Tag Archives: character development

Update – All but Done.


Yes, I am still here – I owe you guys an update on my progress with The Bastard Line, book three in the Khekarian series – My humble apologies for having been away so long, many things have happened in my life, but for now I will report solely on the manuscript you have been waiting for.

The slash-and-burn process is over and out of the way (thank goodness). No more chopping and changing, no more starting over or chopping things in half or reshaping the book. All the major pieces are in place and so is the flow, the character development is great, the story holds together very well and – best of all – I LIKE IT.

Finishing touches are going in place and needed polishing is being done (albeit heavily in some places). Yet to come is the stand-back-and-see-what-it-looks-like-to-a-reader, the read-through. My Beta-reader has been standing by for ages and is eager to get into it. He won’t have to wait long… and neither will you.

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Tippy-tap, tippy-tap.


Nose down, rear up, tippy-tap, tippy-tap – Yes I’m at the computer and typing like mad – Just letting you know I’m alive and well and still making progress although it must seem to some as though “nothing is happening”.

I’ve had to push through a few barriers and re-size The Bastard Line (Book Three of the Khekarian series) – twice! This is on top of the life-upheavals we’re still going through, although progress is happening there too (resettling into a new location interstate takes longer when doing it one partner at a time).

Once again my apologies to all for keeping you waiting, it was never my intention. While I would love to blog more regularly, my best bet at the moment is to remain locked into my work until the book is done. The best I can do is pop in occasionally to let everyone know I’m still here, still working and supply a publishing date when I know what it is!

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Sometimes it’s good to know you aren’t alone.


If you’re a writer, you know it isn’t all play and sunshine, you know that following your dream is not always easy and that your efforts are rarely recognized for what they are.

Those nearest and dearest to you know that you are aiming high, but fail to grasp the sheer size of the journey. Sometimes it seems they are not with you at all.

A massive amount goes into writing a book. It’s not enough just to come up with a plot and characters enough to fill it. There’s an huge amount of understanding necessary for each character and research to do on every angle and profession. Your plot, your characters and their actions must be based in truth for them to come across as realistic and believable.

You have to understand the human animal too, and not just from your own perspective. You have to be in the heads of everybody you write about, villain and hero alike. You have to understand psychology and (depending on the nature of your villain) criminal psychology as well. You have to “be” the police officer, the psychopath, the thief and the victim. You have to understand immense fear or immense loss. Gain too – joy, excitement and love so grand your heart wants to burst. You have to understand adventure and the thrill of danger.

But that’s only part of it. You not only must put that all together and make a story out of it but put it together in such a way that it sings and shines and sweeps your readers up into a world that makes them forget all else, even if just for a time.

So, a very important part of being a writer is learning to be artistic with your words, with pacing and the weave of your story. You want to build pictures in the minds of your readers so that they easily and effortlessly fall under your spell and see what you see and live where you live in the finished result. You not only want to lure them into the world your have crafted, you want them to want to stay there. That’s important! Anyone can put a book down, you want them not to want to put your book down!

Understandably, that mastery over the translation of your mind’s landscape and adventures into words and images your readers can enjoy is the biggest and most important part of your craft.

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A Glut of Characters – Ah, so that’s what I was doing.


Too much too soon, as it turns out. Yes, I know I’m late with Book 3 and this post by no means excuses that, I’m just letting you know Why and What and where I am currently in the Khekarian sci-fi series.

Each book in the series is a stand alone book, with a beginning, a middle and, most importantly, an ending – a conclusion. At the same time, the background story continues to roll on, so parts of the story move forward or the series would not mesh into a whole.

Each of my books contains two main threads, often split into further threads, but in the main there are two stories interwoven. I think of each as a double book (certainly each are thick enough at 500-600 pages).

Book 3 of the Khekarian series, The Bastard Line, continues the overall story, running two stories side-by-side. One of the threads, however, I had in mind to contain more of the story than it should. That notion needed the addition of other characters and other stories to reach that particular conclusion, and this led me into an area where I was, in effect, trying to write two books (four books?) as one and squash way too much in.

That’s where I got mired. Not so much a tangle as a glut of characters and small stories that needed sorting because, as it was, everyone would get mired!

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Body Language.


Dialogue can be difficult and writers can be unhappy with their results, they’ve been inside characters’ heads, they know what they want to say and they say it, then they play with those words of dialogue because something just isn’t sitting right – No matter what they do, something is wrong, something is missing and they just can’t seem to clinch it.

It might not be the dialogue at all that’s causing the issue. It might be something that should be surrounding it and is often forgotten by writers more concerned with the message contained in the spoken word. Communication has many layers, so if you’re having trouble with writing dialogue, have you considered including body language?

People don’t just yammer at each other. They move, they stretch, they raise their eyebrows, smile, laugh or frown, fold their arms, slouch, flap their hands around, or drink, smoke, eat. Dialogue often happens on the move, walking down a street, crossing a shopping mall, or in a car or bus.

Adding body language and movement can fill the scene and give the reader more than dialogue alone. You don’t want your readers feeling they might as well be listening through the wall because they are unable to see anything. You want them in the room, at the table, or out on the street or in the taxi. You want your readers to be there. So, what are they going to see if they were present? Who does what while all this talk is going on?

Naturally enough, you don’t want all your characters flapping and twitching and moving and hopping about, but a touch of it here or there can make a huge difference to a scene. It can bring the scene to life. Not only can it reveal some of what is around the characters talking, it can also reveal attitudes and demeanor.

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Middle of the Night – Pure Writing time!


It’s because you’ve let go of the day, you’re resting, sleeping, and your subconscious is romping along working on the challenges you have thrown its way – And BAM – it has something for you and it can’t wait to tell you all about it.

So there you are, in the dark, your eyes wide open, and you have your answer. Some problem with plot, characterization or dialogue – suddenly you have the words and they are BEAUTIFUL.

The days are full of distraction for writers, family, work, chores, shopping, just dealing with day-to-day issues. It all steals away writing moments, writing time, writing reflection. Those middle-of-the-night moments become treasures to a writer. There’s no distraction, nothing needs to be done. We learn very quickly to take advantage of such times. Tired or not, grabbing it while it’s happening is all important because it might not come again, not like this, here and now, with these words, this picture, this solution.

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Writing Your Book, but it’s Taking Forever!


So, your story’s not written yet. It’s been years now, and that’s bothering you – Guess what – THAT’S NORMAL!

It takes time to master the writing skill. If you write regularly, you will see your improvement over time, but whether you write regularly or not, improvement will never stop. Growth and development is ongoing and unlimited.

It takes time to get to know your characters. You’re dealing with a lot of people, all of them different from each other. You not only have to discover and portray their personalities but their backgrounds and goals as well. That information will not arrive neatly packaged and at once.

It takes time to get to know your story. As different characters develop and interact, your story evolves. Main areas and scenes might be all worked out, but how they connect and combine adds new flavor and complexity. It takes time for a story to mature and become all it can be.

It takes time to write your book. Deciding or discovering how to express your words, your story, your characters and plot, spending hard time at the keyboard doing it, working it, refining and editing – ALL OF THAT TAKES TIME!

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