Update: Na No:Characters & more

Some of you might wonder what happened to the 25,000-plus-words-Na No-challenge-novel I wrote in October.  Well, I have been busy trying to bring into focus the characters, especially children, in my novel.

Zodiac Signs 1916Read this old book from my great-aunt’s belongings titled Humanity and the Zodiac ,A.F.Seward & Co., Publishers, Revised Edition 1915.  Actually, studied each sign from a character-study perspective, as I searched to enrich and clarify the characters in my novel.  Each ‘Sign’ article talked about strengths, weaknesses, primitive versus enlightened levels of development, best work choices for that personality type,  how a person handles (or doesn’t handle stress), and most interesting to what I needed – a description of the children of that sign, behavior, and parenting suggestions.  For character studies, versus divine wisdom, this little book is a resource gem.

Rumer GoddenI’ve gobbled up the books by Rumer Godden this year.  She wrote over 70 books for both adults and children.  As background, she was British, raised in India, born 1907, died 1998.  Several of her books were made into movies:  Black Narcissus, The River,  and others.

I’ve been pulled to her books this year and read The Doll’s HouseThe Story of Holly and Ivy, and The Diddakoi back in the Spring.  I’m presently reading her biography pictured above.   And I’m reading The River.  And I’ve already read The Fairy DollCandy Floss, Great Grandfather’s House.  And I just picked up more books from the library.  So I guess you can say I am finding enjoyment and inspiration and great writing in her books.  And great characters.    And.  And.  And.

Since Na No my writing exercise has been:  Writing 10 Qualities About Each Character.   Making a concise, summarizing list of ten qualities is harder than it sounds, or I’m making it more complicated than it has to be, and of my main characters, I’m about half way through each list.

The reason why I believe this is so important, is because I want the dialogue and behavior coming out of each character to be consistent with that character.

About Na No writing:  I have not reread what I wrote and therefore, have not started typing my handwritten story.  I’m saving that for January.

Also, parts of my story may be old-fashioned, so I am trying to make a list of plot ideas that might make it more contemporary yet still remain true to my voice and vision for the story.  So that’s where I am as of today.

And speaking of old-fashioned.  Here’s a Sampler (American folk art) I made back in 1985.  It was a kit I purchased back when people had those house parties.  Not sure if people do that anymore.

Sampler by LR“Count Your Life by Smiles not Tears”

Happy Holidays to you and best wishes for a great Year 2013.


About Wings of Wonder

Linda Ruddy is a creative with a diverse range of interests in writing and painting. She currently is revising a middle grade novel, and author and illustrating a picture story book. She is an active member of SCBWI, Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. Linda has a body of paintings, which form the foundation of her artistic development. This work can be viewed on her website: www.lindaruddyart.com Her recent illustrations are an outgrowth of the style she developed in these paintings. Another passion is sculpture. Linda often uses her figures as models for her art. Linda's blog is eclectic and journeys wherever her muse guides her attention. Her blog address is: www.wingsofwonder.wordpress.com Following the muse, Linda Ruddy
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10 Responses to Update: Na No:Characters & more

  1. megtraveling says:

    Congratulations on your writing! Your sampler is lovely, too. Happy holidays!

  2. Marilyn Scott-Waters says:

    Love your sampler! Takes me back to my high school embroidery days.

    Happy Christmas,


  3. robin says:

    You are so creative with your research, Linda. Your process is very informative and inspiring!

  4. I am a cross stitch / embroidery fanatic! I love your sampler!!! Folk art needlework is charming and beautiful. 🙂

    • I think my first experience with embroidery was while earning a badge in Girl Scouts, then jump forward to this kit. You are right, charming and beautiful. My photo didn’t show the detail of all those little knots…


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