personal, writer's block

Traveling Queen

I’m back. I know you didn’t know I was gone, because I don’t like the world to know my family and I are away from the house. Let’s see, since the second week of June, I’ve been to Houston to take my daughter to see her boyfriend graduate; Austin, to drop off my daughter for orientations at The University of Texas; and then to Granbury, to take care of my mother after her surgery.(She is doing great, btw)

I am so glad to have the summer off work to be able to do all this travelling, but I am ready to be home. I’m ready to read, watch all the seasons of LOST (I’ve never seen the last season.), and try to get my nerve up to start a new story.

I haven’t written in so long…I’m rather scared. I know more now and it is rather paralyzing. Yeah, I’ve said all this before and you can roll your eyes. I’m rolling my eyes. What is it about me that can’t just sit down and write for the enjoyment of writing?  I know what I need to do. Just write. Just write a story. And another. And another. Writing more than one manuscript will be the best tool to equip me to write.

So,  if I don’t stop by your blogs as much, if I don’t blog as much, if I don’t tweet as much, maybe I am just writing.

research, therapy

Do Your Characters Need Therapy?

Have you ever developed a character, given them a unique backstory, only to wonder how they would react in certain situations? Have you wondered how certain personalities act when obstacles litter their path? Well, I have the perfect resource for you!

Your characters just might need some “couch time” with Jeannie Campbell, The Character Therapist. She has an amazing website that offers a variety of resources to help you develop your characters into realistic, believable people. Here’s how Jeannie can help aspiring writer’s….

1) Write characters more realistically.
Using a search engine to find out information about a mental disorder yields a very different result than asking a therapist who has treated those same problems in real life. Instead of getting a bunch of stale facts, I can help you breathe life into your characters while taking into consideration your unique story world.

2) Plot more feasibly. 
Plotting the external conflict around your characters internal conflict is essential to create tension on every page. Understanding the character’s driving goals and motivation in relation to their emotional state will help you figure out what plot points need to occur to maximize the character’s arc to its fullest potential.

3) Avoid clichéd or incorrect depictions of mental disorders.
My passion is helping those not afflicted with mental disorders understand those who are. Since one in four adults have a mental disorder, the likelihood of one of your characters having one is pretty high. But you want every nuance to ring true about the character, not feel cardboard cutout or stereotyped. So pick my brain instead of yours to avoid pitfalls of re-writing later.

Have I piqued your curiosity?  Think your characters might benefit from some couch time?

Jeannie Campbell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. She is Head of Clinical Services for a large non-profit and enjoys working mainly with children and couples. She has a Masters of Divinity in Psychology and Counseling and bachelors degrees in both psychology and journalism. Two of Jeannies “therapeutic romance” manuscripts have garnered the high praise of being finalists in the Genesis Contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), of which she is an active member. She writes a popular monthly column for Christian Fiction Online Magazineand has been featured in many other e-zines, newspapers, and blogs.