Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday's Guest featuring Eileen Charbonneau - Writing #MFRWauthor #writing #characters

1.      How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
Characters are the most mysterious part of my process.  I get them started...generated from someone I know, or a profession, or historic persons in my general research.  Then they take on a life of their own!  I've learned to let them go, even as they make unexpected twists and turns and sometimes wreck havoc on my plot!
2. Do your characters come before the plot?  Not always, but the plot and story cannot gel without characters becoming known and deepening into three dimensions.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?  Yes, I usually know how the story will end.  When there's a big event at the end it has a nice way of focusing the mind, like:  San Francisco Earthquake:  these characters live, these die, and all differences gets put into perspective!
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?  Sitting around??  Writers never leave anything sitting around (unlike the state of our housekeeping)!  Sometimes I use settings I know well.  Watch Over Me became a love song to the city of New York of my mother's youth (1940s).  I loved revisiting a place I lived and worked but in another time.  In I'll Be Seeing You the plot dictated a whole section needing to take place in the mountains of northern Spain.  I've never been there, so I became an armchair traveler through guides and non-fiction accounts of life there.  I am very grateful to writers who engage all the senses when they write about place, because that is what good fiction does too!
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?  Both.  And on-site for settings.  I am SO grateful to the internet for quick, specific questions I may have.  But both books and the net can become a rabbit's warren of wonderful, interesting twists and turns that pull me away from that simple piece of information I needed!  On the other hand, those twists and turns sometimes lead to whole new characters or plot possibilities.
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'm a many draft writer.  I need to write to find out what I'm thinking and give my characters free reign to help me find the deeper substance of my story.  After that expressive draft, I work on the best and most clear way to communicate the story to my reader.  Then I try to make it beautiful.  Three main drafts, with many inside each!

 7. Where can we find you on the net?  website:  Facebook:  EileenCharbonneauAuthor Twitter:@EileenC1988  At BWL:


M. S. Spencer said...

Hi, interesting interview--the book title caught my eye! Wanted to share on twitter & FB but don't see a link? M. S.

Rosemary Morris said...

Eileen, Thank you for your interesting answers. Some novelists plan their story's in meticulous detail, others like you and I allow their characters to surprise them, but regardless of our method I agree that it is really important to use the five senses.