con Suite where people can meet, eat and have a good time. And don't forget closing event, Squirt Gun Fight.
Don't get me wrong, there was a lot there for writers and artists to learn, but Fun is King. The Con had many good panels, in fact, I was on three of them. It was at these panels where I learned some very interesting, and possible disturbing facts, for genre writers, and writers in general.
I gleaned this information while talking with several writers, including: · Michael Stackpole - He's written over twenty five books, including Battle Tech and Star Wars novels, plus many original works. · Jennifer Roberson - She's had over twenty published novels, thirteen of which were best-selling fantasy novels. · John Vornholt - Who has over thirty published books, two of which were Star Trek: TNG. · Emily Devenport - With over fifteen published books and numerous short stories. · Ernest Hogan - Who has numerous published short stories, some of which have been recommended for Hugo and Nebula Awards.
While talking with them I learned some valuable information. For writers in general, I found out that: · Publishing houses spend little or no money to market bulk of their authors. · About 80% of books published never make back their advance. · Advances are getting smaller.
For genre writers, you should know that: · Fantasy outsells science fiction 10 to 1.