Interview with a Writer: Gail Z. Martin

Gail Z. Martin is a New York Times Bestselling author who generously shares her time and expertise with the members of the Charlotte Writers Group. Individual members and the group has grown with her mentorship. We asked for little more of her time to learn a little more about her.


Question: What role has Charlotte Writers Group played in your writing journey?

Answer: I got to know CWG through Darin Kennedy, who came to one of my signings at Park Road Books. He hung out with me and we talked for a long time, and I told him about my Thrifty Author Meetup group. Next thing I knew, Darin had invited the CWG gang to the Meetup, many of whom have become regulars in the years since then. I count all those folks as friends, and we’ve all grown and supported each other.

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Interview with a Writer: Dawn Patterson

Dawn Patterson is long-standing regular attendee of our Saturday critique group. We asked her to tell us a little more about herself, her writing and the role Charlotte Writers Group has had in her journey.


Question: What role has Charlotte Writers Group played in your writing journey?

Answer: Being a member of CWG has increased my writing knowledge in a compressed amount of time. The internet provides tons of advice and techniques on writing, but nothing compares to someone pointing out specific areas for improvement in your own stories. Personal instruction provides more impact and greater retention of lessons while in a friendly, supportive environment. Outside of meetings, friends from CWG provide me with editorial support, industry insights, and oft-needed encouragement. (Thanks, Caryn and Ann!)

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Creating Characters

Writing Installation Art image
Creating characters doesn’t have to be messy… unless you want it to be.

There are as many ways to tell fictional tales as there are people writing them, and every writer uses different methods to tell their stories. Creating a believable character is particularly challenging to some because it’s far too easy to slip up and express stereotypes without really intending to. For instance, someone writing a work of fantasy set in the Civil War might unintentionally create a Colonel Sanders (late owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken) type of character which, while possibly humorous, might not be what they wanted. Worse yet, relying on stereotypes could catch a writer by surprise, should they unintentionally offend a portion of their readership. Ideally, should a writer like to include a character with a different background from that of the writer, they should do a certain amount of research on the subject – be it through anthropological and historical studies, or talking and paying attention to people who might fit the bill.  Continue reading “Creating Characters”