Dirty Little Secret (when developing characters), etc.

John and I met on Match.com. That’s not the dirty little secret–so many people have met their beloved through internet dating that’s it’s no longer a big deal. (It is kind of a big deal that he was the seventieth guy I went out with, and worth the wait. I’m glad that’s over with, though. It was like having a part time job.)  While on Match.com , I discovered that it’s not only a good place to meet people who share your interests, but it’s a super way to help you learn about your characters. How’s that, you ask?
I always try to find pictures from magazines or newspapers of people who remind me of my characters. It gives them a new dimension and suddenly, I know them in a different, deeper way. By using an internet dating service (sorry if this sounds creepy!) you can find a picture of a person the right age for your character and he or she is bound to look more alive and real than a model in a magazine. Not only that, but let’s say your character is a thirty-year-old woman who lives in Venice Beach, CA. By looking at what thirty-year-old-women in Venice Beach like to do (rollerblade, surf) and what sort of job they might have (waitressing while waiting for her acting break) you’ve got at least one more dimension to add to your character. It’s an amazing resource. Similarly, Realtors.com is a wonderful way to find your character’s house, and you can make sure it’s in her price range.
Those of you who’ve been following my blogs regarding my Work in Progress know that two of my main characters are fifteen and eighteen. I will NOT be searching for them on the internet. The thought of looking at kids’ pictures really bothers me, as a stepmom and as a human being. I have no problem perusing the grownups’ pictures, but I’ll have to find Allie and Andy in a magazine.
I just returned from a signing at Quail Ridge Books. A new friend, Alexandra Sokoloff, was speaking there and I bought her book, a young-adult/adult horror/ghost story, THE HARROWING. Sounds intriguing. Of course that’s not all I bought–I never get out of there for less than $100. It’s such a great place, though– a thriving, community-oriented independent. I love giving them my support and my $$.  


  1. Lorene on September 13, 2006 at 9:13 am

    Volunteer in a high school for a bit.

  2. Lorene on September 13, 2006 at 9:17 am

    oops! Sent that one a bit too quickly. I wanted to tease you about kissing all those frogs!
    Seriously, I just love reading these updates and want to thank you again for doing this.

  3. Anonymous on September 13, 2006 at 9:45 am

    Diane, I have a friend that met his soon to be fiance on Cupid.com and it’s a match made in heaven. How wonderful that you met your soul-mate this way! Wow, the internet is amazing isn’t it? Everyday I read about your WIP I’m more and more amazed at your process of writing…your wonderful to share this with us and it makes me appreciate you all the more, if that’s possible…

  4. Kathy Holmes on September 13, 2006 at 10:12 am

    70? Talk about perseverance! Maybe if I hang out with you, I’ll get published. 🙂 Seriously, though, I love your posts about your wip – especially since I’m just starting my next book – it’s a great way to share the process.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on September 13, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Lorene, ugh on the frogs! I only kissed a few of those seventy. Seriously, I was very weird about the “phsycial intimacy” part of dating. If I got to the point with a guy that I’d have him over at my house, I always sat on the opposite side of the sectional from him with one of the big throw pillows hugged across my chest. One of them pointed out it looked like my shield–something I hadn’t realized till he said it. Middle-aged dating was just like adolescent dating only with a flabbier body. 🙂

  6. Diane Chamberlain on September 13, 2006 at 10:46 am

    Kathy et al, I’m glad you find the writing posts helpful/interesting. I worry about being boring. I worry about that as a writer, too. Nothing is worse than a boring book!
    and Kathy, when unpublished people ask me how to get published, I tell them they need to have a great story written well, and then persevere! Giving up gets you nowhere.
    Everyone, Kathy has written some wonderful articles on life after forty and on being “fatherless.” Check out her blog and her website.

  7. Anonymous on September 13, 2006 at 11:05 am

    Diane, YOU WILL NEVER BE BORING!…trust me!

  8. Margo on September 13, 2006 at 11:08 am

    Diane, for some reason I just realized my comments were signed anonymous so I keyed in my name again…I’m actually the one who left #3 and #7 comments (-:

  9. Kathy Holmes on September 14, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Diane. And I guess sometimes it takes more than one agent before you get there.

  10. Brenda on September 22, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    How romantic…
    Just think, Diane, people used to MEET as pen pals by snail mail….blind dates-friends…now via Internet…I think this is a terrific 21st Century Concept and have rec. it to many friends.
    This would make a good book…I have written part of one-will never get it finished…but is about a couple meeting that way…
    Brenda (Now don’t you wish I had not shared that with you–just kidding-you go ahead and take the topic…I prefer to read a DIANE C book than one I would write…think about it…(Might be too personal for you though…)

  11. Sandy in NC on October 5, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    You were at Quail Ridge and I didn’t know it? OH, shoot me now! Hope to catch the next one in the Raleigh area!

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