Creating Characters

editing1Yesterday, twenty of us gathered at Symposium Restaurant for a workshop with award-winning author J.K. Coi. Having written several novels in the urban fantasy, contemporary and paranormal romance genres, Coi is best known for creating compelling characters that “leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.”

Some of her tips…

1.Strong characters will offset weak plots.

2. Allow your characters to have flaws. There is no tension or growth in a perfect character.

3. Keep in mind that believable does not translate into realistic. Inject an element of fantasy to entertain the reader.

4. Make your character so unique that they couldn’t be dropped into any other book.

5. Feel free to make tweaks and twists that readers will appreciate, but not throw them out of the story.

6. Avoid cliches but respect reader expectations. If you must deviate, add humor or provide an appropriate back story.

7. Character-driven books have depth and are more memorable than plot driven stories.

8. Give your characters complicated relationships.

9. Secondary characters are there only because they have a purpose. They should not be more interesting than the protagonist.

10. Use other characters to reveal the protagonist’s blind spots.

11. Figure out the intricacies of the characters before starting the novel.

Coi also provided us with information about Romance Writers of America and Toronto Romance Writers.

Thanks to Cindy Carroll of Guelph Write Now for organizing this event.

Dinner with Writers Ink

Last evening, seven of us gathered at Symposium Restaurant for our April dinner meeting. We are celebrating the second anniversary of  Guelph Writers Ink.

A bit of history…

After completing Dennis Fitter’s creative writing course, a group of us decided to meet on a monthly basis to discuss our writing journeys. We came up with the following mission statement: We will inspire and encourage each other to write on a regular basis. Last year, Cindy Carroll and several members of Guelph Write Now joined us.

Lots of discussion and advice floated around the table as we discussed epublishing vs traditional publishing, agents, manuscripts and social media. Patricia Anderson, Linda Johnston and I have decided to bite the bullet and start tweeting before the next dinner meeting. No more excuses!!!

Congratulations to Linda Johnston–winner of the door prize.

A reminder…Dennis Fitter’s book, Mexico City, is now available.