Friday, April 20, 2012
How She Does It - Chris Redding
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?
Since my background is in journalism I have to agree. The Who is the character which is most important in any story. If you can't identify with the character you are not going to care about their what, when, where and how. Also, it is the character's answers to those questions that are the plot.
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?
I wish I could tell you I did story boards or character interviews, but none of those things are true. I need to know each character's goal, motivation and conflict before I begin a story. That's pretty much it. I find th rest fills itself in during the second draft.
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 am truly a plot-driven writer, so for me the plot comes first. What if? What if a woman has murder victims speak to her and then she is catapulted back in time to prevent the murder? That's Corpse Whisperer. Then I think about characters. I'm also a pantser. I rarely know where I am heading when I begin a story. I have a vague idea, like know I'm going to Utah, but not what specific part.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
In a general way I know where the story will end. There is always a happily every after, it is a matter of how they get there.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
Mostly I set stories in New Jersey. I live here. It's easier. Especially because I like to concentrate on the setting last and it's easier if it's one that is out my front door.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Depends on what you mean by online? I actually know many police officers and former police officers so I can always e-mail them if I have a question. In that sense the answer to your question would be neither. I talk to those in the know personally.