Daughters of Avalon Publishing
The Importance of Characterization

©2011 Tambra Kendall

I hope this post on characterization is helpful. Sometimes just hearing something explained in a different way by another writer makes the AHA! moment occurs. This is adjusted from my Characterization and Plotting online workshop. If anyone is interested in taking the workshop, I'm teaching the last one of the year coming up at the end of October for Savvy Authors http://www.savvyauthors.com

I'm looking forward to your comments on this topic.


Daughters of Avalon Publishing

How do you start? I find the character chart an excellent beginning. It lets you see the development of the character as you fill in the information. These charts are fluid enough so you can change as needed for those who write by the seat of their pants.

I can't stress enough the importance of knowing your characters. You need to go deep to make them three-dimensional. You are creating a character with a past, present and a future. They have emotions, likes, dislikes and their point of view is how they view the world around them. Keep this in mind as you fill out the chart/charts.

You can always change things, as you get further along in a story and learn the character more. The charts also give you a quick reference on character statistics. When you work on multiple stories at a time this can really help and save you from using the find/search feature. This reference will help when you have to fill out cover art forms for a publisher.

Don’t be alarmed if you don’t have all the blanks filled out on the charts. Ideas will come to you as the character develops and becomes more real. Later on, you can to go back and make adjustments or fill in areas you didn’t know the answers to. Some authors have characters hit them full-fledged, while others have created this character in their mind and its just a matter of writing down the facts.

A story is fluid so don’t be afraid to make changes. On the other hand, if you change too much you’re going to have huge problems. As a writer, you need to learn how to balance this and that comes with practice. If this occurs, you need to step back and examine the documents. You might have too much information for one book.

Remember as your creating your characters they are not supposed to be perfect, they need flaws or else the reader won’t be able to identify with them. Without flaws, the character can’t grow and learn what they need to by the end of the book. It’s part of the character arc.This is one of the ways a three dimensional character is built.


Character Charts and Interviews

If you’ve filled the character charts and still have problems getting to know your main characters, you can do a character interview. You can have a critique partner or writing friend help, which is fun. If no one is around you can do this on your own, so no worries.

Pretend your sitting across from your character and talk to them. Write down what you discover. Many authors have overcome plot obstacles, stumbling blocks this way. This may be where you begin to see how character motivation and plot are connected.

If you don’t have any charts, here are two charts to get you started. (Even if you do, sometimes having some extra charts with different items is all the muse needs to get going.)

Fill out for charts for each: hero, heroine and villain. A strong villain is needed so you need to know him/her too. Since your hero and heroine must be strong characters, so must your villain.
Character Development Chart

Title of Story:

Publisher: (or target publisher, if you know this)

Main character:

Physical description:

Personal Background:

Character Traits:

3 positive, 3 negative

Character Tags:



Mannerisms/Habits good or bad:

Character’s Greatest Fear:

Character’s Greatest Desire:

Self-Concept (How does character see themselves):

Favorite Environment:


Internal Motivation:

External Motivation:




Wicked Temptations was formerly publsihed by Whiskey Creek Press Torrid in my Celtic Love Knots Vol. 9 anthology. This one is a  little longer and it has a gorgeous cover designed by Kath Urbahn of Kath Urbahn Publishing.
This short erotic paranormal romance is available from Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble online (Nook) and Xinxii.

The links to buy:




The price is $0.99 USD.
Book blurb:
Laria MacCleod is the owner of Wicked Temptations, a teashop known for its pastries and scones.

Hamish Wallace, owns the building across the street from Laria. He is aggressive in his tactics, pushing her to sell her property, despite Laria's adamant refusals. The land Laria owns is sacred to the Fae. Laria and the women in her family are endowed with magical abilities in exchange for their role as protectors and keepers of the grove.

Laria needs a hero. Handsome patron and shortbread lover, attorney Cameron Logan fits the role perfectly.

The attraction between Laria and Cameron sizzle white-hot while Hamish's evil intentions endanger the lives of Laria, Cameron and the Fae.

I hope you enjoy the story!
I'd love to hear from my readers, too.

 and Sparky Lionel Urban, Offishul Mewz

May 1, 2011 was the official opening day of Daughters of Avalon Publishing.

Christmas of Hope is now available from Smashwords and Amazon, any day now. This story received 5 coffee cups review from Coffee Time Romance.

This title will also be offered in print. As soon as this is available, I'll post the details of where you can buy it.

If anyone lives in the Houston area, I'll be speaking at the Bay Area Writers League meeting on June 2, 2011 @ 7:00 pm, the Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Webster, Texas.  I'll be speaking on Characterization and Plotting.

July 18 to Aug. 1, 2011 I'll be teaching an online class for Savvy Authors on the Basics of Romance Writing. If you've always wanted to write a romance, here is your chance to learn how to get started in the genre. Romance is over 50% of books sales in paperback and trade. We who write romance are proud to contribute to such a large piece of the success of publishing.

The contest:  Rules of the contest,  Leave a comment on the blog here or on my www.tambrakendall.blogspot.com blog for the month of May and I will draw from the list of names on May 31, 2011. The prize will be mailed out the first week of June, assuming I have all the information required. If an international name is chosen, a gift card will be given in lieu of the prize.
Included in the prize will be a set of Tambra Kendall's unique greeting cards.
I'm looking forward to putting the prize package together for the winner.

Tambra Kendall
Daughters of Avalon Publishing

Sparky Urban: terror-ier and cutest Muse. I haz hijackeded da compenny blog. Good books and fun goes hand-in-hand if yews a hoomum, in doggie's case it be paw-to-paw. My mama's books are good and fun. Like she say, "nothing better than writing about love."
If yews want to write my mama teach writing classes online at Savvy Authors. She have class coming up there on July 18, 2011 on the Basics of Romance Writing.
Oh yeah, Sparky Urban hafs stuff at our Cafe Press store and I haz a Facebook page.


Hello everyone and welcome to the Daughters of Avalon Publishing website!

The opening day for the company is May 1, 2011-Beltane. 
For those that don't know about Beltane, this information comes from Caitlin Matthews who has written many wonderful books about Celtic Mythology.
"May eve brought the real beginning of summer , the time when leaves were beginning to show and when flowers made every meadow colourful. This was quite the first real opportunity for the tribe to leave its winter quarters and go visiting. An extended clan would be able to gather to celebrate this feast, discuss the news and make plans for the upcoming season. It was at this time the major gatherings and fairs were held. Beasts were purified from their long winter confinement in barns and yards by being driven between two fires, so killing off any possible lingering infections. This feast was under the aegis of the Shining One, Belenos, thous we lack much reference to the nature of his rites. The release from the winter confinement heralded ecstatic celebrations. As the sidhe doors were open, this night was also one for the Faery revels."

And so begins the journey of Daughters of Avalon Publishing. Coming into the light and celebrating books to bring a smile to your face and make you feel good inside. Stories of love and laughter. suspense and intrigue. Stories with characters you'll come back and revisit like comfortable friends.

On on opening day, I'll begin a contest to celebrate the official opening of the company. A goodie basket, which I'll post a picture of as soon as I gather all the items together.

I extend my hands in welcome and invite you to come and join me here for conversation, books and all things Celtic.

All my best,
Tambra Kendall
First Post! 04/08/2011
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