Friday, September 24, 2010

Compelling Characters and The Stone Traveler


Triple duty today, kids.

I am part of The Stone Traveler blog tour and my stop on the tour is today.

I also signed up for The Great Blogging Experiment where over 150 bloggers will be sharing their thoughts on Writing Compelling Characters and today is the day of the experiment! (Find list of other bloggers here.)

Also, I must point out that I was interviewed at Sarah M. Eden's website today at I Need Friends Friday. (I don't know how to make this picture smaller...sorry.)


(I vow to consult my calendar a little more closely next time.)

Maybe we can roll the rest of this into one big ball of blog fun. Let's get started...

I'd like to talk about the compelling character I just read about in The Stone Traveler by Kathi Oram Peterson. (See how I smushed the topics into one mass right there?)

Tag is one of the point of view characters in this time travel story. He's the perfect example of a compelling character because though he tries to fool everyone by his unique exterior, we get a few clues into his heart and find him a very sympathetic kid. He's dyed his formally red hair jet black, he wears black eyeliner and black nail polish (and this is Idaho), plus the requisite black attire and chains that would round out such a look. Yet, his mother says, "Tag, you might dye your hair and paint your face, but you can't change your blue eyes." His mother still sees a spark of his real self and so can we as we come to know him through the story.

At the start, Tag shows he's got some oomph when he decides not to join a local gang, the Primes. It's a great reversal after being shown what he's dressed like as he heads out to school that morning. He shows his spark when he feels obligated to rescue the cousin he despises from a gang beating. He doesn't want to, but he does it anyway.

A compelling character is one who despite the way they portray themselves, we see there's a small spark of something good or even great, and we discover it as we read. It's the spark that catches our attention. It's the contrasts and surprising reversals that make them compelling.

Tag pays for his deed when his mom sends him off to his grandpa's for the summer with the despised cousin. Time travel ensues when Tag is thrust back into ancient America and meets up with Samuel the Lamanite's daughter. (If you know your Book of Mormon history you'll be saying, "What daughter?" but that's where the fiction and the fun begins.)

Now for details of the book and amazing prize pack! Keep in mind that I was supposed to announce this tour a long time ago. Now you'll have to play catch up and go comment on all the blog posts to be entered to win the amazing-of-all-amazing Grand Prizes.

The Stone Traveler - Blog Tour Contest

When: Weekdays in September.

Important Rule: Leave a comment on "every" site on the tour.

Monday through Friday commenter names will be collected from the blog tour. On Saturday a name will be drawn to win a prize that includes a very cuddly toy jaguar; a stone necklace; and chocolates with the flavor of South America—real cacao and chili. The winner will be announced on the following Monday.


The GRAND prize for The Stone Traveler blog tour will be a (drumroll, please) Kindle. (Yes, KINDLE!)


The cutoff to be eligible is midnight on September 30. The winner will be announced October 4th. If you find the tour midway through (hmm, like here on my blog?) and want to participate, you can still go back and comment on every blog simply by going to kathiswritingnook.com. Starting in September the sidebar will list each stop on the tour as they are posted, making it very easy to click to any of the sites and leave a comment. AND even if you’ve already won one of the weekly drawings, your name will still go in the jar for the Kindle.

TOMORROW I WILL POST MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR KATHI ORAM PETERSON!

36 comments:

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Great review. I really enjoyed Tag's character as well. The black clothes and everything might have been how he wanted to express himself, but he was still Tag inside. :)

Christina Dymock said...

Thanks for the review. Tag is a great character.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow - you're a busy girl! I've been looking forward to reading The Stone Traveler! :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Your multi-tasking abilities astound me. That is all.

Meagan Winder (redhead) said...

Great review Tag is a cool character except for a few minutes toward the end and he drives me bonkers!!!

Krista V. said...

Thanks for your review, Valerie. Way to pull triple duty. Oh, and I love the subtitle of your blog:)

Laura Marcella said...

Great review about Tag's character! It goes well with all the blogs today commenting on how to create compelling characters. I can't wait to read The Stone Traveler! Thanks for the review!

Tracy Loewer said...

You've got so much going on! Great review!

MT said...

I still can't get over Kathi's generous grand prize. Thanks for the review. This is a fun blog tour. :)

lettucehead said...

Very good take on compelling characters by introducing us to Tag. A lot going on with you, so five stars!

emfawcett said...

Fantastic review!!! Amazing blog!

Rachelle said...

Awesome post full of all kinds of writing goodness! :) Love that I need friends button--it's hilarious.

brendajean said...

Thanks for the review. It's great when we can see that spark in a character and watch them grow!

bchild5@aol.com

Melissa said...

Way to multi-task. Wow. Great review, great post. Good job!

Glynis said...

I hiked over from Kathi's blog, before heading into the jungle with her again. I am so glad I sat and took a rest here. Great review and post.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

NIce job...Tag sounds like a compelling character. :)

lbdiamond said...

"A compelling character is one who despite the way they portray themselves, we see there's a small spark of something good or even great, and we discover it as we read. It's the spark that catches our attention. It's the contrasts and surprising reversals that make them compelling."

--LOVE this!

Great post! :D

Elizabeth Morgan said...

I love the review!

Cinette said...

Great post. Kudos for rolling it all together!

Renae said...

Great review, I loved how you worked the two in together!

Ben Spendlove said...

Now I have to get a hold of the book and read it.

Valerie Ipson said...

Good luck everyone in the Kindle contest. When you win, can I borrow it from you? (Actually, maybe I need to enter myself and I'll loan it to you)

N. R. Williams said...

This is an intriguing character. Good job seeding our desire to read this book.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Susan R. Mills said...

Okay, I'm a little jealous of your ability to combine multiple blog responsibilities. Good for you! Great post.

Annette Lyon said...

Actually, pairing a review with the blogging experiment is kind of cool! I love Sarah's INFF. I'll have to check that out too.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Sounds like another book I need to read. My tbr pile is going to crush me one of these days!

carolsnotebook said...

Tag does sounds like a compelling character.

M.R.Bunderson said...

Wow, so much going on. Thanks for the review, I'm excited to read it.

Taffy said...

Good review!
Now over to Sarah's blog to read your interview.

Peggy Urry said...

This sounds like a great read - and one I can pass on to my kids. So many good books, so little time. :-)

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

What a great way to make your post serve triple duty!

Jenn Wilks said...

I'm definitely excited to read this book! Tag sounds like a great character, and I am very intrigued to read about Samuel the Lamanite's daughter! How fun. :o)

Catia Nunes said...

It was great how Tag changed so dramatically from the beginning to the end of the book. I love it!

Jilly Bean said...

Can't wait to read it! Great Review.

flsongbyrd said...

I love your blog page. The review was great. Can't wait to read this book.

Lori Bottomley said...

Your blog post was fun to read. I also loved the teaching moment about compelling characters. Good stuff.

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