Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Staying Focused With A Character "Wanted" Poster




Autumn...the time of year when I wax nostalgic, remembering people and places from my past. Does fall, this bittersweet interlude between summer and winter, affect you like that, too?


When I was growing up, a great-aunt was a small-town postmistress and my grandma was her backup. So I spent a number of hours in the rear room of a small frame building listening to their soft Texan accents as they chatted with locals, sold stamps, processed packages, and placed mail in postal boxes--the old kind where you had to spin the combination lock this way and that.

Oscillating floor fans gently stirred the shadowed interior on a day when a rooster’s crow served as an alarm clock, horned toads scuttled across hot sand streets, cattle lowed in the distance, and the universal topic of conversation revolved around would it ever rain again?
But I digress... Today we’re talking about story characters!


Do you sometimes find yourself forgetting a character’s eye color? What vehicle he drives? Or maybe the scene you just wrote falls flat, is episodic, and doesn’t move the story forward. After much head pounding you belatedly realize it’s because you haven’t kept the GMC that drives your characters foremost in your thoughts. You didn’t take advantage of that secret she’s keeping or his greatest fear to increase the internal or external conflict. Maybe out in the muddled middle you lost track of what your story is REALLY about.
One of the other things I remember from that small-town post office was being fascinated with the “wanted” posters. Just like back in the Old West, the bulletin boards were tacked with layers of notices providing details and images of criminals who were attempting to outrun the law. Posters that were designed to stick in a reader’s mind.


Which brings me to the birth of a character “wanted” poster.

In September 2014 Seeker Janet Dean and I attended author-editor Jeff Gerke’s ACFW workshop “Write Your Novel In A Month.” In that session, Jeff mentioned how it was important to remind yourself of a number of things as you write. Things that, once you get bogged down in the writing weeds, are too easily forgotten, allowing those inner deflating “voices” to cause you to doubt, flounder, and lose focus.


Jeff suggested posting answers to the following questions at your work station for a frequent refresher.
- WHAT is the “story core”? The premise?
- WHY did I want to write this story in the first place?

- WHY will a reader want to read this story?

During a workshop break, Janet and I chatted about the usefulness of keeping those ideas front and center as we wrote. Then we elaborated on some of Jeff’s (and others’) ideas to formulate what else would be helpful to post as a reminder as we write each scene. That’s when we came up with a character “wanted” poster.

What did we decide belonged on that single sheet of paper that we can regularly review?
.
- Core story concept
- Moral premise / takeaway
- Why I am writing this
- What will appeal to a reader
- Location / season

For both hero and heroine:
- Name
- Photo
- Character description (core character, e.g., dreamer; headstrong; burned out)
- Personal (physical description, personality, mannerisms, background, job)

- Goal - internal
- Motivation - internal
- Conflict – internal

- Goal - external
- Motivation – external
- Conflict – external

- What happens if goal(s) not met?
- A secret kept
- Greatest fear
- Greatest flaw
- A lie tells self
- How will he/she change?

Then, using Microsoft Word’s table feature, I created a 1-page “Wanted Poster” that concisely summarizes things to remember as I write. I post it next to my desk--or I could post it as my “desk top” image so it’s there every time I log on.


So how do YOU stay focused on the core essence of your story and characters as you write? What other elements might you add to a character “wanted” poster of your own?

To celebrate the debut of my new “Hearts of Hunter Ridge” series, I’ll draw the names of three winners for a copy of “Rekindling the Widower’s Heart.” If you’re interested in being included, please mention it in the comments section--then check the Weekend Edition to see if you won.

Glynna

GLYNNA KAYE treasures memories of growing up in small Midwestern towns--and vacations spent with the Texan side of the family. She traces her love of storytelling to the times a houseful of great-aunts and great-uncles gathered with her grandma to share candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood. Her Love Inspired books--Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday won first and second place, respectively, in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards.

