Character Profile: Aimee Emerson

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! To celebrate here’s a profile of the mother in Brave Young Boys, Aimee!

Aimee.jpgName: Aimee Elizabeth Emerson
Nickname: Aims
Age: 48
Age Appearance: Late 40’s – Early 50’s
Sex: Female
Gender: Female
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Birth Date: August 6th
Status: Alive
Species: Human
Ethnicity: Canadian (I did Google of this was an ethnicity and apparently it is, but it does seem weird)
Name Origin: France
Name Meaning: Beloved Friend
Name Pronunciation: Ay-mee
Archetype: The Caregiver
Western Astrological Sign: Leo
Zodiac Sign: Snake

Physical Traits: Average height, tan from working outside so much
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 170lbs
Glasses/Contacts: None
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Sandy Blonde
Hair Style: Shoulder Length, Usually tied up
Facial Hair: None
Distinguishing Marks (Scars, Birthmarks): Couple scars from over the years
Dress Style: Jeans, tshirts, blouses, pastel colours

Strengths: Proud, Charitable, Organized, Loyal, Caring
Weaknesses: Wilful, Jealous, Easily Frustrated

Allergies: None
IQ: 101
General Health: Healthy except for the occasional migraine
Medical History: Nothing too serious
Handicaps: None
Mental Health: Depressed post-Kyler
Blood Type: A+
Medication: Headache pills
Speech (Pace, Vocab): Fast paced, Vocab depends on who she’s with

Parents: Elizabeth and Michael
Siblings: Maggie
Pets: None
Relationship Status: Married
Significant Other(s): Todd
Children: Nova, Kyle (d), Nathan
Other Relatives: Josh, Caleb, and Autumn
Places Lived: Canada, volunteered for a year in Cambodia
Birth Place: Canada
Birth Order: Oldest
Class: Class
Friends: Three currently unnamed friends as I haven’t written that chapter yet
Relationship History: A high school sweetheart, brief relationship with fellow volunteer in Cambodia, few failed dates over the years before meeting Todd

Education: College Graduate
Degree(s): Business
Average Grades: N/A
Criminal Record: Couple speeding tickets
Occupation: Florist
Employment History: Dental Receptionist
Own/Rent: Own
Lives With: Todd and Nate
Transport: Car

Lefty/Righty: Righty
Handwriting: Neat
Accent: Canadian
Languages: English, Some Khmer
Groups/Alone: Groups
Leader/Follower: Leader
Introvert/Extrovert: Extrovert
Attitudes: Positive
Planned/Spontaneous: Planned
Daredevil/Cautious: Cautious

Hobbies: Jogging
Quirks: Reorganizes things when frustrated
Confidant: Usually Todd
Habits/Mannerisms: Taps Foot, Crumpler things when nervous
Accomplishments: Opened Shop
Talents: Floral Arranging
Wishes: Pre-Story: Typical things like a wish for a new car or to win the lottery. During story: Wishes for her family back
Phobias: Spiders
Religion: Not Practiced
Politics: Avoids Politics
Secrets: Depressed (trying to hide it)
Insecurities: Started questioning and doubting herself after Kyle joined up
Memory: Scarily good memory, ‘mom of three teens memory’

Priorities: Family and the shop
Goals: Maybe open a second shop
Short Term Goals: Make it through each day
Long Term Goals: Give the kids a good life
Addictions: None
Smokes: No
Drugs: No
Alcohol: No

Sleeping Habits: Light Sleeper
Dream Job: Florist
Relaxes Them: Gardening, Walking
Excites Them: Jogging, Holidays

Favourite Food: Garlic Bread
Favourite Sport: Not a big sports person
Favourite Book: Interview With a Vampire – Anne Rice
Favourite Music: Country
Favourite Animal: Otter
Favourite Colour: Red
Favourite Season: Spring
Favourite Holiday: Christmas
Favourite Show: Pushing Daisies (Thought it was a gardening show, ended up staying for Lee Pace)
Favourite Scent: Violets
Favourite Pastime: Gardening (especially with the kids)
Favourite Film: Mamma Mia, 2008
Favourite Quote: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
Favourite Place: Cambodia
Favourite Number: 12
Favourite Curse Word: None

