Character’s Voice . . . Prompt #445

Your fictional characters should be as different from one another as the real people in your life. One way to show differences is in their voices. Years ago, returning home from Aqua Zumba, I drove past Hermann Sons Hall and remembered the German woman who managed the building as if it were her immaculate residence. On our early morning walks, my husband and I watched as she polished door knobs, washed windows, and replaced gravel in the driveway. Her mission was to keep “her” building spotless. You didn’t want to cross her. How does a writer establish “voice” for characters?  If your character is a stoic German woman who manages a building as if it were her pristine cottage, picture what she looks like. Short hair, stern features, sensible shoes, tailored clothing. Then you can imagine what she sounds like: sharp, clipped sentences, uses precise words sparingly. Contrast that with…


Three-dimensional characters . . . Prompt #444

You have probably heard about the importance of knowing your fictional characters so well that you know what he/she had for breakfast. Readers don’t need to know this, but the writer does. You don’t need to include everything you know about your characters in your story, but as the writer/creator, you need to know a huge amount of information about the people (and animals) who populate your story. The challenge is to create memorable characters rather than one-dimensional characters. Your fictional characters are like actors in a scene. Some fictional characters seem shallow while others seem richer. The difference could be that the writer knows the characters/actors so well, that the dialogue and the details fit the character. Your fictional actor may want to step out of character and exhibit new behavior. This is fine, as long as it’s credible. Your job as writer is to drop convincing clues so…

Just Write

Freewrites: Opening Doors to Discoveries

Notes from Marlene Cullen’s talk about freewrites. Scroll down for links about how to use freewrites and how to write about difficult subjects without adding trauma. I gave a talk about freewrites at the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club. I’m sharing my notes so you, too, can enjoy the freewrite method of writing. I love freewrites because they are so . . . freeing. Freewrites can open doors to discoveries. I was thrilled to discover freewrites, unlike short story and novel writing, this was something I could do. I hope these tips help make your freewrites fun and successful in inspiring your writing.  What is a freewrite? A freewrite is writing spontaneously with no thinking. Just putting down word after word, with no worries about spelling, punctuation, how it will sound, and no worries about the final product. Sometimes when you are engrossed in your writing project and…


Spring is . . . Prompt #419

Spring is . . .  . . . The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball. — Bill Veeck   . . . The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.— E.E. Cummings  . . . a heart full of hope and a shoe full of rain. Your turn . . . Spring is . . . Just Write!