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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

#IWSG - Character Traits

Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. 


This month's optional question is an easy one to answer.

What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

Insecurity. My female characters may look like they have it all together. They don’t. They worry about the future, their careers, their relationships, especially with their romantic interest. My own insecurities kick in over what I think of as silly things.

They are also mouthy. Sometimes, my mouth opens before I think about what I should/shouldn’t say. In the stories, the character immediately regrets her smart-aleck remark, and since it’s in her point of view, the reader understands. In real life, I should slap my hand over my mouth but am embarrassed to do so.

In the kickoff to my Outer Rim series, The Pilot, a straight-laced administrator has seized a cargo hauler’s starship. For Celara d’Enfaden, her ship is her home besides being her livelihood. At a bar with her friend, she’s emboldened to denounce Administrator Jovano.

“I ordered a Kruferian mudslide for you.” Kleema gestured with her own tall drink to another on the table.
“Thanks.” Celara let the cold, thick beverage slide down her throat. Its rich sweetness settled in her stomach, spreading tranquility outward. “Just what I needed.”
They chatted for a while, catching up on each other’s lives.
“Administrator Jovano is a good man.” Kleema’s pronouncement came out of nowhere. She must have been biding her time to bring up the Admin Man. “He is fair and just. In the three tendays since he arrived, we haven’t had nearly as many fights break out in the taverns. And the miners don’t hassle us townsfolk as much.”
“President of his fan club, are you, Kleema?” Celara lifted her drink. “Here’s a toast to that paragon Jovano.”
When Kleema had the good grace to blush and duck her head, Celara pushed her chair away from the table and climbed up on it. “Quiet down, you Rimmer scum.”
The patrons laughed then quieted.
She lifted her drink again. “A toast, Rimmers. Let’s hear it for the wonderful, fantabulous Administrator Jovano. May he live long enough to enjoy good health.”
To her surprise, silence met her toast. No one raised their glasses or mugs, even in jest. Everyone was looking at her, standing on the chair.
No, they were looking past her. Only thing behind her was the door. Kleema groaned and buried her head on her folded arms on the table. Booted footsteps rapped on the rough-hewn plank floor then stopped behind her.
“Thank you for the compliments and the good wishes for my longevity.” The baritone-and-chokiris voice sounded just over her shoulder.
If ever she needed a personal cloaking device, it was now. Or a magic ring with which to disappear. Sector Admin Trevarr Jovano stood behind her. Waiting. She swore she could feel him breathing.
Undaunted, she turned around. As the room tipped, she reached for the back of the chair. “Whoa, those mudslides sneak up on you.”
Missing the chair, she grabbed the closest thing—Trevarr Jovano’s black-clad shoulders. Beneath her fingers, the strong muscles contracted. “Hey there, Admin Man. Heard my toast, did you?” She grinned down at him.
He wasn’t smiling. “You should sit down before you fall down. Or better yet, go home and sleep it off.”
A dark fury swept away the sweet tranquility of two tall Kruferian mudslides. “I can’t go home, you snake. You stole my home.”

Celera’s lucky he doesn’t arrest her for mouthing off. And she doesn't quit. If you want to read more, The Pilot is available at: 

My characters are also a lot braver than I was in my twenties and thirties. They show me what I could be if those darn insecurities didn’t get in the way.

Have a great month.


In the meantime, check out the latest anthology contest.


Guidelines and rules: 
Word count: 3500-5000
Genre: Middle Grade Historical – Adventure/Fantasy
Theme: Voyagers
Submissions accepted: May 1 - September 4, 2019
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group. 


Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.

Have a great 4th of July if you're in the States. I hope my Canadian friends enjoyed Canada Day on the 1st.



34 comments:

  1. Oh, shoot, I guess I better do this! I didn't do it last month.

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  2. I can see how being outspoken would be great for conflict in a story. I'm watching Outlander and Clare gets herself in so much trouble because she must speak her mind.

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    Replies
    1. I love Outlander (book and movie). Clare definitely is outspoken.

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    2. Forgot to add: Thanks for co-hosting this month, Natalie.

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  3. Mouthy characters are a lot of fun, though. ;)

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  4. I love love LOVE your last line. I wish I could have been strong and sassy in my 20s like my characters are, too! Love the blog!

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  5. I can relate to insecure characters, and the mouthy ones are fun to write!

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    1. Characters who always have their act together don't appeal to me. I like to see vulnerability.

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    2. Forgot to say: Thanks for co-hosting.

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  6. Wow! Talk about turning up the conflict!

    For me, I think it is easier to give characters traits we wished we possessed, rather than those I do possess. Or nuances. I have to say, I'm part of team-sarcasm, so there's a fair amount of snark in my characters.

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    1. OOh, I love snark. My Alex O'Hara (mysteries) gets snarky, too.

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  7. Great excerpt! They're off to a rocky start indeed. Love it.

    You know I'm fond of mouthy characters too. They're the most fun to work with since we don't have to bear the real life consequences of all those things we'd like to say.

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    Replies
    1. You are so right, Jean. No consequences for us.

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  8. That was classic. And she didn't stop with the toast.

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  9. Hi,
    I'm not mouthy but I do have a tendency of speaking the truth at the wrong time. But maybe that mouthy too.
    Love your excerpt.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I don't think that's mouthy. Just telling the truth.

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  10. I love your fragment. Makes me want to read the rest.

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  11. Yes. I wish my brain was faster on the draw. My big mouth comes in handy when I let the snark loose though. I get some laughs. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. LOL I hear you, Anna. Sometimes, I shoot off my mouth before my brain is engaged.

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  12. I hear you about the mouthy part. I do need to just shut up and listen more. I like the fact that your characters don't have it all together. That makes them more interesting.

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    1. The older I get the more I listen. I try not to dominate conversations (as I did in the past). Age does have a few good parts. :)

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  13. Mouthy characters are such fun. This was a great excerpt. :)

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  14. I tend to be pretty quiet, so most of my characters are too. Certainly none of them are mouthy. Not sure how well I'd pull that off. They are fun to read, though.

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    1. We need quiet characters, too. Those who listen instead of shooting off their mouth.

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  15. I'm always putting my words out there before I think - and I try to write better thinking characters. Doesn't always work though.

    Loved the characters in the story.

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    1. Thanks, dolorah. I know what you mean about writing better thinking characters. Hard.

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  16. Well, she's feisty. Maybe that's a better way of putting it than mouthy!

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    1. Thanks, Nick. You're right. Feisty sounds better. :)

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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