Saturday, 27 October 2012

Toby Farrier: Character Profile

To create my new novel TOBY FARRIER I need to construct the details of each character.

I have adapted a sheet developed by Merlene Fawdrey, converting the information into a table that I can use to build character profiles for the protagonists of each story.

I find a written character profile to be absolutely necessary, it helps me maintain consistency through the story. When I was writing KUNDELA for some reason I changed the names of the two characters part way through and it took ages to fix. I also read on Fleur McDonald's website that she uses photos as prompts as well and so later today I may be seen carousing the newsagent's shelves for teen magazines.

For the next week only, here is a look at what makes Toby, Toby.

NAME:                                               :  Toby Farrier

Position in story:                                 :  Main Character

15 yrs
Socioeconomic level as a child:
Lower Middle Class
Socioeconomic level as an adult:
Stanhope Victoria
Current residence:
Lives with Arthur in Brunswick
Year 10 Student
Bright Student, Inquisitive, loves writing and loyal
Pocket Money from home only
Birth order:
Siblings (describe relationship):
Eldest child who disrupts his other 2 siblings
Spouse/partner (describe relationship):
Children (describe relationship):
Parents (describe relationship):
Father: Darren        Mother: Tracy  have a hard time with Toby’s disruptive behaviour.
Grandparents (describe relationship):
Arthur Farrier takes him in and gives him a new focus.
Grandchildren (describe relationship):
Significant others (describe relationship):
Relationship skills:
Good communicator, has made new friends since moving to the city.
Physical Characteristics
160 cm
55 kg
Eye Colour:
Hair Colour:
Black spiky styled hair with blonde tips
Glasses or contact lenses?
Gold rimmed round lenses
Skin colour:
Light olive
Shape of face:
Square good looking pinned earlobes
Distinguishing features:
Jagged scar on left cheek from a broken bottle in a school yard fight
How does he/she dress?
Likes skinny leg jeans, white muscle Tee shirts and sand shoes.
Once fidgety and on edge he has calmed under Arthur’s tutelage
Habits: (smoking, drinking/drugs/addictions etc.)
Loves Allen’s Snakes and enjoys a roast lunch with Arthur on Sundays
Any physical illnesses?
Fine never sick
Played a bit of Aussie rules to please his dad but would sooner read and write stories.
Favourite sayings:
Come on Toby focus, we can do this. Maate!
Speech patterns:
Normal well spoken Aussie English
Style (Elegant, shabby etc.):
Trendy Target
Greatest flaw:
Quick to anger but now under control
Best quality:
Loyal and Honest
Personality Attributes and Attitudes
Educational Background:
Still at school
Intelligence Level:
Top 10 student in every class at high school
Any Mental Illnesses?
Parents thought he had ADHD but a change of glasses by Arthur’s optometrist turns his attitudes
Learning Experiences:
Watches listens learns ad takes lots of notes
Character's short-term goals in life:
Get through school
Character's long-term goals in life:
Famous novelist
How does Character see himself/herself?
Confident and able no challenge too big.
How does Character believe he /she is perceived by others?
Super cool by a few friends but despised by the thug element in his school because of his quick whit
How self-confident is the character?
He doesn’t believe his own publicity grounded and knows his limitations. Works to his strengths
Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof?
What would most embarrass this character
Being reminded of his early ADHD (he keeps this link very close to his chest)
Spiritual Characteristics
Does the character believe in God?
He hasn’t been influenced or exposed to any formal religion but wonders about an afterlife
What are the character's spiritual beliefs?
Is religion or spirituality a part of this character's life?
If so, what role does it play?


Friday, 26 October 2012

Novel Writing Report

Pitching our stories was the main focus for the workshop this week. The idea behind the exercise was to prepare those of us seeking a publisher to be aware of the pitfalls and difficulties when promoting your work.

I decided to go with a novel that will be written as part of the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word challenge in November. I thought I was prepared, One page handout, done. Synopsis, done. Chapter outlines, done. Character sheets, done. Once I had given my spiel, Toby Farrier and the secret of the gold fountain pen would be a winner.

I was ready or so I thought. I should have practised the pitch instead of trying to wing it. Normally I have little problem when presenting a product but this was different, even though I knew the story well felt at home with the characters and was among friends, I choked. I knew it as soon as I opened my mouth and the words died on my tongue.

The lesson was not lost. I watched as each of my colleagues presented their work and why they should be accepted for publication. I learnt something from everyone and I have to commend Merlene Fawdrey for including this in her series of workshops, this one exercise has taught us much.

