Friday, October 19, 2012
Friday's How She Does It -- Jordan K. Rose
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?
I absolutely agree with you. My writing is always character driven which completely impacts the how. It also impacts all the other elements. Certain characters would just never be in certain situation or places or time. It's interesting to think about mixing different heroines into stories. In Perpetual Light, Lucia is a reincarnated vampire slayer with divine powers. Eva Prim, my current work is a vampire and she's very self-centered. If I tried to swap heroines, Perpetual Light would be ruined. Both these ladies have very different perspectives on the world. Their "hows" would never be interchangeable.
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?
I don't have a specific process. Usually what comes to me is the character's main objective. From there I learn about who each character is and what they like/dislike/need/want/where they're from. I learn a lot about each character and think I know most all there is to know but of course, when I write they tell me more about themselves and edits happen and story lines change. Lucia's main objective was to find the husband who'd been stolen from her and made vampire four hundred years ago. When I originally wrote Perpetual Light I thought that was the main story. It wasn't until I'd completed the first draft that I realized she was a vampire slayer destined to kill him.
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?
The characters always come before the plot. I never have an idea for what could happen without a character in mind. It's almost as though this person pops up with a problem or idea and sort of whispers in my ear until I pay attention. I don't plot. I let the characters determine the route of the story. I typically have an idea of where the story is going to land, but no real knowledge of how we'll get there or what might happen on the way. I love to be surprised by where the story goes.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
Sort of. For example, I knew Lucia's story would end with a happy for now ending because it's the first in a series, but I didn't know how we'd get to that end. I only recently figured out how the series might end, but again, I have no idea how we'll get to that ending. (Though I'll admit I'm feeling happy about finally knowing the potential series end.)
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
I usually choose settings familiar to me. However, in my current work my story is unfolding on Mt. Katahdin in Maine. I've never been there and don't really enjoy cold weather or snow so this is a situation where I'm doing quite a bit of research to understand the location. In terms of buildings and layout I use the internet and search for pictures that seem to fit the story.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
On line mostly, but I do use books, too. I have a great library of vampire books.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why?
I do a little bit of both. I have multiple drafts that have been revised and revised as I go. I like to read the previous day's work before starting on new work which leads me to edit, edit, edit.