Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

I’m telling you, the days and weeks are flying faster and faster. We’re almost a Palm Sunday, then Easter. I need a time machine.

Anyway, this week’s inspiration…

Characters, not caricatures.

This one spoke to me, and I’ll admit I’m not much of a Hemingway fan.

I do, however, write character-driven novels. And I strive to make all my people individual, all their voices unique. They all have their own quirks, their own doubts, their own flaws. They each have different strengths and different desires.

Lately I’ve been dabbling in the thriller genre, which is typically plot-driven. I still feel like I’m writing character-centric stories, though. They’re just faster than the others.

I used to worry about all my people sounding the same, all my stories following the same plot. That got in my head because one of my earliest reviews was by someone who said she loved the story but wouldn’t read the rest of the series because she didn’t expect anything new to happen. That comment ate at me. What if she was right?

You know what? She wasn’t. The plots all advanced the story, and the characters were all different people.

So now, I focus on the strength of my writing. And the characters develop from there. There are over seven billion people on the planet, and each one of them is unique. There’s no reason my characters can’t be, too.

And now, the links of the week…

Posts by me, about my work, or at sites I contribute to:

Posts by others in the industry:

25 thoughts on “Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

  1. When writing genre fiction, it can be tough to please all readers. I’ve learned this from writing thrillers. Those readers who like more character development might feel cheated by a fast-paced plot. Those who want a fast-paced plot might get frustrated by slowing things down for character development, particularly at the beginning of the book. “The opening lagged” is a common complaint heard in that case. So I think we have to go with our gut on what feels right. What stays true to the genre but also allows for some deeper development.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right, Carrie. We’ll never please everyone. But if we are true to ourselves and honor our characters, we’ll have a good product. It may not resonate with everyone, but it will strike a chord with our target readers.

      Thanks for chiming in!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think of my characters like actors on TV (I wish!), each with their own quirks and personalities. I do find I connect most with my antagonists though, not sure what that says about me, lol.
    Great links this week, thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that means you did something right. Many actors say villains are more fun to play than heroes. That tells me a well-crafted antagonist is interesting and not a caricature. So if you’re relating to them, you gave them a strong arc. Nothing to worry about; definitely a win. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems like being an author is being a poser. We try to look confident on the exterior, but on the interior we worry about everything. It doesn’t take much to make us rethink everything. Glad you considered the remark, but did it your way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re so right about that, Craig. We all try to seem confident, but all the authors I know agonize over every word of every review. I’m trying to be better about that this year. I’ve made some progress in that area, but I wonder if I’ll ever be okay with bad reviews. Or stop reading them entirely. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t. There is always the off chance that something will pop up that teaches me something too. We aren’t so different. I get angry at first, step away to cool down, then return to see if there might be a nugget I can use.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess as long as we can read the comment with an objective eye at some point, that’s the important thing. There was a comment thread circulating this week between a disgruntled author and her reviewer. The author had a complete meltdown. It was bad. Makes our reactions seem perfectly fine in comparison.


  4. I’ve had doubts about my characters sounding the same also, Staci, but what you said gave me pause. ‘There are over seven billion people on the planet, and each one of them is unique. There’s no reason my characters can’t be, too.’ Very true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Joan. You probably already realize I have a soft heart… not a good thing in this business. But I’m also stubborn (you can thank genetics for that). I think you always need to consider whether a negative review is a credible one. If you can put your pain aside, you might learn something and improve. In that case, I didn’t learn anything about my writing, but I did learn something about myself. Can’t be sad about that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true. Even strangers can derail us. Honestly, it was a good review with the exception of that one comment. I did initially take it to heart, but I’m glad I finally chose to ignore it. The last book in that particular series is one of my favorites.

      Thanks, Nicholas.

      Liked by 1 person

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