Character Inspiration

Today’s Question: where does the inspiration come from for the characters that writers create?

Yourself Write what you know. That’s pretty common advice, and something that many writers do, even when it comes to creating characters. (Or at least the readers like to look for evidence of it.) Who do you know better than yourself? Basing a character, at least in part, on yourself gives you plenty of fodder for development.

Someone You Know How many writers do you think base characters, at least in part, on people they know? Probably a lot of them. Just be careful that you don’t copy them too closely, especially if they might read your work and recognize themselves! You sure wouldn’t want Great Aunt Tilly to recongize that sardine jello surprise everyone makes fun of at Thanksgiving dinner, right?

Someone You See Writers are often quiet creatures–observant, thoughtful, and curious–so with those qualities, […]

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David B. Coe: HIS FATHER’S EYES, a Cathartic Novel

If it seems like I just had a release day, like, two weeks ago, that’s because I did. Today is release say for His Father’s Eyes, book II in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, the contemporary urban fantasy I’m writing as David B. Coe for Baen Books. And I’m pretty excited.

You’ll notice right away that the art for this series is quite different from the art for the Thieftaker books. In part that’s a function of the publisher. Baen likes stuff that looks a little pulpy — and I don’t mean that as a bad thing at all. The roots of our genre lie in the great pulp novels of the mid-20th century, and Baen draws on that tradition with all of its titles. More, I think that the Fearsson books have a noir-pulp element to them, along with a Gothic element and a fantasy element . . […]

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Laura Anne Gilman: Rising From The Ashes

One of the questions I get a lot – having been doing this full-time for a decade now – is “Don’t you ever get tired? Don’t you ever feel burnt out from the constant need to produce?”

What they’re really asking is, “is that going to happen to me?”

For the longest time – years – I never ran out of things to write. There was always an idea fermenting, waiting for its chance. There was always an idea (or two) in progress, fighting for time in the chair. I was writing three books a year, and while I was more than slightly exhausted all the time, the stories kept coming. Long form, short… And then they all stopped. Nothing. Nada. Dead air.

I’d broken myself, I thought. I’d used everything up. I had nothing more to say. Every story I started, stalled. Everything I’d been working on went stale. […]

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The Enemies of Our Progress, Part One

For the next few posts, I want to talk about a subject that’s always in my mind – the enemies of our progress. It doesn’t matter how much you love to write, or how talented you are, there are certain enemies we all share, enemies that slow us down or even bring us to a halt altogether. Sometimes talking about the enemy is enough to get our brains charged and our typing hands moving again. So I thought I’d spend some time bringing those enemies out into the open, expose them for what they are, in the hope that we all benefit. Today I want to talk about waiting for inspiration.

I don’t know about you, but once upon a time I believed that writers lived in shadowed garrets, drinking wine and staring at blank pages until, at last, the muse deigned to reward the writer’s patience with An Idea. […]

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Writerly Gifts

We’ve all heard the phrase “gifted writer”. But today, I’m thinking about that term much more literally. (Okay, my thoughts are inspired because I’m heading down to Nashville for the Southern Festival of Books, and I’ll be on a panel on Saturday, which just happens to be my birthday…)

So — literal writerly gifts. As a writer, what gifts would you like to receive? What if someone were giving you a $5 gift? $500? $5000? (Yeah, I don’t have anyone giving me $500 or $5000 gifts either. But I’m a writer. I can imagine someone being that generous!)

My $5 gift would be a box of tea, in any flavor of other orange or almond (caffeinated for my morning sessions or decaf for my afternoon sessions.)

My $500 gift would be a few sessions of therapeutic massage, to get the kinks out of my neck and the ache out of […]

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IT’S NOT EASY BEING MEH (or sometimes this gig sucks but it’s alright)

You know what?

I’ve got nothing to complain about. I don’t. I have a good life and a good wife and a good career. Things are shaking and moving. My schedule at Dragoncon is jam packed with some stellar panels. I have good writerly friends at all levels of the biz who are succeeding and doing well, which makes me happy. I have a support network. I have no shortage of inspiration to write. I have stories coming out and novels sold til the end of 2014.

My second book BLOOD AND SILVER won a Bookie Award at Authors After Dark this week for Best Shifter Novel (non wolf).

Things are good.

But today, well today not one damn bit of it matters.

The thing you know if you are a writer is that this business, for all its ego stroking numminess is also a black-hearted soul grinder. It’s a […]

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Thanks, Mr. Hart

So, I’m stalling, because I know I have to write a piece for Magical Words for today and I have absolutely no ideas. Nada. Zilch. Not because I don’t have a lot to say. (Just try to shut me up.) But because I’ve done so many blogs and articles and talks at this point that I feel I’ve said it all.

I’m playing around with ideas. Maybe I’ll have Tori Karacis, my PI who can literally stop men in their tracks, aka the heroine of my Latter-Day Olympians series, interview me in a shameless self-promotional gambit. (Plug: the second in the series, Crazy in the Blood, comes out in print in July and the third, Rise of the Blood, releases in digital in September.)

I can hear it now:

Tori: Hey, chicky, so you went to Greece and all I got was this lousy book? (See Rise of […]

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