Category Archives: Writers

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.

Five Star Book Reviews – The Zanzibar Moon

Five Star Book Reviews – The Zanzibar Moon

The Zanzibar Moon is receiving 5 Star Book Reviews and testimonials. This is what readers are saying:

The Zanzibar Moon by Donna Munro

“LOVED IT!!! The Zanzibar Moon takes you on a journey from the familiarity of the Gold Coast to an exotic world far away. You never know what lies ahead or what’s right in front of you! Congratulations Donna on a fabulous novel. Today I thought- today is the day I’m going to sit down and read I couple of chapters in the sun. I was up to chapter 13 and was beginning to think I’d never finish the book (too many interruptions). 21 chapters later and I’ve gone through a roller coaster of emotions today. I’ve laughed, cried, empathised, cried again – seriously Donna, I normally don’t cry that much!!! I was so invested in these characters. Congratulations on a fabulous book. I can’t wait to tell all my friends and family about the journey it took me on. Now I have to get back to reality and cook dinner. Again well done – I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!” – Paige Burrage (club secretary)

“Congratulations Donna Munro on Zanzibar Moon. A great read, I could imagine being in Zanzibar, the sites and aromas. It certainly tested the emotions, tears of sadness, smiles and wonder. Well done. Can’t wait for the next book.” – Leanne Gordon (school teacher)

“Just finished reading The Zanzibar Moon what a great story. Well done Donna Munro!” – Sandra Rogers (author, screenwriter and publisher)

“You actually have a lot of content in the book and the story line is an interesting “Chick Lit” and reminded me of Janet Evanovich series a lot. The mix of dialogue and locations made the book move and the way that the character travelled allowed you to explore lots of options for material. I could tell you had written it – it really came from your soul and your experiences/loves. There is a real mix of chick lit, travel, suspense and tear jerking.” – Angela Szpojda (owner of 360 Degree Wellness)

“I loved it. I really felt like I was walking the narrow lanes of Zanzibar and that I was taken on an African safari. It was a unique and beautifully written story. I haven’t read anything like it.” – Valerie Ibbotson (retired)

“I finished reading The Zanzibar Moon and absolutely loved it, Donna. I didn’t predict the ending either. It’s exotic, funny and full of adventure. It’s also inspired me to go to Zanzibar one day.” – Leesa Bennett (volunteer teacher abroad)

“I am really impressed by the book, you have really done your homework and if I did not l know any better I would have sworn that you have lived in Africa for a period of time.  You have captured life here so well with the chaos, the beauty, the nature, even down to the sometimes not so pleasant aromas (haha).   The story line is great and the characters are interesting.  I also like how you have put the relevant chapters in the first tense for Alkina and Dr Don.  It lets you get closer to the character I think.  I showed some of the Swahili to my colleague and as far as she could tell you were spot on.” – Kerry Zillner (UN worker in Africa)


If you have read The Zanzibar Moon please click the link below to place your review:


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If you are a magazine reviewer or blogger who would like a copy of The Zanzibar Moon to review please use the contact page:


The author is also available for interviews.

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