Least Favourite Food: Fish
Least Favourite Sport: Basically all of them
Least Favourite Book: Doesn’t really have one, though she isn’t a big fan of new – age vampire novels
Least Favourite Music: Rap
Least Favourite Animal: Fish
Least Favourite Colour: Green
Least Favourite Season: Winter
Least Favourite Show: Game of Thrones
Least Favourite Pastime: Fishing (Todd took her a couple times and it started a lifelong phobia)
Least Favourite Film: Inkheart
Least Favourite Place: The dentist, freaked her out since she was little so Todd always took the kids
Least Favourite Number: 13

Imagined Actor Portrayal: Julianne Moore

Twitter | Facebook

 

NaNoWriMo: Halfway Point!

nanowrimo-logo

We’re half way through NaNoWriMo! How are you all doing so far?

I’m doing something a little different for NaNo this year. I’m not working on a new novel, I’m using this month to finally finish rewriting Brave Young Boys.

So far it’s not working so well.

I sort of went through a period (basically the whole month of October) in which I hardly did any writing. I wanted to write, but at the same time I just didn’t feel like it. Do you ever have those times?

Then I recently started a new job which has given me less time to write (hence why I’ve been so absent lately), but I’m definitely feeling more like I want to write so it’s sort of balancing itself out.

I’m getting caught up on reviews, fanfiction, blog posts, and am working on NaNoWriMo!

I’m determined to finish this novel by the end of this year, preferably, by the end of this month.

Let me know how you’re doing with NaNoWriMo so far!

Are you struggling? Pulling ahead?

Do you have periods where you feel like writing, but also don’t feel like writing?

Follow me on Twitter | Like me on Facebook

Character Creation: Favourite Things

This one isn’t a requirement when you’re creating your characters, but it’s definitely fun.

Favourite books, films, music, their idol. Obviously if you’re going to include any of this info in the book it should be accurate to your writing. If you’re writing a Victorian Era novel, your main character probably wouldn’t have One Direction as their favourite music.

However, if you’re not planning on including that information in your novel and you think, “if my MC was alive today, what would he/she like?” and you come up with One Direction? Go for it! Knowing your characters favourite things, even if they aren’t included in the book, can help you as the author to connect more to your characters.

I created these character creation sheets (which I’m desperately trying to convert to PDF so I can share them with all of you) and at the bottom of the second page it looks like this:

Fave Things

Now I know most of these don’t say ‘Favourite’ or ‘Fave’ in front of them, but that’s because so far I’m the only one using these sheets and I know what I mean. I may actually make these character profiles longer to include more info.

I’ll use Nathan from Brave Young Boys as an example because I’ve already posted a full profile of him on here in the past. BYB is a pretty easy one for me to do since it’s set in modern times so coming up with stuff Nathan would like was easy.

Favourite television show would be Once Upon A Time. Favourite colour is yellow. His favourite food is spaghetti and hot dogs. He doesn’t have a favourite sport because he dislikes sports and would rather either read or play video games. But why include this information? Why do I need to know any of this?

It’s not likely that he’s going to be sitting down to watch an episode of OUAT is it? I don’t have the copyright for that. But it gives me a sense of what this character is like outside the story.

His favourite colour is yellow so his bedroom is probably yellow. He’s thirteen years old and going through a rough time and because of that he spends a lot of time in his room so having an idea of what that room is like is great.

He doesn’t like sports so when he’s at school in the novel he isn’t going to like gym class, but English or Drama (his favorite subject) would probably be much better.

These are tiny details, things that may never make it in to your novel, but they’re a great resource for you as the writer. It brings the characters to life and gives you the chance to turn them into three-dimensional characters instead of these flat beings that last only as long as the book.

