Building Strong Characters

OWFI November Virtual Workshop Transcript
November 29, 2018


Linda Apple [6:58 PM]
Darcy is teaching seven points of characterization. She will open up for questions after each point, as well as at the end of her lesson.
WHEN Darcy opens the floor to questions:
TYPE - ??
WAIT to be called on by the moderator, namely, me, aka Linda Apple
HOWEVER, WHILE you are waiting to be called on, TYPE your question so you can send it as soon as it is your turn. This keeps the conversation moving forward without holding up others as you type.
Those speaking out of turn will not be acknowledged. Remember: ??
If I miss calling on you, just type ?? again. I’ll do my best to keep up, but should questions start popping all at once, I might get names out of order. :wink:
IF you come in late and the presentation has already begun, make sure what you want to ask has not been covered already. It is distracting to have to go back over what has already been discussed.
I’m pleased to introduce my friend, Darcy Pattison, to you this evening. I’ve known this special lady for over 40 years! As you have probably read on Facebook, she writes fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. She is a blogger, writing teacher, and an indie publisher. Her books have been translated into nine languages. NINE LANGUAGES! She is best known for her work in children’s literature, however, she also travels across the nation presenting her Novel Revision Retreat. She has been featured as a writer and writing teacher in prestigious publications such as Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, and 2012 Writers Market. Pattison is also publisher of ebooks for adults in the educational market. AND she is the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Art Award for Individual Artist, and a member of the Author’s Guild.

Can I get a WOW!

And now I’m going to turn this session over to Darcy!

Darcy Pattison [7:00 PM]
This session is packed with information.

**Here’s our Topics for Today**

* Deciding WHO is Your Main Character
* Effective Internal Arcs for Your Character
* Deepening Characters with Backstory
* Your Character’s Grand Entrance
* Making Dialogue Work
* Conflict in Every Scene -- Don’t Be Lazy
* 5-Page Test of Characterization
* CHARACTER CHECKLIST -- 17 Ways to Nail Your Character


A basic question for every story is this: Who is the main character of your story?
Today, many novels alternate POV characters, especially in first person. Or, the novel has an assemblage of characters. This rarely works because the reader needs to have some home base from which to view the story.

The choice of a main character affects the story in many ways. When the main character is also the point of view character, the reader sees the world through the main character’s eyes. Everything is colored by his/her POV and we understand that this is a biased story. Another character would have told it differently.

When the narrator is an observer, such as Watson telling Sherlock Holmes stories, it’s still important to know that Sherlock is the main character. That is the character who must solve the story problem, who changes in some way because of the story events, and who ultimately stays in the reader’s hearts. We like Watson, to be sure. But it’s Sherlock who enchants us.

There are two strategies which can help you decide on the main character.

**STRATEGY #1 TO CHOOSE MAIN CHARACTER: Who Hurts the Most?** Science fiction writer Orson Scott Card says the main character is the person who hurts the most. This strategy means that you’re reaching for the most emotional story you can possibly tell. The story events must impact the main character in such a way that s/he is devastated, challenged, disappointed, crushed, betrayed and so on. And yet, in spite of the deep hurt, they manage to solve the story problem themselves and find a way to deal with the emotional struggle and come out a new person.

It may mean a vital change in the main character role. Perhaps, there’s a family tragedy--let’s say a child drowns. Who hurts the most? The person who wasn’t watching the child, or the mother or father? Or perhaps the doctor who tried to revive the child? Only you, the author, will know the right answer. Why did you plan this particular story problem and who is the likely candidate to be overwhelmed by the story’s events?

**STRATEGY #2 TO CHOOSE MAIN CHARACTER: Who cannot be eliminated?** A second strategy is to start eliminating characters. Do this methodically, trying to tell or imagine the story without characters in turn. When you come to a character who cannot be eliminated, that’s probably your main character. In other words, this story demands certain people. In the story of Cinderella, we could eliminate the prince, the king, the queen, the father, or the fairy god-mother. But we need Cinderella and the step-mother. Without those two, the story dies. And of those two, who hurts the most? Of course, it’s Cinderella.

Within the context of your story, who hurts the most?

What character cannot be eliminated without destroying the story?

How does the main character change and grow?

