Posted in Publishing, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips

Unlock Writer’s Block with Awesome Characters

Unlock Writer’s Block with Awesome Characters

When a writer falls in love with their characters the readers will know. The characters will be believable, raw, real and unforgettable. My readers have told me they want to know more, both before and after. I had to agree with them. I loved The Zanzibar Moon characters so much that I never wanted to say goodbye to them.

Writers block - great characters
Unforgettable characters can help keep writer’s block at bay.

I had not planned a series. The Zanzibar Moon was a stand-alone book. Then the characters (and readers) decided otherwise. Writer’s ask what, why, how, when, where? Once I started asking these questions there was no doubt I had to start a sequel or a prequel.

The prequel won out because I wanted to answer these questions first:

  • What happened early in Kendwa’s life to make him the strong but compassionate man he became?
  • How and where did he meet his wife Sharli?
  • What was Sharli’s story?
  • What happened in Kendwa’s family life that made him have no family left by the time of The Zanzibar Moon?
  • Are there further secrets to be revealed?

With those questions in my head I started searching for the answers. Bringing the early story alive and revisiting strong, loveable and interesting characters created easy, flowing writing. People asked, if after putting my heart and soul into The Zanzibar Moon would it give me writers block? I think if I had written another stand-alone book with no crossover characters it would have taken longer for the muse to arrive. Maybe I’d still be pondering a possible story line.

Doing a prequel has ended up being the only choice. I’m enjoying my characters so much that the words are flowing. It’s like the characters are telling me the story themselves. I’m just at my computer ghost writing for them. Sharli has turned out a beautiful, strong, compassionate young woman who selflessly puts her life on hold to look after her ill mother. Kendwa is a gorgeous, brave, caring man who has further secrets and complications (not revealed in The Zanzibar Moon). Then there are the other character, some new, some familiar, that add depth to Kendwa and Sharli’s story.

I won’t reveal too much more but let’s just say, this story is taking me places I never expected to go, like Borneo.

The reason I titled this post ‘Unlock Writer’s Block with Awesome Characters’ is because it feels true to me, now that I have these amazing characters back for more. To prove I have no writer’s block I’ll give you the writing stats so far.

The Zanzibar Moon took three months for the first drafts completion. Then about nine further drafts, edits, production and then the release two years later.

Kendwa’s Secret (tentative title, but possible) began July 3rd. It’s now sixteen days later and I’m thirteen chapters down and 28,500 words. This is while only finding time to write before my full-time job, at lunch time, after work and on the weekends.

At this rate my first draft should be finished in about 42 days. I have other writing projects coming up, so if I do get the first draft complete by then, it’s possible the book will be completed and released for Christmas. Books for Christmas gifts. That’s my idea of perfect presents.

If you’re a writer, do awesome characters stop your writers block and help your writing flow? Or do they create further problems? It is hard to keep control of them sometimes but that’s okay if it becomes their story, because in the end it really is. Unruly characters are fun characters to write. Writer’s block – at the moment, to me, there is no such thing.


Donna Munro is the author of The Zanzibar Moon, Kendwa's Secret and Elephant Creek, freelance writer, blogger, graphic designer, content writer, book marketer, administrator, web editor and book reader. She's been published in Take Five, The Australian Woman's Weekly, For Me, She, That's Life, Woman's Day and Club Life and other smaller publications. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia and the current Administrative Assistant. Donna lives in Queensland and is addicted to beaches, reading, Peanut Butter, elephants, koalas, Sydney Roosters and Home & Away. You'll often find her digging her toes in the sand with a book in her hand.

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