Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday's How She Does It featuring Nancy Weeks

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?
This is a very interesting question. In real life, the person I have become has been greatly influenced by where I have been, who I have met and the events that have occurred around me. Plot in fiction writing is very similar to life. The way my characters deal with the world I have created and the conflict they encounter is what drives the plot. How my characters change after each conflict is why I could never write the last chapters first. I may be writing a simple boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boys-gets-girl back and lives happily-ever-after story that has been written time and again. It is how my characters change from the conflict as the plot unfolds that makes each story so unique.
How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
 I would love to say that I have found this great formula for creating characters, but the truth is they first appear in my head as what ifs. I do write up brief bios on my characters from the hero/heroine/villain to the cab driver who just appeared on page one. I have a real grasp of who everyone is from the beginning. I then allow the characters to grow as I develop the story around them. What I find so magical about the writing process is how a very minor character in the beginning of the book can develop a strong enough presence that by the end of the book, I’m aching to write their story. 
Do your characters come before the plot?
I’m writing a series of five books about brothers. Each brother will have his own book. In that sense, I have the character before the plot. However, since I write romantic suspense, my stories always end with a happy-ever-after. When deciding on my heroine, I need the plot first so I can develop my heroine to not only fit my hero but the plot line.  I hope that makes some sense to someone. J
 Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
 Again, yes and no. I know my hero and heroine will be madly in love with each other and they will have beaten the bad guy. How that all happens is a magical mystery when I write that first sentence.  
Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
 My books begin in a familiar setting, a place I either live or have visited and know well.
A couple years ago, I would have buried myself inside bookstores or my local library looking for just the right setting when I wanted to take my characters somewhere I have never been. With the development of virtual tours over the Internet, those trips are no longer necessary. In my third book, In the Shadow of Malice, I wanted my hero to have this great beach house that overlooked the ocean. I had a great time going through the wonderful beach homes for sale from Los Angeles to San Francisco. You can see the home I picked on my Pinterest wall. [Link is below]

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

The Internet has become my best friend. With each book, I promise myself this time I’m going to write about something I know about. So far that hasn’t happen.  I research everything from how to take a gun away from someone when they are facing you to what injuries can develop from a choke hold to what a bomb vest looks like. Yup, I do worry that one day the men in the black suits are going to come banging on my door. Hopefully, my real law enforcement friends will come bail me out and convince the judge that I really am sweet, harmless and a romance writer.

Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?

Oh, easy question. I’m definitely revise as I go along. I can’t move to the next chapter until the previous one is just right. After the manuscript is completed, I do let it set awhile before I go back in for another revision. As for my characters, I may have a basic idea who I want them to be in the end, but I love to let them have their own voice. As I get to know them better, my original route may change a little. However, I always end with my couple in each other’s arms.


Nancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.

Find Nancy at:
Twitter: @NancyCWeeks

Buy links for In the Shadow of Evil and In the Shadow of Greed


1 comment:

Nancy C. Weeks said...

It is such a pleasure to be a guest on your blog. Thank you so much for hosting me. I have been reading back posts and they are so informative. Please keep them coming because you have a fan! Have a wonderful weekend, and again, thank you again for the invite. HUGS!