Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

between the sheets: collaging

Character development doesn’t all happen in the week leading up to the beginning of writing a book. Not for me anyway. When I begin they are barely a skeleton. Not much more than a pretty face, a job, and a glimmer of a background story that means they’ll find it hard to fall in love. For example so far, Hud is dark, needs a shave a a haircut, and has run the gamut from nature-documentary film producer to adventure junkie photographer already. Kendall has long red hair, wears Doc Martens and long skirts, even in summer, and that's about all I knew at the beginning.

At any stage in the writing of a book, I give you permission to take a step back and re-look at your characters. And today I did just that. I spent time pouring through old In Style magazines hoping for snippets and ideas that might add to what I know and my guys. Looking for nuances, and shade and colour. Inspiration for future scenes. And I found them. And I put these scene ideas into a collage. Much of this may not end up in the book, but already I have thought of future scenes taking note of the girl with arms outstretched on the left, and the bicycle ride. The car on the long stretch of country road, Waterhouse's mermaid painting and Hud's camera were already there in my mind. I love the colour flow, the green overtones, the balance of nature. It all has resonance to Hud and Kendall's story.

Now, remember back a coupla days ago I talked about "split focus" and the possibility that I might soon begin work on my next story as well? I'm there! My next Modern Extra is taking form inside my head. So while I was ripping out magazine pages and googling, I did a collage for AT YOUR SERVICE too. Do you think the two collages have a different feel? I think the top one is more romantic, whimsical, and moody. While the bottom one is hopefully sassier, sexier, naughtier, citified, and fun. Glancing at them on my office wall I get a definite feel for both. hope it helps!!!

today's progress:

Morning tea with some lovely girlfriends Sheree and MJ (who is just pregnant!!!) Lots of rubbing of tummies and baby name talk.

New groovy but very easy care hairstyle discovered accidentally ;). This is exciting for me as I'm heading up to Brisbane for a long weekend and my mum says its hot, hot, hot. My usual Melbourne dos just won't hold and I'm in danger of teenage frizzed hair flashbacks. But no longer. Groovy new up do ought to serve me well!

New Modern Extra begun. AT YOUR SERVICE: Bridget Moynahan (best known as "the idiot stick-figure with no soul" from Sex and the City, though I'll be giving her a slightly different role of gorgeous, fabulous heroine ;)) and McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey from Grey's Anatomy for anyone without a TV) chosen as hero and heroine inspiration. Important note they will be nothing like any chyaracters I have seen them play. My characters are solely on these pics. First meeting worked out. In Melbourne cafe - though based on Le Procope which is in, believe it or not, Paris!

For the journey of writing a Harlequin Romance from initial idea to 'the end', check out the whole Between the Sheets series

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