Answer These Questions to Make Your Characters More Well-Rounded

Storytelling is an integral part of the human experience. Authors have created new stories since the dawn of civilization. A story can serve many purposes: to entertain, to educate or to build a common sense of community through shared cultural meaning. Whatever the purpose, writing believable characters is crucial to the composition of an engaging, compelling piece.

Being a social species, we naturally want to relate to one another. We often assess our own positions in life based on our perception of others in our community. In light of this, you can understand why creating believable, interesting characters can propel a manuscript to succeed.

What Do They Eat for Lunch?

Often, readers remember the smaller details about a character that an inexperienced writer may forget to include. When we meet a new person, for example, we may take in a number of tiny bits of information that don’t even register formally in our brains. We then synthesize all that information to help us make a holistic impression of the person in our minds. What someone eats for lunch can tell us a lot about them. Are they health-conscious? Do they have a set of beliefs that are strongly held such as ordering a vegan or halal meal? Based upon the foods they enjoy, can we discern clues about where they come from? Are they poor or rich? 

How Do They Get Around?

Your character’s primary mode of transport can say a lot about them as a person. Did they arrive on a motorcycle, in an Uber or driven in a limo? The details matter too, like what kind of car they drive or whether they wear a bike helmet. Characters who don’t wear a bike helmet are likely to be risk takers with a distaste for rules. If they drive a vehicle, what does it say about them? Do they have a preference for form over function or the other way around?

The condition of the character’s mode of transport is also expository. Do they maintain their bicycle or car? Do they take pride in its appearance? For a variety of reasons, some people value material possessions more than others and take better care of them.

What Motivates Them?

Most human behavior is explainable by understanding the reasons why an action was taken. For example, Iago’s endless scheming in Shakespeare’s famous play seems extreme and unnecessary until you understand his true underlying motivations. Motivation is so important that establishing cause is crucial to many court cases. Without the proper stimulus, people will not perform certain actions.

How Did Their Past Affect Them?

No one lives in a vacuum. As we travel through time, we change. Who we are at this moment is directly tied to the events of our past. Often, a glimpse into a person’s background can illuminate a great deal about certain aspects of their character. But it’s not just the events of their past — it’s also how they immediately reacted to those events, and what support they had to get through it, if any.

As you write your piece, consider questions facing your character as if he or she is the dynamic, complicated being that a real-life person is. When you do this, readers will naturally relate to the character who becomes more vivid in their minds.

Need an extra pair of eyes on your story to help determine what works and what doesn’t? Pick me!

Are You an Indie Author? Here’s How to Get Your Book Reviewed

There are seemingly already enough obstacles to becoming published as an indie author, so it’s understandable that getting reviews may seem like adding another challenge. Reviews help set your published work apart from others because they help give it legitimacy. Though this is not an exhaustive list, mentioned here are some effective ways to help you receive reviews for your published work.

Use Your Own Website

When you have your own website, you can control what content you do and do not have on it. You can provide digital downloads of your books and either sell copies at a discounted price that is determined by you, or you can give away copies for free. The great part about having your own website is that by investing a little money in a domain name and using a turnkey program like WordPress, you can be online within a day and distributing your book all over the world. You can also be a guest blogger on other sites and link back to your author page.

Look to Relevant Influencers

Ask for an honest review of your book from someone who is at least fairly well-known and whose opinion is respected. 80% of consumers trust online reviews, and if they’re already following an influencer they admire, chances are they’re going to trust their opinion on your book. Use this trick to help validate your book with a review that your readers will likely take seriously. Publishers do this by getting reviews from other authors that readers love and respect. You can try to start there as well.

Give Away Free Copies

Sometimes you have to essentially buy reviews for your book by giving away free copies in exchange for an endorsement of your latest work. Though from a money standpoint it may seem like you have earned negative income by forking over a certain number of copies, you have in fact enabled other readers who are otherwise interested but not sure to go ahead and spend the money for a copy of your book. Think of this in much the same way as many popular brands giving away free product to consumers and thereby turn guinea pigs into the pied pipers who bring loyal readers marching to your online presence.

