pillow talk ~ story preparation
The lovely Danielle (who so kindly let me know she'd bought my book THE WEDDING DATE last week!) has asked:
How do you plan each novel? Do you go straight in and write beginning to end or do you chop and change or have a specific chapter plan?
Well here goes...
1. I start each book with an idea. For me that means some kind of "cute meet", or situation that throws the hero and heroine together that engages me long enough to write it down! ...
2. From there I open up a new word file in which to hopefully one day write the book, and another in which to keep notes about the story as they spring up, because often times it can be months or even years before the book becomes a reality - if at all. (The idea for THE WEDDING DATE - out now in Australia & New Zealand - came to me in Feburary 2006!)
3. I settle on a working title that sums up the book to me, even if I know it'll never fly with the publisher. (For me, THE WEDDING DATE was called THE LONG WEEKEND)
4. I then"cast" the characters - again because of the length of time it can take from idea to "the end" - so I want to find images that give me that same feeling I had when the idea first resonated. (Hannah in THE WEDDING DATE looked a bit like Amanda Peet, Bradley like the delicious Gerard Butler)
5. I start writing. That's about as organised as I get!!!
My preparation - which certainly won't suit everyone! - isn't about plots or scenes or nay kind of grand plan. It's about harnessing the feeling each idea originally gave me and creating a space in which to tap into that feeling every time I sit down to write. My stories flow organically from there. I know how my stories are going to end - well! So for me the beauty of writing is not the destination but the exploration. Hope helps Danielle! .
And if anyone else out there in Blogland has any other craft questions, behind the book questions, questions about how type with one hand while shovelling down M&Ms with the other please comment hereupon or send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with "PILLOW TALK" in the header.