Keep On Writing!

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Hello to all the writers out there!

This is a difficult and very trying time in which we all find ourselves. One thing you can be sure of, in this period of great uncertainty, is that you are writers.

Believe in yourselves!

Believe in your writing!

Keep writing!

 

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Let’s Do A Shameless Self-Promotion Saturday!

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Shout Out!

I found this idea for a Shameless Self-Promotion Saturday on Twitter, and I think it is an excellent one. So, today, shout out your book to the world! Give information about the book and where it can be found. Then be sure to reblog and share on other social media so as many people as possible can read out about it.

Remember, writers–we need to be our best promoters and publicists!

Here is information about my new book Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft:

Many writers suffer from the inability to finish a first draft for a variety of reasons, and this problem can prevent them from finishing the crucial initial draft of a book.Through a series of practical suggestions and exercises, this book will help writers get the draft done!

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Now tell us about your book!

Using Maps and Essays in World Building in a Fiction Series by Charles F. French

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I had a wonderful time participating in the HorrorAddicts.net Online Writers Conference 2020. The hosts were friendly and extremely helpful. The information given out by many presenters is useful for writers who are not horror writers as well as those who are. If you have a chance, you can still stop by their excellent site: HorrorAddicts.net Online Writers Conference
Here is part two:
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How To World and Character Build in a Horror Novel Series

by

Charles F. French

Part Two

 

World Building

All fiction writers, no matter the genre, must create the world in which their characters live. Whether writing in literary fiction, romance, horror, science-fiction, or any other of the myriad of possible genres, writers create a world for the readers to observe and in which they can be immersed as they read.

This can be a difficult process to perform for one novel, but in the creating of a series set in a particular fictional world, it presents several problems. Among these issues are: what are the details of the fictional environment? Does the world remain static or change? What elements of the fictional world are the most important? And does the world change throughout the series? I am not suggesting that there are absolute answers to these questions that can fit every series, but I am saying that these questions should be kept in mind and addressed by writers who are building these places.

I have written two novels in a continuing horror series: Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2. I am currently working on book 3. The books are all set in a fictional Pennsylvania town called Bethberg—set somewhere north of Bethlehem, PA and south of Stroudsburg, PA.

Maps

During the writing of the books, I did not initially try to set down on paper details of the town, which was a mistake. I have since corrected it, and I have made a map, that would never impress map-makers, but serves the function of being a reference if I need it.

I recommend this process as strongly as I can. You do not need to have any artistic ability to create this guide; it need be useful only to you. I certainly, also, do not claim to have been the first writer to make this kind of aid. J. R. R. Tolkien created maps of Middle Earth in The Lord Of The Rings and Sherwood Anderson, in Winesburg, Ohio, also showed a map of the town. These charts help the readers, but I believe they also aided the writers in their craft.

I recommend keeping the map to only one page if you can. I began by drawing the basic street layout of Bethberg, PA. It is an old-fashioned Pennsylvania town with a circle in the center of town and roads going east-west and north-south in an imperfect grid from the circle. Because the town dates from the 1700s, the roads often do not follow any particular layout.

I then began adding key landmarks that appear in my books to the map, including diners, bars, homes, and shops.

As I continue to write this series, I add more to the map. In book two, I realized that a major area occurs in the outskirts of the community, a place call Gallows Hill. When I understood that point, I added it to the map.

One day, I might show the map in a book, but for now, in its present condition, I use it only for my reference.

To Begin:

• What kind of physical world are you building?

• If it is large, I suggest an overall map to begin, including pertinent landmasses and water or other characteristics.

• Is your world that of a small town, a large city, or the country? These are only a few of the possibilities.

• Then draw smaller maps of other areas within the larger world.

• If the world you are creating is small, then make a map of it. You might begin with the most important central feature and expand from there.

• What buildings are there?

• What stores and shops?

• What kind of roads?

Continuing:

As you work on your novels, you will find some changes that you need to make in your world. I suggest continuing to work on your map.

• Expand the map as needed. Add new places, such as streets, buildings, and parks.

• Mark changes that occur—has a building been destroyed in a previous book.

• I suggest keep copies of the maps as they exist for each book.

Using Essays:

Besides the use of maps, it can also be a good idea to write a small piece about the world you are creating. I have done this, and I have tried to give an over accounting of what makes this world operate as well as specific details. For example, is it a place that is driven by the known rules of physics, or does magic operate there? Are you concerned with a very specific place, or is your book set in a sprawling expanse of time and place?

I believe that the more you know and understand about the world your characters inhabit, the easier and more vividly you will be able to create that place in words, and your readers will, therefore, also be able to picture it when they read your work.

The most important consideration to remember is consistency with the world you create. Be certain that you can picture the world and keep the details clear in your mind; that way, the readers will also be able to do the same.

