Character Worksheets

There are a million-zillion different character worksheets spread all over the web. These are designed to help you better understand your character. Nothing wrong with that.

However, to help your readers to understand your character, some of this material actually has to make it into your story.


Customize the details to fit your story. You know your character has red hair and walks with a limp. You know your character is twice divorced and has an only child by the second marriage. These are important things for your reader to know too. It points to the personality of the character.

I’m not talking a big infodump of details, but a scattering throughout the story as it relates.

To add the earlier info to a story, you can use taglines at the end of dialogue.

“You’re quite generous,” he said. Not like his first wife who could refuse a drink of water to a man in a desert. But not like his second wife either, who’d nearly put the two of them and their son in the poorhouse just by her constant donations to charity. No, this woman was right in the middle. Nearly perfect. He smiled at her.

See how that adds so much to the character’s personality? These details are what create depth and interest in a character.

Use character worksheets. Customize them to your heart’s content. And put that info in your story!

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On Finishing

I finished the second draft of To Be Phoenix,

and I must say, I’m getting excited about this book. I think it’s going to be one of my best.

Now to reward myself.pen

I find that writers don’t do this often enough. Writing is hard work. It’s never-ending. In between the giddy highs of milestones, the work is frustrating, annoying, defeating, and infuriating. Why in the world would we want to keep doing something like that? Sometimes we need little things to keep us happy.

When I’m having trouble staying motivated, I set little milestones with little rewards. Maybe, once a chapter is rewritten, I’ll go sit on the deck for the rest of the day.

Sometimes I need a reward for even smaller milestones: half a chapter, one page, sometimes even just figuring out a difficult situation without it even being written. I might get a little prize.

Bigger rewards are for bigger milestones. I finished a draft of my novel. I get dinner out. Though, it was a very difficult rewrite. Maybe a movie, too.  Yes, that’s the ticket. Dinner and a movie!

When I get it published, maybe I’ll take a little trip somewhere. Not a big one, just a weekender. There is the work of the release party coming up, after all. And the next novel is waiting in the wings.

The point is: Writing’s hard work; reward yourself often. Bribe 
yourself. Do whatever you have to do to make yourself keep coming back to your story. And finish it, any way you can.

Posted in Fiction Writing Tips, To Be Phoenix, Uncategorized

The Word

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, every year I pick a word I want to live by for the next 365 days.

Last year, 2017, it was “Play”.

Looking back, I think I succeeded, considering how hard my family and I were hit by life things. I’m pretty sure if I didn’t play at things, I wouldn’t have made it as well as I did, mentally or emotionally.

So, I’ll call it a win.

I’ve been struggling to find a word for 2018, but I can’t find exactly what I want. So, I’ll give you this:

I want to learn to step back. To take a deep breath and get some distance. I want to let the river of life’s chaos flow around me without trying to swim against it. Maybe without swimming at all, just climb out and watch it go.

Relax. Accept. Re-center myself. Start again.

So, yes. My 2018 word(s?) is Step Back.


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