A Future to Build On - All widower Luke Hunter wants is to raise his three kids—and be left alone. When Delaney Marks arrives in town to oversee the youth group's house renovation project, Luke decides he must come out of hiding. He's worried she's too young to get the job done. He'll have to keep a close watch on her—and on his heart. Because being with the vibrant girl makes it easy to forget their age difference and to start hoping for a future he doesn't deserve. As tensions rise over project pressures, Delaney tries to make Luke see that some things are just out of his control—and that he is worthy of happiness...with her.

113 comments:

Helen Gray said...

Yep, yep, yep. All those things plague me. I also have a chart I use so I don't have to look up things every time I forget details.

Thanks for the insights.

Coffee's brewing.

Lyndee H said...

Hi Glynna,
Thanks for so generously sharing your chart! Great advice and direction. I just attended Jeff's class at ACFW. He's a font of information, isn't he?

Because I have a checkered past of misplacing important story notes, I currently use an old fashioned composition notebook (or two) for each story. I stock up on them this time of year when the price is reduced to fifty cents. I mark pages with color tabs denoting hero, heroine, town, secondary characters, etc. That leaves plenty of space in the last half of the notebook for notes on theme, twists that pop into my head for later in the story and so forth.

Congrats on the new book!

Loves To Read said...

What an interesting post! Please enter me in the drawing for your book!

Tina Radcliffe said...

CHART PEOPLE UNITE!!

I love this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I also use a notebook for each book, Lyndee.

Mary Preston said...

I can see how useful the “Wanted Poster” would be.

Count me in thank you.

Cindy W. said...

Great post Glynna and wonderful suggestions! I have a three ring notebook that I keep my information in. I use the old fashioned dividers to separate my characters, plot, sub-plot ideas. I like your Wanted Posted idea as it appears everything is on one sheet which would be perfect for me.

I would love to win a copy of your book. Thank you for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Terrific post, Glynna! Thank you for sharing your chart. Like Lyndee, I also use the spiral notebooks for each book. During back to school time, I've picked them up for twenty-five cents. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Great post, Glynna! You make it sound so dog-gone sensible and I just think the world of Jeff Gerke!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lyndee and Tina, that's such a great idea!

Jackie said...

Thanks for sharing your chart, Glynna!

Your book sounds great, and I've already seen it mentioned online a few times, so way to go! I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

Lyndee, you were in Jeff's class? How did I miss you? My appointments were that day, and I sat in the very back. I thought he did a great job, and I even ordered his newest book. I really wish I'd seen you there.

Have a great day everybody!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Helen! Glad you have the coffee brewing on this chilly morning (upper 30's) -- even though I don't drink coffee, I love the smell of it and that should warm me up!

So you're a story chart person, too! What do you have on yours?

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, LYNDEE! I really enjoy Jeff's classes, too--came away with a lot of notes and ideas bubbling on how to approach my next books.

That's a great idea with the composition notebook (they make them SO pretty now, it's hard to resist, isn't it?). They would be small enough to unobtrusively tuck next to your work station and small enough to carry with you wherever you go if you have a laptop with which you move from writing location to writing location.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, "Loves to Read." I've thrown your name into the kitty dish! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

TEENA! Another chart person! They're just so handy & compact.

Glynna Kaye said...

Your name's in the kitty dish, too, MARY P! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CINDY W! I've long been a binder person, too--with those neat clear plastic top-loading sheets. I had a three-ring notebook that I kept all my research and overall ideas for my Canyon Springs books, and now also one for the new "Hearts of Hunter Ridge" series. The latter is getting so stuffed, though, that I think I may have to get a slightly bigger one. The ones I love best are the "slant-D" ring ones -- they hold so much more than the old circular ringed ones.

Your name is in the kitty dish! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Wow, JILL! You're not only a notebook person, you're a thrifty shopper, too!

