Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday - How She Does It - Sydell Voeller

Sydell and I share a former profession and now a publisher.
Okay, here are my answers to the six questions. I'll work on sending you a sample chapter from A House Divided next. I hope you're having a good weekend, and thanks again for allowing me to participate in your blog site. (If you find any errors in my answers, please don't hesitate to let me know or just go ahead and fix them yourself!)

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?

I first get to know my characters by first delving into their psyches. I ask myself, what are their goals? Their hopes and dreams? Their vulnerabilities and greatest fears? From there I discover what conflict/problem they'll need to conquer by the end of the story.

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?

For me, character development and plot usually go hand-in-hand. In regards to sketching out my plot, I usually have a rough idea to work with before I actually start writing. Yet often twists and turns I never expected pop up along the way--and they work! That's one of the joys of writing.

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

I know how my plot will end in a general way. I usually just have to start writing to get the creative juices flowing, however, so I can come up with the plot details.

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

I pattern the location for my stories around real cities and towns, but I give them a fictional name. As far as houses go, I often picture my own home or the home I grew up in--with variations, of course.

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

I use both sources. I've also interviewed experts in various fields to answer my questions that pertain to my plot.

6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why?

I tend to revise as I go along, although I understand writing experts often advise new writers to "turn off the editor inside your head" when composing initial drafts. That's never worked for me, though. I try to make sure a scene reflects my best writing before I move on to the next part of the story. Since I'm also a writing instructor, that "little editor" is always present, it seems. I just can't turn it off.

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