Thompson On…Building Believable Characters!

Character Development: Filling Out A
Character Resume!


            Plausible and complex characters are crucial to
successful storytelling. This entails not only the protagonist, but the antagonist
and a carnival of minor characters.

The importance of character development was hammered
home to me at the AJC-Decatur Book Festival when New York Times Best Selling
Author N. M. Kelby did an impressive two-hour presentation on Character

Think of any great book and the main
character pops into your mind: Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennett, The
Great Gatsby
: Nick Carraway, Janie Starks: Their Eyes Were Watching God, To
Kill a Mockingbird
: Scout Finch, Devil in a Blue Dress:
Easy Rawlins, etc. The list can go on and on with many examples from

Your Main Character:

1. Delivers
your point of view to your readers

2. Is
identified forever with your book.

3. Is
memorable and creates lasting memories for your readers.

All your characters should respond to
their experiences by changing or by working hard to avoid changing. As they
seek to carry out their agendas, run into conflicts, or fail or succeed, and
confront new problems, they will not stay the same.

If you want to write a successful
novel, you must create a realistic group of characters to move your plot along.

How do you get to know your Characters?

You must create a character resume for your protagonist, antagonist and a few
of your minor characters.

Think of using a resume as if a
character was applying for a job in your novel. You must complete a resume for
your characters. This will give you the opportunity to get to know them.

For my fourth novel, Purple
, I had to develop totally new characters from the novels in my trilogy,
A Brownstone In Brooklyn, Philly Style and Philly Profile and Ghost
of Atlanta

Before I even wrote a word of Purple
Phantoms I filled out a resume for all the major characters. This helped me get
to know all the people who will carry the storyline in this novel.

Will you use everything in a resume?
The answer: No!

What you do learn is how your characters will react in certain
stressful situations and critical moments in your book.

How can you put your characters in
critical situations if you don’t know the personalities?

You need to fill out a Character
to help find the answers.

I have a character resume form that I
use for the protagonist, antagonist and minor characters.

From past
experience, I’ve learned the importance of developing this resume, which
contains many questions. You don’t want to delve into your book and still don’t
know what makes your characters tick.

Here is an example of a few of the questions in the resume:

Character Name:

Address & Phone Number:

Date & Place of Birth:

Height/Weight/Physical Description:

Citizenship/Ethnic Origin:

Parents’ Names & Occupations:

Other Family Members:

Spouse or Lover:

Friends’ Names & Occupations:

Social Class:



Social Class:


ETC. (Many More

Please email me,,  requesting a blank character resume form and I will email it to you.

I also want to leave you with this thought:

“Keep Writing,

Keep Believing,

And Never Give Up On Your Dreams”





Bloodlines, Tales From the African Diaspora Book Review!

Veronica Henry’s short story anthology, Bloodlines, Tales From the African Diaspora, creates an awesome impression. Ms. Henry put together a collection of short stories by authors who not only entertain, but allow the reader to experience  places they will never visit and people they will never meet.
Each of the fourteen short stories excites and moves the reader to turn the pages to experience adventure.  The stories range from Ronald Jones’ African sci-fi adventure Skyboat Strangers, Boureima Igodiame Soumana’s tale of a stolen child in Near But Far, Eleanor Adams’ edgy experience of African-American women in Along Racial Lines and Kalunda Bockarie’s voyage to a futuristic prison on the moon in Lunar Slam.
Each of the author’s creativity is expressed in developing unique and compelling characters. You are drawn into each story  with characters that energize word pictures that pull the reader into the  storylines. The settings are realistic and the scenes are crammed full of  action.
This is like experiencing a fourteen-course gourmet meal, with each  course tasteful, flavorful and satisfies a variety of genre appetites. There is  something for every reader to enjoy and experience.

Good Bye Borders!!!

Julius Thompson

When the announcement cameyesterday that the bookstore chain Borders has announced that it will seek liquidation and close its remaining stores, it was another attack on the printbook format.

Theywill close 399 stores which mean that over three-hundred outlets for author’sbooks will be unavailable for authors at the end of the fourth week of July

This is very, very sad news!

This is another casualty in thelong drawn-out decline of the paperback and hard cover book formats.

I remember when I was marketing my first novel, ABrownstone in Brooklyn and Philly Style and Philly Profile, the venues for new authors was nil. Today, it is even harder forauthors to get book event at major venues.

For years I tried vainly to getbook signings in bookstores to prove to the reading public that I was alegitimate author.

I walked into many bookstores andgot a resounding “No”!

I went to the Stonecrest MallBorders in Lithonia, Georgiawithout much confidence in getting a chance at a book signing.

Imet the store manager and told him I was a local author and teacher at a Dekalb County High School. He was very gracious and receptive and loved the
idea of a local teacher getting a chance at a book signing.

Heintroduced me to the community relations manager and I had my first major bookstore event!

I sold over fifteen copies on thatSaturday afternoon and gave out tons of marketing material, but mainly this wasmy first major exposure at a major book event venue.

Thatone signature moment, in my career as an author, lead to me getting speakingopportunities at other major chain outlets and eventually a stint as a
presenter at the AJC-Decatur Book Festival, The Virginia Festival of the Book,Buffalo Book Fair, New York City Book Festival and other major book festivals.

Now, I wonder where the road wouldhave taken me if it wasn’t for a manager at a Borders store that gave a newauthor a chance to showcase his work.

Good Bye Borders you will bemissed!!!!

Julius Thompson’s Ebooks at Fifty-Percent!

Julius Thompson

Julius Thompson’s first two novels in the Thrillogy are on sale at at a fifty percent discount. What a deal! You can get A Brownstone in Brooklyn and Philly Style and Philly Profile for half price.

This deal will only be good until July 31, 2011. It ‘s a chance to get two Ebooks for the price of one. For Philly Style and Philly Profile and A Brownstone in Brooklyn: Use the code SSW50 at checkout for 50% discount.
Please cut and paste this link,, into your browser to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

A Brownstone In Brooklyn chronicles the life-altering events that shape the future of Andy Michael Pilgrim, a young man growing up in the turbulent sixties.

In Philly Style and Philly Profile, the second novel in the Julius Thompson Trilogy, the reader folllows Andy Michael Pilgrim from Brooklyn to Philadelphia where he works as a sportswriter in the seventies watching the influence of drugs and gangs destroy young people’s lives.
Don’t miss this chance to get the first two books in the Julius Thompson Thrillogy for the price of ONE. Please cut and paste this link into your browser to order these books: Remember, the deadline is July 31, 2011 and the discount code: SSW50