A big shout to author Chris Mack who absolutely smashed the presentation with her pitch. Not only did she know her work,but she came across confident and engaging. Hell we all had our hands in our pocket to buy her book, and yes she was that good. Check out Chris's blog by clicking on the link below.

To do this again I will do the following:
    • Dress for the part.  (clothes maketh the man and the presentation)
    • Practise the pitch beforehand.
    • Leave handouts until after the pitch.
    • Sell the story 80% the Author 20% (if the story doesn't capture the interest, the author talking about themselves  will be boring anyway)
    • Take nothing for granted.
I will put up my pitch over the weekend and ask for comments on Toby Farrier.

Chris Mack's Blog:

Merlene Fawdrey :

Julee Stillman:

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lorraine Jones Wins Brimbank Writing Comtionpeti

Congratulations to Lorraine Jones a fellow member of Wordsmiths of Melton in winning this award. Some of us just bash the down words onto paper while Lorraine manages to craft a well structured story and craft it into a piece of prize-winning art.

Read more of Lorraine's pathway to literary success by clicking on this link to the article in the Star Newspaper.

Star Newspaper Article:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Wordsmiths of Melton

I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work
I really must re-read my work

I have done it Miss, I have done my 20 lines. 

I need to take a better look at the work I put up for critique next time as not only did I make some new clangers, but repeated some of  the originals in the re-write. I now feel suitably chastised and have promised myself to do better next time.

Overall a great day today with Frank Lorraine Jenny, Julee and Les. Thanks for the help and encouragement Wordsmiths.

NaNoWriMo Challenge Entry In

Well my entry is in and accepted so the quest before me is to write a 50,000 word novel within  November. I have done the maths and that is only 1,620 words a day or 10,000 a week. Now it's starting to feel more daunting but what the heck I can only do my best.

For anyone who has considered trying their hand at a longer work this might be the thing to get our creativity started. From the rules (and I will go over them more carefully) this is not about perfect writing, the main aim is to get your story down. Bash away at the keys and let things flow, the target number is what you're aiming for.

I understand that you can plot and assemble your characters beforehand but to get into the spirit of the event, you only start the writing on November 1st.

When filling out the entry form I needed a title so looking around my desk I saw an old pen I no longer use. The title of this young adult novel is 'The Golden Fountain Pen'.

I will report my word count progress as November flashes past and offer glimpses of the tale as it develops.

You can access the NaNoWriMo website via this link: I recommend taking up the challenge or even just visiting to see how other writers from around the world are doing.

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Thanks for dropping in

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Last week to read Molly's Boat Ride

If you haven't had a chance to read this short children's story, you only have a week to check out the rough draft on the blog. I will be polishing this story to get it ready to include with a collection of short stories to be published in December,

Monday, 8 October 2012

Ode to the Wordsmiths of Melton

Ode to the Wordsmiths of Melton

We've got this little writer's group
Who meet to read and rhyme
And on Wednesdays at Library
We try to be on time
Frank is here to lead our lot
And keep us all in line
While me and Les and Toni
Cause Julee just to frown
Sonia sits there smiling and serene
But our stocks are always bolstered
By the wisdom of Merlene



Friday, 5 October 2012

Stinky Jones Rewrite

Stinky is a story about assumptions people make about those they don't know and how those assumptions can prejudice the views of others. I am very happy with the concept but feel I can tell the story better with a rewrite.

This tale is now in it's final draft and will be released in a compilation of short stories later this year.



Time for a kick in the pants

Okay so I haven't put anything on the blog for a few days, nor have I made an attempt to write anything more than an occasional e-mail. I am a chronic procrastination sufferer and this disease is one of laziness. Not something that has been clinically diagnosed, it's more a journey of self discovery and awareness.

I once read if you can't find inspiration to continue writing your work, write about the lack of original thought until you begin to get back into the habit. Today this is what I'm doing, giving myself a well intentioned kick in the pants.

Wordsmiths of Melton didn't meet last Wednesday as it was our first week of the month and the room we use at the library is occuppied, not a key was touched. At our last meeting the group were discussing their entries in the Melton Story Competition and although we have all agreed to submit something I am finding the story hard to develop, several themes rattle around in a skull berefit of original ideas and the echo of defeat resounds in my mind.

Well that's enough self pity from me for now, I feel the kicking complete and and idea developing.

Thanks for the visit, but I have to get on with my writing now.