Paying the Viking's Price

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Getting started

I have officially started this wip. My eldest keeps saying only x number of days til Christmas or Christmas will be here soon, and I keep telling him to hush. I have a complete rough draft to write before then. I want to enjoy my Christmas holidays.
In August I had the great pleasure of taking Laurie Campbell's course on tips from Madison Avenue -- Writing the Selling Synopsis. There were a load of worksheets. Most of which are easily adaptable to planning one's story as well as discovering what is important for a synopsis. I like doing questionnaires and interviewing my characters but they have to be the sort of questions that my mind can get around. The more in depth questions. If you ever have a chance to take acourse, the handouts are worth it. I really enjoyed her Hero's Fatal Flaw course that I took as well.
Kate Walker also has a good set of questions but I decided to try a combination of both this time.
Iti s not about finding out the physical appearance but what makes them tick. What sort of first impression do they make? Why? How does that change as people get to know them? etc After doing the interviews, I go through looking for key words to match up the sort of person they are with the ennegram personality type so that I can quickly delve into the reactions and the whys. It also helps me see where the flash points might occur. Why might this sort of behavior bother my heroine when it would not bother another person? Why if my heroine does this, will it get under my hero's skin? What is attracting? What is repelling?

I also figured out that I had started in the wrong POV. One trick Kate Bridges taught me is to always think about what the hero and heroine were feeling five minutes before the story starts. They have to have life before the story begins. Who has more at stake at the beginning?

Anyway, at least I have begun. Now as each day ticks away, I have to add more. Thedays of thinking are over and the actual writing must begin. A new hero to fall inlove with, a new heroine to empathise with. It keeps me off the streets and my mind from thinking about the manuscript currently sitting on my editor's desk, waiting its turn.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Best of luck on the new story!

Donna Alward said...

Michelle, I got tired just thinking about all the character workup that you do!

Don't forget to have fun with it.

Michelle Styles said...

Oh but it is a load of fun. It is really great to sit my characters down and talk to them, get to know them. It helps with planning the conflicts. By the end of doing the worksheets, I know lots of little things. Sometimes, these come into play in the story and sometimes they don't. It also makes revisions easier...

Donna Alward said...

I forgot to mention that I completely missed making a lurid comment on your "keeping off the streets" bit. LOL