Miscellaneous · Writing Tips

Writing Tips: Character Chart

Over the past two days, I’ve had the pleasure of receiving two more reviews of Minutes Before Sunset and one interview about the behind-the-scenes of the work. And I’m here to share it with you all before I begin my “Writing Tips” sessions.

On May 29, Nada Faris, author of Before Young Adult Fiction, Fame in the Adriatic, and ‘Artemis’ and other Moms wrote a five-star review on Goodreads: 

“…This story has twists and turns (even the prophecy changes). It has magical powers, romance, and some funny moments. As a young adult novel, it will satisfy its readers. All in all, the first book in A Timely Death series, was promising. It sets the stage for more conflict. Seconds Before Sunrise, Book 2 of the series, is scheduled for release in fall 2013.”

Read the rest of her review by clicking here.

The five signed copies of Minutes Before Sunset are in the mail for the winners! Congrats!
The five signed copies of Minutes Before Sunset are in the mail for the winners! Congrats!

On May 30, Tina Williams, host of A Reader’s Review, wrote an analysis of my recently released novel while also expanding it with an interview/guest post: (Click the links to read more.) 

Review: “…Minutes Before Sunset is an original and compulsive read. The tale is told in the first person, with chapters told from the perspective of Eric and Jessica. This is effective in terms of both advancing the plot and giving depth to the characters. I particularly enjoyed the maturity and selflessness of the hero and heroine, Eric and Jessica, and found their growing attraction and love for one another both believable and sweet. The novel ends in such a way that I am chomping at the bit to read the next installment. Minutes Before Sunset is a magical, if slightly dark tale, containing romance and adventure, which explores fate and free will and self-sacrifice. I recommend it to readers of both adult and young adult paranormal romance.”

Interview: “As a much younger child, I often suffered from nightmares and night terrors (I honestly couldn’t differentiate between reality and dreams) so my mother had me turn them into stories in order to cope. My latest young-adult paranormal romance, Minutes Before Sunset, is actually a result of the same thing, but it was a different series of dreams. I was in a very dark time in my life, and I had dreams of a boy visiting me at night—just to talk. He’d ask me about how I was feeling, what I was going to do next, and what my hopes were for the future. When I got through that dark time, the dreams were quite literally ripped away from my conscious, and I was distraught. Despite my happiness, I still wanted him as if he was a real person, so I created a story explaining his visits. And Minutes Before Sunset was born.”

Special thanks to both of these talented and lovely ladies. I am proud and grateful to have such great supporters like you all. 

In case anyone is curious, Minutes Before Sunset is available as a paperback on Barnes & Noble and Amazon as a preorder. It will be shipped to you on June 14, 2013. Click the links to be directed to the website. (And don’t forget to let me know if you review it! I will put your blog right here.)

Now. ::takes deep breath:: The writing tips! 

I’m a big fan of graphs and charts. Seriously. I graph everything. (I’m sure I’ll do more posts on this later–you will not believe the things I can find ways to graph.) But why do I like to graph and chart?

Whether or not I expect it, graphs and charts show something–a pattern or lack thereof–and I think this visual information can help more than a writer (or reader) might originally think. So I came across one the other day called The Character Chart, and I wanted to share it with you all. I would take a screen shot and post it, but the website asks users to “link only” and use only for personal use, and I want to respect that. 

However, I will say that it is a great chart. It’s basically a questionnaire for you to print out and get in-depth with your characters about who they are, what drives them, and who they will become. I particularly like this one because of the detail involved (like self-perception compared to reality.) This is not to say that all of these details are completely necessary to know, but I do say this: this list will challenge you, no matter how well you know a character (especially minor ones), and you might learn something about your character you haven’t expected. I think this list is great for those who are also looking to bring depth to their character (or even to create an entirely new person!)

I’ll definitely be returning to it. Again, I’d share more about it, (I’d even share my answers for Eric or Jessica in Minutes Before Sunset) but I want to respect his copyright properly, so all I can really say is check it out :] And let me know if you’d like to see more interactive websites like this. I’ll be sure to share them as they come.


P.S I hope everyone is enjoying the arrival of summer. I sure am! And I wanted to share a piece of my lake fun with everyone: Have a great (and sunny) day!

I'm on a boat...wait...a raft.
I’m on a boat…wait…a raft.

12 thoughts on “Writing Tips: Character Chart

  1. Hi,Shannon. Thanks for dropping by FromDreams and congratulations on your novel and reviews. I enjoyed your “Character Chart,” and I have seen the same idea elsewhere. I recently found something else called the Enneagram Character Types, which fires great ideas for developing characters and their interactions with others. I’ll be glad to send you a copy by email if you like. I’ve found it so useful, I think I’ll blog about it.

    1. Sure! Send it my way (or send me the link to your blog post if you decide to post about it–that way I can share your post on this blog.) And thank you for the congratulations!

  2. Congratulations on those great reviews. Would you say your book falls in the new adult category?
    Thanks also for the link to the character chart. That’s a pretty thorough chart. But necessary!

    1. Thank you!
      I would say it’s young-adult. My first novel, November Snow, is New Adult for sure. But Minutes Before Sunset was written more for the younger side of things.

  3. Shannon, Thanks so much for following my blog, http://rhodalea.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/what-about-work/ I think it’s amazing that you have published while going to school! You are a smart and disciplined young woman! Blessings with your new series. I will check out your as soon as I get a chance. They sound very similar in some ways to the work I am almost done with now. Finally, thanks so much for this character builder tool. In looking at that I realized that I had instinctively done this, but what a great tool for future use. You like the visuals of charts – I use pictures – down loading tons of pictures into word documents or PP presentations that give me visuals of the places and people in the book. Again, Blessings!

    1. That’s wonderful! I hope your work is successful 😀 And I do pictures too! If you’re interest, check out my post Writing Tips: Picture Book, and you’ll see we have even more in common :]

  4. Reblogged this on Ky Grabowski and commented:
    Amazing advice in this post by author Shannon A Thompson about building your characters from start to finish! Check out the extra’s provided! You won’t be disappointed when you writer your next piece!

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