Monday, November 23, 2015

Peopling a story

Peopling, creating characters. Adding people to a new story.

I took some time off from editing Fortune to jot down a few ideas for a new book.

Here's how it worked this time:

I had a concept -- a western romance

I saw the opening scene -- a posse or troopers chasing bad guys ...when the dust settled, I zoomed in on a ranch – two-story house, barn/stable, pastoral setting ....

The title came to me -- perfect, I think... SD for short

I saw both main characters, heard their names. A bit about their back stories. An evolving plot.

Now, two characters, though mandatory for a romance, do not the story make -- it would be over too soon if that were the case. I need a supporting cast:

For her: a grandpa (or is he?), a husband and brother, killed in the war (or were they?) For him: a buddy, an enemy, and a past love. 

A reason for throwing them together ... a good one, I think.

And some obstacles, giant ones, to keep things interesting. I have some, need more.

It's a process, different for everyone. My story ideas come fast and I need to get the skeleton built right away. The flesh will come later.

SD will take its place in the queue.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Dream a little dream...

Did I say I had bizarre dreams? Well, I dreamed an agent came to visit me. Said agent was a big man with a big blustering voice, traveling with a rather small assistant. He studied my bookshelves for some minutes, then asked my daughter to find a particular title for him. (my kids were young in the dream.) The other two were trying to watch tv, but couldn't hear it for his loud voice. I had expected him to talk to me about romance novels, but he kept harping upon some fantasy title I'm sure I didn't own.

Perhaps that blustering voice, or my frustration, snapped me out of the dream.

Which brings me to Fantasy novels. I was never an avid Elves-and-Faeries-type of reader. Tolkien doesn't work for me. I do read witches, the Anne Rice type, but not Rowling. And I've enjoyed vampire and werewolf tales--the old ones, not the modern-day ones.

But oh! I admire those who create entire worlds that are not quite our own. Whether lower, middle, or upper earth, or in a galaxy that's far, far away from our own ken, these places exist far beyond the pages of a book.

Which bring me to this observation: creating a plausible world, whether inhabited by sorcerers with powers or regular people who've lived any time in the last four and a half billion years can be a daunting but exciting task.

I guess that's why we write.