Okay, I'll let you drive.

Friday, January 07, 2005

This post Suzanne blogged about today, coincided with stuff I was thinking about my current ms. Normally I start with the characters, that is they come to me, start whispering my ear, teasing me, untill I sit down and talk to them, find out their secrets, their fears, their personalities, what turns them off, and on. Brows And once I know that... I proceed to make their lives hell.

With this book, because I was determined to write another single title contemporary, I started with plot, then slotted in the characters. Now I'm sort of working in two directions, pushing forward with the plot, while still fleshing out the characters. I'm finding out that they go hand in hand.

Case in point, I knew Zoe had some sort of male relative around her who I was getting some shady vibes from. It was a toss up between younger brother or a cousin, but I was leaning towards the cousin, because I didn't feel comfortable with her having a skanky brother. Finally, I decided childhood friend. So I start writing and I change my mind once again--it's definitely her brother. But I don't know if he's older or younger. It's only when he enters the scene, literally, that I know! He's her twin. Younger by two minutes. Things fell into place then, and I captured a lot of their personalities and the bond they share in the scene, by *showing*, not *telling*. None of it was planned, not even the way the scene unfolded. But I knew I was on the right track because Zoe and Zane had taken over. Me? I'll enjoy the ride for the time being.

Now for a little cyber slieght of hand. I'm going to post a bit of the scene, below in the following blog post. (but actually I'm posting it first, even though I wrote this first. Am I making you crazy? gg )

Since I don't have a website, yet, where I would post excerpts, I'll be doing a little bit of that here, from time to time. I used to post bits of scenes over on the Struggling Writers thread in the Writing Community board at eHarl. Just tiny excerpts of just written dialogue, ect, that tickled my fancy.
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Kate Allan said...

Hi! nipped over to your blog by way of Julie Cohen.
Plot and character are inseperable in an novel. They either work together... or they do not, and thus something has to give. :)

Jaye said...

Oh, I know they're inseparable, I was pointing out that usually I come at the story from a point firmly anchored in the H/h's personalities. My stories are more character driven than plot driven. This time I started with plot, yet I know I need to find my way back to a place where I can dig deep into the characters--and if at all possible write from a deep pov. I just found it interesting that the unfolding plot has caused that to happen in unexpected ways. It's just a matter of breaking every so often and analyzing what I wrote, what does it reveal? What is the subtext? Every time I do so, I get a little more oriented with the characters.

Thanks for dropping by. :-)

Sasha White said...

Like you, I usually start with characters. But I really struggle with plot. LOL

Jaye said...

Plots a very big problem with me, Sasha. I tend to have weak (execution of the) external conflict. Pulling my punches, instead of making things worse, or I fall back on contrivances. :-P

Amie Stuart said...

LOL I LOVE when stuff like this happens. You don't put a whole lot of thought into a character but they pop onto the page fully developed.

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