Dear Writer in Search of Excellence
"Are You - Unknowingly - Wasting Hundreds of Hours per Year While Writing?"
If you're here, reading this page, it's because you're a caring writer. You want to do your best and write books readers will love.
And you know that the most important part of your book is your characters.
You have a great plot, you have worked out which characters should populate your story, and you're writing daily.
All should be well... but it isn't.
Hi, I'm Britt Malka, writer by choice.
A short while ago, I had a huge wake-up moment. I realized something important which made me change my writing process completely.
Here's what happened:
Last summer, I wrote a novelette. I was quite happy about it but as always I decided to put it aside to edit later when I could look at it with fresh eyes.
A couple of months later, I sent the story to my Kindle and went outside to read in the sun. Much to my dismay I discovered that I couldn't get past the first three chapters.
It wasn't that the story was boring. No, it was worse.
I didn't care one bit about the characters!
There was only one thing to do: rewrite from scratch.
That was a lot of wasted time and words!
My Characters Were Flat
That's why I didn't have any emotional response to their struggles and conflicts.
Sure, I'd chosen a flaw and a goal for each of my main characters, but that wasn't enough.
They were two-dimensional, flat, cartoon figures, and they weren't even funny.
And nobody likes that kind of matchstick character, not even the authors themselves.
It's Important that You Care
About Your Characters to
Make Readers Care
Readers sympathise with people, not with plots. You probably know that from yourself.
Just think about a book like Gone With the Wind. What do you remember? How a woman struggles to keep her home after the outbreak of the Civil War? Or do you remember Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler?
Readers read books to relax and escape for a few hours. They want to experience being another person. They want to worry about the characters in those stories, struggle when they struggle and celebrate when they win. Otherwise, what's the point in reading them?
If readers are detached from your characters, they won't like your book. And when that happens, they won't recommend it to others.
Your book won't sell.
Luckily, you can do something about that. You can write about characters readers will care about.
And the first step to obtaining that is that you need to care for your characters. Yes, even if you're writing one new novel every ten days.
But How Do You Grow
Feelings for a Stranger?
You don't, unfortunately.
You need to get to know your characters before you can care about them.
And getting to know your characters can take a long time if you do it the wrong way.
Traditionally, there are two ways to get to know your characters:
1. You write down a character bible with everything included. Not just name and hair color, but details like favorite brand of clothes, shoe sizes, early childhood memories, the first pet, political views, you name it.
2. You write down a minimum about each character. Name... Eye color, if it's important. And then you write and get to know your characters as the story evolves.
The latter was the approach I took, until that shocking day when I read my novella and found out that my characters could face all the dangers in the world without making me lift an eyebrow.
Bottom Line: Both Methods Are a Waste of Time, Words and Energy
But what else is there?
Is it either writing boring details about your characters so that you know whether they snore when they sleep, if they wear pink or red nail polish and other trivial details that will bore you to tears, or write your story and hope to get to know your characters before the end - and then rewrite?
No, thankfully, there is a third way.
You can get to know your characters before you write a single line in your story and without writing lengthy character bibles.
You can do so by answering a few questions - the right questions.
Use the Right Kind of Preparation
After I figured out that my story sucked because of paper thin characters, I decided to rewrite it from scratch.
But before I wrote the first word in the story, I would get to know my characters.
I pieced together knowledge I'd picked up from several different writing teachers and combined it with my own experience.
I started with the same idea for the story that I'd had before, then I worked on the characters, then on the plot, then more on the characters, and finally I outlined the whole novel. Yes, my novella had grown in size from 12,000 to 50,000+ words.
By preparing in this way, I wrote a book I was happy about. I saved time because I didn't have to rewrite - again. And I knew my characters so well before I started writing the story that I knew at any given moment what choices they would make and why.
That little thing also saved me a lot of time.
Writing Became More Fun
It's not fun to write about characters you don't care about.
I cared about my characters this time. And not because I'd written about them before, because they completely changed from draft 1 to preparation for draft 2.
Since I'd prepared better this time around, writing the story became a lot of fun. I had fun with the dialogue, putting the characters up against each other, and seeing them do things that (in my previous draft) I had no idea they were capable of.
My characters grew, and I grew with them.
I enjoyed every moment and I looked forward to writing every morning. My fingers danced over the keyboard, because I knew my characters so well and they mattered to me, even the villain.
I wrote more words in each session than I'd ever done before.
Did This Really Work?
I had to know if I'd just been lucky.
Was this a fluke?
Or the real thing, a time-saver that not only saved me hours of writing and rewriting, but also a tool that made me care deeply about my characters?
There was only one way to find out.
Try it again.
I had a new idea for a novel and I'd even started writing but I had to stop. And then go back and get to know the characters the way I'd just done with the previous story.
A couple of hours later, my mood had gone from I suppose I ought to write to wow, I can't wait to start writing.
Okay, so it worked for novels. But what about short stories? What about ultra-shorts? Typically, it's more difficult to care for the characters in those stories, because you've written it before you really get to know them.
I tested and again I found a winner.
When I saw that, I knew that I was ready to share my method with other writers to help save time and energy and write better stories. Stories about characters the writer will care for - and the readers will love.
Yes, It Works Like Magic
Yet, there's no hocus pocus to it.
You'll simply use my FUTHARK method to breathe life into your characters.
FUTHARK is two things. It's the acronym I came up with for this character creating method and it's also the first six letters of the old Runic alphabet (F-U-Th-A-R-K).
Inside Cast Your Characters with Magic Runes You'll Find...
If You HATE Wasting Time
Then This Is for You
Even the first books I read about writing fiction told me to create lengthy character bibles, but I've never felt that it was for me.
What good would it do me or my story to know my character's phone number and shoe size? No good at all.
But I've also tried to go with a minimum of information, like name and age, and then wrote thousands of words, getting to know my characters better.
That approach didn't work either. I ended up with flat characters and wasted time.
The FUTHARK Method
Is Just Perfect
No lengthy character bibles, but fun exercises getting to know the RIGHT things about your characters.
The things that make them come to life.
You'll know them and like them even before you write the first word of your story.
If you're the kind of writer who loves to improve your writing, then you're going to love this.
Writing Short Reads?
Then this is definitely for you as well. You simply pick a few of the steps (I highly recommend at least one part of the FUT step) and your short read characters will walk, talk and breathe on their own.
Say goodbye to reviews with wording like, "This story was too short. I didn't get to know the characters.'' Your readers will know and care for your characters - just like you did while churning out the story.
Click the Button Below to
Get Instant Access
Unless technical gremlins are at play, then a few seconds after you've clicked "Add to Cart" you could be reading "Cast Your Characters with Magical Runes" and within less than an hour, you could be fleshing out living and breathing well-rounded characters.
As always, you have a choice. You can leave this page, make a cup of tea and go on with your day.
You can click the blue button below (it's actually yellow, I don't know how to change it, but let's pretend...) and when you do, you'll receive your ebook in a PDF file in a few moments.
$34.97 Today $24.97
PS The FUTHARK Method is so much more than mere character creation. It's a plotting tool as well and it's a tool that helps keeping your characters "in character'' and acting according to their motivation.
Because of the nature of this product, all sales are final.
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