Once you know these things, you’re well on your way to a stunning novel.

So, I’m going too fast?

Linda Apple [7:05 PM]
No, this is great

Cary Herwig [7:05 PM]
Is fine.

Darcy Pattison [7:06 PM]
No questions

Linda Apple [7:06 PM]
Any questions anyone?

Darcy Pattison [7:06 PM]

Once you’ve chosen a main character, you should think deeply about the character’s emotional arc. If Cinderella starts out selfish, she should end up as more generous. Think of character qualities possible for your character. Then consider the opposite side of that. Usually, the character begins with less admirable traits and ends with more admirable ones.

Some examples:

* Selfish to Generous.
* Apathetic to Passionate.
* Sloppy to Organized.
* Indifferent to Committed.


Another way to think about the emotional arc is to look at what your character yearns for. At the beginning, they have the opposite of this. For example, if the character yearns for intimacy, they should start the story as the opposite of that. Perhaps, the character is painfully shy. Their emotional arc is moving from painfully shy to begin capable of an intimate relationship.

**1. Yearn for Each Other -- Romance.** The hero and heroine yearn for each other. When characters fall in love, it’s not enough just that they want each other. On some level, their relationship must be tested, thwarted, or put on a side burner. But underneath the yearning smolders. The continuum goes from **NO RELATIONSHIP to INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP.**
**2. Yearn for Growth -- Coming of Age.** Maturation comes with deep yearnings to be more than you are at this point in time. Yearnings to become worthy, proud, skilled, competent, or loved. The continuum goes from **NAIVE to EXPERIENCED**.
**3. Yearn for Change -- Quest or Journey.** Quests and journeys take characters on a journey from point A to point B. The most successful quest/journey stories, though, let the inner journey shape the path and the complications. In other words, the character’s yearning for change is a major plot driver. The continuum goes from **STATUS QUO to MAJOR CHANGE.**
**4. Yearn for Connection -- Relationships.** This can cover many types of stories: revenge, rivalry, underdog, love, forbidden love, sacrifice, discovery and ambition. When the story centers on positive relationships, the yearning is for connection. When it’s a negative relationship, the yearning is to dissolve the connections. The continuum goes from I**SOLATED to CONNECTED**.


Linda Apple [7:09 PM]
anyone have a ??

Julia Mozingo [7:09 PM]

Linda Apple [7:10 PM]

Julia Mozingo [7:10 PM]
How do you determine the steps to growth that need to be taken?

Darcy Pattison [7:11 PM]
That's always the problem. You must find a way to break it down into about 5 stages. Ask that again later, if it's not more clear after what comes next.


Once you know the general emotional arc, you should work to develop it more. Generally that means looking at their backstory.

In her book, Story Genius, Lisa Cron gives the backstory a whole new life. In particular, Cron asks WHY a character is doing something and then looks to something in the character’s history to explain it.

Cron has a long developmental process for creating a character because she believes that the inner conflict is the backbone of a story. If you create a conflicted character, the story will be stronger.


Specifically, the conflict is between what a character wants and some misbelief that prevents him/her from getting it. Let me give an example:

Want: A ballerina longs to be the lead dancer.

Misbelief: I’ll never be the lead dancer because my grandmother tried it and failed, so I’m doomed to fail, too.

This would create a character who struggles with hope and self-doubt. Will she sabotage herself? Of course, that’s one reasonable complication you could build into her story.
The beauty of thinking about conflict as Yearning v Misbelief is that you can already see the final scene:

Our ballerina, Kristina, has a chance to dance lead because the lead dancer has the flu. As the only healthy under-study, it’s her big chance. But self-doubt will lead to something exciting in that performance. We can see the setting (a beautiful theater) and start to decide on where this will take place. We can also anticipate some characters (musicians, other dancers, choreographer, audience) and start to develop relationships for Kristina.

Linda Apple [7:13 PM]
Sounds like a lot of us writers. Ugh

Darcy Pattison [7:13 PM]
The **function of the origin scene is to firmly establish the Misbelief** that will plague the character throughout the story.

