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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: Book characters

Spending Quality Time with Our Favorite Book Characters

How to Cope with Character Separation

All authors, indie and traditional, would rather sit at the library, coffee shop, or park and write what’s on their mind while getting paid to do so. Our favorite book characters, usually our mains, we come so close to them throughout this process and working full-time while setting their stories aside is like leaving our own kids if we have any.

Okay, I don’t know what that feeling’s like since I’m childless but I have a general idea. My book characters are, at the very least, closer than siblings and best friends. Leaving them to one day tell the world about them, from all four corners of the globe, well, that’s more than possible.

It’s something every author, indie or traditional, should strive for.

Our characters make our work, something we worked long and hard on, and have breathed life into these compelling people we’ve come to love.

People we’ll do anything and everything for, including making a sacrifice, so they can be known to thousands or for a lucky few of us, millions of readers.

 

Working Full-Time

It’s time away from our writing and editing, meaning time away from the people we’ve brought to life.
We want to focus on our writing, but life has other ideas, as it always does.

For some of us, working forty, fifty, sixty hours a week five to six days keeps us separated from our characters for long periods of time.

It’s why finding time to write each day is so important.

I consider myself lucky, as I’m relatively close to my job and can write and edit in the morning before my workday begins at nine. I can be up at five, eat breakfast, write or edit for two hours, then bolt for work.
I also work in a field where I’m at work when no one else is.

Because of this, I get an extended lunch break, about two and a half hours. Get a good workout in and a little more writing during this time and I’m set.

But not everyone gets this and I’m truly aware.

So, my tip here is to always set your alarm clock an hour earlier or stay up later to get your writing in. I know you’re tired and stress at work might have your mind elsewhere, but shouldn’t writing and editing (I personally love editing) be an escape?

Hey, you can sleep and continue to dream or you can wake up and make that dream a reality.

Bring Your Book or Manuscript with You

If you love your book characters as if they’re family, and you should, bring a copy of your book with you. If you haven’t published yet, don’t worry; print your manuscript and take it to work with you.

You can read on your lunch breaks, even if it’s only a half-hour. But again, talk about ultimate stress relief from your day job. You’re able to do something important to you and it’s positive while your co-workers and peers continually complain about life.

And who knows, maybe that book will make you a full-time living one day and you will be writing in libraries, coffee shops, and parks, among other places.

You can read, edit, and if you’re allowed a laptop, you can even write some more. If you’ve an hour lunch break, write for thirty to forty-five minutes and boom, your character separation has been combatted twice; once in the morning, once in the afternoon.

Sure, they’re small tidbits of your day. Thirty minutes here, forty-five minutes there, but you’re also going to have all evening to work, too.

 

Weekend Advantage

Yes, use your weekends to your advantage. I work a truncated schedule on weekends; only until mid-to-late afternoon, giving me all evening to work on my next books that will soon be released.

For you, you might have this time free. If so, take advantage of those weekends. Even if you’re working so many hours a week that you can’t find time to write or spend quality time with your characters (editing and bringing these babies to life!), use your weekends.

Come on, you have either Saturday or Sunday. Even a few friends of mine who work twelve-hour shifts in distribution centers on weekends have time to pursue their passions and hobbies.

And you do, too.

Even if you have activities scheduled each weekend, utilize the same tips I mentioned above regarding your workdays. Wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour or two later. You do have time to make this happen and it will happen, trust me.

 

Book Character Separation Isn’t Permanent

No, it isn’t permanent and that’s something to remember!

Instead, it’s all about working around your daily schedule to find time to improve your manuscript and continue to bring these characters you’ve created to life.

Sometimes, it is tough to leave these characters as we go off and do adult things like work, and whatever other commitment we’re obligated to.

But, remember that if we’re motivated enough, and read that line again if you’re prone to making excuses after having good intentions, we can and will find time to attend to our characters as they make our stories.
Again, they’re a part of us.

 

For me, it’s Cain, Lira, Taj, Savannah, and the rest of the Northern Knights gang.

For a long time I was able to dedicate almost full-time attention to these cats, but now, things won’t be the same and separation anxiety is real.

But, as all motivated writers and authors do, we come prepared. What I’ve outlined above to my readers is a little blueprint I’m using to stave off such separation, and you can, too.

 

Now it’s your turn. Put this blueprint into action and stick to it. Something tells me that you’ll be more than glad you did. And remember, if you put the time, effort, and dedication into your work, it’ll become a full-time gig.

If you have any questions, comments, ideas, or concerns, I’d be more than glad to hear from you! Feel free to comment and keep the conversation going!

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Friends, Family, and People in my Life, You’re my Book Characters

The Inspiration Behind my Book Characters

 

I love the Family Guy Star Wars episodes because each character of Star Wars is played by a character on Family Guy. The same can be said in my manuscript, Age of Columbia: Uprising.

 

How I Developed my Book Characters

I picture each character in this manuscript as people I’ve met, and their personalities mirror their real-life counterparts. Needless to say, the gamble here is I’ll be either solidifying some friendships, or permanently tearing down some already burning bridges that have been fueled since I left Weirton, West Virginia for greener pastures.
Sure, this makes character creation rather easy and fun, but once this thing hits publication (I’m taking my time because this must be done the correct way), I might have to be looking over my shoulder twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Forgive me, Friends and Family

So, I’d like to use this blog as an opportunity to tell the world of people I’ve come across in the past I’m sorry if Uprising offends you, but to be honest, this is all done in good humor. I mean, at the very least, you can appreciate the fact your personas jumped out at me from Day One, and I remembered them vividly enough to place them into not one, but several manuscripts and books to come long after Uprising.
You may be doing the same, or, some of us may use an amalgam of people we’ve come across to be morphed into a single character. I did this with a few, too, but only if such people were best friends in real life and inseparable. Sometimes, our main protagonist may serve as an amalgam of all the good people we’ve come across, while the main antagonist serves the same for all the negative people in our lives.

 

Thank Your Characters’ Real Life Counterparts

The life of the writer mirrors the life of say, the comedian. We seek out interesting people day in and day out and those who peak our interest become our characters. Sure, some of these people may get offended if they happened to somehow come across our book (or even our blog or Twitter account).
So, commend such people and thank them for being such interesting characters in real life that they make just as interesting book characters. Even if they’re in an antagonistic role, it should be an honor for them to serve in your works.

 

An INFJ’s Love Letter

Or, sometimes we have our hidden messages within our books. That’s okay, and just this past week I told a few friends about a rather unique thing that had happened to me this week regarding one of my main supporting characters.
Better yet, if you were to have say, an author interview, and from my readings, there are tons and tons of them just waiting to help authors get their work discovered, you can even insert a phrase or two and pray they’re listening.
Ah, the life of the Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging (INFJ). We love to use our hidden codes and pray those we love the most break such codes. Or, they can begin by reading our blogs, but these are all the dream scenarios of the INFJ, which rarely work, mind you.
Anyway, back to reality.

 

Be Proud of Your Persona

If anyone out there reads my work and believe one of my characters is resembling of you, they probably are. Just remember it’s the honor of having such a distinct persona that I decided to include a bit of you into a finite piece of computer code, or if I Print on Demand (which will likely happen and my whole family will realize I’m a Pagan), a finite piece of finite papers bound together by some glue.
It’s truly nothing personal and don’t take offense. Be proud of your persona.

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