We all know there are six elements of fiction. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. I believe the first five lead to the sixth which for me is plot. What's your take on this>
A big warm hello to you and your readers!
There is a certain amount of randomness to my process. While much of my story line and plotting were done over a fifteen year period while I was falling to sleep at night, my stories tend to evolve. I've often said that I create outlines which I later ignore and discard at will.
.1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
My characters aren't based on real people, yet I feel like I know them all well. They tend to present themselves to me, nearly fully formed, but then I paint them with extra details. And then they do things I never expected.
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 and the plot developed in my mind at the same time. It all started out a bit vague and unclear, and over time the world, the plot, the characters came into focus. Now that I'm seven books into the series, I've used the material I'd built up over the years, and my outlining process is now more creative rather than just organization of existing ideas. Some of my ideas are still from years ago, but many of the details have shifted along the way.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
I always have a general idea of the ending, and most of the time I know exactly where I'm going, but I must admit that there are other times when I just write what's in my head, knowing I'll figure out the rest after fleshing those parts out.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
The World of Godsland exists in my mind, and I do my best to bring the reader into my world. Creating custom maps of Godsland has been among the most challenging things I've done, but it's very rewarding.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
I'm an Internet guy, so most of my research is done online. When writing things that take place in the real world, I like to spend some time visiting those places and looking at them with a writer's eye.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why?
I give myself permission to write terrible first drafts. Then I let those sit for a couple weeks while I work on something else to give myself distance from the manuscript. Then I make a couple editing passes myself. I use text to speech software on my phone to read the manuscript to me; this is great for checking plot and continuity even if on a road trip.