I don't know if it's just that old "back to school" mentality for me, but even though I don't work anywhere that has anything to do with education, this time of year in particular I have difficulty NOT picking up "deals" on little spiral notebooks, especially the Mead ones that are about 5 x 7. I keep one in the console of my car and, when I travel, in my purse or carry-on bag just in case a great idea strikes! I always take one with me if I know I'll be stuck waiting for an appointment, too.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, RUTHY! Isn't Jeff great? I like his classes because they have so much you can APPLY to what you're doing. You NEVER come away from one of his workshops thinking "bummer, didn't get much out of that one."

Rhonda Starnes said...

Glynna, I love anything that helps me organize my thoughts. At one time I had a three page questionnaire that I'd fill out for each character. That got old fast, mainly because it was so time consuming. I really like the idea of a one page Wanted Poster though, and I'm excited to try it out. Thanks for sharing!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, JACKIE! Your name is in the kitty dish!

I'm ordering Jeff's new book, too. What was his workshop in Dallas about?

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, RHONDA! Like you, I used to complete those long character questionnaire's, too, but have gotten away from them. While helpful, I thought too many asked irrelevant questions that were very time-consuming to respond to. Unless it affects the deep core of my character or plays a role in the story, I don't care what color my heroine's tooth brush is.

I HAVE kept a number of the questionnaires (in a 3-ring binder) that I can glance at if I need a little "kick" when initially developing a character. Sometimes they can get your brain out of a rut and moving in a new direction.

Glynna Kaye said...

HELP ME OUT HERE, PLEASE -- there's a little extra space here and there on my chart. What OTHER things do you think should be added to my Character "Wanted" Poster (still keeping it to ONE page, of course!).

Connie Queen said...

Good morning Glynna,

Can you explain the difference between story concept and the premise. I think I tend to combine those two.

Confession: I tend to make charts and then rarely use them. (I do use writing calendars though.)

Donna said...

Glynna, I also use a notebook for each story. But that ends up being a lot to look through and I certainly can't quickly glance at it to get me back on track. I am going to take your suggestion and make a word doc to use as a cheat sheet! I didn't know you could add a picture to a document! I may have to get my son to help with that.

Thank you for the great suggestions and the chance to win a book!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, GLYNNA, this is a WONDERFUL idea, my friend, so I am saving your wanted poster for future books because I cannot tell you HOW many times I've had to hunt throughout a book I'm writing to figure out just exactly what color the hero's or heroine's eyes are!! In fact, it just happened in my last book where I had the heroine's eyes as blue in the beginning and they ended up hazel by the end of the book. YIKES!!

Thanks for the help I obviously need!

Hugs,
Julie

Jeanne T said...

You're speaking my language . . . charts. I like yours,Glynna! I have a document where I log my list of characters and features for my main characters, but your Wanted Poster encapsulates everything we need to keep in mind as we write. I love it!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, CONNIE! I always keep a story calendar, too. Really helps me keep track of things and not to have a character refer to "yesterday" when the event being talked about was a week prior!

People often use the words "premise" and "concept" interchangeably. What I try to pin down on my chart is the external story concept/question and the MORAL premise.

For instance, for the story concept: "When a young woman sets out to unearth the truth about a family legend, will betrayals past and present sabotage a growing relationship with the hero of her heart?"

Then I think of the moral premise as the interior world..."Fear of betrayal leads to distrust and missed opportunities for love. Giving fears to God leads to stepping out courageously to risk loving again."

Does that help? There's no right or wrong way, this is just the way I think of it that helps me as I write.

Connie Queen said...

Glynna,
That makes perfect sense. Thank you.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, DONNA! Sometimes notebooks can be tricky to find things in--but at least you know it's in there SOMEWHERE! What I am absolutely notorious for is writing down dialogue, ideas, etc., on any handy scrap of paper and LOSING them. So keeping a little notebook handy for that is really helpful.

