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Empathy Works!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you had a nice week! A lot going on today around the blogosphere!

The wonderful and talented Elana Johnson has a fantastic post on what to blog about. Actually, there’s a whole week of posts that are fantastic, in fact two other bloggers have also taken on the subject; the uber awesome Jennifer Daiker & Alex Cavanaugh. Check it out, seriously good stuff on all their blogs. Elana also wants to see how different people post about one topic. I signed up.

I know. I almost never do that. But I’m curious…

So. The topic is compelling characters.

Hmm… what does that entail you may ask. Well, truthfully, it’s all relative. What is gripping and original to me may not be the same for you. But, we all know when something is fake, or when it seems put there for a reason. So…


How do we get compelling characters?
  • We use our voice, we make sure we know all the in’s and out’s of our characters.
  • We make sure they are Authentic. It’s next to impossible to have a compelling character if he/she is not authentic. So how do we make our characters authentic then?
  • We make sure every decision that our characters make are true to who they are and true to their pasts. This includes the face scrunches, dialogue, actions, internal monologue. The whole shebang, as it were.
This is what I do…

That’s my take on it ;o) What do you think? How do you get your characters to be compelling?

Wait.. there’s more!!

I knew it would happen one day. I’m in two places at once. I know. I bet you didn’t think it was possible without some sort of science experiment. The wonderful Dolly over at Writer Revealed invited me to share my writing journey! It’s filled with government conspiracies and alien abductions… don’t believe me? Check it out! Ha! See what I did there. Dolly, has a fantastic blog. Stay a while, check out the others in the series, too!

I hope I haven’t lost you yet. I know this post is long. We’re almost done, I promise!

I’ve made it to 200 followers! THANK YOU ALL! Wanna enter for a chance to win *80’s candy, a $10 B & N Gift Card, a 50 books to read before you die bookmark, a book of opening lines and LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater? Check it out Here! Yes, there’s a Vlog too, so you can see me make a fool of myself, oh and meet my kitty Zeus, too!

That’s about it. Hope you have a great weekend!

-Er

*candy not from actual 1980’s.
**photo taken by me of Mackinac Bridge on a beautiful September day

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Guest Post – Jamie on: Establishing a Personal Brand


Hi Everyone!

We have a special surprise today – my friend and critique partner Jamie over at The Variety Pages is providing the post today – so I can be lazy… LOL – no not really, she’s been busy working on her own personal brand, and since she’s researched it quite a bit, and is beginning a weekly series called “Writer, Brand Thyself.” on her blog. I’ve asked her to guest post (my very first one!) She is knowledgeable, a great writer and it’s just a matter of time before her wonderful books will be on the shelves ;o)

Without further adieu – Jamie! *applause, cheers*

Establishing a Personal Brand

The word “platform” is bandied around the writing community as something mysterious and difficult that writers need to establish at some point. A platform is really just a body of work that establishes someone as a professional in a certain field, and for a fiction writer (like myself), that is something I can only accomplish by writing and publishing good books. Non-fiction writers can do this early through blogs, web sites, etc…but there’s really no way I can “prove” that I write good romantic suspense without actually writing and publishing it.

What I can do before publishing though is to start building my personal “brand” – the name recognition that will help market my books when they do start coming out. Social media makes this easier than it’s ever been, and all we have to do is participate. The only real problem with that is finding the time to be involved in networking groups and communities – time that we often don’t have to spare.

I work full-time (40 hrs per week), and though I don’t have kids, I still have dinner to make, household chores to do, a TV addiction, books to read, pounds to lose and my husband and pets to take care of. Add writing time to that (late at night) and my only option for getting it all done is multitasking. When I started thinking about actually selling my novels someday, I knew I had to start getting my name out there, and building up a network of potential readers. I decided to get serious about social media.

