Who’s Who In Mackworld

Welcome readers to Week 18 of the MFRW Blog hop.

Week 18: How I work up Character/Setting Profiles.


How do I “do” characters and setting?

You really want to get into this? Surely there are better things to discuss, like plot points, the beach, coffee. 

*waits for MFRW to change their minds* 

NO?  OK, well this isn’t going to be pretty.  You might want to grab a rain poncho or something.


My characters come to my mind, as if they had popped into the office and made a request. Imagine that you are the receptionist for a small company and a woman comes in.

“Good afternoon, how may I help you?” My fingers move from the keyboard to grab the pen and notepad.

She looks around nervously. “I have an appointment with Mr. McDaniels for ten.”

“Please fill out these forms.”

I pass the clipboard across the counter to the woman as I open a new client screen. When she returns the clipboard,  I enter her name, address, the reason for visit, and any other pertinent information. I begin to process what I’ve entered and then it gets weird. It’s like I trade places with the “boss” whether he’s a private eye, a counselor, or a physician. The character then tells me the details of her visit.

As she tells me what’s going on and what her concerns are,  I begin to learn who she is.

Now, in reality, I may be working at the day job.  I may be doing housework or I might be driving in the car. All of this goes on inside my brain until I can get to a point where I can sit down and start jotting thoughts down. A friend gave me a character development worksheet that I fill out, but to be honest it’s only partially filled out before the story fully develops.

I’ve said before that I am a plotter –  I have been using the W method that the wonderful Karen Docter taught me. This gives me a basic outline that I can fill in the important scenes in between the 9 major plot points. This still allows the freedom to “pants it” while I am making my first draft.

Usually as I am learning my character,  the details on setting come out from their first “visit”.

I have had some characters come to me fully developed and practically begging me to write their story, and then others seem a little shy and I have to play twenty questions to dig the information out of them.

Bran, the brother in Kiss of the Dragon came to me fully developed, showing up in my “office” stark naked, fully muscled, demanding my full attention RIGHT NOW.   Unfortunately,  I was really green when I did the draft of that one during nano and it needs major revisions, which is why it’s still in the files.

Julia from Red Wine & Roses was the shy one.  She was hesitant to talk about herself.  I had to pry the information from her while Derek wanted to talk inside my head for hours. Great dude,  shut up while I find out about Julia!

Settings: As I learn the character and their story,  the setting becomes clearer. Whether it’s the town they are in, the state, or a small little convenient mart, it’s part of them, part of their story.

I know it would make more sense to make up characters by sitting down and deciding OK, this one will be a male,  dark hair, beard no wait a goattee,  blue eyes, a scar above his brow, thin lips, tats on his arms and chest, a scar on his thigh. Let’s say he got the scars from a car accident. Let’s call him Joe.  It doesn’t always work that way. By the way,  this is the description of a character for a piece that I’ve been working on in the background, kind of a pshycho-thriller. If you are judging by appearances you might think he’s the antagonist but he isn’t. He’s sort of an antihero. but I don’t have my W worked out, or what his goal is, or his end game. We just met a few weeks ago, so I don’t even know his name yet.

Nathan’s story unfolded quickly. It was like I was a fly on the wall watching his story unfold like a movie behind my eyes if that makes sense.






Be sure to Preorder your copy of Tempting Fate: Charity Anthology today!

You can go to the blog hop and check out what other authors have to say about this by clicking on MFRW BLOG HOP.

Write on my friends, write on!

The Name Game


I’ve discussed this topic on other occasions but inspired by a post on another blog that I visited, Ameena’s Musings, it once again prompted me to think on names.

For my personal name, my first name is Laura – which means crowned with laurel, or victor. My middle name is Ellen – nicknamed Ellie – which means bright light.  I don’t often feel like the bright light or a victor, but it does offer hope for tomorrow.

So what’s in a name?  POWER – that’s what!

The reason that we toil over choosing our children’s names and our character’s names – which in a way are our children – is that there is a power behind  names.

We don’t want to name our children something like Ebenezer or Dorcas! I still have my baby naming books which I have on my resource shelf for my writing.

There are certain associations that we make with names, certain images that we have for  names. Babette makes me think of a perky blonde that is not too bright. Harold makes me think of an older gentleman that is balding and has some insecurities.

Mary means bitter. I know a couple of Mary’s and they are indeed bitter and difficult to be around.

Of course, the definition of your name also depends on the cultural background of your heritage. For example, when Chevrolet named their car a NOVA then wondered why it wouldn’t sell in Mexico, where the meaning of that meant “no go”.

For our book characters, we want to make certain that the names are right, and that they are creating the correct image.  Knowing our characters helps to name them. OF course, sometimes they tell you right off the bat what their name is. Like Bran, in Kiss of the Dragon.  He is bold, brazen, arrogant, and in some senses a complete asshat. But then again that leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Names have power!  Whether it was Adam in the garden of Eden naming everything he saw or Rick Riordan in his latest epic novel, names carry a certain power with them.

