I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to step back from the planning and plotting and writing of my novel and do a little brainstorming and free-writing.
In her famous book on writing, Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg suggests many exercises (often timed in five minute segments) to practice this sort of writing.
When developing characters, one of my favorite exercises is the following titled “What Kind of Smoke Am I?”
As an example, I would characterize Kate O’Donnell (my protagonist in Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) as the smoke of a campfire. Depending on the season, the weather, the type of wood (and it’s age), and the amount of prodding by folks around it, a campfire might be smoldering, crackling, blazing or gently radiating  warm, life-sustaining heat.  The smoke from this campfire might change often and quickly from one dynamic to another.
That’s definitely Kate. Red-haired, independent, often fiery, she can also be warmly loyal, supportive and affectionate.
You can add other analogies to this exercise.
For example, if I wanted to describe what type of fabric Kate would be, I would say 100% cotton–natural, soft, sometimes crisp, smooth, comfortable, unpretentious–yet always with a subtle aura of class and understated elegance.
Give it a try.
Choose one of your characters and describe the kind of smoke they would be.
Also, don’t forget the New Author Blog Hop

Click here to meet new Authors and Book Lovers!

Recently published a book? Know a first time author who recently published? Whether Indie or Tradional published, let’s support one another!

In this blog hop giveaway to be held November 23 through November 30, there will be plenty of giveaways and freebies.

I will be giving away free gift certificates for my new e-book Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series). To be eligible for a free Gift Certificate, just ‘Follow’ my blog, ‘Follow’ me on Twitter or ‘Like’ my page of FaceBook.

Then leave a comment with your email address where you want your Gift Certificate to be sent.

I look forward to meeting all the New Authors and New Readers!

Brands Crossing Series Book One

As a child, KATE O’DONNELL spends summers at her grandparents’ estate in Brands Crossing where she and her girl cousins battle make-believe monsters, rescue endangered victims and a save a mythical kingdom.

At twenty-five Kate is a singer/songwriter living in Nashville and pursuing a promising relationship with computer game designer PHILLIP NORWOOD. There, her only battles are fought in Aidenne’s Revenge, Phillip’s online fantasy game based on her childhood adventures. With her grandfather’s sudden death from injuries he sustained in a suspicious car crash, Kate is forced to make a choice.

Will she remain in Nashville to focus on Phillip and her music career?

Or will she move back to Brands Crossing and honor the promise she made to her grandfather that she would investigate the mystery surrounding his death?

Family trumps career and romance and Kate heads back to Texas where the monsters, victims and endangered kingdoms are all too real. In an attempt to protect Kate from danger, Phillip joins her quest and helps her search for incriminating documents, investigate a centuries-old family feud and confront an anonymous rose-bearing admirer who stalks Kate in both real and virtual universes.

Thicker Than Water is the first in a series of novels set in Brands Crossing, Texas. It chronicles the lives of the Kincaids, a prominent family in this mythical town, and focuses on a mystery that extends back to the mid-eighteenth century and the young Texas Republic


About Sharon K Owen

I am a fiction writer, a university professor, a copy editor and an online writing teacher. My first Romantic Suspense: Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) was published in 2011 and the second book in the series, Whatever Goes Around, will be published in 2016. My short stories and poetry have been published in Descant, Concho River Review, Iron Horse, American Literary Review, Trinity Writer's Workshop newsletter and collections of Christmas stories. I am blessed with a loving, supportive family, a multitude of friends and the good fortune to share a cozy sanctuary in North Texas with my two cats (Matt and Cinders).

Posted on November 29, 2011, in Book Recommendations, Writers, Writing, Writing Exercises and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi – I am a fellow new author blog hopper and really enjoying meeting all these new authors. I have followed (via Google reader), liked and followed you on twitter 🙂 yay!

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