Then, Cron suggest that you **write three more scenes** that develop the Misbelief more. How can the Misbelief escalate, become more entrenched, mean something deeper, or hurt more?
Julia, I think this is where you start to develop the stages of character change.
Do these scenes make it into the story? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps, you use only a snippet from the Misbelief scenes as a memory. Or maybe at the climax, you give the entire origin scene. The point is, though, that you know WHY your character believes this thing and why it’s so deeply entrenched in their psyche. Once you know that, you’ll write a stronger character, even if you never include the scenes in the story.
I thought it was hard to write those 3 Misbelief Scenes. But when I looked over a recent story, I saw that I included snippets of telling backstory scenes. Unfortunately, they didn’t hit bull’s eye as explanations of what the character was feeling. I realized that if I could write the Misbelief Scenes ahead, I’d easily figure out where to include them.

Cron’s book is pointing toward a deeper understanding of a character and why s/he does something. It’s a skill that I’d like to deepen in my writing process.
So, the character change starts with the misbelief. They attempt to change but can't, they attempt it again but can't.
I like the idea of a deep moment in the middle where they come face to face with the worst thing possible. After that when they try changing, it's a bit easier.


Linda Apple [7:16 PM]
Questions anyone?

Olive Swan [7:16 PM]

Linda Apple [7:16 PM]

Olive Swan [7:17 PM]
Just to confirm that the misbelief is a one-time event or is it an ongoing thing?

Darcy Pattison [7:17 PM]
Yes, it's a one-time thing that changed the character's thinking about something.
Usually something about themselves.

Olive Swan [7:18 PM]
Thanks! That's what I thought, but wanted to make sure I wasn't misreading.

Cary Herwig [7:18 PM]
But you only need two include one in the story?

Linda Apple [7:18 PM]
Remember to ?? Cary

Cary Herwig [7:18 PM]
Sorry didn't know.

Linda Apple [7:18 PM]
no worries

Darcy Pattison [7:18 PM]
You can include as many as you want. Whatever works. The question is always what makes the character FEEL/THINK/ACT in a certain way. There's a backstory reason.
Sometimes, it's just a one-line memory, sometimes a full scene.


How do you introduce your character to your reader? Do you give the character a grand entrance or sneak them in while the reader is focused on something else? A grand entrance signals to the reader that this is a character they should pay attention to. Let’s talk about some ways to make this happen.

First, a couple reminders. Great storytelling is built on great sensory images.

When you provide visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory (taste) or actions, the reader becomes immersed in the story as if they were actually present. You can use sensory details to create a zoom, a pan or a scan.

**A zoom focuses on tiny details**; for example, a face fills the entire imagery, with minute details about each feature. The zoom can travel: you may start by describing in detail the character’s shoes and then travel upward to the face. Or start with any significant detail and then pull back to see the whole. For a surgeon, perhaps describe her clever hands and then travel to her scrubs and finally to her face.
At the other extreme, **a panorama pulls back to a bird’s eye view** of an entire village.

**A scan is a method of handling a crowd scene** by using specific details to represent a general sense of the mass. For example, a scan might do a mini-zoom in on an old man stumbling along with a cane, then quickly move to an infant taking tottering steps, and then contrast those with a strong young man pushing everyone aside. The series of mini-zooms gives a flavor of the crowd, making it more specific and thus more interesting.
Also, remember that story openings work best when they are focused on scenes. What might have worked a hundred years ago, but are less successful for today’s impatient audience. Instead, stories succeed when they start with a character who wants something and faces obstacles to their desires. In short, a scene.

Here’s a great book to learn more about scenes: The Scene Book by Sandra Scofield

With those givens, a grand entrance--the introduction of a main character to the reader--should take place within an active scene. And you’ll have a choice of a zoom, a pan or a scan. Within those parameters, there are other options.

1. GRAND ENTRANCE #1: In Context of a relationship.

The first time we see Katniss in Hunger Games is telling. There’s an opening sequence that sets up what the Hunger Games are, and then there’s a scene cut to Prim screaming. Katniss hugs her, calms her, sings to her. The images are close up, zoomed into Katniss’s and Prim’s faces, as they face the knowledge that the Reaping happens that day.

2. GRAND ENTRANCE #2: Silhouettes.

Sometimes the sensory details focus on silhouettes and shadows, often with a blinding light behind the character. Think Psycho (1960) and the silhouette on shower curtain (often parodied). This works well when the character likes to hide in the shadows until it is time to reveal themselves. This works well then timed for effect with a dramatic piece of dialogue.

