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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Pre-Book Time Again

I've mentioned Pre-Book at least a few times on the blog. It's that time where I'm exploring a story (or stories) and getting to know the characters. I also research the big picture things I should know and look for pictures of my characters. The pictures are important--sometimes I need them before I even start writing and other times I need to find them before I finish writing three chapters. Sixty pages, though, is the cut off and maybe not so coincidentally, that's about the length of a proposal.

Last weekend ended up being a picture hunt weekend, and since I have more than one story going through my head, it was for multiple characters.

I already have pictures of my Polynesian couple, although they're small and difficult to see clearly, but the hero has two friends who have stories and I needed their pictures. Mick (nickname, not real name) was easy to find. Boom! It took maybe a minute. But the third friend, Royce, wasn't easy. I looked and looked. They were too young, they were too old, they were too blond, they were too dark. On and on it went, and yes, he was there saying no to everyone I found. Even when I was ready to say good enough, he wasn't.

Deciding the search was fruitless, I went in search of Sin's picture. If y'all read In the Midnight Hour, you might remember him. He's the LA troubleshooter who was unfriendly toward Ryne. From the start, I knew he had a story, but I had no clue who his heroine was--until I was writing the book I turned in March 1st.

I already had pictures of Tris because she's Kel and Logan's sister and I needed to know what she looked like for Kel's book, but Sin was going to be a problem, I knew it. He's too good looking and I had too specific an image of him in my head. That's never a good combination for an image search.

BTW, just so y'all know, I'm not particularly happy to have a hero named Sin. It makes me grimace every time I think about it--or nearly so. Unfortunately, I don't get to pick names for my characters. They tell me who they are and I argue and they ignore me until I concede and then life is good. So when he told me his name was Sinclair Duncan, I went, NO! He didn't care. And when Ryne called him Sin, I said, NO! He didn't care. I'm stuck with Sin whether I like it or not. His middle name is worse, IMO, but that's the way it goes some times. My opinion doesn't matter to any of these people.

Anyway, I digress. I spent two days looking for Sin. Site after site after site. I even had to find new sites because I ran through all the places I have bookmarked on my computer. Finally, at one of my new finds, I found a few pictures that looked promising--for other characters. :-( I saved them and kept looking for Sin and then suddenly, there he was. Dark hair, blue eyes, and great bod. I couldn't believe it.

I went back to the pictures I saved to look at guys I thought might be characters in other stories--I've got about 5 different stories in my head all with chatting people. It's loud right now! And as I browse the pictures of this guy I thought would make a good Bo, I got a Boom! Royce! Finally!

And as I looked at the picture, I finally got his first name. That was something he wouldn't even hint at no matter how hard I pressed him or how long I searched. That's when I knew for sure it was the right picture.

Of course, I don't have heroines for either Mick or Royce. Not even an inkling of who they might be, but that's on the back burner to simmer for a while. Sin and Tris have taken over and they're demanding.

Who am I kidding? All my characters are demanding. I'm mulling, making notes, and thinking about their stories. Pre-Book is fun! It's infinite possibilities and letting things simmer and unfold naturally. It's testing out different ideas, seeing if the characters are willing to go that way and starting over when they're not.