Friday, March 23, 2012
How She Does It -- Chelle Cordero
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?
I build a small dossier on each of my main characters and include significant events from childhood to present. I also include details about family life, school and friends. Each character and his/her reactions to events in the story is based on who they are as a result of past experiences. For instance, if you were bit by a stray dog as a child, you might have a remaining fear of dogs.
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?
I develop a basic inkling of a story and then create the characters I need to go into it. While I do keep in mind where I want the story to go, basically my characters write their own story based on their motivations and past. When I throw a curve ball at my characters, I let them react and that's where the story leads me.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
Only in the most general sense. For instance in Final Sin I knew that Julie would be in danger before they figured out who the murderer was and somehow Jake would save her - but the specific hows and whys developed as I wrote the story. Some of the "curve balls" I threw occurred to me as I was writing the scenes.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
Every so often I peruse house and apartment plans although most of what I use is concocted in my mind. I took basic drafting in high school (a specialty art high school) and we learned very elementary architecture drawing; every so often I will sketch out an apartment or house layout that fits my needs. If I had the money I would definitely design my own house!
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
For locations, mostly on line unless I am using an actual place I've been. The ability to take a virtual tour gives me the ability to experience new places and "see" it as if I was really there. For careers, cultures, and social venues I use a combination of research and sometimes my own experiences. I have an advantage of also being a journalist and getting to interview a lot of people in various jobs and life styles - so I absorb a lot of what is said to me and I use bits and pieces in my stories to add realism.