Finding a New Voice

It’s been a while since I’ve played with a new set of characters. I’ve been writing series for so long. Just bouncing from one longish series to the next. And I love all those characters, but I’m ready to discover new ones.

One of the first things I always do when creating a new character is find a visual reference. I’m not brilliant an creating an image in my mind. Some people are visual, I am not.

I know it when I see it.

But I have to see it.

So usually, I start by scanning Pinterest or maybe I’ve already seen someone on a TV show or movie or even an AD that has a vibe.

And that’s usually where the character begins to develop.

Nine times out of ten. My characters come face first. Name second. Motts is one of the rare examples of a character whose name came to me first.

I always knew she was going to be Pineapple Mottley.

But aside from Motts, it’s usually face then name.

Once I’ve figured out the face of the character, I begin building out who they are. Their interests. Their personality. I have a list of questions that fill out with a whole host of details about them from what movies they watch to what their favourite curse words are.

The goal for me is to be able to start the first chapter of my WIP fairly confident in who the character is.

My Fave YouTube Channels

Motts and I have something in common. We watch loads of YouTube. I thought I’d share some of my favourite channels.

In no particular order…

The Try Channel:

Emma Thorne

Amal Jama-Williams

JulieJo

Rachel Maksy

Alexandria Ryan

Savannah Mari

Micky Atkins

All of the Welsh brothers channels

Briannah Jewel

What’s above my desk?

So, I have a cork-board or bulletin board, or whatever you want to call it, above my desk. I use it for inspiration and a visual board for whatever book I’m working on. I thought I’d share what’s on the current one.

  1. The top half is almost entirely book inspiration. Character and place references, etc.
  2. My fave Hamilton sticker on the bottom left.
  3. A couple postcards and a card with encouraging notes from friends. Sometimes I need a little lift of my spirits.
  4. Favourite writing quotes that are always on the board.
  5. You can’t see him, but I have a little plague doctor keychain that dangles at the bottom of the board.

My Favourite Pomodoro Technique Videos

My word for the year in my writing life for 2022 is focus. 2020 and 2021 were definitely years that I struggled to focus.

Struggled so much.

And I don’t think I was the only person struggling.

Focus has always been difficult for me as an autistic but the last few years haven’t done much to help.

In an effort to manage better, i’ve begun using the Pomodoro technique once again. It’s helped me in the past. This time though, I’m using YouTube videos instead of just using a timer.

The Pomodoro Technique is essentially where you work for a certain period of time then take a break for a bit. And repeat. I usually go for 15-30 minutes then take a 5 minute break.

More about the PT here: https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique

The ones I’ve been using are technically ‘study with me’ videos. But they work great for writing as well. I’ve also been trying to make sure I get up and stretch during the break time. I’m terrible at sitting for long periods without moving around.

My favourite channel for videos is: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheSherryFormula

This is the video in particular I’ve been using this past week for writing:

2021 in Review

In 2020, I decided my word for my writing in 2021 would be have fun.

2019 and 2020 were such rough years that I hoped to try to have fun with my writing.

And for the most of the  year, my brain went:

It wasn’t until I started moving into planning my NaNoWriMo novel that I finally began to enjoy myself.

In any case, I thought it might be fun to do a review of what I’d hoped to accomplish this year.

What did I hope to write/accomplish in 2021?

  • Motts book 3 and 4
  • Podcast book 3 and maybe 4
  • Start book one of a super secret project

What have I managed by December 2021?

  • Podcast 3.
  • Motts 3.
  • And I should finish wrapping up Motts 4 by the end of the year. (I’m writing this in advance lol.)

Over all? Given we are still in a global pandemic (and how badly I did in 2020)?

I’m pleased I did far better than I imagined.

How about 2022? What do I hope to achieve next year?

  • Motts book 5
  • Book 1 in a new series
  • *insert super secret project*

How about you? How did you manage in 2022? And what are you hoping to do next year?

Book Sale: Here Comes The Son

Here Comes the Son_600

Here Comes the Son is free until Dec 11th!

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lcaCwN

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2JWcKXw

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JWcUhA

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2litkmF


Excerpt:

Strapping on his bag, Iggy dragged a hand roughly through his short black hair. He winked at the librarian who grumbled at him when he leaped over a book cart in his path on the way toward the front entrance. She blushed, a response he was used to with his inherited looks and charm.

As one of his best friends from high school used to say, he had wickedly devilish good looks. He told her to stop reading Regency romances. From his jet-black hair to his deep brown eyes, he knew his face balanced the angelic with the roguish.

I’d do me.

Blinded by the bright sunshine, Iggy took a moment to adjust after stepping outside. Denver’s Central Library had always been a favorite of his for research, with its massive collection. Plus, he always thought the building seemed almost like a grouping of castle turrets.

He paused on the corner of Broadway and Thirteenth Avenue. Spring was supposed to have sprung in the Mile High City. Not that the weather had noticed; they’d only just thawed out from winter.

And judging by the crisp air and gathering clouds on the mountains, they’d be inundated with another blizzard before the end of the day.

Jogging down Thirteenth, Iggy skidded to a halt on Lincoln. He tilted his head, trusting his finely honed instincts. Half a block down, he spotted an alley between a parking lot and the Art Institute that was shadowed more than it should’ve been in the bright early afternoon sun.

One step into the gap between the buildings, and he’d plunged into nighttime. The smell of sulfur swirled around him. He slipped his bag around his body, reaching inside for a spray can.

“Ah, Son of the Morning Star. Half-breed. I hoped you’d sense my presence.” Rastran stood at the end of the unnaturally dark alley. He leaned casually against the industrial air conditioner with one foot resting on a body, completely disregarding the dirt now staining his designer suit. Demons always enjoyed life’s luxuries. “Ignatius Faber, we’ve saved you for last. Your father’s brightest light. A beautiful irony. All of his hopes pinned on the one offspring who matched him most in appearance and strength. Pity he can’t see the monster he created.”

With a hard kick, Rastran sent the body rolling along the filthy ground to land barely a foot away from Iggy. Titus. One of his many half-siblings. Iggy hadn’t seen his brother in weeks. They’d all assumed Titus was on a hunt.

They generally kept in close contact, particularly since hundreds of other half-siblings had been culled over the past eight years. Titus and Iggy were the only ones left. Rage erupted deep inside him.

“I’m the monster?” Iggy calmly stepped over Titus, shoving grief and anger viciously down to remain focused. He had a demon to deal with. His fingers wrapped tightly around the canister of compressed holy water in his pocket. It resembled pepper spray but worked to stun creatures of Hell long enough for him to send them home. “You should’ve stayed away from my city.”