Do you have Microsoft Office? Microsoft now has the COOLEST feature called a snipping tool (you can find it in programs/accessories). I put the icon conveniently in my bottom-of-the-screen task bar. Then when I find a photo I want, I just click on the icon, 'draw' around the image I want to save, "snip it," paste it into my Word chart, and adjust the size of it to fit as needed.

Sometimes I find a photo that's in a physical catalog or magazine--so I take a picture of that, upload it to my computer in a folder I have set aside in the pictures folder, THEN I can snip that photo from there and apply it to my chart.

This snip-it tool is fabulous for creating a book's art fact sheet for your editor, too.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JULIE! Glad you found he Wanted Poster helpful. I like it because it's posted right on the wall next to my computer where I can easily see it and be reminded of the "core" of characters and story as I go. It helps me get back on track when a scene erodes into being episodic--injects renewed purpose into it.

Glynna Kaye said...

JEANNE T - Yet another chart person!! :) Sounds as if you already are working with a tool that's similar to the Wanted Poster, so you can probably easily condense yours to a single page. I REALLY like having a photo of my hero & heroine on it, too. When they get kind of unclear in my mind, the image jumpstarts them in the scene that's evolving in my mind.

Glynna Kaye said...

You're welcome, CONNIE. Sometimes seeing an example rather than reading an explanation is easier to understand.

Wilani Wahl said...

This is a great tip! thank you. I find I am always having to go back in the story to find things about the characters. This will save a lot of time.

I would love to be entered for a copy of your book.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, WILANI! I'm glad you find the chart helpful. Your name's been dropped into the kitty dish. Or maybe I should get out the Stetson Mary uses instead? Or a hollowed-out pumpkin now that autumn is here! :)

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, I love your "wanted poster," Glynna! What a great idea!

I do keep a lot of that information handy in my Scrivener project, but it isn't always "front and center" enough to be a constant reminder. I may need to rethink how I display it for easier reference.

Marianne Barkman said...

I need one of those just to remember where I left my phone! Great post, Glynna, and I would love to win your book! Thank you

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MYRA! Scrivener sounds so intriguing and I'd love to try it out sometime because it gets such great raves. I should probably take a class. I'm always looking for better ways to do things and that sounds like a real possibility for me. But considering I bought PaintShop Pro software 3 years ago and still haven't had time to explore even the basics, the chances of that happening anytime soon are pretty slim. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, MARIANNE!! Throwing your name in the kitty dish/Stetson/pumpkin. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

By the way, MARIANNE...are you getting all packed for your wintertime sojourn yet?

Barbara Scott said...

Good morning, Glynna! I'm stealing your "wanted poster" idea. Right now I order glossy prints of my hero and heroine that stare at me all day, but I really like your idea of a single sheet to record all those little details. Thanks!

I'd love to read a copy of REKINDLING THE WIDOWER'S HEART. Please throw my name in the hat!

Lyndee H said...

Ha, JACKIE! You sat in the back of Jeff's class and I was way upfront in the second row! Teehee. Guess we'll just have to wave at each other here! Sorry I missed you, too. Next time.


GLYNNA, Yes, composition notebooks are so pretty now. That's one of the fun parts of starting a new book. I get to select my book's color scheme, lol. I do like the portability, but I ESPECIALLY like storing them! They make such a tidy display when I'm working and when I file them, they fit neatly into my file drawers.

Jodie Wolfe said...

Great idea, Glynna. Do you have it in a printable document that you are willing to share? :)

BTW, our post office still has those type of mail boxes you described.

Barbara Scott said...

Glynna, I'm with Jodie! Do you have a printable document that you're willing to share? I want to start using this right away for my WIP.

Love Jeff Gerke! He's a hoot!!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, BARBARA! Steal away! :) And your name's been added to the drawing!

Glynna Kaye said...