3. GRAND ENTRANCE #3: Actions.

Often, beginning with the character in action makes for a grand entrance. Think of the Bridal March: the audience rises and turns to watch the bride make the long walk down the aisle. Everyone’s full focus is on The Walk. Or think of the Red Carpet arrival of celebrities at a premier or awards ceremony though. For a basketball player, but him on the court and let him score with his signature hook shot. Or show a doctor doing chest compressions as a snow sled skims down a ski slope.

If you need help on action scenes, here’s an article:

4. GRAND ENTRANCE #4: Heroic qualities.

Donald Maass, in his Breakout Novel Workbook, asks, “When does the reader first notice the heroic qualities of your character?” As a writer it’s helpful to think about what makes a character heroic in your own eyes. Then ask how you can present that quality the first time the character appears in your story.

Breakout Novel Workbook.

5. GRAND ENTRANCE #5: In context of a setting.

Sometimes, a character’s setting is important. It may be a space station or a hospital surgery or a swimming hole, but something about the setting is crucial. Here, you could give a short panorama of the scene, and then slowly zoom in to the character and what s/he is doing within your setting. Another option is to scan across a scene (mini-zooms of several people), then abruptly come back for a double take of your character.

6. GRAND ENTRANCE #6: Group -- Team is in Place.

Perhaps, the group of characters is just as important as the main characters. In this case, the Team needs a grand entrance, just as much as the main character needs one. Here, you might zoom in on the main character standing alone, and then slowly pull back as one-by-one others join him/her. The focus begins with one character but ends with the group as a cohesive character of its own.


Anti-Grand Entrance. For a recent story, I was thinking about all of these options for a major character and eventually rejected all of them.

Instead, I slipped my character in on the sly. Jake, the main character, is waiting in the Emergency Room waiting area for his turn to be seen by the doctor. He’s distracted by a huge salt water tank and talks to an older woman who is cleaning the tank.

Later, when he goes back to see the doctor, he discovers that the woman cleaning the aquarium is the doctor.

This works in my story because one of the themes is hiding in plain sight. Jake dismisses a woman as someone who just cleans aquariums--and reveals things that he wouldn’t normally tell the doctor. It’s a bit of misdirection because Jake makes wrong assumptions.

Second Grand Entrance. Another idea to consider for grand entrances is that sometimes, a character needs a second grand entrance, after some life-altering change.

In Dicken’s “Christmas Carol,” Scrooge awakens the next morning as a changed man. He walks to the window and throws it open.

Ah, what nice imagery.

He’s looking out on a new world! He calls to a boy to fetch the large goose and have it delivered to the Cratchit family. This second grand entrance stands in contrast to the first grand entrance of Scrooge and tells the reader that a huge character change has been accomplished.

Whatever approach you choose, think hard about the reader’s first impressions of each major character. It is true that first impressions matter.



Linda Apple [7:27 PM]
Questions anyone? I never thought of the Anti-Grand Entrance! Fabulous1

Darcy Pattison [7:28 PM]
When it fits your story, it works well.


Dialogue is an essential part of fiction, the way an author shows a character through what s/he says. And it’s so easy to get it wrong. Here are some ways dialogue goes wrong and what to do about it.

DIALOGUE PROBLEM #1: Trivial. When character talk to each other, the reader doesn’t need to listen to the trivial, or unimportant, things we all say to each other.

We ask about the weather, chat about the inconsequential details of our days, or just generally avoid talking about anything of substance. That type of dialogue clogs your storytelling and drags down the pace.

Cut the trivial and only leave the meat of the discussion.

DIALOGUE PROBLEM #2: Boring. Even once you’ve cut the trivial junk, dialogue can still be boring.

Deep philosophical discussions, complicated explanations, and dry, technical explanations all bore the reader.

Instead, enliven the discussions with conflict, disagreements, or something that leaves the reader wondering what happens next. Think of each bit of dialogue as conflict brought to the surface of the story.

Build a tiny narrative arc into each set of dialogue.

DIALOGUE PROBLEM #3: Unbelievable. After eliminating trivial and boring dialogue, you’ve still got to make sure it’s believable.

