Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm still learning...

I'm in between projects.

I finished a killer of a one last week, just completed the first set of edits of Past Lies due out in April... and now I have to think about what to attack next.

It's something brand spanking new, not a languishing wip, and so I want to tackle a problem I have with beginning a new story:

How the hell do I start it?!

Most authors seem to have a system. I've yet to fully find mine. Do I start with the characters? With the plot? Or just plunge in and write my way out of it. I've tried the latter, and usually get stuck just as I get to the dreaded middle. The place of much sagging and very little idea how to make it into a oil-slicked six pack. *grin*

So this time, I'm trying names first and hanging my characters on those.
I have two, picked from my bumper book of names, otherwise known as the Character Naming Sourcebook published by Writer's Digest. A much quicker method than hunting the web. Mainly because I can't be distracted.

I've also picked out photos from a site called www.newfaces.com. It was pick two, get one free - I got a great ex-husband picture, LOL

And now I know she has an ex-husband,which I didn't know before.
So I brainstormed and I have an idea where they live, what they do for a living, what's happened to their families and why my two main characters are so-o-o very wrong for each other...

And that is about as far as I've got.

I'm off to work on it now, but I hope that really getting into the skins of my characters will help me to get to grips with the story and write it quickly.

And '...getting into the skins of my characters...'

Erm... I think that's a Knox story, not a Rees one.

So, tell me how you work it all out, because as the title says.
I'm still learning.

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posted by Kim Knox at 6:55 pm


Interesting post, Kim!

System? Uh, not really. I have a fairly solid-yet-flexible (HAHA) plot in my head, which gets written down as a few random sentences to mark the chapters. This is more for when odd bits of dialogue come to me and I can slot them into place easier. Otherwise it's a start-at-the-beginning-and-see-what-happens-next kind of thing.

Funnily enough, the story I'm working on at the moment (which is NOT from my list of projects for 2007... *sigh* I knew that would happen!) is an alternate history type thing and so I've done a lot more planning than usual. I even drew a map (usually if I need them, I draw a map halfway through the story when I get bored with it LOL)! Of course, all this unaccustomed forward-planning has made me flail around a little now I'm actually writing the story, because it feels like all the good stuff's been done!

So really, it's whatever suits you best. I've fiddled about with various bits of software that claim to 'revolutionise' your writing but it did naff all for me. I've tried the index cards, the drawing on the wall thing and umpteen other methods, but when it comes down to actually getting the story written, it's just a case of sitting down and writing the first conversation to break the ice. Then I go back and write the opening lines when I've got over the 'blank page syndrome'. Works for me, but maybe not for everyone. As you said, it's a learning experience *g*

1:55 pm  

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