How I Create Stories
Janet and I approach writing so differently its a wonder we were able to co-author Becoming Your Own Critique Partner. But then, that was non-fiction. So maybe I should say our approach to writing fiction is quite different.
Janet writes multiple drafts of her stories, whereas I do an overall synopsis for the entire book or series. I may deviate from this synopsis as I go along, but usually not radically.
However, we both use the who, what. when, why, where and how method of creating.
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?
I actually dont know. All I can say is that theyre characters I feel will work with the plot.
2. Do your characters come before the plot? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?
Plot and characters come together. As I write my synopsis, I somehow know what kind of characters will work well with this particular plot. However as I actually write the story , the characters take on life and voice, so I do deviate a bit from the synopsis, which can be as fluid as it needs to be.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
Pretty much--in a general way. The ending always depends on how much I deviate from the synopsis when writing the story.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
If I need to do research, once I settle on the setting , I do it before I start to write, because the research often leads to a change in the synopsis. Lately, though, I tend to use settings Im familiar with or at least have visited.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Both. If I cant find what I need online, I know my library will have just the right book I need. Besides, Ive been writing for so many years now that I have books about almost everything.
6. Give a short excerpt from the book you want to promote - 400 to 500 words.
Ive just taken apart a very long historical California saga and converted it into a series of seven novellas that I had to title. As I was writing this blog, I just realized I used the five Ws and the H to come up with those titles.
Book 1 : The Bastard. And yes, he is, both literally and otherwise. But its because hes illegitimate that he has created goals he needs to fulfill, which is why he does what he does. He founds a dynasty--but at what expense to both himself and others?
Book 2: The Interloper. A woman who enters the family as a companion for a daughter creates consequences that influence the following book due to what she wants as it impacts the others goals.
Book 3. The Dancer. This woman believes shes reached her goal in life--but has she?
Book 4. The Rebel. A teenage daughter rebels with consequences she cant foresee, causing others goals to shift and change.
Book 5. The Fixer. A problem solver for others, until he confronts his own.
Book 6. The Deceiver. The child of The Rebel, now grown. She has no real goals until life smacks her down and she learns what she needs.
Book 7. The Wild Card. A man created by consequences from the first book forces the entire family to face the past.
The first three books of Golden Chances are all out. They can be had at:
http://bwlpp.com/janetoombs.php for .99 cents each for a short period of time. They're also available on my website. www.JaneToombs.com