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>
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
No specific method. I discover them as I discover the story.
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 sometimes (depending on the length or complexity of the story) write out a scene chart with very brief statements of POV character; Goal, Motivation, and Conflict for each character in the scene; the purpose of the scene and it’s place in the story’s timeline. The chart rarely has more than 20 entries of 2 or three lines each.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
Only the HEA. I almost never know how my characters get from opening problem to the HEA.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
No. I do use settings I’ve been to but I also use imaginary settings, and I never use house plans. I’d go crazy trying to make the story fit a specific architecture.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Yes. I also use first person accounts (interviews), movies, television and radio.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why?
Yes.Because I leave myself notes as I write to cover details and plot decisions that I’m not certain of, I will draft as long as I can keep the storyline clear in my mind. If I start to lose focus because I’ve got too many blanks—spots where notes are the only story clues—I’ll go back and fill-in (which is sort of revising) until my focus is restored and the storyline is once more clear in my mind.