I’ll keep trying to convert my character biography sheets to PDF format and hopefully I’ll be able to post it soon. I’m also hoping to post another character profile for another character from BYB, maybe next weekend!

Update: It’s been converted and posted below!

I’ve only got two more posts in this character creation series, but if you have anything else you’d like me to talk about then let me know!

Do you give your characters favorites? What are they?

Character Creation Chart Template PDF

Follow me on Twitter | Like me on Facebook

When is it Too Early to Query?

3D Character and Thinking , He is standing with question markWell, I would recommend finishing the book first.

I’ve been working on my rewrites for Brave Young Boys and as I get closer and closer to completing those I’ve started looking at different publishers.

There are so many out there! And they all want different things. Some want to see the first three chapters, some want a complete manuscript, some want a cover letter, a resume of the author’s writing experience, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Some of them won’t take anything from unagented writers, some specialize and only publish unagented writers. So many things to consider!

This is why I’ve started looking now. I won’t be ready to send anything out until after my rewrites are done. If I send out the first three chapters and then have a request for a completed manuscript and I’m not done, that’s going to be pretty embarrassing and I can kiss that opportunity goodbye.

I want to finish the rewrites and then go back and edit those and maybe rewrite some more. Even though the publisher you’re querying will go over your book and probably hire people to pick it apart and make sure everything is perfect, you don’t want to send them something that needs to be picked apart.

You want to get it as close to perfect as you can. And why wouldn’t you? It’s your book!

So finish your manuscript before sending it out to anyone, even if you’re only sending out the first few chapters. But start looking now.

I had no idea how much stuff went into querying. I knew it would be a lot of work, but I definitely didn’t realize how much. I’m glad I’ve started looking now so I can find publishers I think I might be interested in, I can look for an agent if I want to, I can start working on query letters and cover letters and I have the time to polish them up and make them perfect.

Do that now so when your novel is ready to be sent out to publishers, you’re not having to wait and wait and wait and just have it sit there as you do all this research.

So, when is it too early to query? Before you finish the book.

When is it too early to look into querying? Never.

I’ll be talking more about querying in the future as I go through the process myself. I am both excited and terrified.

What do you think of querying? Any advice for writers?

Follow me on Twitter | Find me on Facebook

Character Creation: What Do Your Characters Look Like?

pinterstAn important part of character creation is figuring out what your character looks like. There are a number of ways you can go about doing this.

You can find a picture of a celebrity or a stock photo, draw your character, or if you can’t be bothered to do either of these things, just figure out certain aspects and imagine it (or type them into Pinterest, it’s great for this).

Honestly, I’ve done all of these. Sometimes when I’m imagining a character I can immediately picture a certain celebrity. Other times I’ll figure out stuff like age, eye colour, hair colour, etc. and then go through the stock of photos I have on Pinterest to find a match. Occasionally I’ll draw them. The only problem with this for me is that drawing is time consuming and when I draw it can’t just be a quick scribble, I take a lot of time of it. This isn’t always convenient as I hardly seem to have time to do things I need to do already.

I have to say though, my favorite method is definitely Pinterest. You can literally type in ‘Character Inspiration’ and it will give you hundreds of photos! Then if you’re looking for something specific you can narrow down the results by adding stuff like ‘teen’, ‘blonde hair’, or ‘brown eyes’, etc.

I have found many images for my characters on Pinterest and have built up an even larger stock of photos for possible future projects and to help inspire me in my writing. I spent ages trying to figure out what Kyler looked like. He’s such a significant character in BYB and out of all of them, he had to be perfect. I tried drawing him, I tried imagining him, but nothing worked. Finally, I found the perfect photo on Pinterest.

Kyler

Yes, that is Andrew Garfield. I was scrolling through Pinterest’s ‘Character Inspiration Teen Boy’ section and this picture came up and it was like lightening struck. I immediately knew that this was Kyler. There was no doubt in my mind.

