Even in the fictional world, it’s all about who you know. #amwriting

So the other day I was kicked out of the house for a couple of hours as my parents are selling it and we had a few back-to-back showings. I was bummed out at first because it was raining. But I brought my trusty pen and notebook and stopped at Starbucks for a glorious tripple venti whole milk caramel macchiato. With the rain pattering on my car’s windshield, I found a comfortable and busy enough to be safe parking lot and turned my car into my writing studio.

I’ve been plotting my semi-new (I thought of it this past winter) story of vampires vs. zombie story set in Vegas. I’ve been frustrated with the completion of my YA story because I can’t really write the sequel until my editor looks at the first one. This adult vampire book is a rather complicated one, because there’s lots of different characters with different roles, motivations and abilities. It’s rather fun, writing vampires in Vegas, but it is complicated. They all want different things and are all trying to get there first while tearing down the competition in their wake of victory.

One tool I discovered, although I’m sure it’s not that original, is a character tree.

I branched out every MC and connected them to how they know each other.

We’ve all heard about networking. I think networking is critical especially for us authors. But everyone can use networking to their advantage. And, as we create fictional characters, it’s easy to focus only on one character and forget about who that character knows, and who their acquaintances know and how they know each other. I find that if I’m stuck on a plot or something, I tend to fall back on their connections. How does Jack know Jill? Did someone introduce Jill to Jack? How does Jill feel about Jack? That sort of thing.

So if you’re ever stuck, like I was, don’t forget about who your MC knows and what that person can do for them. Whether it’s a family member, a boss, an ex-girlfriend or a crazy stranger trying to kill them …. there are plenty of characters to choose from.

My goal is to finish outlining this week and start writing the story again this weekend. Because without fresh material to write, I found I’ve been a little crabby to put up with hehe.

Hope you guys are doing well! Do you have any tricks on keeping track of all your characters? Share in the comments!



2 thoughts on “Even in the fictional world, it’s all about who you know. #amwriting

  1. This tool works, Claire. Recently, I whiteboarded a character tree based on a first (short) draft of a novel that read flat. Turns out, my protagonist was simply tagging along with a cast of more interesting characters some of whom had bigger stories to tell. By shifting a secondary character to second stage (and gifting him the juicier bits of life from my original protagonist), the story has more meaning, better POV, and an edge the first draft could not muster.

    Nevermind that it’s way more fun to rewrite now!


    • Hi Rob,

      Thanks so much for the comment!

      I agree, it’s so much fun exploring other characters. A lot of time it takes the story in a whole new direction, sometimes that direction is very improved than the original!

      Glad you like this tool also. I find it works well 🙂

      Happy writing! ❤


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