We all know there are six elements in writing fiction and often fact. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. I believe the first five lead to the sixth which for me is the plot. What's your take on this?
I agree. My books typically start off with a character in a particular situation. Then come the questions. Who is she/he? Why is he/she there? What happened before that particular situation? What will happen after? Blend in backstory, goals and motivations and the story grows from that one single scene that popped into my head. Sounds easy, right? It’s not!
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?
Sometimes, while perusing the Internet (a favorite pastime of mine) I come across pictures of interesting faces and I print them out. A character can start out a single pair of eyes that caught my attention. For some reason, in every single book I’ve written, both published and unpublished, the hero has had dark hair. I guess that comes from personal preference. For my heroines I haven’t yet had a red head, but I’ve used black, blonde, and brown hair. My heroines have all been around 25 years old. I think I’ll need to start mixing that up! My heroes are all between 28 and 30. All my heroes are tall and muscular. (I do write for Harlequin, after all.) I guess I don’t have a specific process for creating characters. I start with one basic trait and work from there.
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?
My hero or heroine comes to me first. Then I work through the basic story I’d like to tell (which more often than not changes as I go along.) When I start to write I like to have at least a vague idea of where the story starts, one or two major scenes for the middle, and how it will end.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
For the manuscript I just recently turned into my editor, I had no idea how the story would end until my characters brought me to the end of their story. And let me tell you that was a bit stressful!
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
So far all my books have been set in upstate New York because that’s what I know. But I see some research trips to tropical locales in my future!
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Since I write medical romance, research is very important to my books. I want medical conditions and treatments to be realistic so I do my research online – where information is most up to date. But I make sure to check a minimum of three reputable sites to assure my information is correct. I also like to address current issues that I research online like prescription fraud, hoarding, and domestic abuse.
Thank you so much for visiting! Be sure to check out an excerpt from my new Harlequin Medical Romance, Once a Good Girl… here tomorrow where I will be giving away two copies of my book, one to a lucky commenter from today’s post, and another to a lucky commenter tomorrow. To learn more about me please visit my website: http://WendySMarcus.com.