Friday, April 6, 2012

How She Does It - Roseanne Dowell

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?

1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?

The characters basically create themselves. Sometimes they come from a picture in a magazine, but usually I have a story idea first and they present themselves.

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?

Guess I just answered that above. I never plot out my story. Did that once and was blocked for two years. I'll never do it again. I know the beginning of the story and the end, what happens in the middle is as much a surprise to me as it is to my readers. I do however have character work sheets. Besides, the obvious description, I want to know all about them. Their favorite color, do they like animals, kids, hobbies, what the do for a living. A whole list of things.

3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?

Guess I just answered that above also. It's usually a pretty specific ending. Of course, I write romance, so the ending is HEA

4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?

I usually choose settings I know. It's easier for me. I often use fake towns and they're usually a combination of places I know. As far as houses, I just usually use my imagination.

5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?

Actually, I do both. I have a lot of books about murder - kind of scared hubby with a few of them - and I also do online research.


Marianne Stephens said...

I do my plot first. I need the story idea, with the HEA, in my head before I "see" my hero and heroine.
I usually choose a setting I'm familiar with so my characters and I have some "common ground" of knowledge!

Gail Roughton said...

I write pretty much the same way Ro does. Which probably explains the almost instant sisterhood.

Pat Dale said...

My stories always start with one or two characters. I 'see' them in my imagination, and then I think 'what-if', and away we go.
I generally have a good idea about how the plot will play out when I start, though. I avoid writing too much detail regarding plot and story line at the beginning. Tends to stifle creativity for me. I do have a full go at my characters, much as Ro has stated, so they are fully fleshed out in my mind from the get-go.
Now that I'm into full length mystery writing, I have to pay more attention to story line and sub-plots before I go too far. One little trick I use now that I write exclusively onto the screen is to leave a sequence of plot guidelines in quotes ahead of where I'm working. So I guess that is pre-plotting in a basic way.
Fun discussion today.