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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I Heart Pre-Book

I love Pre-Book. It's not my favorite part of the process. I think that's when the idea first comes in. Then information and ideas are flowing fast and furious and I'm riding an adrenaline wave that is major cool. But Pre-Book is pretty darn awesome, too.

The regular readers of this blog know that Pre-Book is when I look for character pictures, do overview level research for the idea (whether it be for a series or a single book), and start thinking about the flow of the story.

What's fun about Pre-Book is that I'm taking all the ideas, information, and details and forming them into a cohesive whole. Not everything I have seems to fit when it first appears in my head, but at this stage, things start to make a little more sense. I still get surprised. Oh, boy, do my characters love to spring stuff on my while I'm writing, but to carry my house-building analogy forward, Pre-Book is like surveying the land, learning where the dips and hills are located.

Sometimes Pre-Book is frustrating. I hate it when I have to spend hours and hours looking for character pictures to find the right one. It's even worse when I have to search multiple days. Been there, done that. I also hate it when the characters don't give me a name.

Again, regular readers are aware that I don't get to choose my character's names. They tell me what they are. But sometimes I actually hear them say their name--that's my favorite. Other times, I get "My name starts with an R." Then I end up looking through baby name books and websites. Ryne made me look through every baby name book I owned before I found her name. Because she has a boys' name! Grr. The last book on my shelf (and let me tell you, my name books are extensive. I must have close to 20.) was the only one that put Ryne in the Girls' section.

Sometimes, though, the name search is even worse than the "I have a letter" game. Sometimes I just get smug silence. My threats to pick a name for them if they won't cooperate? Laughed at. Because they know, darn them, that if they go on strike, I get nowhere. I've reached a place where I just work on other stories and let the silent ones sit until they're ready to talk.

Okay, I try to work on other things. It's hard sometimes because it bugs me that I have unnamed people in my head.

Um, anyway, to get back to where I meant to head, this last weekend was a Pre-Book weekend. On Sunday, it was for two characters that are part of my vampire-demon world. I found pictures for both of them and the process was relatively painless for a change. :-) I blogged about that on Sunday. Monday, I spent the day researching for a completely different story. It was a hugely pleasant weekend.