Tag Archives: characters

Writer Wednesday: 3 Persons in One

Character development is critical for an easy to read book. I absolutely love building my characters.

I always think of which celebrity I think most looks like my character… And I use Pinterest a lot to just pin what I see in my minds eye based on the characters essence. I’m so finicky about my characters 😀😀😀 sometimes it’s scary. I build extensive profiles going as detailed as to what elementary school they went to. I wrote a blog post on how to do this.  Part of the Family details the process I use to build my characters..

How do you build your characters? Drop me a comment let me know.

image_3

Like what you read? Please share…

Be Blessed

Unoma

Writer Wednesday: Understanding Your Antagonist

It’s simple. For your reader to care about anything you write, you gotta make them. And yes, that goes for the antagonist too.

Take me as your reader for example, the protagonist, I got it..you will make them so likable and have this deep emotional story that I will feel bad for them and root for them. But what about your antagonist? If I can’t understand him/her or why his/her plight is important to them, the book will put me to sleep immediately.

In my books, especially  When You Let Go and Anchored By Love I had some female antagonist that my readers still want to hear from. They feel empathy toward them, why? Because I made them care about these characters.

image_1

 

Tip:

To make a memorable, believable villain, you the writer must make the reader believe in the antagonist twisted sense of reasoning. Show the reader that to the villain(antagonist) their actions make perfect sense to them.

Got questions for me? Drop them in the comments would love the hear from you.

Be Blessed.

Unoma

3 Ways I Take Readers From Here to There

As you know by now, my books are mainly set in Nigeria or most recently Kenya and some US cities. When a reader tells me that when they read my book they felt like they were there..in Nigeria or Kenya I smile.

passenger plane flying on beautiful  dusky sky

Apart from the obvious compliment, it means I have done my job. You see apart from the Nigerian cities & Atlanta, I haven’t been to some of the other cities I write about. And I write for an international audience. It is a tricky to balance being authentic to my work and giving the reader an enjoyable experience.

Here are 3 things I do to take my international audience from here to there;

  1. Characters & Plot: I aim to weave tales where the plot and character interaction is universal.  So although there may be certain concepts that are different to my readers, I don’t get too detailed about the details of the customs. That’s what book discussions are for  🙂
  2. Scenery & Setting: I try to describe the location, village or city the story is set in only once. I don’t want my reader stuck in trying to figure it out but I try not to short change my readers either. Earlier on in my writing, I struggled with over description but that’s what good editors are for.
  3. Theme: Whether my characters are from the East, West, North or South they share something in common. They struggle with their faith and are need to be restored. The common theme in all my books are faith, hope & love…those are universal themes.

Of course at the end of the day, I’m that writer that fuses faith, romance & African spice 🙂 , so I give my readers what they expect when they pick up one of my books…entertainment,romance, faith filled fiction, and the ability to learn something different about the culture…that I do through dress, food, music & language.

Those are my little tricks… if you are a reader, is it important for you to feel the true essence of the book without getting lost? If you are a writer, how do you take your readers to places you have never been?

#WriterWednesday: Part Of The Family

Open book with golden magic light and falling stars on  dark  backgroundFunny story, when I was writing my first novel, An Unexpected Blessing , I called my husband Alex ( the book’s hero) almost all the time. It got so bad that he would give me the side eye, until the warning came. But then as a creative himself he understood how the characters live with you. Becomes part of your waking and sleeping.

Well I don’t do that anymore, or rather I catch myself before I do. But that doesn’t they are still not with me always. It’s funny because sometimes I’d think of something, a plot idea and I would go “naaah my present heroine wont do that, but oooooweeee the heroine of my next book will.” You see the characters I write I build from the ground up. I know I already told you that their core is getting back the hope they lost or restoration back to where they used to be. If you missed it you can read it here . But all of the characters are as different as their names.

Recently I got this review of A Scoop Of Love “I loved the characters, they felt real and I could relate to all their struggles. I loved the detail in which Unoma writes, every time Ibiso prepared a meal, I did feel like I was there in the kitchen with her. Can’t wait to read book two!”

I loved it, because it took a great deal to build all three Danjuma brothers and the women that will capture their hearts. And I’m glad it reflected in the story.  Nancy Kress says that to be a writer, you must learn to be three people at once:writer, reader, character.

According to Jordan Dane, “It’s not enough to picture their outward appearance. Give them a background and sphere of influence”

I had no clue how to do this until I talked to one of my mentors. She asked, “So who is Yomi?” (Yomi is the hero in my second published work, my Christmas novelette. I said “He is a rich, fine, biracial man.” She said, “And….” I was totally speechless then she sent me a character profile and I have used it ever since. I spend time building my characters before I write a word. At least I have the basics, so what is a character profile…here is a version of what I use

Name

Birthplace:

Family life (or origin) and its effects:

Mother and relationship with her:

Father and relationship with him:

Siblings and relationship with them:

Extended family and relationship with them

Current family life:

Age

Height

Weight and build

Body type

Face type

Predominant feature/Distinguishing marks:

Complexion:

Eyes:

Hair:

Clothing style:

Speaking style:

General demeanor:

Career and social status:

Religious beliefs:

Relationship history:

Health history

Friends:

Prejudices

Best qualities:

Worst qualities:

Bad habits:

Weaknesses:

Hobbies:

Talents:

Personality traits:

Quirks:

Best thing that ever happened to them:

Worst thing that ever happened to them:

Priorities:

Philosophy:

What is most important to them? :

What makes them angry?

There are so many other questions on my sheet. A profile helps when I’m figuring out their dialogue and their reaction to things or what moves and drives them.

To authors, how do you shape the characters in your work.

To readers, do you appreciate the depth of the characters you read.

Please share in the comments

Be Blessed

Unoma

Don’t forget to sign up to be a part of my exclusive community http://goo.gl/cmGxNP