SmartyPantsPubs Writer enlightenment – Characterization and Character Description and Character “Voice”.

Hi friends and writers,

Today I’m privileged to have permission to blog an enlightening post from one of the many writers and publishers who I follow.

This blog I have found to be thought provoking, and extremely helpful when writing my second novel of a series. Enjoy.

See you next week,


Introducing Jennifer Roush from SmartyPantsPubs.

Characterization and Character Description and Character “Voice”.

All of these get conflated, but they are each different. First, let’s describe what these are NOT:

1. These are not detailed physical descriptions of your characters.

2. These are not infodumps about your characters.

Character “voice” is how a reader recognizes your character, even if they were dressed up as someone else. It’s not just words, it’s an impression. And it can be related to physical characteristics, which is why it gets confusing. Consider these:

A tall man, wide in the shoulder and chest, whose pecs seem to square off at whomever he addresses.

A tall man, narrow-chinned, seemingly tucked in around that lack of chin, as if he could hide it, and himself, if he just curled in tightly enough.

Now you add some habitual actions. Everyone knows that girl who takes every comment as an insult. Everyone knows that guy who turns everything into a sex joke. Everyone knows that kid who smiles at everyone they meet. Everyone knows a snob.

Now you add some habitual phrases or motions. Ones that support some kind of personality trait, that is connected to some kind of physical trait.

Ron Weasley says “Bloody Hell,” because he catastrophizes everything, because he is poor and red-headed and considered by society and himself to be unworthy and incapable.

Harry Potter says “Hang on,” because the world is not what it appears, because he thought he was a Muggle, was treated as a disgusting secret, and was really actually famous and desired. He has a scar to remind him of his status.

Claire Fraser says things like “Right,” because she’s a doctor and she needs to compartmentalize and get to business. She has flyaway hair: independent, unruly, never covered. It reflects her as a person.

This is why someone’s personality now directly ties to their physical description. So the pieces of their bodies that matter to the reader are the details the reader can tie to the impression of the character they already have.

This goes a little deeper: the personality quirks are generally based in world-views that direct how the character behaves long-term in the story, and creates those patterns.

Try the below.

My character wants ___________ in my story.

Their belief that __________ always ____________ gets in their way.

The way they put _______ over ____________ all the time doesn’t help them.

Because they do these things, they feel that the world/people are ___________.

This makes my character most likely to respond to ___________ with _____________.

When they do that, they say ________________. And they _____________ (Physical action).

It’s really noticeable because they physically have ______________ that really calls attention to their ____________.

In general, though, they’re this kind of person: _______________ but they also have _________________.

Here’s an example:

My character wants equality in my story.

Their belief that equality always looks the same gets in their way.

The way they put others over themselves all the time doesn’t help them.

Because they do these things, they feel that the world/people are very unfair.

This makes the character most likely to respond to limits with a sense of personal injury.

When they do that, they say, “Hey!” and they take action to set things “equal.”

In general, though, they’re this kind of person: tavern wench, but they also have a traveling pack and a traveler’s knife.

Now, mine is a little oblique at this point: she uses the knife and the traveling pack to “set things right”. Which can mean cutting the hair off a man so he looks like his sick brother, tying a quarreling couple together for a day so they can each experience the other’s reality, and threatening a group of men until they piss themselves with fear like the kid they were picking on. But you know, the minute she says “Hey”, that something is going down.

Later on, she realizes that SAMENESS is not EQUALITY, not really, not deep down, and she’ll modify what she says to “hey now.” She’ll think it through. But not until the end of the story. And she’ll NEVER be aware of this change. This is something only for the reader and the character’s brother.

What about your characters?

Can you tie their beliefs to their behaviors and then to their looks?

Can you tie a quirk in personality to a physical object or trait?

Would someone recognize your character if you changed their clothes, eye color, hair color, etc?

SmartyPantsPubs. Published on Facebook in November 2017


Many thanks Jennifer.

To you my followers, as November closes, and December opens, I encourage you to have a rewarding week.

As for me?

I’m looking forward to signing off the final cover and manuscript for my rewrite this week, then republishing early December. A long journey, but definitely worth it. Meanwhile I have pushed the word count up by competing in the Nomowri challenge, clocked up in excess 100,000k words on the second of The Fortune Seekers Series, pushing the release date a few months ahead.

More on that later,


#writer-writing; #learning; #TheFortuneSeekers; #questions; #answers; wholesome-novels; # rewrite-done; republishing

8 tips to lure in readers with your hook

Hi Fellow writers,

I am always thinking about what lures and keeps my readers reading my novels. It disappoints me when hearing that someone thought a certain part was slow.

My goal is to grab their attention, desiring to read on and on until the conclusion. Wanting to discover more by reaching for the second book of the series.

From such comments, I am learning and striving to work harder at keeping the hooks flowing.

Which is one reason why the first edition of The Fortune Seekers – Dan and Charlotte will re enter the market in a few weeks, after a full revision and update.