Pre-Sell Your Book

Sometimes you need to run a pre-sale opportunity to launch your book, and this can end up working in your favor because you have a chance to validate interest in your book before you commit fully to writing it. This gives you an opportunity to solicit ideas and feedback from your early bird participants to write the book they want to read and thereby receive the glowing reviews necessary to keep your book ratings high. To best implement this, you will need to run the pre-sale for a short time. Two weeks is common. It is a good idea to collect email addresses in the process. This allows you to keep contacting your list contacts to achieve a high conversion rate. Be firm about the cutoff for the pre-sale out of respect to those who took advantage of it.

With some creative thinking, you can achieve your dream of being a published author. For some, this will bring legitimacy to your writing talents. Getting started always seems to be the most challenging part. If you give it an honest try, though, you can achieve great success as an author. You have chance to differentiate yourself from others who have self published by taking extra steps to obtain reviews of your work. This is a good way to increase your chances of being successful when you publish.

If you’re looking for someone to review your book, let us help!

Apocalypse Orphan (2016) – A Review

Apocalypse Orphan (The Fractured Earth Saga Book 1)Apocalypse Orphan by Tim Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to the great people at Book Tasters, I was given a copy of Apocalypse Orphan by Tim Allen to read and review. Suffice to say there were a lot of ups and down about this book that I’m going to cover. First though, one of the biggest things I wanted to note is how much work the author put into a 100,000 plus book, and it shows.

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A Simple Guide: Bitcoin – Released!

A Simple Guide: Bitcoin

I love computers, anyone who knows me can attest to that. With my first initial introduction to bitcoin back in 2015, I decided to take my experience and write a simple guide to Bitcoin and how it actually works.

 

So, I am happy to introduce to you A Simple Guide: Bitcoin.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you how to get rich quick or give you a technical breakdown of the entire bitcoin exchange and market but to provide you a simple and easy-to-read introduction to the entire concept. I cover multiple things from the dangers of bitcoin to how it actually works (without the complicated cryptographic algorithms).

Interested? Why not grab a copy then! If you want to keep up with other works that I’ve done or future projects, you can do so by joining my spam-free newsletter that comes out once a month.

Have your own opinions on Bitcoin? Why not let me know in the comments on one of my social media platforms! I










The Time Probe (2017) Review

The Time ProbeThe Time Probe by Victor Bertolaccini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I stumbled upon Time Probe by V. Bertolaccini while perusing smashwords.com. As it is my go to site for indie author books, I like to keep up with what is going out there. The long blurb and cover were very interesting and I decided to give this book a whirl. Like many indie books, this one has its positive points and drawbacks.

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Brainwalker (2016) Review

BrainwalkerBrainwalker by Robyn Mundell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first thing that jumped out to me about Brainwalker was the cover. I actually went back to it a few times in my twitter feed before I decided to try it. I can say that Iwas pretty surprised about the content.

One of the hardest things about writing a story that is meant to teach or show something is avoiding the dreaded “preachy” feeling. Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast were able to accomplish it beautiful!

The story was intriguing and the pacing sound. I only struggled with some of the technical stuff a bit but it barely detracted from the story. I would recommend any young adult reader (or adult reader) to try this book out and see what they can learn about it!

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October Nights (2017) Review

October Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and HalloweenOctober Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and Halloween by DeAnna Knippling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This year I really did not get a chance to participate in any Halloween writing. Though not my favorite genre, I do enjoy writing a scary story. Still wanting to get my fix, I decided to try out Deanna Knippling’s October Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and Halloween. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.
Initially not sure what to expect with a collection of flash stories (any author knows they are hard to write), I found her style and presentation of these world snippets fascinating. They hover between just an idea for a future book to a quick peek at worlds and what they could become.

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