Hi Folks! I'm Lezlie. I live in rural IA, and 26 yrs in the mountains of Northern Cali/North Coast region. I've written many, many short stories and stories in episodes for the past 20 years about some of my wilder adventures in life for private use, not for publication, and now I'm working on my my first novel, which I intend to publish on Kindle, in the SHTF apocalypse/post apocalypse/survival genre. It will be a series. I'm also working on some smaller projects for Kindle using my personal recipe collections. Further back in time, I had some of my work published in U. C. Davis Cooperative Extension "official" booklets that are still in use today, up to 25 years later, and in the monthly and/or quarterly journals of some smaller private non-profit membership organisations. I've joined this forum for several reasons, besides simply partiipating in a community of writers. I have no access to in-person writers' groups, no in-person means of interacting, exchanging information, tips, experiences, so forums like this one are perfect for me. I'm very satisfied with my novel's plot, storyline, and I've got the progression of it through to the end of book 1. I'm generally disatisfied how women are most often stereotyped in this genre, as well as how various character-types are given stereotyped motivations and used in the creation of conflict, tension, and the like. Yes, I'm aware that plenty of self-published Kindle authors aren't exactly the greatest writers. Some display their own personal brand of offensive racism and discrimination that forces me to delete their book/s off my Kindle and write unflattering reviews. I often feel I'm just reading the same story over and over with just a few little changes between them. So mind responds to that. It's in media res format, and has some touches of trangressive fiction elements in it. For the most part, when I've got scenes and characters figured out things flow onto the pages very smoothly and easily. I do some of my planning ahead of time, on paper, but the smaller details get fleshed out as I write. My biggest issue is time management. I have other work I do from home that isn't fixed to certain hours on certain days, and I've got all of the usual daily life chores that take up time. The other area I'm interested in is character development. My novel contains a lot of fictionalized material gained through good and bad personal experiences, the numerous skills I have attained because I'm a prepper of sorts. My most important characters are more or less based on people I know well - enemies, frenemies, friends, family, neighbors, and those in-the-know are pretty thrilled to have a place in the story no matter how I fictionalize their real selves. They pepper me with creative ideas, ask if their character can do this or that. It feels comfortable having characters based on real people, a solid base to build upon and adapt. But I'm curious how others generate and flesh out their characters and I want to exchange questions, thoughts, and ideas on that topic. I apologize if this post is a bit disorganized, I had a very long, tiring day up at Mayo Clinic yesterday, for a procedure under anesthesia and I've still got some brain-fog going on. I look forward to getting to know people here and make some new friends!