Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Next time, I'll ...
There will be a second novel for me - the story is already spinning into shape in my mind, on Pinterest, in some basic notes on my voice recorder and on paper. I'll have some time off this fall,so I'll probably start pulling it together soon. But before I actually put pen to paper (or in reality, create a Word document,) I'll apply the lessons I learned from the convoluted journey of writing Risking Exposure.
What I'll do differently:
1. Put more flesh on my characters before I start writing. I'll write a biography of each character before I start - where/when they were born, schooling, friends, family structure, likes/dislikes, beliefs, quirks, personality type, traits, emotional make-up, intelligence, problem solving ability, strengths, weaknesses. That's far more detail in stone than I did before, and hopefully that'll cut down my need for extensive re-thinking of characters after the novel is done.
2. Put those characters in my setting and see how they act before I write a thing.
Each of us responds to circumstances differently. That's what makes us interesting. That's also what makes readers care about fictional characters and ultimately, what draws us back as readers. A good plot drives a story but a book, a memorable one at least, is about characters we care about.
3. Write out the story question and the pitch BEFORE I outline to make sure I stay focused. This means I'll need to UNDERSTAND my characters and what they want before I start writing. Again, this is essential to writing right.
4. Then I’ll outline. KM Weiland has written a well-received book on outlining and will soon offer a Writers Digest Workshop as well. Good timing for me to get the directed help I need.
5. After that's all done, I'll write. I'll let you know how that works for me.