JODIE & BARBARA -- Julie had just emailed me to see if I could make the Word docx available and suggested that if someone is interested in having a copy, to have them request it via our Seekerville contact email. Please make the subject line "Wanted Poster" to distinguish it from other incoming mail.

Jodie Wolfe said...

Thank you, Glynna. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

LYNDEE -- I like the idea of the composition books (with no spiral sticking out) being able to be easily stored in a file drawer.

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, this is a wonderful help! Thank you for sharing. I always seem to get to a point in the story where I'm typing away and then realize I've gone off in the wrong direction, or I've wasted a whole scene. Keeping your chart in front of me would help!

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Marianne!! I lost my phone yesterday. I knew it had to be somewhere nearby, so I used iMessage on my computer to send a text to myself. And I was sitting on my phone!! LOL

Missy Tippens said...

Myra, I'm the same way. I have a lot of that info in my Planning Notebook file that I keep on every story. But it's not right in front of me. I have to open the file and search each tab.

Missy Tippens said...

Lyndee, I love composition notebooks! I've always liked to take leftovers from my kids--you know, the notebooks where they only use about 1/4 of the pages in a semester and then are about to throw them away. So I tear out the used pages and then use them for myself. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hope the chart helps, MISSY! And so funny you were SITTING on your phone! :)

Kathryn Barker said...

Thanks, Glynna for a perfectly wonderful succinct chart! I've used other character questionnaire sheets, but this is so much more!

I've used a ringed notebook, folders and composition books...and am quilty of writing notes on scraps...whatever is handy. Would love to be entered in the drawing and have already requested a Wanted Poster!

You've provided lots of inpsiration this morning! Hope the rest of your day is tea-riffic!!

Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

Wanted Poster?


Why not give your major characters their own Facebook page!

Readers could watch your characters 'come alive' as they develop. Other characters could comment on each other's pages. They could be giving hints of their personal lives along with the usual Facebook stuff. Then when the story is published the readers could see what was really going on behind the scenes.

NOW…if you are stuck in the 1880's or so, why not make a real "Wanted Poster"? Here is where you can get many samples to use:

http://bkay.org/wanted-poster-template.html

Make a few up and post them around the house and your office space at work. This way your characters will become real in real life before they come alive in your story.

Please put me in for the drawing on your new book. Looks like the kind of theme I like best.

Vince

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, I do know writers who have Pinterest pages for their characters. I don't think I've ever thought of doing a FB page. I guess you'd have to have an email address for each one. Or maybe you could do a character blog! On Blogger, you can have different tabs. Maybe you could do a tab for each character. :)

Vince said...

Talking about Characters!

I just read a great book with a great flaw which taught me a lot which I feel I need to share with Seekerville.

When I was 20% into the book the story did not seem real to me. It seemed like just a collection of talking heads. It was as if the characters were floating in the air above the ground. It was a great story full of emotion but something very important was missing. Then it hit me!

At 20% into the story I could not tell you where the story was taking place! It was not tied to a real location in my mind. I kept looking for where the story was taking place from then on and I did not find this out until over 80% into the story. All I could learn was that it was cold and had no mountains and was somewhere in the United States. That's all. Somewhere in the 80% range of the novel I learned which state the story was taking place in. What a loss!

I am sure that somewhere at the start of the story the author mentioned where the story was talking place. I must have missed it. However, it is not my job as a reader to remember every fact at the start of a story. Location should be evident in each chapter.

Please, please, please: ground your characters to a setting or location. Mention some specifics to that location at least once a chapter. Characters are not real if they are not grounded in physical reality. I have to 'see' the characters where they live. I have to smell their air and hear the sounds of that specific location.

I want to 'see' characters notice landmarks in the area which they would naturally see in passing (as in driving by the huge Tulsa Driller statue at the Fair Grounds or the Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale, Arizona.).

If you are into gardening, then please think of planting your characters in the rich soil of the real world in that location. One of the most 'real' seeming books I've ever read was our friend KC's book about a talking dog spy walking around the city of Paris!

