Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

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

Wednesday 17 January 2007

between the sheets: character

I am a visual writer. I can see this new story unfolding in my head, like a movie. A muddy, hazy moody, scene plays itself out over and over again. While I'm awake, while I'm sleeping, as I ought to be concentrating on other things. But even with this head start, I find it near impossible to keep the exact mood, colour, and emotion spot on as I turn it from pictures into words. But that's the beauty. The challenge. The excitement when I - hopefully - get it right.

I like a lot of visual stimulation as I write. Some authors like to “collage”, cutting and pasting myriad images from magazines onto a backing sheet to produce a quick glance feel of the book they are about to write. (Check out
Barbara Hannay and Nicola Marsh’s recent blogs for examples)

I tried it once at a conference tutorial run by Barbara. I always covered my diaries and notebooks at the beginning of the school year in much the same way, with words and images and pics of my favourite movie stars. So I wasn’t surprised that I loooved making the collage for what turned out to be MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE. I loooved the finished product. I even had lots of other authors at a conference see it and tell me they just knew at first glance it was meant for it was for a Harlequin Romance novel. But it invoked the wrong mood for the exact story I was trying to write, and it hindered me big time.

In the same way the right visual stimulation can make my job so much easier. It's the reason why I do take time to get my hero and heroine inspiration and why I always do a smaller version of the collage technique – just a picture of the hero, the heroine and the title to use as the background of my computer, so as soon as I sit down each day I see them, and the mood I am trying to create.

This is Hud and Kendall as I see them at this moment. (The gorgeous guy is tennis player Marat Safin. Dreamy no?) This is them today, anyway. They could very well evolve.

This visual imperative is also why I place so much importance on settings in my books which I’ll touch on tomorrow...

today’s progress

hero inspiration chosen: Marat Safin - thanks to the Australian Open tennis playing day in day out on the telly right now!

word count: 1,300 / 50,000

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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