Friday, September 9, 2016

Flat Characters

Your protagonist must undergo the process of developing a personality, must possess quirks and flaws, and must be able to act or react “in character” whenever appearing in your story. Some of the characters in your story, however, are not expected to do this. These are the ones who appear only for the purpose of moving the story along in a rational way. In other words, they don't perform any specific role, they only perform tasks that make everything move along in a natural way. 

Let's say your protag is walking down the street and passes the mail carrier. A friendly "Hello" would be expected, so when that character speaks or nods, he/she is being used only to keep the reality in line. Your protag will be expected to react to that character in some way. Is your protag deep in thought? Is he/she trying to maintain a low profile? If either of these is the case, the protag may not react by returning the nod or uttering a reply. Instead, he/she may lower his/her head and pass without acknowledging the mail carrier. If your protag is happy and loving life at that moment, he/she may respond by blurting out, "Hello! Isn't it a wonderful day?" Either way, your reader is being fed some information about your protag at that particular time in the flow of the story.

Whatever the response, that mail carrier has provided an avenue for the reader to get to know the protag's current state of emotion and has, therefore, provided a piece of information without being an important character. And that's what is called a flat character. He/she has been important only at that precise moment but will probably not be seen or heard from again throughout the book. Flat characters can be compared to cutout paper dolls in that they will not take up much space in the story. They are, quite frankly, easily disposed of after they do their "bit part."  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 15 "O-H-I-O"

Janet & Don Beasley
Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives. We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 15: "O-H-I-O"

Our New-Used 16'  #WildernessSystems Sealution
In less than a month we hit the road for Michigan again. This time we decided to stop off in Ohio and visit family and friends...and do a little bit of kayaking in our ol' stompin' grounds.

But we must warn you...yeah...the addiction continued. We added another kayak to the "fleet!"

We had been looking for and dreaming about a #WildernessSystems fiberglass tandem kayak. This is not an easy find when you're being as specific as we are. But low and behold we found a single, 16', SeaLution over on the Atlantic coast here in Florida. Yeah, it's a single, but it's fiberglass, and we learned to "share" early on...just like our parents taught us. 

So we loaded up the Sealution and the T145 and headed north. Our first stop to try it out came 16 hours later when we arrived in our hometown of #Beavercreek #Ohio. There we joined up with Don's brother and headed for the lake. It was a beautiful day. Sun was shining bright and the wind was minimal. 

Don Performing a Deep Water Entry
When we arrived at the launch sight we hooked the kayak to the back of Don's brother's sailboat and off we glided across the lake to a place that was a bit less crowded. 

Don, with his life vest on, hopped into the water to practice his first kayak entry from deep water. He was successful! 
Success on the Deep Water Entry

He also had a waterproof camera attached to a helmet for this adventure, but goodness knows what we ever did with those photos?!  

Don paddled around for quite a while, then it was time to sun on the sailboat. Before the day was done he hopped back in the water for one last excursion, nailing the deep water entry, and paddled for another hour or so before we called it a day.

Don Taking One Last Trip Before Calling It a Day
Ohio has plenty of places to kayak. If you're planning a trip to the #Buckeye state and are looking for information on where to kayak and what to expect in Ohio, we invite you to visit this website link to check out several Ohio kayaking options.

When in Ohio, sometimes getting the destination of where you're going to kayak is just as scenic as the kayak trip! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Doing a deep water entry sounds much more complicated than it truly is. It is a great skill to add to your list, just in case you decide to paddle around a lake and either on purpose, or accidentally, find yourself in the water in the middle of the lake, or out in the ocean a good ways from the shore.

Here's a super little video from to show you how a deep water entry is achieved. 

So what are you waiting for? Autumn is coming, and Ohio is one of the best places to visit in the fall! It's rich colors, rolling hills, and mid-western charm make for some of the most beautiful road and kayak trips during that time of year.  


Kayak Tip of the Week: Always be sure to plan ahead for lodging or camping during peak seasons such as autumn. Whether you're planning an entire weekend trip or you're just going to kayak to see the autumn leaves make certain your are dressed properly for the temperatures of the air and the water.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Excerpt Extravaganza! Today's Excerpt Is From "Sydney Finds a Job"

Welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where an eclectic team of creative geniuses share their fantastical imaginations. 

On Mondays we are featuring an excerpt from one of our creative authors. And what makes this feature so fun is that we publish a wide range of genres. You'll never know what to expect for the excerpt.

To read all of our excerpts thus far, we invite you to visit our blog archives and look for our first Excerpt Extravaganza! that began on August 1, 2016.


All previous excerpts are available in our archives. We began this Monday series on August 1, 2016.

Today's excerpt is from 5 star children's book author Thom Battisto, Sydney Finds a Job. Thom is the owner of the Read to Sydney Foundation, a nonprofit entity that is teaching children to "tail" at a time. 

I will find a job, thought Sydney, and off she went to figure it out. Just then Tom headed out the door to get the morning paper. Sydney had an idea. Get the paper. I can do that! She raced past Tom and grabbed the paper. Hang on tight, Sydney thought.

Tom laughed and called out to Sydney, “Bring the paper here, good girl!” Sydney dropped the newspaper at Tom’s feet. Oops! There was a problem. What do you think the problem was? That’s right:  the newspaper was very wet and dripping with slobber. Tom patted Sydney’s head. “You’re good at fetch Sydney, but this is not the job for you.” Sydney agreed that wet papers are yucky. She set off to find herself a different job.


If you would like to discover more about our author Thom Battisto or purchase a book (all proceeds go toward funding the Read to Sydney Foundation) visit Thom's author page on the JLB Creatives Publishing website.

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JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)