Would the characters actually SAY that?

When a character is too foolish, too opinionated, too extreme, then you have to wonder if it rings true to the reader.

It’s a fine line to walk: you want the characters to be bold and bigger-than-life, but you must make those huge characters believable.

DIALOGUE PROBLEM #4: Too formal. Another thing that can go wrong is the wrong level of formality.

While the principal of a school may talk formally, probably your characters voice will come through in a more informal way.

Use contractions.

Shorten sentences and use sentence fragments.

Leave out the fancy words and let your characters loosen the ties and corsets.

Dialogue is crucial and you can easily get it right. Cut the trivial and boring, make sure the dialogue is believable, and let the characters relax. Don’t let a reader close a book after one chapter just because you blew the dialogue.

Fix it now.



Linda Apple [7:32 PM]
I guess I'm the last person who has read Outlander

Darcy Pattison [7:32 PM]
Am I going too fast or to slow?

Linda Apple [7:32 PM]
but problem # 3 is all over that book

Darcy Pattison [7:32 PM]
It's a common problem, yes!

Lisa Thomas [7:32 PM]
great pace Darcy

Olive Swan [7:32 PM]
Yes, just right.

Darcy Pattison [7:33 PM]

Literary Agent, Donald Maass says there should be conflict in every scene. I recently revised a scene and realized I was being lazy.

Breakout Novel Workbook:

One of my favorite craft books!

Information Exchange isn’t Enough. In my scene, a daughter comes home and reports on events of the day to her father. There was a short exchange, seven snippets of dialogue between the two.

I realized it was just straight reporting, no conflict.

To find conflict, I looked **first to the relationship and then to the setting**. It’s a father-daughter relationship and I’ve been trying to enrich the relationship with some tender moments. But I also realized that I didn’t have enough conflict between them. What do fathers and teenage daughters fuss about? In the setting, they are eating dinner together.

I finally settled on the daughter’s lack of manners, slurping soup. It reinforces the general idea that she’s a tomboy, raised by a widowed father and a negligent nanny, raised wild and definitely without table manners.

But I also made the father slightly greedy: food is scarce and he wants her bowl of soup.

Richer Scene. With that idea in mind, I went back and rewrote the scene.

I still had the same exchange of information, the report on the events of the day.

But now, the ongoing relationship supplied the conflict and tension. We know more about each character, about their relationship, AND the day’s events.

Much richer scene.

I must remember: don’t be lazy. Find the conflict in every scene.

Don’t use conflict just for conflict’s sake.

One story I read was set in a jungle. A character went inside a house and later there was a big fuss outside. She rushed out to find that a huge snake had eaten a child.

The child wasn’t important to the story.

The snake wasn’t important to the story.

The incident didn’t add to the tension of the story.

The incident didn’t impact the character in any important way.

The snake incident was a throwaway bit of conflict. Unnecessary. It didn’t even add anything to the setting. As a reader, it was a nothing event because it had no impact on anything.

Conflict must be rooted in the character’s inner arc or in the character’s relationships.

Find the right conflict to include on every page!



Linda Apple [7:36 PM]
Good point on conflict Darcy
Sometimes we add more and more thinking we are creating tension
But we are just muddying up the scene

Darcy Pattison [7:37 PM]
Yes. It has to be character centered conflict.
Unless it's an action scene, and even there, character centered it best.

Linda Apple [7:37 PM]
Questions anyone

Darcy Pattison [7:38 PM]
The link earlier on action scenes leads to a good discussion of how to do it well..


Ever wonder if you’re good at characterization in your novel or story? A good way to evaluate your skill in characterization is the Page 5 Test.

*1. Read the first five pages of your manuscript.

*2. Turn over page 5 and on the back, write everything you know about the main character from those first 5 pages.

*3. Things to record: name, age, location, family role and family details, likes, dislikes, fears, passions, ways of speaking, verbal tics, physical characteristics and tics.

* No fair cheating and adding things that you KNOW about the character.
* No fair looking back; the characterization must be sharp enough that the character starts to come to life and your reader doesn’t have to look up details.
Remember, the agent will only read a couple pages!

