Tag Archives: writers

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

writers-linksToday is the finish line for all you fellow Nanowrimo participants. I hope you have reached your 50K word goal and can get your manuscript verified for the win by midnight.

If you have time for only one article, look at the review of Mike Rohde’s “Sketchnotes”. I’m a zentangle sketch artist, as you might have guessed from my scifaiku illustrations on the blog, Mike’s concept of sketchnotes ties in neatly with the doodles I use in my art journals.

Why An Author Should Try Pinterest

So You Want to Write a Book

15 Outstanding Tips for Blog Writers from Popular Bloggers

Positive Thinking for Writers

Writing Steampunk: Plots, Characters, Settings & More

14 Types of Creative Writing

PODCAST: Use Sketchnotes to Deliberately Capture Meaningful Ideas: Interview with Mike Rohde

How to Make Your Hero’s Self-Sacrifice Even More Heartbreaking

How Your Hero’s Past Pain Will Determine His Character Flaws

Writing And Editing Fiction: 7 Things To Fix In Your First Self-Edit

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

writers-linksGetting my indy published book into libraries or to the chinese marketplace are two topics that have interested me as an author. I was lucky to find articles on these topics this week. In addition, there is a nice tutorial on how to make a 3D book cover and business related articles about being an authorpreneur. Enjoy the links!

Writing Your Author Bio? Here Are 10 Great Examples

Getting Chinese readers beyond the British Classics and Harry Potter

How to Get Self-Published Books into Stores and Libraries

Business Musings: Talking To Writers

The Demographics of Device Ownership

Library Journal’s 2015 Survey of Library eBook Usage is Friendly to Self-Pub

Why I killed my social media accounts (+ why you may want to too…and what to do instead)

3 Tips for Successful Radio Interivews

Letter to the Spouse of a Writer

How to Proudly Design 3D Book Images for Free

Characters by Guy Pace


You meet characters every day. They bump into you at the local Starbucks, say “Hi” to you on the street, join you on a park bench and start a conversation, help you find the turkey stuffing and olives in the grocery store. These are the characters that help flavor life.

They can also be the characters that help flavor story.

Your main characters—both protagonist and antagonist—go through a lot more to get into the story. Mine get sketched out for the basic personality and character traits, then go through a long, involved interview to fill in the areas the common sketch misses. No, I don’t directly use everything in the sketches and interviews, but they do help to define how the character will respond to events and other characters in the story. That all comes out in the writing.

But, secondary (or tertiary) characters have an impact, too. They are the ones that help trigger behavior from a main character, set a tone for a conversation, challenge a main character to action or decision. Because of this, they need to be more than just cardboard cutouts placed in the scene. They need a backstory of their own, a reason for being where they are in the story.

That person that bumped into you at Starbucks, what was the reason for that bump? Was it accidental or purposeful? Do you still have your wallet? Was this a chance meeting with a casual friend? Or, was that an alien in disguise who planted a tracker in your pocket? Answering these questions help give the secondary character a reason for being in that location and a motive for actions.

Answers those questions help the event becomes something more than just a bump and maybe some spilled coffee. It might be a harbinger of events to come. It might be the beginning of a critical conversation where the main character learns important information that changes his or her day or life.

Depending on your genre, secondary characters set tone and guide events in a story. It is easy—especially in first draft—to blast through an event and just give a character object a name and move on. But on rewrite, think about who that character might be, why they were in that particular place and had a specific impact on the story. Answer a few questions about that person, then color in their event better. Make it impact the main character more and give the story a stronger direction.

Take the scenario where the main character is sitting on a park bench struggling with life issues. Crushing mortgage, pending divorce. Or, maybe he or she just found a small, metallic, round gadget in a hidden place in a room in their old brownstone apartment, and is trying to decide what it is and what to do about it.

The person who comes to sit next to them on the park bench can have any number of reasons for doing so. Is this person a kindly pastor or rabbi who may know your main character and will offer words of comfort or advice? Will that pastor or rabbi challenge their past decisions and help them find the truth in their life?

Is it a street person at the end of their medication and may act unpredictably at certain triggers? The conversation can start innocently enough, but some response by the main character could trigger aggressive or dangerous behavior. Is the street person armed?

Or, it is the park bench visitor a man or woman in black who knows what that gadget is, that your main character has it, and wants to recover it because the fate of the world, solar system, or galaxy hangs in the balance? Will the person in black launch your main character on a star-hopping voyage across the galaxy, or into intergalactic intrigue?

The reader doesn’t need to know all the details about the secondary character, but you do. What you know about that person helps you use the proper words, generate the appropriate dialog, add the correct drama and suspense to move the story along its path. It colors the event. The result is that the reader gets a sense of the secondary characters and sees the reason and motivations that drive the specific events in which they are involved.

All it really takes is answering a few questions.

Author Guy PaceGuy L. Pace, born in Great Falls, MT, spent the bulk of his growing-up years as a nomad. He attended 21 schools throughout the Northwest before graduating from high school. Under pressure from the Vietnam-era draft–ended up joining the US Navy. He served on the USS Newport News (CA-148) from 1970 to 1973, including combat operations in Vietnam in 1972.

He was a Navy journalist, and after the service worked primarily in community newspapers as a reporter, photographer, editor and finally a managing editor. Through all that, he managed to complete his Communications/PR degree. He changed careers, getting into computer support, training, networking and systems, and eventually information security. He retired in 2011 after more than 20 years working in higher education. In 2013 he retired his Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification (CISSP).

He lives with his wife, Connie, in Spokane, where he gets to spend time with children and grandchildren, and ride his Harley-Davidson.

Follow Guy L. Pace on his website at http://www.guypace.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guy.pace.7
Twitter: @rapier57
Available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sudden-Mission-Guy-L-Pace-ebook/dp/B013TJ1GPG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442944755&sr=1-1&keywords=Sudden+Mission
Available on Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sudden-mission-guy-l-pace/1122511241?ean=9781513700915
Available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sudden-mission/id1029988117?mt=11

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

writers-linksWelcome back to another Monday of No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links. This week is a more general grab-bag of articles about publishing, keeping a journal, and writing faster. I hope you find them interesting!

8 Reasons To Attend Writing Conferences

Struggling with keeping a journal

Ebooks change the game for both backlist and export

How to write at least four novels a year

Things I’ve Learned: To Myself As A Newbie Writer

Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls, Redux

The Dumbest Mistakes New Authors Make

I Write Short Books On Purpose

You Wouldn’t Think It, But Typeface Piracy Is a Big Problem

Amazon Wants New Customer Reviews System To Be More Helpful And Gain Your Trust: Here’s How

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

writers-linksIt is Monday once again and here we are with another 10 articles for No Wasted Ink’s link post. This week is a little more of a grab bag and less Nanowrimo related posts. I’m busy at work with my word count, but for those that are not participating this year, there is a little something for you too!


Fear, Guilt, Shame, Self-Loathing, and Doubt – Anybody Up for Writing a Novel?

The Two Most Powerful Words When It Comes to Writing Fiction…

Portraying character in fiction: Lessons from J. Alfred Prufrock

4 Ways Book Clubs Can Help Your Writing Career

7 ways to get and stay motivated for NaNoWriMo

Let’s Write it Right – Military/Security Acronyms and Initialisms

My University Study and Revision Process

YOUTUBE: The Steal Like An Artist Journal – Talk by Austin Kleon

5 Observations on the Evolution of Author Business Models