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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Writing Rituals

One the loops I'm on was talking about superstitions writers have. I'm not sure I have any since I'm not a particularly superstitious person. I love Friday the 13th because I always have a great day! Black cats? Here kitty, kitty. Maybe I don't walk under ladders, but that's more because I'm worried something is going to fall on my head rather than it being bad luck.

These other authors were talking about things like what order they do something in and things like that. I really couldn't relate to any of it because as far as I can determine, I don't have things like that. I did, however, also start thinking about what I need before I can start writing.

The first three chapters are fun for me. I'm exploring my characters, getting to know them, getting a feel for their story and their reactions and setting things up. But it's during this stretch that I go looking for pictures of my hero and heroine. I have to have them.

Sometimes it's quick because I'll collect pictures of people I think might be h/h material at a later point. If I can find someone on my hard drive that fits the bill, I'm done in minutes. Then there are the searches that take forever before I finally find the one that makes me go, s/he's the one!

I have a good sense of my characters before I go looking for pictures, but it helps solidify things for me. Like Deke in my WIP. I knew him, but I didn't have as firm a grip on his personality as I would have liked. Then I found his picture. And I went, ah, yeah, so that's it. You're a smart aleck. And he is! My God, he's driving Ryne insane. But I suspect he's using that as a shield. My job is to pry it off and expose who he really is--not just to the heroine, but to the readers as well.

This is the only thing that has stayed the same in my writing process. Everything else changes book to book. That's something else I didn't expect because before I sold, my process did stay the same from story to story. I was lucky, though, I had an experienced author warn me about things changing, and so I didn't worry when it happened--I just went with the flow.