I started by re-inventing my blog, then joined Facebook and Twitter. It was hard to keep up with it all, so I started looking for ways to tie everything together and spend less time keeping up. Now I’m adding more networks to my list, and exploring all the ways I can make participating in each community as easily and efficiently as possible. Just recently I’ve added a personal web site (which is one of the least time-intensive ways you can get information out there after it’s set up), and I’ve also started a weekly newsletter – both of which I’m using to both solidify my personal brand and bring all my social networks together. I created both of those using fairly simple online programs (GoDaddy.com and Mail Chimp), and customizing templates to meet my needs. Planning is the key – everything I’ve done I’ve planned ahead to make it as efficient and easy to use as possible.

I know I’m not the only writer out there interested in building a personal brand before my books are on the market, so I’ve decided to create a series on my blog called “Writer, Brand Thyself”. Every Wednesday I’ll be posting about my experiences with social media and how I’m using different networks to make connections and promote my name as a “brand” as efficiently as possible (ie, without cutting into my writing time). I’m going to explore everything from choosing a name and where to start to using RSS feeds to connect networks with current information. If you’re interested, please join me, and hopefully we can all learn to “brand ourselves” together.

Thanks so much for inviting me to guest blog, Erica – what an honor!

Links: http://www.mailchimp.com/, GoDaddy.com

***

Aww thanks, Jamie! Thank you for stopping by and for sharing what you’ve learned ;o) Check out her blog The Variety Pages folks!

What do you think about your personal brand? Have you created one yet?

That is all – happy Tuesday ;o)

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First Vlog

Hi Everyone!
I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your weekends :o) I made a decision about whether to stay with blogger or move over to WordPress based on the comments and my own experience with WordPress for a couple days. I made a nice little Vlog to tell you which I decided ;o)

BTW – pay no attention to the kitty in the background – Gracie, she decided she wanted her 15 minutes of fame too. This was my first attempt at this. I really tried to make it short, but there are a few um’s and ah’s.. couldn’t help that, of course.

So… *deep breath* Here you go!

Have a great rest of the weekend :o)

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A Change Gon’ Come

Greetings all!

This will be a quick one from me. Not a lot new going on in my life. Revising is slow and sporadic, but I’m working on that!

I’ve recently purchased a shiny, new domain. ericachapman.com – no don’t go there just yet… LOL I have no idea what I’m doing yet…

Well, here’s the thing. I do like blogger, but was thinking it didn’t offer all the things I wanted, such as tabs for other things, more creativity etc. So I downloaded WordPress. I’m investigating moving this blog over there – again, have no idea how or if it’s possible… but wanted to get your opinion on this potential move before I made it.

I love their themes, very designy (not a word- I know) also it would be my new domain that I would have so – kind of like a one-stop-shop. I really like that!

Anyhoo – I’ve rambled long enough. Also, I’ve been a bit MIA from commenting this week – so sorry – real life got in the way :o)

I’m up over 80 followers! 81 to be exact! Thank you all so much – I couldn’t even have imagined this many people wanted to see what I have to say – you are truly wonderful :o)
Have a great day folks!
pic courtesy of malaysiasms.files.wordpress.com/…/change1.jpg

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Monday Featured Blog-Dave To You


Dave is a cool cat who’s got a funny and unique blog over there at Dave to You- A word to the wise is infuriating. Hunter S. Thompson

He’s been chronicling his NaNo experience and his most recent post NaNo Update has observations on the weather as well as his recent word count– there’s snow there already– yuck!

His post Things I Have Learned from NaNo had me cracking up out loud. It doesn’t take much to do that, but I could totally relate to everything he was saying…

Dave had a scare last week when he thought he lost most of his NaNo story due to a computer malfunction (let’s be honest- computers are a curse and a blessing, right?) Well I’m happy to report, he recovered most of the draft and is back on track! Yay 🙂

Dave is a Purveyor of Paragraphic Drivel- or so his profile says.

Make sure to check out Dave’s blog!

Have a happy Monday everyone! For the Americans—> Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week! We put up the Santa set today- Yes- Santa is arriving November 21st! Tis the life of someone who works in a mall office 🙂

Hope everyone’s writing is going well.

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