Character Drift

Has this ever happened to you while writing your novel? 

One of your characters starts off as a nasty young man, but somewhere in the middle of the story, he slowly changes into an indifferent one when he should still be nasty.  I call this character drift.  It happens a lot for a variety of reasons and it’s real problem, especially, the nasty character has to be nasty at the climax.  If this character is no longer nasty, the climax has the potential to fail.

I created a character spreadsheet to help prevent this drift. The more characters the story has, the more valuable this aid is.  The spreadsheet is much larger than what is shown in the graphic below.

Check it out here:


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Mapping Your Fictional World

Many stories require the writer to draw maps of the area involved in the action.

This is especially true for fantasy and sci-fi novels in which an entire now world is created for the characters to romp around in. In these instances, the author can hand-draw the map or he can utilize software.  The output of the software programs allow the maps to be inserted into the book.  This way the reader can use the map to follow the action.

That’s the theory anyway.  I have to admit the maps in some novels I’ve read confuse me more than they have enlighten me.

Below are links to four such programs.  They are listed without comments from me since I haven’t used any of them.

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Writers and Authors Resource Center

I’ve been writing fiction for over twenty years, I’ve been self-publishing for more than ten and I’ve been lecturing for at least ten years.

During that time, I have gathered a lot of experience, and gained some expertise in fiction writing and publishing. I’ve also accumulated a lot of material relevant to fiction writing, self-publishing and book marketing.

I have often thought about creating a library of some sort and collect all his articles, lectures, books, videos and other material under on a website where writers and authors looking for help could find.
I’ve finally done it!

I created a separate section on his website for all this material. It’s called Writers & Authors Resource Center. The main page is at It has links to all the other pages.

Check it out and see if there is something you need.  You may want to bookmark this page because more content will soon be added.

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I’ve started a new project: webinars.


Using the EZTalk website and software, I’ll be presenting live webinars about once a month.  The first topic is How to Self-publish and Market a Book.  It will be a free 2-part lecture.  The details are:

Part 1: June 23: 1:00PM  Click here to register

Part 2: June 25: 1:00PM Click here to register

Future webinars will cover:

Writing satire

Mind-mapping a novel

Converting a manuscript to an ebook

Book marketing fundamentals

and other topics


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Not Guilty Excerpt

Today, I welcome fellow author C.Lee McKenzie to my website.

She’s the author of Not Guilty, a novel about a teen-age protagonist who is found guilty of an assault he didn’t do.  He is sentenced to time in a juvenile detention center and learns to struggle with and survive his situation.

At the moment, Not Guilty has a 4.9 star average reviews on Amazon and that’s not bad.  The ebook is available from:






You can also find it on Goodreads.

Here is an except:

Chapter Two


That next morning, the radio alarm woke Devon, blasting news about an assault on Sugar Cove Beach yesterday afternoon. Without opening his eyes, he fumbled for the sleep button. He didn’t want to think about yesterday afternoon. He didn’t want to think about Sugar Cove. He didn’t want to think about anything. He pulled the covers over his head and fell back to sleep. 

When he finally got out of bed, it was too late to shower or eat breakfast. He barely made it to class in time for first bell.

The rest of that day came special delivery from hell. Kristen still wouldn’t believe him. She’d double-checked with Briana about his car and Briana was positive. He lost his temper, said something about Briana that he shouldn’t have, and Kristen stomped away. Every time he tried to corner her at school, she dodged him. He texted her. She didn’t text back. He called her. She hung up twice, and then she stopped answering. 

At dinner that night, his parents were super-pissed about the ticket and tossed around the idea of mothballing his car, his dad’s Navy vocabulary, until the end of term. His sister saved his bacon when she started in on the assault at Sugar Cove. He tuned it out, glad that his ticket wasn’t the big news anymore. He owed Mia, but he’d never cop to that.

The Tsunamis played okay the rest of the week, but without his head in the game, they weren’t the stars they’d been last Saturday. When Coach put Simon in, Devon hated to admit it, but Simon The Scowl played a better game than he did.

By Sunday afternoon, he was looking for a long vegging-out day with popcorn and a marathon of TV basketball.

His parents were at a movie and Mia was at a friend’s house. Finally, he had the TV room to himself. Except for Buddy, but all his dog needed was his spot on the couch and a rawhide bone. He never hogged the remote.

He’d poured extra butter over the steamy bowl of fluffy white corn and had a handful of napkins to sop up the grease when the doorbell rang.

Buddy pranced ahead of Devon on his way down the hall. Cramming some popcorn into his mouth, Devon opened the door. Two men stood outside.

“Devon Carlyle?” The man on the porch wore a tan shirt and pants with a sheriff’s badge pinned on his jacket.

Because his mouth was still full, Devon nodded.

He recognized the man behind the sheriff as the one who’d given him the speeding ticket.

“We have a search warrant.” The sheriff held out an official-looking paper. “Are your folks home?”

He swallowed. “Uh. No.”

“Then show us your room, please.” The sheriff stepped forward.

“What are––”

“Your room? Which one is it?” the sheriff asked.

Buddy stayed close to his side, whining as Devon led them upstairs. He stood in the doorway, watching the two men open his desk drawers, shuffle through his closet, and search under his bed. Buddy paced, nudging Devon’s hand. He’d picked up on stress signals from his kid.

With each drawer they opened in his room, Devon flinched. He felt stripped, exposed. “What are you after? Tell me!” 

The sheriff straightened from examining behind the dresser. “Anything?” he asked the deputy. The deputy shook his head.

“We’re looking for a wallet.”

Before the thought what that might mean, Devon pulled his out. 

The sheriff glanced at it, shook his head. “We’d like you to come to the sheriff’s office.”


“Hold on. Before you say anything, you’re not a suspect.”


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Falstaff’s Big Gamble Freebie!

My novel about Hamlet and Othello is free for a limited time.

Described as “Shakespeare’s worst nightmare” it changes his two greatest tragedies into comedies.  The story takes place in a fantasy land called Gundarland where Hamlet is a dwarf and Othello is a dark elf.

The ebook is a free download at:


Barnes & Noble



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