Thursday, November 8, 2012

Author Talk, part 1

Random questions I’ve been asked and my answers. Part 1
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?

For SHELTERED I started with a desire to write a paranormal novel about demon-possession and concentrate on the manifestations of demons as portrayed by historians of two thousand years ago. What the ancients saw as demon possession then science and medicine today would call epilepsy, schizophrenia, mental disorders, and so on. But what if that’s not true? What if demons exist (and I believe they do) and what if they mimic those problems? Next I wrote out my characters’ names, relationships, habits, appearances, quirks, and individual problems and then put them in an unsupervised living condition. I wrote scene one and then let the characters take it from there. As they interacted with one another, stuff happened (and stuff I planned didn’t happen) and the plot took off. I chased behind waving my notes and clicking on the keyboard from time to time. It was fun.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Absolutely. Every character has a little bit of me to start with – I just can’t help it. As I write out little character sketches I often add a note that this person will have an attitude like [name of former student] or looks like [a certain relative], or has the same habits as [that jerk down the street]. I even use first and last names of people I know or former students, but mix them up.