Thanks to http://hiveword.com/wkb/search (again courtesy of Twitter) for a link to http://www.plottopunctuation.com/blog/show/30; a great article entitled ‘Why you should steal your character’s shoes’ which contains a link to the equally brilliant http://www.plottopunctuation.com/blog/show/24 providing six tips for using backstory to create compelling characters: 1. Create what the story demands. 2. What is the character’s wound? 3. What do you love or hate in a character? 4. Conduct an interview. 5. Write her eulogy / cv. 6. Get quirky (with a summing up at the bottom). If you’re having any trouble with your characters (and don’t they just love to cause you grief) then these two pages should go some way to helping. If not, slap their wrists and tell them to grow up!
Another of HiveWord’s links is to http://cristinterrill.com/2010/11/17/top-5-first-draft-tips-of-all-time, as the address would suggest Cristin Terrill’s Top Five First Draft Tips: 1. Have a daily word count. 2. Leave the house. 3. Embrace your suck. (couldn’t have put it better myself) 4. Don’t read what you’ve written. 5. Take breaks. All sound advice to me.