I hope these suggestions help.

 

How To World And Character Build in a Horror Novel Series by Charles F. French

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I had a wonderful time participating in the HorrorAddicts.net Online Writers Conference 2020. The hosts were friendly and extremely helpful. The information given out by many presenters is useful for writers who are not horror writers as well as those who are. If you have a chance, you can still stop by their excellent site: HorrorAddicts.net Online Writers Conference
Here is part one of my presentation:
How To World and Character Build in a Horror Novel Series
by
Charles F. French
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Part One

 

Character Biography Sheet

The following worksheet is a sample of the kind of biography sheet that I use when writing. I have formed this based on biography sheets I used both as an actor and director, and I find them to be extremely useful in writing fiction. I do not suggest that I have asked all the questions that another writer might of her/his characters, but I hope this sheet is a good way to begin. Feel free to copy it and use it as you will. I find it is most effective when I include as much detail as I can about my characters. Also, please understand that it is unlikely that you will use all of these details in your writing, but knowing these minute parts of your characters will help you both to bring them to life and to bridge their existence over several books.

Physical Characteristics:
 

Height –
Weight –
Body type –
Hair color –
Hair length –
Hair style –
Eye color –
Scars or birthmarks –
tattoos and piercings –

limps or other physical issues –
Family:
 

Mother –
Father –
Siblings –
Cousins –
Emotional relationship with any of them –

Foods:
 

Is the character a meat eater, vegetarian, vegan, or other special kind of consumer of foods?
Breakfast:
Eggs – how do they eat them? what style?
Breakfast potatoes – homefries, hashbrowns?
Breakfast meat? what kind?
Toast? what kind of bread?
Bagels? what kind, with toppings?
Fruit? what kind?
Pancakes?
Waffles?
French toast?
What kind of syrup?
Cereal? what kind?
Oatmeal? with what on it?
Cream of wheat?
Other breakfast choices?
Lunch:
Soup? What kind?
Sandwich? What kind? What bread?
Salad? what kind? what kind of dressing?
Pasta dish? what kind?
Fruits? What kind?
Dinner:
Any particular type of food that is a favorite?
What main dishes?
What side dishes?
What salads?
Desserts:
Cakes? What kind –
Pies? What kind –
Ice Cream? what kind and how?
Other baked goods? what kind –
Indulgences:
Candy? What kind?
Cookies? What kind?
Other?
Alcohol:
Beer? What kind –
Wine? What kind –
Whiskey? What kind –
Mixed drinks? What kind –
Coffee or Tea
Coffee? How? black, cream, sugar –
Tea: Caffeine, decaf, herbal, cream, sugar, honey –
Other beverages:
Soda? What kind?
Iced Tea?

Sparkling Water?
Clothing:
 

What do they wear to work?
What do they like to wear at home to relax?
Are they formal or informal dressers?
What kind of shoes do they like to wear?
What kind of coats do they wear in bad weather?

What do they like to wear on vacation?
Entertainment:
 
Books:
 

Do they like to read? What kind of books –
Print or ebook?
Read for work or pleasure?
Favorite authors?
Fiction or nonfiction?
Poetry?
Biography/Memoirs?
Magazines? Which ones –

Television:
 

Series?
Comedy?
Drama?
Horror?
RomCom?
Occasional viewer, faithful viewer, or binge viewer?
Prefer traditional cable or streaming services?
Film:
Comedy?
Drama?
Horror?
RomCom?
Suspence?

Life History:
 
Education:
 

Level of highest education?
What was studied?
Did the character enjoy school or not?

Sexual Orientation:
Straight, gay, bi, trans, other?
Romance History:
 

First love –
Ever Married?
Divorced?
In love now?

Children:
 
How many?
Grandchildren:
 

How many?

Other relatives:
 
Who?
If any of you find this useful, please feel free to use it as you will.

Quotations on Perseverance

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One of the most important qualities for writers is that of perseverance. So many other circumstances have impact on success and failure that are outside of the direct control of the writer, but there is one that is in his/her ability to control: perseverance, the ability to keep writing, no matter what is happening. Here are a few quotations about that quality:

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“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

                                                             Abraham Lincoln

 

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“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

              Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

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“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”

                                                                       H.G. Wells

 

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“If you want to be a writer, then you must write–every day if you can. Remember that you must never give up.”

                                                                 Charles F. French

 

Quotations On Ignorance and Its Danger

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“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

                                                     Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

                                                                     Thomas Paine

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“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

                                                   Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

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“We must, especially now, be aware of the threat of tyranny and authoritarianism that is riding on the wave of ignorance, bigotry, and fear.”

                                                                    Charles F. French

Quotations on Questioning

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“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”

                                                                       Albert Einstein

 

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“He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer.”

                                                                     Elie Wiesel

 

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

                                                                   Socrates