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 the first five lead to the sixth. I think it’s important to introduce the When and Where with the Who then What and Why and How.
How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
The idea for a story comes first and I create my characters to fit the story. No specific method, I think I know who I want when the story begins to rattle in my head.
2. Does your beginning arrive fully developed or do you spend a lot of time making the right approach to scene 1?
The story begins with an idea. For example, in 2015 I visited the World War One Commonwealth War Graves in Belgium and France. Thousands of young men who never came home and so many headstones bearing the inscription ‘Known Only to God’. Later, I wondered if a soldier, wanting a new life, could swap his identity disc with one whose owner was, to put it bluntly, blown to bits. I asked the Imperial War Museum, London and the Australian War Memorial. Both replied it was possible but highly unlikely. The chances of being caught very high and he’d be hanged. That was good enough for me to write The Proposition. My character wasn’t caught.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
No, the story grows and I go with it.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
Both. I write historical fiction, so I need books and online research to write an authentic as possible setting, however I’ve been fortunate to have visited most places and towns and walk the streets in my books.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Both. Thank heavens for the internet!
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 pantser and I revise as I am going along. The plot and the characters develop and take me with them.
7. Where can we find you on the net?