I'm most recently a writer. In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot. As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades. An unwilling transplant from the South, twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US. Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect. When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do. Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Now before you decide I'm just saying that to protect the mystical sources leaving messages on my computer, or emmitting subliminal impulses only I can hear, let me assure you it's much simpler than that. I just listen to my characters.
Oh, I have a clue as to where things need to go. I have parameters in place, lines I won't cross, subjects I'm not qualified to write about. But I admit it, I'm a "pantser." I don't outline. I write a brief synopsis which I refer to as I'm writing, but it's definitely subject to change as the story progresses, or rather, as the characters tell their story.
Case in point, when I started my first novel, HEARTS UNFOLD, I knew the protagonist, Stani Moss was famous. He could have been a rock star, an actor, even the CEO of a major corporation or royalty, but he had the audacity to tell me he was a musical prodigy, the premier talent of his generation, a violinist. Period. No room for negotiation. Okaaaaay, the violin? Well, it's easier to carry around than a piano. You can whip it out and play a little tune (or major concerto) at the drop of a hat. Its reputation and repertoire are by and large romantic, and who can resist a man in white tie and tails? Certainly not the soon-to-be love of his life, farm girl Emily Haynes.
Once Stani informed me of his claim to fame and fortune, it led to a tie-in with Emily's background, the conflicts between their very different worlds, and all kinds of potential plot lines. Soon other details piled on. Hair color (Red? Really?). Height (Only 5'7? Not your typical tall, dark and handsome!). And background--Stani is British, raised by a Hungarian couple, befriended by a British policeman-turned-bodyguard, and a New York socialite. And on and on. That's the way the story unfolds for me. Character breeds plot. At the heart of Stani's character lies his phenomenal gift, and that gift dictates his career and his lifestyle. Thus, it's fair to say the violin is the driving force behind what has become a four-volume series.