#Writerslife Techniques for creating a character who is “nothing like you”

I ran into this great article about different techniques to try in creating a character you are not. Advice given from Terry McMillan, best-selling author of Waiting to Exhale, is broken down into some digestible and doable tricks.

Here are a few excerpts that grabbed my attention. Check out the full article, How to Write a Character Who is Nothing Like You, on The Write Practice.


To write in the mind of a rich nine-year-old boy when you are a working-class thirty-year-old woman, you need a certain degree of empathy.

What would a young boy spend his days thinking about?  What would cause him to worry? How much knowledge would he have about the people and things with which he interacts?

You don’t need to know what his experience is like if you allow yourself to literally imagine how it feels to walk in his shoes (and sleep in his bed and eat his breakfast and watch his TV shows).


How can a twenty-something white man write dialogue for an elderly Chinese woman? Simple. By listening.

Pay close attention to the people around you at your job, on the train or in the supermarket.  When you find someone in your character’s demographic, listen to how he or she speaks.  Notice to whom that person is talking (does the speech change when she speaks to someone else?).

Then use what you have heard in your writing.

Fill Out a Job Application on Behalf of Your Character (MY FAVORTIE TAKAWAY)

Terry McMillan said she knows everything about her characters before she starts writing.  It began when she grabbed a job application from a local establishment and then filled out on behalf of her characters—full name, date of birth, work experience, strengths and weakness.

Over time she added more and more questions to the list—does the character pay her taxes on time?  Does she believe in abortion?

Only a small portion of these details ever made into her novels, but she knew everything she possibly could about the characters she created.

By answering these basic questions on behalf of your characters, you will develop a clearer idea about who they are as people before you start writing.  They may be nothing like you, but after engaging in this practice you will at least know who they are.

Ask yourself, what is your character’s worst childhood memory?  What is her favorite movie?  Did she ever have a bad break up?


Indie Author Perks You Should Know

A quick reminder about the perks of being an indie author…but if you’re looking to grab me up for publishing, let me know stop you! 🙂 #youtuber #indieauthorperks #amazon

H.E.R. Crisis

Amazon sent an email to its indie authors asking us to speak about why we like being indie. Here’s my response plus the ultimate writing tip! #PoweredByIndie

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150 Word Writing Prompt: Flashing Lights

Writing prompt rules: Write a short passage (about 150 words)…easy so you say. But it must be about “hump day” and include the word of the day: myrmidon (straight from dictionary.com).
Myrmidon: – 1) a person who executes without question or scruple a master’s commands. 2) Classical Mythology. one of the warlike people of ancient Thessaly who accompanied Achilles to the Trojan War.


-Flashing Lights-

Wiping the tears from her eyes, I pulled her head to my chest. I hate to see her broken and all because of him.

He’s just standing there…living. No, not living. A myrmidon. Thoughtless. Soul-less. Unable to break the trance of the seductive beast, with an inhumanly large ass and fake tits.

His master stood next to him, laughing and living her dream. Her hate for my sister had been obvious since childhood. With a sister as amazing as mine—financial genus, beautiful heart with a physique to match, and a shy demeanor only left her an easy target.

But the joke is on him.

His new beau was nothing but a walking disease. I couldn’t wait for him suffer from her endless greed and flashy demands. He was now a slave to the limelight—leaving behind those who held him down along the way. Succumbing to a world of lust, lies and lost souls.



[Short Story] Beauty Hurts

The mirror shattered and shards of glass ripped through my face. I smiled. The tears that fled down my cheeks from the day’s ridicules and verbal lashing turned into laughable irony. Soon scars will appear and the world of bully’s focused on my completion and attraction would have no more material for their daily battles with my self-esteem.

I wiped the blood from my face. It dripped slowly over my hands, letting the pain soak into my skin. Then like sand castles, I let the faucet water wash it all away.

Bang. Bang.

“Are you okay Kia?” Mom was worried. Both about the loud sound and me. She saw the cloud cover me as I paced through the hallway, just moments before I allowed the mirror to change my life.

“Yeah mom. No worries. I’ll clean it up.” Truthfully, I was the one who needed to clean up. Not because of the blood stained sink or the gruesome cuts on my face. I needed to clean out my mind from the hatred I endured. The misguided assumptions about who I was doing and where. All because of what I looked out.

“Beautiful’ is what my parents and family called me. But how could I be beautiful if those same eyes, nose, lips, voice, walk, and style is what those girls hated about me at school.

But not anymore, I would shut my mouth more; run to each class with my old raggedy clothes, oh and my face–my new ugly face.

“What are you cleaning up sweetie?”

I turned and slowly opened the door. It was as if the scars took away my pain and fear. I was ready to show the world the new me, starting with Mom.

Mom stood at the opened door with tears building in her eyes. But in one exhale, they were gone.

“Oh sweetie. Why would you do something like that to yourself?” Her tone was calm and it scared me. Why wasn’t she in shook at my blood stained face.

She grabbed the nearby towel, wet it and wiped my cheek. It’s burned but I took it.

“I don’t want to be beautiful any more. Being ‘beautiful’ hurts. The girls hate me for it so if my face is gruesome, they would leave me alone, right?

“My beautifully, ignorant child. You’ve played right into their game.” She wiped the other cheek but I was too focused on her next words to feel any more pain.

“This is what they want,” she continued. “Beauty scares people because it’s rare. Believe me when I say what makes you beautiful is much more than just your face—it’s your heart.” She put her hand on my chest.

“It’s your spirit. It’s etched in your genes and all you need to do is believe that no matter what you could ever do to you self, that beauty will go nowhere.”

She turned me to the remaining pieces of the mirror and those gashes were now just small red scratches on my face. My wounds were healing fast, faster than I’ve ever seen and I didn’t understand how.

“My child. You have the gift of beauty. Use that beautiful heart to reach out to those girls because apparently, they must have forgotten how beautiful they were. Go use your gift and help them find their ‘beauty’. It will be hard, but it’s your purpose.”

She turned to exit the room as I stared dumbfounded at my healed face.

She began to close the door back, but before it locked she whispered through the crack, “Oh, and you’re a witch. You will always heal quickly.”

NOTE: I hold the rights to my all my stories so don’t share without giving me my credit!

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