Friday, June 21, 2013
Friday's How She Does It with Ginger Simpson
. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
Strangely, I have voices in my head clamoring for me to tell their stories. My characters come with names and usually with a story title. I often feel like their secretary, doing the typing while they dictate. I just remember to SHOW the reader the story rather than tell it as I once did as a novice author.
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? I don't plot. I've tried it on a few occasions, and it just doesn't work for me. The nice thing about using my method is that I never know where I'm going until I get there. Listening to my characters is akin to telling myself a story, and I often can't wait to get to the end to find out what happens.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
I usually don't know the ending until I get there. A great example is my recent romantic suspense, A Novel Murder. I had no idea until the end who the murderer would be. It was tough throwing in red herrings without the name of the "doer," and I got one three-star review because I don't think she liked who was picked.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around? As I transcribe my stories, I picture the setting and add the descriptive flavor to the scenes. I also try to remember to remember a new rule I recently learned...when you are in someone's POV, there is no need to keep reminding the reader who is doing the seeing, hearing or wishing by adding those extra words.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books? Both. My biggest passion is writing western historical novels and since I've been reading them most of my life, I have a good vibe for what is right and what isn't. When it comes to word origins, I look them up online but I rely heavily on my print books about Indians when I involve my favorite tribe, The Lakota Sioux. The Internet is a big help, but I never rely on just one site. I traditionally check two or three to assure everyone agrees. Remember, you can't believe everything on the Web.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why? I write first, edit as I go, and because I belong to a critique group, which I highly recommend, I have more than one pair of eyes checking to make sure what I'm writing makes sense. I know a lot of people are using Beta readers these days, but I love my crit group and they've been one of the most valuable assets to help me grow as a writer.