At least think about it. Turn great into greatness.

Vince

P.S. No names and no guessing about the title of the book. I'm giving it 5 stars but it could have had a galaxy.

Sandy Smith said...

This is a great post, Glynna. I am going to save this and use this concept. I am currently trying to get back to the novel I started in March during Speedbo. I stopped working on it because I felt stuck and that was largely because I did not know exactly where some of my characters were going or where they had come from. I had their basic motivations down, but realized I didn't have enough. I am going back to work on that now and finding out a lot more about my characters so I can move forward again.

Please enter me in the drawing.

Sandy Smith said...

I also agree with Vince about setting. I also find myself looking through a book to try to figure out if they have established the setting because that is important to me to know.

Deanne Patterson said...

I would love to be in the drawing for rekindling the Widower's Heart, Glynna. Speaking of rural post offices I remember the one my grandparents had to go to to pick up their mail in rural Rector,PA. I remember the postmistresse's name being, Ida. See what Ibremember from my childhood ? Lol. Anyways, there was a tall wooden box in front of the post office that opened like breadbox and it had the daily paper in it. This box was unlocked of course and a coffee can was on top of the papers to put your coins in for the paper you took. All honor system. Geez, now you have me reminiscing and missing times past. But a trip down memory lane is usually a good thing.
Deanne Patterson

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi GLYNNA, Thanks so much for the list and reminder of what to keep in mind. I have on my desktop of my computer a list you sent me years ago and I use that. It helps doesn't it?

Thanks so much for all your wonderful and helpful hints.


I"m soooooo excited that there is another Glynna Kaye book to read. YAY!!!!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI VINCE, I so agree with you. The location is important in a story. I want to picture the action in my head and to do so, you need action and a setting for the action.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MARIANNE, I have a list to remind me of things and then I either forget to look at the list or I forget where the list is. LOL

Good luck with that.

Meghan Carver said...

I adore this, Glynna! Thank you for sharing today! I'm a list girl, and your chart looks like a list that's had a few cups of coffee. Perfect!

Sandra Leesmith said...

GLYNNA, Great answer to CONNIE QUEEN's question. I was going to answer it and thought I better check as you do it so much better and sure enough you had.

Sandra Leesmith said...

jYay SANDY SMITH, So glad you found your characters' journey. These lists do really help, especially in that middle that tends to sag - for me anyway. sigh

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh wow, trips down memory lane. I LOVE moth post office stories: GLYNNA's and DEANNE's.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

WOW. Printing this chart off in mere moments.
Thank you. Love God's timing!!!

Seekerville to the rescue, yet again! :)

kaybee said...

GLYNNA, this is great. I love lists, charts, schedules, rubrics, schematics...I could go on and on. I think I just did. I don't screw up eye or hair color because by the time I sit down to write I know my externals pretty well, but I do use charts for goals, motivation and conflict.
Thanks!
Kathy Bailey

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Glynna!

Like Myra, I use Scrivener, so all that information is there - just not in one spot!

Thanks for the ideas and the sample chart - I'm going to spend the afternoon filling it out for my new WIP :)

Janet Dean said...

Glynna, I'm still thrilled I got to attend Jeff Gerke's workshop, one of the most practical classes I've ever taken. I especially enjoyed sharing the experience with you! I'm tickled you shared his class and his tips resonate with many in Seekerville. I've read books that were decent but didn't impact me. I've decided that's because the story didn't really matter. None of us want that.

Thanks for sharing your childhood memories of the small-town post office you hung out in. I was surprised by the Wanted posters. Don't remember them in our tiny post office where my dad picked up our mail. But I rarely got to go inside. Lucky you!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Vince, thanks for the reminder of the importance of establishing our stories' settings and enriching them with the details that fit only that particular place.

