Monday, November 28, 2011

The Importance of Secondary Characters

What a wonderful feeding frenzy last week and now I'm trying to put in some good writing time until the next phase of the holidays sidetracks me.

Back in 2010 I began a Young Adult mystery/suspense novel and blogged about the creation of the characters here. This completed draft is now being critiqued and hopefully will be ready for submission in 2012.

One of the things that made creating the characters so much fun in that novel was the brilliant idea that Susan Fields blogged about and I mentioned in the other article. She suggested googling for pictures of people that fit the characters. This jewel of an idea worked amazingly well for me so I had to do it again.

For a change of pace, I began planning an adult cozy mystery novel that involves some senior ladies and gentlemen. I started googling character actors and actresses from the old days.

I found the most delightful character actors that I grew up watching on television and in the movies. I did a lot of oohing and ahhing, even chuckling, from remembering the parts they played that made me love them. It dawned on me that all these television shows and movies were successful because the supporting cast of character actors did just that--they supported the stars in making the show/movie successful.

It gave me second thoughts at how important I considered those secondary characters in my own writing. Were the majority of them cardboard characters?

It was so sad to see that most of these talented individuals have passed on but, even though I didn't know most of their names, I will never forget their faces and some of the roles they played. It's such a shame that only celebrities get mentioned on the national news when they pass away.These truly talented people deserve so much more of a tribute than to just fade away.

I decided to mention just two of my favorites that you might remember, depending on your age :)

Burt Mustin played Gus, the fireman, on Leave it to Beaver and Jud on The Andy Griffith Show. He seemed to be in everything and I noticed his absence before learning of his death.

Reta Shaw, two of her many roles was the housekeeper/cook in Pollyanna with Hayley Mills and an escaped convict in The Andy Griffith Show. I mentioned these roles because both shows were televised over the holidays and you might have seen them.

From now on I'm going to give my supporting cast just a little bit more attention and respect. They deserve nothing less.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Wishing all of you the happiest of Thanksgivings with your family and friends.
 Hopefully, we'll all come back, after stuffing ourselves, ready to meet our end-of-the-year writing goals. But, seeing that Christmas is just around the corner, I think I can safely predict that my computer keys are going to get pretty dusty.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A friend of mine took this photo on a fall foliage trip to West Virginia. I looked longingly at it when she sent it because we were still in the eighties here. This morning we woke up to cool weather and blustery breezes. It's been a beautiful day! (picture removed)
The first cool weather announcing autumn as well as the first days of early spring motivate me to get busy at the computer. Having said that, I must confess that I started NaNoWriMo but stopped after about a week, cleared all the information I had uploaded, and shut it down. I found there was too much to do with serious revisions of a completed manuscript facing me. I could see right away that my heart wasn't in competing with a new project. If any of you are doing NaNo I wish you the best and hope you reach your goals.
Received my Pockets contest entry in the mail, disappointed that I didn't win or wasn't one of the ones chosen to keep, but huge congratulations to the winner: Lori Z. Scott. 
Hope your November is going well and the weather is just the way you want it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interesting Articles on e-books

Just wanted to share some interesting articles about e-books. I find it fascinating to hear about the amazing changes happening in the publishing world because of the digital age.

Secret of Self-Publishing: Success by Jeffrey A. Trachhtenberg

Magazine Publishers Look to Where Digital is Booming:The Book Business-Digital Editions by Stefanie Botelho

WSJ best-seller lists to include e-books