Do you share?

Do you share?
As an author, do you share with your readers? Do you let them into your world where they can find out about you? Do you have a platform where you let them know what’s going on with your writing life?

Writer.

If you are blogging– how much of yourself do you let your readers see of yourself? How often do you share: once or twice a week, daily, once a month? Do you freely share or are you just a matter-of-fact type of person only recording your writing progress, not letting your readers know about your personal side?
Whether you realize it or not, as a writer we share with our readers much more than we think. We can’t help it; as we write thousands of words on the pages, some of our personality has to seep through. Our core values refuse to be ignored, no matter how hard we try. Some of them will make their way into one of our characters, be it good or bad. It’s how you connect with your reader. Letting part of “you” onto the pages is what makes your book successful. It’s about finding something that the reader can connect with and imagine themselves in the same position.

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There are other ways we connect with our readers: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any of the other many social media outlets are avenues to let our readers get to know us.
Personally, I think it’s important to connect with my readers and let them know what’s going on my life. Make them feel connected to you as if you’re a friend about to sit down, share a soda and talk. I know when I read a blog post from another author, I can relate to what’s going on in their life. It does feel like I am chatting with an old friend.
The term author platform is used so much that it’s almost overused. To me, having a platform simply means I’m connecting with my readers. And how I do that has to be comfortable for me. I must be honest and sincere because I would never put out a fake persona. Sooner or later you’ll slip up and dissolution your reader.

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So how much do you share with your readers?

Not much? Well, maybe you should be.

Masked Character

Who are you and where did you come from?

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Has this ever happened to you, your writing along and all of a sudden you have a new character you never thought of, demanding to be part of the story?
She wasn’t in my story outline, and she certainly wasn’t in my character development sheets. But here she is, bold as can be, taking a huge chunk of my thought process.
She works. For some reason, she completes this section of the story I don’t know where she came from or how she popped onto my page. But in my mind, she’s fully developed, and she now has an interesting, intricate part of the story. At least the newest direction the story is suddenly going.
I used to laugh when I heard somebody say the characters wrote themselves or the story writes itself, thinking that it just doesn’t make sense. A figment of my imagination can’t take over and do the work for the writer. Yet now I know it’s true because it’s happened to me over and over again.

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My newest adventure is moving along splendidly when suddenly I’m developing a mermaid character. I’m not sure why, yet it’s all working out and seems right. As any writer knows; when something seems right, you go forward with it full force. Flush out the thought process and see what happens. At the end, if it doesn’t work, save it for another story. But don’t let the thought run away and utilize it. The character or plot twist came to you for a reason.
Sometimes I believe we can get bogged down with the formula of writing and it becomes easy to forget the fun parts the creative parts to letting your imagination run part.
There are some great programs out there to help you develop characters; from the color their hair to their favorite food to their least favorite color. You can create more details about your characters than you ever dreamed possible. However, if you become so intent on developing the character, you could risk losing some spontaneity which makes the story uniquely yours.
The first time this happened to me, I almost threw it out. Being rigid and new to writing, I didn’t want to veer from my outline. But instead of throwing it out I pushed aside for a couple of days to work on something else. Yet, this character remained in the back of my mind nagging at me wanting to come out and make her presence known. So, I let her, and I must say, she became one of my favorite characters in that particular book. I’ve even reintroduced her into a few other books here and there just because I feel she is such an interesting character. And to think I almost threw her away!

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Let the voices talk to you, let them tell you what they want to do and then, from there, be the writer.

Take that nagging thought and create something wonderful.