Friday, March 8, 2013

How He Does It Featuring Jerry Weinberg

When I have those five well in hand, the plot seems to ooze onto the ms. by itself. Sometimes, I have to force it out–which generally leads to a less satisfactory story.

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

I have a mixed process. I always start with some ideas of the character (not consciously modeled after any specific person). I then put that character in specific situations and see how they respond. Their responses show me the deeper parts of their character.

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?

They develop in parallel. As the book nears its end, the characters become more and more specifically shaped. I may then go back and place those details earlier in the ms.

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

In a general way, but sometimes it changes as the book nears its end.

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

Both. I've lived and worked all over the world, so I have lots of settings in my mind, waiting to be accessed. But sometimes I want a setting where I've never been, in which case, I research it. Or just create a house or other building. I've actually designed and built several real buildings, so I know a bit about how things work.

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

I use whatever works. I generally start with my own direct experience, then flesh out some details I haven't experienced

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

Mostly I try to write through from beginning to end, then go back and enrich the ms. with telling details. I've learned to be extremely careful about going back to revisef

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