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Thursday, March 15, 2012

From Idea To Story - Part 4

This is part 4 series of blogs that will run through how I take an idea and make it into a story. This is my process and it might not work for everyone. It might not even work for me on my next project. The one thing that I've learned is that my process will (and has) changed over the years. Sometimes drastically.

The Week of February 26, 2012

If you read Tuesday's blog, you know I spent the week waffling back and forth on whether or not I'd found the right image of my heroine. That's not all I was doing during the week.

Information began flowing in about my characters. Well, flow might be too strong a word since I haven't written anything new in more than six months. I haven't even thought anything new or creative in this time. I was too stressed about moving 1100 miles from Minneapolis to Atlanta to think about anything but what I had to do. It's not easy to kick the imagination back into gear, but at least now it's coming in faster than a trickle--which is where it had been until now.

I made notes during lunch at work. Lots of background information about the hero. He's a 700+ year old vampire so he has a bit of past to learn about. He'd been betrayed by people he trusted. That was going to play into the story...somehow.

The heroine is still something of an enigma to me. The information she offered mainly has to do with the situation going on now. This isn't a bad thing because someone needs to tell me the story, but I would like to know more about her background than she's giving me. Small things have come through, but not much.

Also during this week, I played different versions of the first scene. I think I know where I'm opening, but there are so many possibilities within that scenario. This is one of the fun things about Pre-Book (That's what I call this preparatory time before I start writing), testing out the options, discarding the ones that don't work and homing in on the one that will ultimately be the one I actually start writing. That doesn't mean it's the right opening--a lot of times I end up writing half a dozen different opening scenes--but it does mean it's one I haven't rejected before even trying it.

Pre-Book also means research. Some of the hero's background was stuff I'd read about before, but it had been long enough that I needed to refresh my memory. Some of it was new.

Since these characters are part of my Blood Feud World (Titles already set here are: Blood Feud, Demon Kissed, Shadow's Caress, and Enemy Embrace), most of the world building has already been done. I just needed to look at the hero and heroine and see how they fit into the world. I'm still working on some of this--the do they know the characters from the other stories part remains in flux.