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.

1 comment:

Charmaine Gordon said...

Curve ball, huh? Whatever you call it, Chelle,your books are terrific and definitely original in flavor. Thanks Janet for "How She Does It." An excellent way to introduce authors in a unique way.