Showing posts from November, 2018

Character Development: Using the Johari Window

In my last post, Character Development: the Johari Window , I introduced the Johari Window as a tool for developing your characters. It's important that your character not know everything about their situation. These unknowns can lead to an intriguing story and create possibilities for conflict within the story. How do you use the Johari Window? In this post, I thought I'd provide a simple example of the Johari Window with a character most people know:  Harry Potter. Below, I have filled out the Johari Window as it might appear within the first few pages of book 1, Harry Potter and The Sorceror's Stone . The Johari Window based on Harry Potter and The Sorceror's Stone Three of the quadrants in this window reveal what Harry doesn't know about who he truly is and what happened to his parents. I could add a lot to the quadrants representing what he doesn't know, but I hope this gives you an idea on how a Johari Window might be used. What do you d

Character Development: The Johari Window

One of the mistakes writers make is to create a character who is a lot like the writer...or who the writer wishes he was. When I'm reading a book, I can tell the character is the better version of the writer. You know, the writer with all of the great looks and skills the writer wishes he has. I have one word for this:  Boring! What do you know about your protagonist? You have freedom to create anyone you want as your protagonist. It can be a lot of fun to create a character who is completely different than you. Whatever you do when creating your character, you need to know more about the character than the character knows about herself. Which is one reason why creating a fictional "you" as the protagonist gets boring. You have to get outside the character to create a full personality. At a recent conference, the workshop on character, taught by John Kessel , got me thinking about some of the tools I use in corporate training. This suggestion--know more abou

SlushFest Follow-up and Encouragement

I thought I'd run an update on the slushfest post from last week. As I mentioned, my piece got rejected due to a single word--admonition. Although I do use that word, I changed it and submitted it at another slushfest the next weekend. This panel read the entire page, and several of the panel members said they would definitely turn the page. Why share this here? We need encouragement Publishing is subjective Not everyone likes the same thing Also, and I believe more importantly, you have to consider who is reading the slush pile. Two literary journal editors sat on the panel that rejected my page. My piece is fantasy. The panel that didn't reject my page consisted of four agents, some of whom represent fantasy. As a side note, one of the agents on this panel does not represent fantasy, yet she was just as intrigued as the other members of the panel. Don't give up. Plug on. Publishing is subjective. I guess I better finish writing that manuscript!