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Character Inspiration: Dreams

Character Inpiration: Dreams by Author Lauren Mayhew

Character Inspiration Dreams - Lauren Mayhew Author - YA Author RendezvousDreams are full of people, some that pop up more frequently than others, and some who you’re sure you’ve never even met before. But all of the dreams are created by you, and each of the people in them is a character in that scenario.

Throughout my trilogy, characters and certain events have all come to fruition because of my crazy dreams. My dreams are so weird, I’m surprised my mum hasn’t sent me to be sectioned yet. On the plus side, I can get some wicked storylines and characters from them.

For example, the villain in my books is called Duana. She appeared in a dream of mine from a long time ago, dressed head to toe in black, chasing me through a shopping centre. When I say chasing, I mean that dream chase, where I’m running for my life, and she’s walking ominously behind me. Anyway, she followed me into a charity shop, where I was hiding amongst some coats on a clothes rail. She couldn’t find me anywhere, and exited the shop. It was only when she was gone that I realised I was hiding behind the coats, in the reflection of a small mirror sitting in front of them. And that’s how Liliana was born too. Two characters in one dream.

The best thing to do after waking up from a dream, is to write it down immediately. You can’t trust that you’re going to remember it in the morning. Write it down while it’s fresh in your memory, and remember to laugh at it when you read it in the morning!

Even if a certain person in your dream has the face of someone that you know, you can change that when writing. That person doesn’t need to know they inspired the character from one of your crazy dreams. It’s a secret between you and your character.

I’d love to know if you’ve ever been inspired to write something based on a dream you’ve had. Comment below!


Want more from Lauren? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted on the YAAR website with the express permission of Lauren Mayhew.

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Character Inspiration: People You Know

Character Inpiration: People You Know by Author Lauren Mayhew

Character Inspiration People You Know - Lauren Mayhew Author - YA Author RendezvousThis one may seem obvious, but I think it’s worth writing about. You don’t have to copy someone that you know completely, as that may be a bit too obvious if they ever pick your book up, but you can take certain traits from them.

For example, my first book ‘Reality is in a Dream’ has two characters that are exaggerated forms of two of my old school friends. Certain events that take place in the book involving the main character, Liliana, actually took place during my time at school. It’s quite funny, because I once had a reviewer tell me that she thought these character’s actions were not believable, and yet it actually happened to me.

Obviously, you don’t need to take their names, you don’t want anyone to be offended, especially if the character is one of the villains, but certain things that they may have said, or small mannerisms are a great way to begin the development of a character.

“Write what you know.” – Mark Twain. In the case of characters, I feel this to be true. It’s much easier to write about someone that you know, rather than starting a character from scratch. If you’ve been bullied in the past, use that bully to write a character with an unsavoury nature. If someone has said something that made you feel happy, use it. It’s as simple as that.

Many authors take reference from people that they’ve encountered in real life, and use them to create some of the best characters ever written. For example, Hermione Granger is based on J.K. Rowling. Rowling herself admitted that she was so like Hermione in school, and so she put a little of herself into the Harry Potter world.

You’ll be surprised how quickly a character can blossom into something you didn’t expect, taking your story places you never thought it could go. You may start off being inspired by somebody that you know, or at least knew a long time ago, but they’ll usually end up being completely different by the last page.


Want more from Lauren? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted on the YAAR website with the express permission of Lauren Mayhew.

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Character Inspiration: People Watching

Character Inpiration: People Watching by Author Lauren Mayhew

Character Inspiration People Watching - Lauren Mayhew Author - YA Author RendezvousI love to people watch. I could literally watch people all day. Some of them are just so fascinating.

Have you ever been sat somewhere, and watched a person run through a town centre? Did a part of you ever wonder what they were up to? Did you then find yourself creating a scenario in your head about what it is they’re doing? If you did, then you’ve essentially created a character. If you’ve never done this, you’re seriously missing out!

Nobody is the same, and I’m not talking about skin colour, ethnicity, or accents. Nobody walks in the same way. Some people have limps, others drag their feet, and you’ll get the occasional person who seems to bob up and down with each step taken. What gave them their limp? Why do they drag their feet? Are they bobbing because they have an anti-gravity power that makes it difficult for them to keep their feet on the ground? Too far… Maybe, but you see what I mean, don’t you?

You only have to watch someone for a minute or two, and a character will emerge from them. 99% of the time, you’ll get everything wrong about them, but they don’t need to know what you’re thinking. As long as you’ve got that one character, the spark will ignite into a story line.

