Thursday, April 7, 2011

Putting on My Lip Gloss #3: Writing Beginnings and Characters from Start to Finish

I have been working on a new writing project for a little over a month now. I started by brainstorming and jotting down a few disjointed ideas, scenarios and characters and then I wrote a very brief outline (that I still fill in from time to time as more information becomes revealed throughout the story that I don’t want to forget). I am at the point now where I am working on a rough draft of the first few chapters, the beginning and one of the main areas of focus in this part of the novel is on character development. I have been scavenging through articles and reference books, gathering tips and ideas for anything and everything I can find on beginnings and characters and I’m once again, amazed at the plethora of information that is available to would-be writers like me.

Two of my favorite websites and blogs have been particularly helpful as of late; namely, the Daily Writing Tips website and the Girlfriends Book Club blog. Daily Writing Tips provides, tips, ideas, suggestions and how-to’s from grammar to writing a great endings and everything in between. Here was a fantastic article on “Opening Lines to Inspire the Start of Your Story”:

Girlfriends Book Club was created by women, for women, featuring a different women’s fiction writer’s thoughts every day. In March they did a feature on beginnings in novel writing. Several authors shared their views and advice on openings. Here was the first of many articles that spanned over a week’s worth of writing:

To subscribe to the daily writing tips on the site of the same name, visit:

or to follow the daily writings of some of my favorite authors, check out:

Other than gathering how-to type information on beginnings and characters, whenever I’m working on my writing, my reading habits begin to change. More specifically, I start to notice things in the literature I read and I start to actively make mental notes (and sometimes physical notes) of the ways in which books approach various elements of fiction. For example, I’ve been reading several women’s fiction books and I’ve noticed how the emphasis on character development has been a major focus of each story. I think this is particularly true for series novels, in which books follow a main character (or a few main characters) over a longer period of time.

Who are some of your favorite characters? Series? Can you think of any memorable first lines? Do you prefer beginnings or endings? I’d love to hear from you!!

Putting on My Lip Gloss is a new series of blog posts that represent my personal thoughts, ideas and general ramblings related to chick lit reading and writing. Every day is an inspiration – I never know where my next post is going to come from, but when it does, I always feel like putting on my lip gloss! Thanks for reading.

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