Figuring out what your characters look like is probably, surprisingly, the easiest part of creating your characters. While you have free range over everything to do with your characters, there are so many ways to go about figuring out what they look like. Drawing, finding photos, imaging it. You can literally just have what they look like in your head and it never has to come out. You can leave it to your readers imagination.

How do you figure out what your characters look like? Do you draw them? Do you look on Pinterest or something similar?

Have you ever had that moment where you realized someone was perfect for your character?

Character Creation Chart Template PDF

Follow me on Twitter | Find me on Facebook

Character Profile: Nathan Emerson (Brave Young Boys)

Nate

 

Name: Nathan Michael Emerson
Nickname: Nate
Age: 13
Age Appearance: 10-11
Sex: Male
Gender: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Birth Date: June 21st, 2000
Status: Alive
Species: Human
Height: 5’0″
Weight: 100lbs
Ethnicity: Canadian
Name Origin: Hebrew
Name Meaning: Gift of God
Name Pronunciation: Nay-then
Archetype: Child; Innocent
Western Astrological Sign: Gemini
Zodiac Sign: Dragon

Physical Traits: Average Height, Pale, Freckles
Glasses/Contacts: Yes, Glasses
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Sandy Blonde
Hair Style: Straight, bangs are kind of sweat over a bit, short
Facial Hair: None
Distinguishing Marks (Scars, Birthmarks): Scar on his left arm from falling off his bike, age 7
Dress Style: Simple; T-Shirts, Jeans, Sweaters; Typical of what you would expect on a thirteen year old
Social Stereotype: Nerd/Loner Type

Allergies: Cats, Hay Fever
IQ: 133
General Health:
Healthy majority of the time; In spring his allergies flare up
Medical History: Broke his arm falling off his bike, age 7
Handicaps: None
Mental Health: Clear
Blood Type: Type A
Strengths: Smart, Cheerful, Brainy, Humble, Friendly
Weaknesses: Shy, Cautious, Semi-Anti-Social
Medication: None
Speech (Pace, Vocab):
Speaks very fast, especially when nervous

Parents: Aimee & Todd
Siblings: Nova & Kyler
Pets: None
Relationship Status: Single
Significant Other(s): None
Children: Single
Other Relatives: Maggie (Aunt + Husband, Kids)
Places Lived: Canada
Birth Place: Canada
Education: 8th Grade
Degree(s): N/A
Class: Middle
Average Grades: A’s-B’s
Criminal Record: None
Occupation: Student
Employment History: None
Friends: Ana
Birth Order: Youngest
Relationship History: None

Lefty/Righty: Righty
Handwriting: Messy
Accent: Canadian
Languages: English
Groups/Alone: Alone
Leader/Follower: Both
Introvert/Extrovert: Introvert
Attitudes: Positive-Negative
Planned/Spontaneous: Planned
Daredevil/Cautious: Cautious
Hobbies: Reading, Art, Acting, Video Games, Comics
Quirks: Double-jointed, Walks slowly and is constantly dragging his feet
Confidant: Kyler (brother); Ana (friend)
Habits/Mannerisms: Shrugs his shoulders, Nail biting
Addictions: None
Smokes: No
Drugs: No
Alcohol: No

Accomplishments: Drama Award, Second Place in Art Contest for a drawing
Failures: Failed multiple tests at school, mostly in science and phys. ed. because he doesn’t pay attention
Talents: Drawing, Acting, Exceptional Memory
Wishes: To be older
Phobias: Tight Spaces
Beliefs/Superstitions: Slenderman
Religion: Not Practiced
Politics: N/A
Secrets: Doesn’t have any friends
Insecurities: The way he walks, has been told he walks too slow and has becomes aware of it, but this only makes him more nervous and he does it even more now
Memory: Exceptional; Can remember conversations he had years ago and things that occurred that most people would forget

Own/Rent: N/A
Transport: Public, Parents
Priorities: Reading comics; Playing video games
Goals: Be an actor or artist
Relaxes Them: Listening to music, painting
Excites Them: Playing video games, Hanging out with Kyler, Summer holidays
Short Term Goals: Read every comic at the library; Pass eighth grade
Long Term Goals: Become an artist or actor
Relationship Skills: Awkward around new people; Isn’t great at talking to people
Idol: Stephen Hawking
Sleeping Habits: Trouble sleeping
Dream Job:
Artist living in a foreign city