Write on my friends, write on.



What’s In A Name?

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”

William Shakespeare; Romeo & Juliet

How do you decide on  names for your characters? Do they come to you fully formed introducing themselves to you or do you have to play twenty questions to figure out the mystery guest?

If you are writing a   regency romance then your leading man is not going to be called Herbie or Sam or Vladimir. If you are writing a tongue in cheek erotic  work of fiction, Vlad the Impaler might indeed be your main man but otherwise, no.

For an action adventure type the leading man probably shouldn’t be named Rip or Timmy or something cutesy.  He should be named something macho, uber sexy, with loads of machismo. Clarence just doesn’t instill sexiness vibes while Dirk, Rocco, Kane sends ripples of pheromones rippling through our bodies in anticipation of  their testosterone overload.

If you are a fan of Clarence,  go for it but for me I  cant’ help but think of  the angel in It’s a Wonderful Life. Not  my idea of sexy.

Keys to making  your leading characters endearing begins with  their name. Consider your genre, consider your time period. Regency period characters  shouldn’t go by shortened  nicknames. Charles Joseph Axminster the Third should not be called Chuckie.  But if the character was the new kid in town, in a Young adult romance he might go by Chuck. The bullies might call him Chuckles. Close friends who have gotten to know him might call him Axman, since he is a whiz at martial arts. Maybe his mum calls him Joey, because dad is Chuck and Grandpa is Charles. Or maybe he is the ultra cool new guy that is amazing on guitar and he goes by Chaz.

So what’s in a name? The whole character that’s what!

Write on my friends, write on!


Snippet Sunday – Valkyrie’s Pt 2

Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

Getting the words down for the first draft is  a major accomplishment. I have to admit a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that I have FINISHED not 1,  not 2, not 3,  but 5 full manuscripts! Red Wine & Roses; Kiss of the Dragon (which still needs to be revised), Faere Warrior (which needs more revisions and expansion based on 3 beta readers), Valkyrie’s  Curse: The Awakening and VC: Trial of Aegir.

Big Deal right?  For me it is HUGE. Finishing a project,  this has been the bane of my existence.  I have a full file drawer,  an external hard drive, and two flash drives  full of partially completed projects. I’ve been writing for a long time.

Last week I mentioned that  in the middle of  the debris lies the occasional gem, right?  I guess in part it has to do with my excitement for the full story. I can only hope that my readers will find the bits and pieces interesting and  will pique your interest for the bigger picture.



I started this a couple of times in 2015 and agreed with a few writing friends to carry it through as a regular feature for 2016.  Keep in mind that this is during revision and prepublication. I shared a snippet from Chapter 1: The Viking HERE.  This is the prologue.


Discovering our true destiny is revealed

by our deepest passions.

My second snippet gives you a feel for the main character, Helena Eskildson.  You can find that snippet from chapter 2: The Journey Begins HERE.

This week as my editing and revisions continue I am sharing a nugget that introduces you to  my leading man, Mr. Scott Thompson.  It may just be that I find the intellectual man  sexy, but I prefer a man who has a lot going on upstairs to one that  doesn’t have an original thought in his head.

Scott made his way to Leroy’s office. “Leroy my man.” He stated as he knocked. “You in here?”

Slowly Leroy’s head rose from behind the workbench. “Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass you are Scott?”

“Me? What’d I do?” He moved to the stool next to the oscilloscope that he hoped would be his for the summer.

“This list! The equipment that you’ve ordered. Do you have any idea the acquisition forms, red tape, the bullshit I had to wade through to get this stuff? And if you so much as bring it back with one scratch, I’ll fine you the full price of replacement.”

“Umm, well no but if anyone can get it I knew it would be you.” He flashed his brilliant smile at Leroy.

“Oh stop it. That doesn’t work on me as it does the chicks. I’ve been in the bathroom after you douche-bag. By the way, we need to wash those towels. Major funk.”

Scott made a disgusted shrug. He picked up one of the Helium Vector Magnetometers, turning it in his hands.

“No fondling without proper introductions.” Leroy crossed the small area and grabbed it from Scott’s hands. “Scott Thompson meet the divine Gaussmeter. Manufactured by the same company contracted to NASA and our United States NAVAL FORCES. This baby can be used as a metal detector, can detect variables  at .001, can practically map your site for you. Combined with this little number.” He set down the HVM and picked up the ground penetrating radar. “You should get every read out that you can possibly dream up.”


I know there isn’t a physical description in there yet, that comes  a little later in the chapter. I hope that I’ve piqued your curiosity at least a little bit.

You can skate on over to VL Locey’s sinful pleasures  with hot hockey players on and off the ice at VLLOCEY where she is sharing her latest novella in progress and then skip on over to Cathy’s Romance, where you can find your next book boyfriend. You know, since you can’t have mine yet.

Write on my friends, write on!