Writing Books/characters


what would you say is the best method of planning characters?
Is it better to do a list of information e.g.
If so what would you put in the list.
If not what would you suggest

There as many different answers for this question as there are fiction writers.  Lists are good.  I'd want to know age, profession, physical characteristics, how they get rid of peanut butter stuck to the roof of their mouth, how they feel about love, who or what they hate, what they want out of life etc.

Some writers do a character sketch.  Put your character in a difficult situation and write out what he/she does to resolve it.

Pretend your character is having dinner with you for the first time.  Ask the questions you'd ask anyone you've never met before and write out the answers as they pop into your head.

Have two of your characters tell each other what they look like, how them come across when first met, what they do for a living, all about their families or lack there of.

Mostly I ask my characters what it is they want and how far they'd go to get it.  In other words, their motivation.

Do whatever until you feel you know how your character would react if he got hit by a bus, ran over someone with his 4X4, lost her job, fired her best friend.  Then you'll know your character.

And, you could just write your story and learn about your character that way.

All these methods work.The trick is to find out which one works for you.

Good luck!

Liz Aleshire
Willybudkin, A Fireside Tale for Parent and Child

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Liz Aleshire


What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?


I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

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