Friday, December 21, 2012
Friday's How She Does It with Penny Marzec #amlearning
Penny and I belong to 2 organizations and we have met and talked a number of times.
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 father spent his career in journalism, I am very familiar with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. My father is still peppering his conversations with interminable questions. :^) I agree with you that plot originates from the answers to the first five questions. The "How" is the fun part, the part where all the action takes place in a book.
How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?
Most often, my characters simply wander into my thoughts, sparked by a memory, a scene, an incident, or sometimes a news story. Then I have to round them out and give them a history, though some of that occurs as I am writing the story while I'm delving into what makes them tick.
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?
My characters and their goals are the most important part of the story for me. The plot centers on the characters getting what they want. I do have a general outline before I start, but it is subject to change. My characters sometimes go off in their own direction to get to the end, but the end rarely changes. I know the ending before I begin writing.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
Yes, I always have the ending in mind as I'm writing. It's always very specific. I know where my characters are headed and while they may take a few detours, the ending is inevitable.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
Most often, I choose settings I know. Settings are a very important part of my stories and I need to feel comfortable in each setting so that my characters can move around freely.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
I research online, from books, and at historic sites. I love to go to used book sales and flea markets to buy out of print history books, cookbooks, songbooks, or catalogs. Historic sites are great for details about specific eras of time. The details are always fascinating to me.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why?
I usually revise as I go along so my process is sort of back and forth and back and forth. It works for me. If there's something I forgot along the way, I have to fix it. I cannot simply make a note and add it later. The omission bothers me too much. Once I remedy the situation, I continue along until it occurs to me that I need to add some important point in the beginning, so I do. I know eventually it will all be complete so backtracking does not bother me. I must have all my plot points in order and that's the way I do it.