Linda Apple [7:39 PM]

Darcy Pattison [7:39 PM]
Evaluating Your Page 5 Test

Now it’s time to evaluate how well you did. Here are some things the Page 5 Test might reveal.

1. CHARACTERIZATION QUIZ #1: Lack of information.

Often basic information is missing in the first five pages.

For example, in 1st person novels, the character’s name isn’t given until way after page 5. I know I’m in this character’s head and I know there are stupid and cliched ways to work in a person’s name. But I want to know the character’s name, please. At least by the end of page 5.

2. CHARACTERIZATION QUIZ #2: Boring. The character’s voice, whether the story is 1st or 3rd, is cliched and boring.

Well, it’s hard to be honest about this! If you can’t be, hand the story to a friend or colleague.

Lie, and tell them that this is a manuscript you’re reading for a friend; or tell them it’s a manuscript by whatever famous author you’d like to emulate.

Ask your reader: after page 5, would you keep reading? Why or why not?

3. CHARACTERIZATION QUIZ #3: Shallow. Often, we know the character’s name, maybe their age, one or two things about family, their physical appearance (often in great detail) and. . .well, not much more.

The characterization is shallow. We get a cartoon character like Betty Boop. We don’t know or care about this character yet. That translates into a reader shutting the book and not reading further!

How much characterization is enough? I recently did this test on a children’s early chapter book.This is a book for ages 7-10 years old. By the end of 5 pages, I knew 8 things about the main character:

* She worries about germs
* She’s scared of pointy thing
* She is aware of good days v bad days
* She’s in a gifted class for math
* She worried about rules and who gets to make them
* She loves art class
* She worries about luck and superstition
* She likes to use names of foods as names of people

Oh, I also knew her name!

Notice how unique some of these things are! All of this in 5 pages! That’s great characterization. Rich characterization is your goal.


Linda Apple [7:43 PM]
I can't wait to do this!

Darcy Pattison [7:43 PM]
I often use this when critiquing others' mss.

Cary Herwig [7:43 PM]

Linda Apple [7:43 PM]

Cary Herwig [7:44 PM]
If writing from 2 POVs and one character is the stronger, should that character be in the first chapter?

Darcy Pattison [7:44 PM]
Who's the MC?
Usually, one of them is the MC and the other is a supporting character

Cary Herwig [7:44 PM]
In this case, the man.

Darcy Pattison [7:45 PM]
I would always put the MC first. Unless. . .
There are always exceptions, but unless you have a compelling reason, the MC gets the first chapter.
Maybe not the prologue, which can vary widely. But the first chapter, yet.
OTHER QUESTIONS? We've gone 45 minutes.

Linda Apple [7:47 PM]
Questions anyone?
Darcy, continue on

Darcy Pattison [7:47 PM]
CHARACTER CHECKLIST -- 17 Ways to Nail Your Character

Then I’m going to leave you with a quick checklist of character qualities and links to my website where you can read more on the topic. If you need help on a topic, click on the link to read more on my blog, [Fiction Notes]( When you get there, please sign up for my mailing list to receive more insights on the craft and business of writing.


1. Name or Nickname: Does the character’s name evoke something about him or her? Does it resonate in the story?

2. Character Roles and Jobs. Have you fully explored the possibilities of family and community roles? Are they working at cliche jobs or fascinating jobs?


3. Inner Character. How’s your characters’ intelligence, intuition, curiosity, honesty and spirituality?

4. Character Desires. Answer the all-important question: What does s/he want or yearn for?

5. Characters Flaws and Paradoxes. Perfect characters are boring: mix it up!

6. This I Believe. Write an essay in the character’s voice about what s/he believes.

7. Why? Character motivation. Characters don’t act randomly. Why is your character doing this right now?

8. Characters’ Backstory. Interesting characters have back story. What’s your character hiding?


9. Character Descriptions. Bland descriptions are out. Go for memorable.

10. Setting Details that Reveal Character. OK -- what kind of junk does this character have it his/her house or apartment?

