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Once in a while doing these interviews, I get a great question. No matter the answer, I think it’s interesting to think this over. When you wrote your last story, what did you have first? A Character? A Plot? A Setting? How did you get started?
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For my answer, hop on over to Linda Carroll-Bradd’s Blog for that and other great answers from the depths of my demented mind.
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Since most of my stories start as dreams, the opening scenes are usually what I write, sometimes the plot is there, sometimes just an inkling of what is to come. The characters develop as the action progresses, using a ‘how would so-&-so react to such-&-such’ approach. That’s when I start thinking about character back story.
With my historical fiction, though, once I had the opening scenes it was a matter of researching who I wanted my lead character to interact with and then figuring out how the plot would progress based on historical events.
Hmm, I may be a bit of an outlier here. I can have ideas and characters running through my head, but usually the “trigger” to begin writing is a scene. So both plot elements and characters are there from the beginning. Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra…. 😉
Ha! I think you need to start somewhere. As long as that somewhere works for you it’s all good. 🙂
I think I start with the Characters, but now that I actually ponder the question, I’m not sure. I know that usually, I can see my characters in a certain situation (usually the defining point of the story), and the story grows from there as well as my curiosity as to who these people are. They’re so intertwined it’s hard to decide which comes first, the plot of the story or the characters. It’s as hard as deciding the chicken or the egg.
Yeah. I think that curiosity is what leads to great characters.
For my current novel, I had the concept first, but the characters followed shortly after, and soon, I could think of no better characters to help create my plot. 🙂
I love it when a plan comes together!
All my stories have centered around characters, who gradually tell me their story.
I usually start with characters… most of which I love and find interesting. I tend to have difficulty weaving a plot around them that’s as interesting as I find them…
Congratulations on the publications and happy holidays!
Thanks so much! You need to love your characters enough to torture them… or give them conflict as it were. 🙂
I would say that more often than not I start with the plot – I’ll probably have a vague idea of some of the main characters involved in the plot but the characters are a secondary development to the plot for me. But it’s an interesting question, and as an exercise I think I’m going to have a deliberate attempt at doing it the other way round; developing some strong characters and then deciding what will happen to them after. I’m going to go and read what your answer was now…
I think you can probably go both ways, as long as they compliment eachother and you work on both equally as well.