Only the other day, I was out walking with my mum and my sister, and a car sped past us down the road. It had to brake quite suddenly to avoid smashing into the car in front. All of us thought the same thing, ‘What a [insert expletive here]!’ He then sped off once the car in front had turned into another road, and my mum said, ‘He must be late for his dinner.’

To which I replied, ‘Or he’s been having an affair at work, and didn’t realise what the time was. He doesn’t want his wife to get suspicious, so he needs to get home on time.”

And suddenly I have a character, and the beginnings of a story. It’s not the sort of story I would write myself, I’m more of a Paranormal Fantasy writer, but it would work for someone.

It’s so simple to spend ten minutes every day observing those around us. Some people can do some fascinating things when they think no-one’s looking!


Want more from Lauren? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted on the YAAR website with the express permission of Lauren Mayhew.

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5 Things All Authors Should Include on Their Blogs

5 Things All Authors Should Include on Their Blogs via YA Author RendezvousWritten by Kim Bongiorno

Whether you are just starting your first novel or have had various publications over the years, most writers now know that it’s a good idea to have a blog as their own little slice of the internet that reflects who they are, what they do, and where fans should go to find thier work. The only problem with this is that many authors and writers aren’t bloggers, so they don’t quite know what to do once they have one! Luckily, there are no rules as to what kind of content needs to be there. Some writers simply update their blog with new publications a few times a year. Others blog about their personal lives almost every day, and even more do something in the middle.

No matter how frequently a writer decides to put new content on his or her blog, I do believe there are certain things that should be put in place to make it as fruitful as possible, both for the writers and their fans.

 

  1. Your full name (and blog name, if you have one), front and center.

This sounds obvious, but a lot of people forget! Make sure this is at the very top, so people know exactly where they are and whose words they are reading upon arrival.

 

  1. Who you are and what you do.

An “About” page should include your full name, a little about yourself, any accolades/awards you have received for your writing, a list of your books, other places you write/have written, and how to contact you. Make it easy for people to email you. You never know what opportunities could find you, if you just made it possible for people to email them to you! A photo of you and photos of your book covers are great, as well.

 

  1. A way for people to follow you everywhere.

Put social media “Follow” buttons and the blog subscription email opt-in as close to the top of your blog as possible, either in the blog’s header or at the top of the sidebar.

I highly recommend you have a separate fan newsletter sign-up, too. Fans can get emails from you when you have a new book coming out, you can give them insider scoop, announce upcoming events they can attend to meet you, invite them to join your street team, etc. Look at a few of the email marketing services available, like MailChimp, ConstantContact, and others. Lots of detailed reviews are out there to help you choose which is the right one for your needs.

 

  1. A square(ish) graphic with your name and your blog name or logo.

Put this in your sidebar, footer, or header, so it appears on every blog post and page, automatically. When you save the graphic to your computer, make sure to name it as your name, and possibly your blog tagline (if it is short). This way, when people share different posts or pages from your blog, there will always be an image with the share. This is especially important for when people share your blog on Pinterest: the name of the graphic/image will populate the Pinterest pin description box automatically.

Ideally, you will also create a graphic/image to include in each blog post and page with the title of that post/page to make everything a lot more shareable. You can create these with free resources such as PicMonkey or Canva. Just remember to never grab images blindly from the internet to use on them: either buy stock images or find free stock images (there are countless sites out there with them, each with their own instructions on how to credit the photos), or use photos you take.

I made the image for this blog post with PicMonkey in only a few minutes, using a stock image I purchased. Go ahead and Pin it on Pinterest right now on your Writing Tips or Blogging boards (all writers should have both—there are so many great resources on Pinterest for us). Doesn’t it look nice?

 

  1. A signature at the end of each blog post that has a purpose.

Close out with a call to action to read your books and share that post! Add social media sharing buttons so readers can share your post on Facebook, Tweet it out, pin it on Pinterest, email it to their writer friends, etc. You can see many options to do exactly that below this blog post, and I encourage you to use them to see exactly how easy it is to help other people share your work with their friends and fans.

I also recommend linking to your book(s), whether by embedding images of each cover that are linked to where they can buy them, or simply write, “You can see all of my books here” and link to one place they are all listed (such as your Amazon Author page).

 

With these five simple things set up on your blog, you will absolutely make yourself easier to read, find, hire, and get your work shared.

Now, wasn’t that easy?

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