Janet

DebH said...

wow. awesome helpful post. I think I'll be sending a note to Seekerville for that wanted poster chart. I so need help in that area. I tend to get lost. Charts are good for keeping one on track.

Learned a bunch from Vince's comments too.

I also know why Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday won first and second place in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards. OMG!!!! They were AWESOME. I adore your books, so please place my name in the draw.

Glynna Kaye said...

LUNCH TIME, SO I'M BACK FOR A BIT!

KATHRYN -- I've thrown your name in with the others! I'm glad I'm not the only on who writes on whatever is handy. Periodically, I try to gather them all and type them into my "ideas" Word doc that I keep for each story so they aren't lost forever. What's so awful is to have come up with some character-deepening or story-enriching thought and FORGET ABOUT IT, not stumbling across that scrap of paper until AFTER final edits are done or the book is published! Been there, done THAT! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, VINCE! I wondered where you'd been! FACEBOOK for my characters? You are wearin' me out, mister! :)

Great reminder to keep our characters vividly grounded on the page so readers always know where they are. But now you have us all running back to our own books to see "Was it me? Was it me?" :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Oh, and your name is in the kitty dish, Vince! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, SANDY! I'm happy the 'poster' may be helpful getting you back on board your Speedbo project. When you get out in the middle of a book (or even sometimes just past the first 3 chapters!) it's easy to start slogging along, unsure of where your characters or going--or if reader's will even CARE where they're going. So reviewing the story and character cores and reminding yourself of WHY you were so excited to start writing it in the first place is a great place to start.

Your name's in the others!

Glynna Kaye said...

DEANNE -- Those old post offices were so neat...but times certainly have changed. I remember when I was a little kid in small-town Iowa, people didn't lock their house or car doors. There wasn't any need to. I know that sounds unbelievable to many, but there was a time not that long ago when people didn't have to be constantly on the alert and looking over their shoulders. Your name's in the kitty dish! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, SANDRA! YOU are definitely an author who strongly grounds your characters in their environment so the reader can really hear, smell, touch, taste & see a character's surroundings. The whole time I was venturing through Antelope Canyon at Lake Powell this past summer, I kept remembering the details of your story set there and felt like I'd been there before.

Glynna Kaye said...

MEGHAN -- I'm glad the chart is close enough to a list that it might work for you! :) You all will have to let me know in a month or two if it's helping you any.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, KC! Glad the "poster" might be of assistance!

Glynna Kaye said...

Oh, KATHY B, just rub it in that you don't forget character's eye colors. :) I DO ALL the time, especially from book-to-book in a series. Hope the poster helps you keep track of the INternals!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, JAN! WOW, you're getting right on it! Hope you find it helpful to keep track of the critical details!

Glynna Kaye said...

HELLO, JANET! Yes, Jeff's workshop was very meaty, very worthwhile. I was glad it wasn't one of the 1-hour ones but quite a lengthy one. I had so much fun brainstorming the "wanted" poster with you that day.

The reason you probably don't remember wanted posters in post offices, Janet, is that MY memories are of TEXAS. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

DebH -- Thanks for the "plug" for Pine Country Cowboy & High Country Holiday! So glad you enjoyed them. Your name's in the kitty! And I hope the chart is helpful. I like to try different things -- some things one person raves about don't always work for the next person. But I like to periodically tackle a problem issue from a different angle to see if it helps any.

Glynna Kaye said...

Well, lunchtime is over, so have to dash! See you later! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Count me in with those who forget hair and eye colors!! I can't tell you how many times I had to look it up on my last novella. I need Glynna's one sheet up in front of me at all times! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Janet, I'm pretty sure I've seen wanted posters recently in our post office.

Janet Dean said...

Glynna, only in Texas! So where's your swagger? ;-) There are times I wish I'd been born a Texan. Just think of the rich history and that bigger than life attitude that fits our alpha heroes.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Missy, I need to make a trip to the post office. I'm spoiled because my dh mails books when he's running errands. I doubt he'd notice the Wanted posters but I sure will from now on.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

KC, I haven't read the spy dog's trip to Paris that Vince raves about. Must remedy that!

