I have been WAITING on this book! I’ve been absolutely hooked on the Explorer Academy series from book one, and finally, Dragon’s Blood is here – grab your copy!
Welcome back to the Explorer Academy! and…
The Explorer Academy: The Dragon’s Blood Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of Explorer Academy: The Dragon’s Blood by Trudi Trueit on October 5th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive guest posts from Trudi, as well as 5 chances to win all 6 books in the series so far! The 7th and final book in the series will be released in Fall 2022.
What a Character!
by Trudi Trueit
“How do you come up with interesting characters?”
It’s the question I got most often from writers. For me, it’s not a magical thing. Most of the time, characters don’t pop into my head fully formed. If you don’t base them on anyone you know (and I don’t) character building takes time. It’s like getting to know a new friend. The more time you spend together the more that person reveals to you.
I almost always start with a name. Until I have that, it’s hard to get into the writing. I tend to stay away from more common names. I also like to mix things up. I might name a villain something soothing, like Serene, or a timid boy, Rocco. Whenever I hear an interesting name, I write it down so I always have a long list to start with when I am creating a character. Once I choose a name, I start asking questions about that character to get a feel for who they are—and I ask A LOT of questions. I fill out a questionnaire for each major character. First, I cover the basics: name, age, physical description, ancestry, family details, pets, hobbies, sports. Next, I ask:
- What’s in my character’s purse or pocket right now?
- What’s my character’s most prized possession?
- Describe my character’s personality in four words.
Then it’s time to go deeper. The answers to these questions will determine how the character will think and act throughout the story.
- What’s my character’s biggest flaw?
- What’s my character’s greatest hope?
- What’s my character’s biggest problem or fear?
- What’s my character’s most treasured secret?
And the most important question of all:
- What does my character want more than anything in the world?
It’s the protagonist’s goal that will drive the plot, so this is a question that must be answered.
If I get stuck in the development phase, I try writing a letter to myself from the character’s point of view. This gets me out of my head and into theirs, where it belongs. I am free to be open and truthful. Once I am, it usually unlocks the character’s true personality and motivations.
Also, you don’t need to know everything about a character when you begin writing. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start with a name, a problem, and a goal. Go from there. The more you write, the more your character will share—just like a friend. And yes, I think of all of my characters as real people. They are, aren’t they?
Just for fun, if you’d like to find out what Explorer Academy character you are most like, take the quiz!
As for me, I am most similar to Emmett but then I already knew that!
“a fully packed high-tech adventure that offers both cool, educational facts about the planet and a diverse cast of fun characters.” —Kirkus
“This exciting, fast-paced, far-flung story is full of science facts and James Bond-like gadgets, accompanied by colored illustrations. The ending is guaranteed to keep readers eager for the next series installment.” –Booklist
“Explorer Academy is exciting and smart.” —Karen Bokram, Editor-in-Chief, Girls’ Life
An explosive revelation and a familiar face heighten the mystery for Cruz and friends in the sixth book in this adventure-packed series.
Still reeling from the life-changing discovery he found buried in the mysterious archive, Cruz Coronado grapples with an important secret as the gang heads to China in search of the second-to-last piece of the cipher. Under the watchful eye of a new adviser, life on the ship returns to almost normal…Almost.
Just as things seem to be going smoothly, a familiar face shocks Cruz back into reality, and the final piece in this life-and-death scavenger hunt veers toward a dead end.
Check out the Explorer Academy website, featuring videos, comic shorts, games, profiles of real-life National Geographic Explorers, chapter excerpts and more.
TRUDI TRUEIT has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction. Her love of writing began in fourth grade, when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play. She went on to be a TV news reporter and weather forecaster, but she knew her calling was in writing. Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences, and her fiction novels include The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular, and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Her expertise in kids nonfiction encompasses books on history, weather, wildlife, and earth science. She is the author of all the narratives for the Explorer Academy series, beginning with Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret. Trueit was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and lives in Everett, Washington.
- One (1) winner will receive all 6 Explorer Academy hardcovers (The Nebula Secret, The Falcon’s Feather, The Double Helix, The Star Dunes, The Tiger’s Nest, and the NEW book The Dragon’s Blood)
- US/Canada only
- Ends 11/1 at 11:59pm ET
- Check out the other stops for more chances to win!
Blog Tour Schedule