And the Kitchen Sink

Yep, this post will have a little bit of everything.

I hadn't planned on joining the Platform-Building Campaign this go round. But, here I am. Joined and having fun meeting so many new bloggers. It's tough to make my way around to all my usual hangouts, and so many new ones. So things are slow going (especially topped off with a cold - a Welcome Back to School gift from my kids).

It's too late to join now, but you can still go to the campaigners lists and hook up with others in your genre.

Which brings me to another topic. A great post on L. Diane Wolfe's informative blog. It's all about blogging advice, comments specifically, and how to get more. My initial thought was, comment on others' blogs and you'll get 'em. She chose 3 great bloggers to interview for their thoughts on the subject. You can click the link to find out what they had to say.

Some blog tips for newbies:

Make sure your photo in the followers list links back to your blog, otherwise it's hard to follow back - unless you leave a comment.

When someone comments on my blog, I respond through email. I know lots of other bloggers who do the same. If you don't set up your profile to have emails bounce to your address, the email I receive shows up as So if I haven't replied to your comment, it means your email isn't there. (Yes, I'm aware that some folks like it that way - and that's fine. But I was clueless about that when I started, so I was thankful that someone let me know to do it.)

Some of you know I hang out at the Compuserve Books and Writer's Community. (A lot.) And, some of you hang out there with me. [g] Every month we do a writing exercise, and this month is a doozy. In fact, it's not one X, but an entire month of X's. As in a new one every day. I'm fairly sure out fearless leader (soon to be ex leader :(   ) is trying to kill us. Or make us write. One or the other.

We were told to pick a character - or make a new one up. Every day we need to answer a question for that character. It can be answered in scene form, stream of conscious, just as the author--anyway you want, really. So far, mine have turned out as half rough scene-half SOC. Not pretty. But, you know what? I am flippin' writing!

I've decided to supply the questions on my blog posts throughout the month. Here are the first 5 days:

Day 1: Who gave your character the name he or she goes by, and why? If it's a nickname or non-birth name go into additional detail.
Day 2: What is the first thing your character does on a typical morning? 
Day 3: What is the last thing that your character does before going to bed?
Day4: Who was the most important teacher in your character's childhood? It doesn't have to be a school teacher.
Day 5: What is the most important decision your character has had to make as an adult?

Day 5 nearly killed me. Haven't cried like that for a character in a long time. You all cry for your characters, right? I am not completely crazy yet...right?


Emanuel Cachia said...

Thanks for the tips, Tara.

I haven't cried for a character, but I have yelled at one :)


S.P. Bowers said...

Good to see you posting again!

DL Hammons said...

No, you're not crazy at all! :)

Zan Marie said...

Speaking of back to school gifts--my hubby is subbing and he brought me a cold too. (groan)

Glad you joined the campaign. I'll see you around. In fact, my day 5 X and the first challenge are alligned to be a perfect storm... ; )

Old Kitty said...

Awwww yay for your characters making you cry!!! My characters just make me wince and cringe, darn them!

Take care

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You are never crazy!
A lot of those who follow me never comment - and when I click on their icon in the Follow box, it doesn't display any blog links. Makes it impossible to follow that person back!

Brenda Sills said...

Hi Tara! I love this post! It's always so great to get more ideas on getting to know our characters more. And thanks for the link for more info on blogging.

I'm a fellow campaigner in the Fantasy group! It's great to meet you! I love every single thing you put in your profile - reading, writing, music, baking, and most of all my family. Love it!

Deniz Bevan said...

I'm loving this X! A lot of Ron's stuff always comes at the perfect time for me - he got me writing a mystery with the plot bunny anthology, and now I can flesh out Ayten in Xs while still editing Rosa's story. I need more hours in the day!

Jillybean said...

"...trying to kill us. Or make us write. One or the other."

Ha! So true! Dangit, Ron. [g]

You gotta admit, the guy's got style - he's going out with a bang. I don't think any of us will _ever_ forget this X. [bg]

So happy you're writing again!

