I was 11 when the story started. I was living at home with bothers (Ian and Andrew). I had a room on my own. The things were hidden in my cupboard.
Aunty Pat died. My cousin Tony came and stayed. He stayed in a room with me. He in a room with me because we had limited nowhere else. In my cupboard there were things that didn't belong to be.
Tony kept deep secrets (in the corner of the closet). John wasn't supposed to see them. John was a few years younger than Tony. Of course John was curious. He should never have seen the pile of magazines.
You've all probably been wondering where Paul Dorset aka John Cox has gone off to these past few weeks. On November 24, 2013 John had a stroke while we were having a quiet conversation about our weekend as we were sitting on our couch. Having sisters who are nurses we've discussed the warning signs of strokes and heart attacks before. So I immediately knew that this was serious. If you have to have a stroke his was the perfect scenario, fire fighters and paramedics arrived literally within minutes giving him oxygen. He was taken to Skagit Medical which is very close to our house. Within 40 minutes of this event happening he was flown to Swedish Cherry Hill. I went home called his parents in England to tell them what happened. I grabbed some clothes for him, his winter coat, his cell phone and charger then headed out for my hour and a half drive on I -5. Our dear friend Steve arrived first at the hospital, then Hamish after hearing the frantic message I had left on his phone. John's stroke, I eventually found out, after coming back to the ICU for the second time is not just hemoragic, he also had some ischemic spots as well. The spots they could tell happened within two weeks which were around the time of his stroke. We have been floor hopping between the 5th and now down to the 3rd to monitor John's heart. It's truly amazing that his personality, mannerisms, sense of humor, smiles and laughter are entirely himself!!! After two weeks in the ICU I gave him a pen just to see what he could do, he scribbled and the wrote his name underlining after. He is frustrated and bored, exactly what I want. I've found a rehab place near our house for the next phase of his recovery. I told him he has books to write and readers to captivate...... I told him that this is his next book, but we will write it together. This has been a life changing experience for both of us.
I'll keep you posted on John's progress on his journey to recovery.....
During the past couple of years, I've had several different business cards for my books, and each of them has been book-specific. This week, I resolved it was time for a change.
Now that I have fourteen books published (and more on the way), I decided it was time I moved into more of a corporate branding exercise. And so, with that in mind, I've created my first Paul Dorset business card.
Now, I can hand out one card and it solves any number of problems.
14,000 words written this week! Not too sloppy a number at all. As always when I write a book, it takes me a little time to get into it and get those words cranked out. Now I'm in full swing and I expect another bumper week this week, despite Thanksgiving. I'm excited for Ryann's Bane.
On other fronts, I've sent out proofs of Interviews With 100 Indie Authors to all my authors, and expect their feedback in the next two weeks. Then it'll be a mad dash to get it published by the end of the year.
All that's left to do now, is to redo a few of my book covers, design some new business cards, and generally prepare myself for the end of the year. Sounds like it'll be another busy week, folks!
This is the fourteenth article in the semi-comedic series, How Not To Write A Novel (HOWNTWAN). The first article in the series can be found here: What's Your Story About? Keep reading during the next couple months for the rest of the series.
14. What About The Supporting Characters?
Seriously? I thought I was reading a book about writing, and now there’s a whole article on supporting characters. Who cares about the minor characters? After all, there’s enough to worry about with the main characters and the bad guys. Adding a load of thought to character X and Character Y isn’t really helping me write my book.
I’ve heard this complaint before, and no doubt I’ll hear it again. Most authors don’t want to invest heavily in the minor characters. And I’m not suggesting they do for all of them. But I would suggest thinking about them to a certain degree. What is special about the characters your heroes meet? Are there some characters that help your hero, and some characters that hinder your hero? Do some of your supporting characters aid the bad guys? It’s important to spend time fleshing out these supporting characters a little. That way, when your main characters come across them, both of them will know how to react. And who knows, you may even end up promoting one or two of your supporting characters into main characters!
It may help to think back to a few of your favorite books and list out the supporting characters. Then write down what part they played in the overall plot of the book. I guarantee if the book was good, these characters had several key moments. And so it should be with your supporting characters, too. Recently, I’ve been listening to Lord Of The Rings on audiotape and it’s given me time to think a little about the style of the book and also the characters. I’m not sure exactly how many of the characters are supposed to be major, and how many are supposed to be minor. Obviously, Frodo is a major character, and so too is Gandalf. But what about Sam, and what about Gollum? They both have fairly big parts, but I’m not entirely sure they are at the protagonist / antagonist status. One of the characters, Sam, is a supporting character to Frodo, while the other, Gollum, is neither supporting nor particularly against Frodo. But both these characters are so well fleshed out, their actions play a big part in how Frodo reacts to and survives certain situations.
If all your supporting characters just turn up from time to time and do nothing except have a name and offer a quick sword fight, or provide a little side-track action, then you haven’t done a good job with them. Of course, some minor characters are more major than minor, and these do have names and all sorts of background ready made for them. The really minor characters many not even have a name, but we’re not really talking about these ones in this article.
In just the same way that scenery adds to the richness of a landscape, so too do supporting characters add to the richness of your protagonists. Perhaps your imperfect hero needs to rescue someone from the water and cannot swim, when along comes X and saves the day. Now, depending on whether X is a good or bad supporting character, can really impact how the book progresses. Is your hero now forced to make friends with X? Or are they jealous of X’s skills? All of a sudden you’ve got some extra built-in conflict that you can experiment with.
Whatever. I know you already told me, you’re writing a book that’s based on your life, only better. The whole point is to show the reader how wonderful you (the protagonist) are. The last thing you need is for them to show some love to a minor character. No, it’s much better to leave out the minor characters altogether and concentrate on the hero. After all, he’s the one who will win the day and the maiden’s heart. You’re the Indie Author, and the day job still puts money in the bank.