Friday, April 19, 2013
VBT: Giveaway, Guest post by S.L. Scott author of A Prior Engagement, and a Review
S. L. was kind enough to do a guest post for me. :D
When chatting with other authors, I’ve discovered two main types of writers when it comes to character development: the emerging characterization author and the instantaneous vision author.
For some it takes time to get to know your characters, to define them in their mind. The story might be clearer than the people who take us on the journey with them. A writer may write a few lines or a few chapters before really connecting with their characters. Then they are seen so clearly that they are developed from there. Eyes, hair, face structure, body build, habits, likes, and dislikes will come into focus when the author connects that character with their rightful path in the story.
The instantaneous vision author is someone who sees the characters clearly the moment the story pops into their head. The author sees that person telling the storyline the writer wants to tell. In a sense, those characters are one with the storyline from its first developed idea. So descriptions of these characters can come early on, maybe even defining the opening from the get go and/or maybe defining the story to be told.
Character development is important even if you need to go back to fill out details after the story is written. Critique readers are great to work with on this type of development because they’ll be able to tell you if they aren’t ‘seeing’ the character clearly when they are reading. We, as authors, sometimes feel we have explained our vision, but a reader will pick up on those details – the defined and not. It’s good to visualize the scenes out to see the characters playing their parts throughout the story, making it a richer experience. Are there plot holes, or character quirks that need to be addressed or do the scenes flow, the dialogue and actions natural to the scene?
I see the characters when the story appears in my mind. They seem to come to me all at once. Things may be tweaked if I’m seeing too much of a pattern in my characters from book to book, but usually I know what eye and hair color they have, their build and how they dress before I start writing. What I like to discover is what their likes and dislikes are. Do they prefer eating at Mexican food restaurants or getting Chinese take-out? What’s their favorite color? What is their favorite movie, or did they have a nickname growing up?
Stephenie Meyer gave the advice years ago to know your characters inside and out. I loved that tidbit and have quoted Meyer many times. It’s good advice because I think your characters tend to be more natural if the author knows the background of the characters they are writing instead of just the present person they are. What made them who they are in the story? What path have they traveled that shapes their thoughts and opinions and actions? We say a character does something ‘out of character’ when it seems they react differently than an author has presented them to be to us.
In my opinion, an author needs to take a step back and know that background information to form who their characters are now. Learn to critique your own work. Building a character to become a person takes preliminary work. This doesn’t mean that the reader has to agree with the characters choices or actions, but for an author, one should feel confident that they have the ultimate control in defining that person to others and to rightfully introduce that reader to them.
How we get to that point is practicing the craft of writing, reading other books, and connecting with your story and characters on a deeper level. A passion for your writing will come through and make it shine.
Thank you for having me on your blog.
:-) Thank you!
Living in a world built on pretenses, Everleigh Wright discovers how carefully orchestrated her Upper East Side life has been. Trapped in an arrangement for social prestige and financial gain, she finds life is not as idyllic as she once thought.
William Ryder leads a life rich in family support and endless determination. While attending university in Manhattan, he becomes enamored with a classic beauty who holds many secrets beneath her quiet propriety. William falls head over heels crazy for her, and she falls for him and his unfaltering optimism and kindness.
William and Everleigh may come from different worlds, but their attraction is instant and their love undeniable. Hoping love conquers all, they will find out if their love is unstoppable when faced with the consequences of breaking a prior engagement.
“Right here, right now is all that matters.”
Purchase it from Amazon.
Here's an excerpt:
She kissed him not caring about how she looked or propriety. She did what she felt and she felt like kissing him twice, so she did.
After lunch, they did a little sightseeing, stopped for frozen custard then headed for the train station. As the train barreled back to Manhattan, Evie turned to William. She felt shy, but wanted a photo of him. “May I take a picture of you?” She knew once again she was crossing a line, but she felt selfish and wanted something just for her.
He chuckled at her formality. “Yes, if you want.”
She took a picture of him looking at her the way she most liked to see him, in like of her. His darkened eyes said more and everything that they both knew it was too early to say and she hoped to hold onto that look forever with the photo.
When the photo loaded onto the screen, she stared at it. She was soft spoken, but he heard her. “You look sexy like this.”
The right side of his mouth lifted into a smile, a bit confident, a tad cocky. He pulled his phone out and flipped through the options. William stopped and smiled at his display. “I think you look really sexy like this.” He turned the phone around for her to see and her mouth dropped open.
“When did you take that?” She tried to act mad, but she thought the picture was funny.
“I like the way you’re about to lick the ice cream, tongue out all greedy-like.” He laughed again when her fist hit his arm. “Okay, okay. I shouldn’t have taken it without you knowing, but I really do think you’re pretty damn sexy eating ice cream. That right there is what fantasies are made of,” he said, pointing at the picture.
“Ewww! Stop it right now. No doing anything dirty while looking at that picture,” she demanded, trying to grab the phone.
He held it out of her reach and continued the joke. “I don’t need this picture. It’s burned into my brain.” He felt her playfully hit his arm again. Grabbing her hand, he eyed her. “No worries. I only have chaste thoughts about you.” He tried to sound convincing by saying that with a straight face.
But her expression changed. “Well, that’s disappointing.”
Putting his arm around her, he squeezed her into his side and laughed. His grin got even bigger when she relaxed into him for the remainder of the ride back to New York.
Luck was something Evie didn’t feel was on her side. She was focusing on more proven methods of destiny, like action.
S.L. Scott is a former high-tech account manager with a journalism degree pursuing her passion for telling stories. She spends her days escaping into her characters and letting them lead her on their adventures.
Travelling, music festivals, and surfing are a few of her hobbies she loves, but she doesn’t get to enjoy on a regular basis. She has an obsession with movies, a varied taste in books, and collects Fitz & Floyd teapots. With a memory full of useless trivia facts, and a Keurig addiction, she loves a fun night in with her family as much as a loud night out with her friends.
Scott lives in the beautiful Texas hill country of Austin with her husband, two young sons, two Papillons, and her vivid imagination.
She welcomes your notes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I liked Prior Engagement. It had some sweet romance, some insecure moments, an engagement, angst, anger and brutality (not too much or too graphic).
Everleigh is stuck in a life that she doesn't want. She does not know how to get out of it. It seems hopeless. Then she meets William at school. They hit it off and slowly but surely their relationship begins to grow.
While this new relationship grows, Everleigh is filled with turmoil because she is still attached to Tom her abusive fiance and being the monster that he is, he won't let her go.
This book was an emotional coaster ride. Mostly I enjoyed it but it seemed to get off to a very slow start.
I despised Tom and I had issues with Evie's parents when the sided with Tom.
I really liked William. He was sweet, kind, loyal, fun, honest, loving and real. His family was great too!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you ever ridden a ferry?
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