You're definitely not completely crazy, by the way. [g]

Anonymous said...

Great post! Those writing exercises look interesting. I love new ideas for getting to know my characters better. Thank you for sharing them.

Linda G. said...

Hooray for anything that gets you writing! :)

Haven't cried for one of my characters since my drawer novel (Catspaw). Hmm. Maybe that's why I switched to writing funny stuff.

J.L. Campbell said...

Stopping over as part of the campaign. Good of you to post some tips. I do get people I can't follow because they're pics don't link to their profile. A little detective work on Google usually helps me find their blogs.

Oh, and crying for characters is something I guess a lot of us have done at some point or the other.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm a fellow campaigner from your Fantasy group.

Interesting way to get to know your characters. I usually just throw us all in the deep end and find out who can swim.

Jacqui said...

Hi Tara, Nice to meet you at the Campaign. How did it go the last go around? Well enough I suppose that you came back for another try. I love finding relevant writer's blogs, so this seems like a good idea. Looking forward to chatting.

Angelina Rain said...

That's so cool that you joined the campaign. I joined it too but haven't had the time to check out any of the other bloggers.

Good luck!

Lola Sharp said...

Well, love, you *might* be crazy, but it isn't because a scene makes you cry. ;)

I'm glad you're writing, flippin' and all. :D

*hugs*...bug, squishy-squeezy *HUGS*

AE Marling said...

As a soldier in the writer campaign, I salute you.

I do aim to create characters that I would cry for. Typically I do no such thing, though a bit of morning dew did get in my eye after reading through my last novel. I only hurt my characters because I love them.

Best wishes on your writing.

Sarah Pearson said...

The one character who made me cry wasn't even in the story, he died before it started. His son found a letter from him in the last chapter, and I couldn't believe it when writing it made me cry. That's the one and only time it's happened. Shame the rest of the story was such a hot mess :-)

Lisa Gail Green said...

You know, I never thought about responding via email. I usually either reply on the blog, or if there are too many responses, I just visit the other persons blog (like now, so thanks for the comment btw!). Also, YES I absolutely cry for my characters.

Carol Kilgore said...

I've cried for characters, one in particular.

Thanks for sharing the questions. Those can really help you know those new characters better.

L.G.Smith said...

I like those questions at the end. I think I might cry too if I started digging into some of the answers.

Also, I feel such guilt if I can't find a link to someone's blog and follow back. Then I learned some people just don't have blogs, only blogger accounts.

Nice to meet you.

Anonymous said...

I had definitely cried for characters! One in particular. He's never had it really good, especially when compared to most of the other characters who have usually at least had a decent life. And I want so much to write a happy ending for him. But I can't. If I do, it ruins the entire story. I can't tell you how many times I've apologized to him (as if he were very real) about what I "have to do".

It's nice to meet you! I'm part of your fantasy group in the campaign!

Chemist Ken said...

Don't think I've cried for my character yet, although I've cried over what he's made me do. Glad to meet a fellow campaigner.

M Pax said...

Great blogger tips. I like to reply via email, too. Sounds like a fun writing exercise and very useful.

Clarissa Draper said...

Yup, your crazy! ;) I think writers cry for their characters, they have to, who else will? THose are great questions.

Diane did post a lovely post on blogging.

Cheryl said...

If it's crazy then where's my cute little jacket with the long sleeves that fasten around the back?

I do cry for my characters - and I'm hoping my readers will shed a tear too. What great questions. I'll be checking back for more (and seeing if I can answer them for my characters).

Tina DC Hayes said...

We're both in the Romantic Suspense group of campaigners, so I'm dropping in to say 'Hi'. :)

Jacqui said...

That's a great reminder--to link the comment name to your blog. I get lots of visitors off of that hint.

Roger Eschbacher said...

Hi Tara, trying to get around and say hello to all the authors in the fantasy groups! Hello!