Janet

Myra Johnson said...

LOL on eye color! While doing revisions on The Sweetest Rain, I discovered my heroine's eyes kept changing from blue to brown to blue to brown . . .

Oh my!

Cara Lynn James said...

Glynna, this is so helpful! I saved it and would print it out if only my printer worked.

Jamie Adams said...

Great stuff, I saved it to print out as well. Thanks for sharing!

Glynna Kaye said...

MISSY -- I'm relieved that you forget eye colors, too. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

JANET -- I wasn't born a Texan -- but my Dad's side of the family have been Texans for generations. I think maybe one of my great-great-grandfathers was a sheriff at one point in time. I'll have to ask my sister--she's the keeper of family history.

Glynna Kaye said...

MYRA - amazing how those eye colors mysteriously transform, isn't it? :)

Glynna Kaye said...

CARA -- glad you found the 'poster' helpful. Sorry your printer wore itself out. :(

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JAMIE! Let me know if it helps you keep track of things!

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI GLYNNA, so you saw Antelope Canyon? Isn't it gorgeous? I'm so tickled you had such a wonderful vacation in my favorite part of the USA.

And thanks for the compliment. You don't do so badly in that area yourself. smile. I always feel like I'm in Canyon Springs when I read your stories.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi again, SANDRA! Yes, took a cruise down as far into Antelope Canyon as the boat could go--until the water depth got down to only about 5 feet, then had to back up and turn around. Man, the guy who was captaining the boat was amazing the way he maneuvered that thing in that narrow, narrow little canyon.

Sherida Stewart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Walt Mussell said...

I keep things written down but never thought of it in this format. It's interesting.

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Glynna I absolutely love and appreciate this post so much! I have found myself in a sudden fog when writing. I believe this really could help me stay on track. Time to make my own wanted poster! Thanks!

Tanya Agler said...

Glynna, Thank you for this post. I will be doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November and am now starting to think about my next WIP. This is another great character tool to help me figure out my characters before I write their story. Thank you.

Valri said...

Glynna, another chance to win your book - yippee!!!! I hope I win this time! A great post, by the way!!! :) I'm on vacation right now but I still wouldn't miss reading your post!

Glynna Kaye said...

"Interesting," huh, WALT? Doesn't sound like you're buying into it! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

KELLY -- Hope the poster works for you!

Glynna Kaye said...

TANYA -- If you're going to be doing NaNo, Jeff Gerke's book on writing a novel in a month has so many great ideas for preparing for that. He says it's all in preparation--knowing your characters and their GMC so it's full steam ahead.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, VALRI! WOW -- you're even stopping by Seekerville while you're on vacation? You'll have to tell us about it when you get back. Name's in the kitty dish!

ohiohomeschool said...

Thank you for your post. I would love to win your new book.
Becky B

Natalie Monk said...

Oh, I love this! All the necessary reminders on one page! I'm so making myself a chart now. Thank you!!! P.S. I'm dying to read this story. Don't know if I'm too late to enter, but I'll probably end up buying it anyways, haha! Love the widower thread and the age difference conflict!

Edwina said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Deanne Patterson said...

What a fun post . I loved seeing the handwritten notes and drawings. I remember my childhood diaries. One page per day was NEVER enough. I would always staple pages upon pages onto each days entries. It was always a fun thing to go back and read previous years entries but I'd always say to myself, how emberassing, did I actually write this. Yes please enter me for a copy of any Seeker book that is in the rotating sidebar of the blog . Please enter me for a copy of Glynna's book Rekindling the Widower's Heart. Glynna, I'm so excited I found a copy of your last years Love Inspired Christmas story, High Country Holiday at the library's trade paperback area yesterday. Yeah me ! ; )
Deanne Patterson