Ten months of work, but it is now a more concise and luring read.

It’s been a year of writing 101, as there is much to be learnt in our craft.

Hence, I am thrilled to forward this helpful NowNovel blog from Bridget.

May it also enlighten you.



Today’s post is all about writing strong hooks. Read examples of effective hooks from novels spanning literary fiction to murder mysteries to spy thrillers. Please share with anyone who might find these methods useful.

How to write a hook: 8 tips to lure in readers

Knowing how to write a hook is one of the key skills separating published from unpublished authors. Publishers want to know (among other things) that your book will appeal to an audience within the relevant market. How do you write a hook that makes readers lose track of time in book stores and library aisles?

1. Create unanswered, emotive questions

2. Front-load character actions and choices

3. Keep secondary details minimal

4. Make your reader care

5. Try simple thrills or chills

6. Exploit non-linear time for drama

7. Use pace, mystery and suspense

8. Read great authors’ hooks for insights

Knowing how to write a hook is one of the key skills separating published from unpublished authors. Publishers want to know (among other things) that your book will appeal to an audience within the relevant market. How do you write a hook that makes readers lose track of time in book stores and …

Keep writing!


P.S. Share your hook for critique on the site if you’d like additional perspectives on how gripping it is.

What will I learn from this?

“First, write all you think is necessary.

Then, take out every sentence which could have been written by someone else.“

— Seth Godin

Connectivity enables transparency.” – Bill Gates

The Epic 4,000-Word Guide to Differentiating Yourself as a Writer by Todd Bryson

I think it is natural for a writer to plug her ears after releasing work into the world, hiding it from those who criticize. After all, art often demands that kind of thing.

But you need someone to hold you to your best work. Find that person.

They disagree with not what you are saying but how you are saying it.

Write with your true voice

This is done by REMOVING THE BRAIN FROM THE PROCESS. Instead, hotwire your fingers with your guts and blood and soul.

The best way to remove the brain from the process is stream-of-consciousness writing.

The steps are exactly what you’d expect:

Sit down

Set a timer somewhere between 7–15 minutes

Write every thought that crosses your mind

Do not write with an agenda. Do not write to publish. Do not write for perfection.

Write to write.

Viral Strategy 2 — ASK for shares

This is the easiest way to get traction, but 90% of people don’t do it.

If you feel shy about asking for shares or recommends (like I did), ask yourself two questions:

“Do I believe this is quality work?”

“Do I believe a single other person on the planet could benefit from it?”

If the answer to both these questions is “yes,” how could you possibly be embarrassed to ask for a share?

Be as creative as you want with this ask, just don’t be apologetic. A simple, strong request for shares goes a long way.

For every ONE person who is interested in your work, you add one person to your viral engine. The higher your baseline, the easier it is to reach more people.

Win your readers over, one by one by one by one.

At that point, you’ll find going viral is not only easier, it may not even feel necessary anymore.

Steve Bryant

People care about what they already care about.”

The importance of being relevant to your audience’s interests

What is relevant, timely, and interesting to your reader depends upon who you’re talking to.

It’s easier to care about what you already care about.

Most people care about their own interests.

Find where those interests overlap with yours, and begin.

Relationships are based on trust

All relationships are based on trust.

You trust someone when you have confidence in their reasoning, or their feelings, or their abilities. You have that confidence because that someone has exhibited that reasoning or those feelings or those abilities over time.

In other words, you trust someone because their behavior is consistent across weeks, or months, or years.

Trust, you could say, is simply another word for time.

There is no trust without honesty

Trust, of course, requires honesty.

You can’t trust someone if that someone isn’t honest about their reasoning, or their ability, or their intent. Their dishonesty takes away your ability to make good decisions.

And so this is why a publication’s most valuable asset is their relationship with their readers

A publication isn’t content. A publication is the exploration of an idea.

Their audiences trust that the authors will honestly examine the idea territory they’ve set out to explore. The author gives honest effort (input), the audience gives attention and trust (output).

This is a relationship.

In each case, the storyteller knows that they, the storyteller, aren’t the point of the discourse; the point of the discourse is the idea — which is larger than the storyteller and which never ends.

Make relationships, not things

The decision to create a relationship instead of a thing has real consequences for what you make, who you ask to make it, and how it gets done.

If you want to create a conversation because what you value most about your audience is their insight, then there are appropriate platforms and tools and people to help you do that.

Was it as good for you as it was for me?

Everything works this way

Relationships are based on trust. Trust takes time and honesty. You can’t just create a pile of content and be done with it. You can’t “thing” your way to people trusting you.

Which is to say: the question isn’t what content to create.

The question isn’t how to create that content.

The question is why do you care about the people you’re creating the content for? What makes them special? What kind of relationship do you want to have?

How do you want them to feel?

Who is doing the nomowri November writing challenge?

I am.

I began the challenge with three family historical stories in sequential idea form with the plan to merge them into the second Fortune Seekers Novel.