11. Body Language. 55% of communication is body language. Get him or her moving to help communication. *(This is one of my favorite techniques!)*

12. Characters’ Voices. Voices can enhance our image of a character.

13. Likeable, Sympathetic Characters. Is this a character I want to spend time with? Do I care what happens to him/her?

14. Consistent Characters. Have you given the same reader (with all his/her complexity) page after page?


15. Villains Don’t Always Wear Black. Are your villains believable?

16. Supporting Characters. Who is walking around with your main character?

17. Sports Novels. Are your characters cliche jocks? Why?

I hope some of the articles will strike a chord and help you develop your characters into people we all want to read about.


Linda Apple [7:51 PM]
Comment: I cannot wait to read these links!

Julia Mozingo [7:52 PM]
!! (Comment)

Linda Apple [7:52 PM]
Yes, Julia

Julia Mozingo [7:52 PM]
This is a who.e college course in less than an hour. Fabulous!!!!

Linda Apple [7:53 PM]
I know! Darcy, is there a way we can get these notes?
Maybe in a PDF

Vinita Eggers [7:53 PM]

Linda Apple [7:53 PM]
Yes Vinita

Darcy Pattison [7:53 PM]
I was going to ask, do you have a way to keep the transcript? Or do you need something later?

Lisa Thomas [7:53 PM]

Vinita Eggers [7:54 PM]
@webmaster usually makes us a transcript of the whole session that we can then download.

Linda Apple [7:54 PM]
Thank you Vinita!

Lisa Thomas [7:54 PM]
I took screen shots

Linda Apple [7:54 PM]
Great idea!

Darcy Pattison [7:55 PM]
For the list of blog posts at the end, you can search for characterization on my website:

Linda Apple [7:55 PM]
I LOVE your blog!!!!

Lisa Thomas [7:55 PM]
thank you! this was very helpful and encouraging

Darcy Pattison [7:55 PM]
I blog at I’m best known for my Novel Revision retreat. To come, an author must have a full draft of a novel, and we’ll spend a weekend discussing how to revise that novel. One novelist revised her novel, sold it 11 days flat, and the book, HATTIE BIG SKY, received the Newbery Honor award, the highest award given to children’s books. After revising, other novelists have broken through with their debut novels. The workbook for that retreat is NOVEL METAMORPHOSIS: Uncommon Ways to Revise.

Linda Apple [7:56 PM]
I have this workbook. It is such a great tool!!!!

Darcy Pattison [7:56 PM]
I also teach how to write a children’s picture book at the Highlights Foundation each year.

Or, you can use my workbook, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK.

Linda Apple [7:56 PM]
I used this too!

Darcy Pattison [7:57 PM]
Any other comments or questions?

Lisa Thomas [7:57 PM]
I feel excited about writing again, thank you for your time this evening

Darcy Pattison [7:57 PM]
Thanks for letting me come and visit for a while!

Cary Herwig [7:58 PM]

Linda Apple [7:58 PM]
Everyone, give Darcy a big THANK YOU
Yes Cary

Cary Herwig [7:58 PM]
Thank you.

Lisa Thomas [7:58 PM]

Olive Swan [7:58 PM]
Thank you!

Sandra Lawson [7:58 PM]
Thank you SO much. This was the best!!!

Julia Mozingo [7:58 PM]
What a wonderful workshop! Thank you so very much for spending your evening with us.

Linda Apple [7:58 PM]
This was the absolute best workshop we have had!!!!! Thank you Darcy!!!!

Staci Mauney [7:58 PM]
Thank you, Darcy! You gave us so much great information! I can't wait to go back through the transcript.

Cary Herwig [7:59 PM]

Darcy Pattison [7:59 PM]
See ya! Good luck with your writing!

Linda Apple [7:59 PM]
Thank you again Darcy

Julia Mozingo [7:59 PM]
Have a good evening!

Linda Apple [7:59 PM]
And THANK YOU for all who attended this workshop!
Merry Christmas everyone1

Vinita Eggers [8:00 PM]
Thank you, Darcy.

Julia Mozingo [8:00 PM]
Thank you, Linda, for having Darcy for the workshop.

Vinita Eggers [8:00 PM]
And Thank you, @lindaapple. Merry Christmas!

Linda Apple [8:00 PM]
Everyone, be sure and go on the Facebook page and brag about this workshop. :slightly_smiling_face:
It was my pleasure Julia. Darcy is a wonderful friend and writer
Night, night, everyone. Thank you again Darcy!

Julia Mozingo [8:02 PM]