Notes for a Novel

Copyright L. N. Holmes a. k. a. LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams
Copyright L. N. Holmes a. k. a. LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams

So I discovered quite a bit when researching for my NaNoWriMo novel. I learned that chicken of the woods makes a good meat substitute, hence its name. I learned that Valerian root is rumored to help with insomnia among other things. Also, I reaffirmed the difference between a lamb and a sheep.

Among many other things, I began my character sketches. For my major characters, I used the Creative Writing Now website’s “Questionnaires for Writing Character Profiles.” It’s really rather helpful to see your major characters as whole individuals that need depth. It makes them human and real.

I want my character to resonate with as many readers as possible. This is difficult. How can I make a character impact a white man and a black woman, a citizen from the U. S. and a citizen from the Dominican Republic, an atheist and a devout Christian? That is the question I am trying to solve. I want my novel to target a specific audience, yes, but I also want it to appeal to others.

If anyone has suggestions, I’d be open to them.



  1. From my experience, there is no way to appeal to all (or even most) readers. No conscious way, anyway. I think the key is for your characters to be real, full-fleshed people in your own mind and heart before you put them on the page. You need to know more about them than the reader will ever know.

    They should be living, breathing people to you, with great qualities and weaknesses, with hang-ups and preferences. And a history.

    If you have a hard time doing this in your own mind/notes, there are templates out there that prompt you to answer all sorts of questions as if you’re your character. Helps you to become them in a way that brings them to life. Alice Orr’s book No More Rejections has a very in depth questionnaire that I’ve used with my writing students and it seems to help them. Good luck and happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Keeping Up with NaNoWriMo: No Complaints Here | A Vase of Wildflowers

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