Favourite Saying: “Whatever.”
Favourite Food: Spaghetti and Hot Dogs
Favourite Sport: None, doesn’t like sports
Favourite Book: The Theory of Everything, Stephen Hawking
Favourite Music: The Beatles (Introduced to them by Kyler)
Favourite Animal: Grey Wolf
Favourite Colour: Yellow
Favourite Season:
Winter (His allergies don’t play up)
Favourite Show: Once Upon a Time
Favourite Pastime: Drawing
Favourite Film: Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Favourite Quote: “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen Hawking
Favourite Place: Florida (Went on holiday there when Nathan was 8)
Favourite Number: 16
Favourite Curse Word: None
Favourite School Subject: Drama

Least Favourite Food: Broccoli
Least Favourite Sport: Football
Least Favourite Book: Holes, Louis Sachar
Least Favourite Music: Anything too loud and too fast
Least Favourite Animal: Frogs
Least Favourite Colour: Red
Least Favourite Season:
Spring
Least Favourite Show: Band of Brothers
Least Favourite Pastime: Homework
Least Favourite Film: Cloverfield (Kyler took him to see it when it came out and he ended up with motion sickness)
Least Favourite Place: School
Least Favourite Number: 13
Least Favourite Curse Word: None
Least Favourite School Subject: Science; Phys. Ed

Imagined Actor Portrayal: Dakota Goyo (Pictured Above)

So that’s Nathan! Not everything about him is listed here as some information would give away just a bit too much about Brave Young Boys. If you’d like me to do more of these in the future let me know!

Follow me on Twitter | Find me on Facebook

Rewriting Brave Young Boys

First TimeRewriting. This is a word I have come to dread, but unfortunately one I cannot avoid. Last year I finished my first round edits of my novel, Brave Young Boys. I was so happy. Not only had I written a novel, but I’d also edited it! However, my celebration quickly ended as reality came crashing down on my head. Now I was editing, I had to {dramatic pause} rewrite!

Now, this doesn’t sound all that difficult or like a reason for a dramatic pause. However, this art of the novel writing process has filled me with so much dread that Brave Young Boys has sat on my desk, untouched, for moths. But why? What on Earth is so bad about rewriting that I had temporarily abandoned my novel?

Well, at first it was that I didn’t know where to start. Once I was done editing, I was suddenly left with this story I had written and then torn to shreds while editing. There were plot holes, character names to change, characters to possibly eliminate, major timeline issues, and so many new scenes to write. I was staring at those pages covered in highlighter and sticky notes and it was completely overwhelming.

But I pushed forward anyway. I actually managed to get through the first two and a half chapters before hitting a wall. I was blocked, no clue what to do, and had all these questions in my mind.

Should I rewrite certain parts first?
Should I focus on certain changes first?
Should I be rewriting the whole thing?
Should I just change what needs to be changes?

Should I, should I, should I. So many questions! And there I was with no answers. So I put it aside. I focused on my 2014 NaNo novel, blog posts, fanfiction writing. I knew if I kept trying to rewrite while I was frustrated and confused then the rewrite would probably turn out worse than the original. So I stepped back, did some research, got some perspective and had a much better idea of what to do when I returned to it.

Start with the big stuff: writing new scenes, deciding if all characters are needed, and fixing the timeline so everything makes sense. Then, fix things like plot holes, rewriting them so they make sense. Finally, focus on the smaller things: punctuation, grammar, and spelling, and changing/fixing the names of characters. If any of what I’ve read is true, not only will this make rewriting easier and more organized, but I won’t feel so stressed out about the whole process.

How do you go about rewriting? Do you have any tips for others?

 

Find out more about Brave Young Boys

Follow me on Twitter | Find me on Facebook