Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday's How She Does It featuring Beverley Bateman

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?

Good question. As a plotter I’m afraid I’d have to disagree. I come up with the What, then I work on the Why and the How. That’s my plot. Then it’s the Who. The
Where can depend on the plot or the character or maybe someplace I’ve been or read about.  

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

 After I have my plot I think about the characters. I could start with either hero or heroine. I do a draft of some of their characteristics and goals. Then I think about who the other main character should be. How can they challenge each other? What’s the conflicts? I do a character sketch with their habits, good or bad, and their goals.

2. Do your characters come before the plot?

No, my plot always comes first. I love to plot and once I get an idea for a plot I think about for a little while, get a feel for it and then I start to work on the type of characters that would work in the story.

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

Sometimes. Sometimes I think I have it figured out and as I’m writing the story different ideas come to me, or the line I’m following doesn’t work with the characters and I end up with a different ending.

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

I’m not sure about books of settings and plans of houses sitting around. Some of my stories are placed in settings I know. I’ve taken several Caribbean cruises so the setting for A Cruise to Remember comes from that. I have a few set in New Orleans and I’ve been there. Others I’ve set in Miami and I really don’t know the area. So it’s a combination of both.

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

Most of my research is done online, although I do use books. For Witness Protection I used the book WITSEC. For one on online chat rooms I used information sent to me from a sheriff who works in the chat rooms. So once again, it’s a combination of both. Hopefully whatever makes it the better story.

6. 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?

Wow, that’s a lot of questions. Let me see, I’m a draft writer. Once I have the plot and an idea of the characters I usually do a one line sentence for each scene then I start writing and I write the book. When it’s finished I go back, add more detail, edit and delete. I think I’ve already answered about sketching out my plot. I do a very short sketch of each scene, but if the characters show me a better route, I’ll follow their guideline.

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