M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest

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The first cast of characters I came up with for this story ruined it. I set the project aside, thinking I needed to add something fresh, fun, fabulous to it to make it work.

The awaited lightbulb moment came while I was researching publishers editorial lines. One fun publisher is looking for YA novels.

That was it. This story would totally work with a cast of teenagers and there’s a market opening.

It meant scrapping 10 000 words, an entire cast of adult characters, hours of worldbuilding… So be it.

Creating Characters

I really wanted to layout thoroughly the main characters, so I would have a strong base to work on. I tried a new process to attempt to get there.

I made a list of what I wanted to achieve for the character, some basic stuff, some level 1 stuff:

  • research and choose names & write the family history related to the names
  • describe and draw the layouts of the places (town, neighborhood high-school, the third place of interest)
  • find out what the main characters want, what drives them, what they need
  • find what makes them different (passion, crazy dreams, impactful event)

I also used one of the writing tips I pick up from Chris Fox’s « 5,000 words per hour ». I removed from my reach my distractions of choice: phone (a.k.a Candy Crush device), paying work-related stuff, grocery list, etc.
Small difference: I kept the Internet on. Because I am a very visual, it-must-respect-the-law-of-physics kind of writer, I use the Internet-verse or actual books to double-check everything, no matter the literary genre I choose.

It usually takes me a little more than a week to create characters and do a bit of worldbuilding, but this project is « rushed ». I plan to query this book in six months, top (the high of query season here).

Although, I haven’t set goals for that project yet; and that is for another writing diary day.

Until next time!

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