Hours spent cutting, pasting onto the working manuscript followed, along with moving chapters up and down for timeline sequence

Target- one hundred and thirty thousand words

By the 11th Nov. the chapters are placed where I want them. My mind is clear and I can see how the present and past tense is to work.

The total story now has 43 chapters and 105,000 words- approx 300 pages.

The nomowri challenge is 50.000 words, designed to help writers make a start.

I had made my start, but needed a kick in the butt to dedicate my time to achieving a set number of words as a daily goal.

It’s plain sailing now for the rest of the month. Book signings for the first book of the series, The Fortune Seekers- Dan and Charlotte

Yesterday and the day before were big days. At least 10 hours of work each day.

Now I’m looking forward to bringing it alive by tightening it up, ensuring each chapter has hooks to grab the readers attention, and cutting where it’s not important to the story.

Finally checking chapter by chapter on the AutoCrit and grammarly editing programmes. Then eventually sent to the editor to polish it some more. Months of work ahead, but it’s well underway.

Feeling pleased.

Even think I have a title . . .

One huge reason why I recommend Vistaprint

I recommend Vistaprint. Here’s why.

My pen order for the book signing didn’t arrive. I emailed Vistaprint who refunded the postal costs, while asking me to wait two or three more business days. Still they didn’t arrive. So I emailed them again. That day in their reply, they suggested a credit or refund. I preferred a refund. Then my pens arrived.

I emailed Vistaprint, saying-

Dear Garcia,

This morning the pen order arrived. In my previous email I responded that a refund would be more suitable. But now that they have arrived, it is not necessary.

Thank you and your team at Vistaprint for your prompt, supportive responses to this matter over the past few weeks.

It has been resolved.

Thank you,


They replied-

Hey Glennis,

You’re most certainly welcome!

I am absolutely delighted to learn that your pens have arrived.

Glennis, reviewing your account confirmed that the refund requested had already been successfully issued and will be received.

No worries though, please accept both the pens and your refund with compliments in light of the delay and any inconvenience experienced.

Once again, it has certainly been a pleasure assist you with this information and please do not hesitate to contact us if you should have any further queries or concerns.

Until then, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a fantastic day!

Best Regards,


Customer Care Specialist

This is why I highly recommend this Australian company

10 Ways to Improve Your Memory | The Art of Manliness

Hi friends,

I’ve been thinking about why some people have excellent memories, such as the celebrities who compete against teams of clever folk, on ‘The Chase’. Initially when I began watching this TV programme, I couldn’t remember many answers. Over the last year my memory has improved. Why is this happening?

I received this blog from a personal development blog I receive entitled, – A Man’s Life. Perhaps you will find it as helpful as I have. Bullet points only, as you will learn, understand and remember more by reading the whole article, therefore click on the blue link below.


Quote- from the blog

If you have read an interesting article, do not wait until you want to talk about it to revive your memories. The time to revive them and make them permanent is within half a day after the first impression has been made.”

If you read this, I bet you’ll remember it tomorrow.

The Art of Manliness spells out 10 ways to improve your memory, borrowed from the book Increasing Personal Efficiency.

The tips include to memorize meanings, revive your recent memories, and make “overmemorizing” a habit.

Brett & Kate McKay | November 1, 2017

A Man’s Life, Personal Development

10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

Bullet points:

1. Be intentional in remembering.

The man who first said “it is the little things that count,” may have wanted to be funny, but he stated a truth of improving memory. The first “little thing” for you to correct is your intention in remembering.

2. Memorize the new through the old.

Can you recall the shape of Italy?

Can you recall as accurately the shape of Germany?

3. Cultivate a broad range of interests.

At the circus, you saw many people who were strangers to you. Of all these, which ones would you recognize if you were to see them again? Probably the fat woman and the human skeleton.

4. Talk over the things you want to remember.

Do you reinforce your memory? When you want to remember some facts, do you just look at them or do you repeat the figures? Do you write them down and think about them for a while? If you look at them and think: “How interesting, I must remember this,” you are improving your memory by this added effort. But you will not have reinforced it.

5. Revive your recent memories.

6. Repeat what you want to remember.

Would you like to have your memories one and a half times as strong as they are now? You can improve them by this amount if you repeat everything you want to remember twice.

7. Memorize meanings.

8. Memorize early in the day.

When does your memory fail you most, in the morning or in the evening? Can you memorize as quickly in the afternoon as in the forenoon?

9. Approach memorization with a positive attitude.

Do you dread memorizing? When you have a name to remember, do you dislike memorizing it? When you have a speech or some shopping items to remember, are you bothered by the fear that you will forget them?

10. Make “overmemorizing” a habit.

Much forgetting is due to the fact that we seem to seek the easiest way and memorize only enough to remember for a few hours or days. Never stop memorizing as soon as you can repeat the name, or date, or information accurately. Spend some additional time memorizing it even after it is apparently well learned.