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?
I agree that plot is extremely important. I have read many novels in which there was no real plot or it felt thrown together. I think plot is what helps keep the reader turning pages.
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
The plot comes easily to me, then the characters. If I cannot picture or hear a main character, I do a character profile and an interview. Usually, during the interview, the character will open up to me. Once, I had a character give me her mantra, which I would not have known if I had skipped over the interview.
However, some characters just come to me. Brock, from The Garnet Dagger Book 1 Legends of Oblivion, repeated the first few lines in the book in my mind when I was at work one day, until I wrote them down.
2. Do your characters come before the plot?
The plot comes first for me, then the characters. Once they came simultaneously as stubborn, feisty Kaireen in Viking Fire – my historical romance. Also, I have secondary characters, like Elva in Viking Fire, that I did not plot out in advance and revealed themselves while I was writing.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
I know in a general way how the story will end. However, I do not have specifics. One novel I wrote, unpublished to date, I knew the antagonist would die. However, I spent the whole novel thinking it would be one of the main characters would be the one to kill him, when a minor character stepped forward. He had a past with the villain that clicked into place at the ending.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
I choose the settings of my imagination in part and the internet. Many of my novels, whether fantasy, paranormal or historical romance, take place in an ancient world. I research locations, buildings, etc. The best research tool was a Young Adult reference book about the Middle Ages.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Both. I go online first, then for specific questions I look to books.
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?
I am a draft writer. I have to get the story out on paper, because although I know the ending-ish, I do not know the road the characters and plot will take to get there. So far, I have not outlined a novel. I enjoy discovering the characters and story as I write.
Attached is the excerpt and cover.
Author website: http://www.andreaRcooper.com
Cursed in Shadow Book 1.5 Legends of Oblivion series
Barnes and Nobel: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cursed-in-shadow-andrea-r-cooper/1118944042?ean=2940045778213