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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Friday, February 29, 2008

Goodbye to February! Q and A

Goodbye to February and to the first Wet Noodle Posse Character month. Today is Q and A day, the day you can ask those left over nagging questions about Character.

So what questions do you have?

Which character poses the biggest problem for you (For me it is the villain) and what problem do you have with that character (mine can get too "Snidely Whiplash")?

Are you struggling with a character's backstory? With their GMC (Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation, Conflict)? Was there anything in Character Month you wished we had covered and didn't?

Ask away!!!

A big thank you to everyone who participated in Character Month, our Wet Noodle Posse bloggers, those of you who commented and those who just "stopped by." Those who commented have been entered in our prize drawing.

Today's prize is Jill Monroe's Blaze, Hitting the Mark

And the winner is:

Gillian Layne

Whoo hoo, gillian! Just send your contact information to me at and I'll pass it on to Jill.

By the way, Jill's February release, Primal Instincts, is on sale now!

The Wet Noodle Posse has more in store for you. March is Plotting Month and you won't want to miss it.

Now.....on with your questions

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At 8:39 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Yahoo, Gillian!

Two great covers, Jill. Congrats on having another book on the shelves.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Hey, what a great way to start Friday:) Thanks!!!

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

I could be mistaken, but have we addressed using "real" people as characters?

I am using a very real scientist as a minor character in my Regency (William Herschel), and I'm having a bit of trouble finding a detail I need (or if I don't need, then I really want to know :) ). So how do you all deal with actual people in your books? Do you make certain that person, if a historical figure, could have been where you want them to be?

And what would you do if the person you wanted to reference or write was still living? I won't have that problem, but I'm curious.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Gillian, I wouldn't use a living person (obviously, since I write Regency set Historicals) but I have used real people. In my next book, Scandalizing the Ton (Oct 08), the Duke of Clarence (aka William IV)makes an appearance. I couldn't verify that he was in England at the time, so I fudged it a little.

For my wip I was going to use Castlereagh rather prominently, but I learned he was definitely out of the country, so I abandoned that idea. My preference is always to be as accurate as possible.

Now if your scientist COULD have been where you want him to be, then I'd say go ahead! I think using real people is fun and kinda makes history come alive.

There are so many fictionalized stories of real people these days. The Other Boleyn Girl, for example. Or my friend Susan King's Lady Macbeth: A Novel.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger doglady said...

Congrats to my CP, Gillian!! When there is a secret about a character (deceased) that plays a role in the hero's character is it better to let the reader in on it or is it better for the reader to find out at the same time the heroine does? Actually, the heroine knew all along, but the hero didn't know she knew? Does that make any sense whatsoever???

Wish you could have used Castlereagh, O Divine One. He is a favorite historical figure of mine.

At 12:46 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

That's a hard question, O Doggie One, and I hope some other Noodlers weigh in on it.

I think you can play the secret either way. Generally not revealing a secret right away increases the suspense and sense of discovery for the reader.
On the other hand, if everyone in the story knows the secret except the reader, it might not be bad to let the reader know, too.

How's that for roundaboutation?

At 5:27 AM, Blogger Trish Morey said...

Doglady wrote -

"When there is a secret about a character (deceased) that plays a role in the hero's character is it better to let the reader in on it or is it better for the reader to find out at the same time the heroine does? Actually, the heroine knew all along, but the hero didn't know she knew?"

You know, I think the question you have to ask here is what's best for your story. If the heroine knows, you're going to have to foreshadow that, so the reader says, oh yeah, of course she knew. If she didn't know and say, the reader did, then that's a whole different direction, and maybe one the reader has been primed for, and builds suspense as the reader waits for the axe to fall.
If the reader and the heroine find out the truth together, then it has to be so shocking that the reader is right in there with the heroine and wanting to turn those pages to find out what comes next.

Like most things in writing, I don't think there's a one size fits all concept. You have to work out what is the best turn of events for your book. Maybe you should ask yourself, what would keep you turning the pages? Sometimes it's good to let the reader in on things about each character than the other doesn't know - that builds that delicious sense of anticipation as the reader awaits the truth coming out.

At least, that's how I see it:-))

Great question, btw!

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Gillian's question about using real historical figures is a great one. What I did in one of my Louisiana historicals, which alas hasn't sold, is make a character very much like the pirate Lafitte. The reason I did this was that some of the history is apocryphal and I wanted my pirate to do some things that Lafitte might not have done. So that is another way you can go--have your character be much like the historical figure but not be the historical figure.

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

O Doggie One,
I love Castlereagh, too. I'll try to put him in another book someday.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I've used some real characters in some of my medievals. I used William II (Rufus) in FIRE DANCE. Sometimes I wish I hadn't because I searched everything I could find at the time, and I thought I was right. But since then I've been able to find much more about him, and discovered some things that were a shade off. I did write a disclaimer because there were some things that were specifically figments of my imagination, but for some reason it didn't get published with the book.

Although it's likely the information is out there somewhere, you may simply not be able to research deeply enough to find it. So it's likely writing a disclaimer to tack onto the end of the book will be what you need to do.

Nothing wrong with this-- in the Regency writing world, we're constantly uncovering bits of information most of us either didn't know, or had wrong.

The same thing is true if you should happen to build part of your story on an unusual fact that contradicts what is normally believed. Electricity, for example, is commonly believed not to have been known about in the late 18th century. Not so. But a little post script to your story would defend you in advance.


At 12:35 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

Here's another possible answer to your question about William Herschel:

I did a quick search and found they have many books about him listed, by several different authors. Prices I spotted range from $4.75 to $163! I'd assume you could find the information you need in a lesser expensive book, of course. When I buy older books for research, I often don't mind if they're in poor condition, and often spend less money than I'd spend for gas n a trip to the library.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Thanks ladies!

Delle, I have dug up several on-line books and papers written by him and about him--I'm just always in fear of missing that one bit of info that I should have had and didn't. I'll look through your book finder link, thanks!


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