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Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting "Into" Your Character


Getting into the head of your character is what brings them to life. Knowing them intimately, writing a back-story (where they have come from), knowing the details down to their favorite flavor of ice-cream, or considering an abusive childhood creates realism. My radio show guest, Virginia Smith shared some of her pointers on characterization as well as other tips for authors during our interview.

What you may not know about Virginia is her tenacity to become a published author. She received 143-rejection letters before getting her first contract. Most would have given up way before then. In fact, I stopped writing for ten years due to receiving a handful. She is truly an inspiration. She explained there is no substitute for studying the writing craft, taking classes, joining support groups and constantly learning. [I offer a weekly eCourse for authors on writing fiction here: http://]

To hear the entire radio show go to:

Here are some of Virginia’s tips:

1.    When writing about your character 20% comes from words and 80% from expression
2.    Relay body language
3.    People have physical quirks give your character one
4.    Invest in writing courses
5.    Attend Writing Conferences
6.    Study the craft
7.    Many more elements of a good novel in the interview

She also recommended good books among them ones on career steps and business negotiations, self-editing, and plot and structure.

I hope reading about Viriginia has motivated you to persevere in the writing and publishing process. As I tend to end my broadcasts, “Keep Writing”!

Do you have any particular struggles you have difficulty overcoming? Share them here.


  1. No matter what you do, tenacity can bring you to your goals. I've read so many biographies of famous people who failed many times before they became a big success. They are, as Virginia is, an inspiration.

  2. I agree that so many times people quit before they give it a real chance. My own story is shelving writing for over ten years before I began again, in a new direction.