Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIPlash Wednesdays-Question from Marlo's what I get when I work with on my current novel(s)-

Unlike the real word "whiplash"- I'm putting a new spin on it.

WIP= Work In Progress Lash- the flexible part of a "WIP"

Wednesdays are also flexible. They're not quite so stressful as Monday, but not nearly as exciting or as looked forward to as Friday and the weekend. It's a nice little in-between to take inventory of where you've been and where you're heading.

WIPlash Wednesdays will be that place for me in my writing. It will be a day to take inventory of what I've done on my current manuscript, whether it be writing, editing, or whatnot. It will also be a nice place to just answer questions from friends and family about my life "as a writer." Questions that other writers also get from family and friends or curious strangers and their readers. Eventually I'll probably pool all the questions and my answers into a FAQs section on my website, but for now, I'll just be flexible and go with the flow.

Hopefully soon though, I'll be adding word count to my meter again(I added 3,046 new words to my WIP just the other night), working through various manuscripts, and talking again about the thrill and excitement of creating, of actually getting words on paper (or on screen, as the case may be.) I have more stories to tell and many miles to go before I sleep.

Today's WIPlash will include a question from one of my friends on FB. Of course, as my fellow writers can attest, these questions remain the same, but the answers are usually as personal and as individual as the writer who answers it and those answers vary tremendously among all of us in the writing industry.

Here's my take on one question. I think I'm going to get long winded on this question, so bare with me. Other questions will follow on other WIPlash Wednesdays in the coming weeks.

From Marlo- I've always wondered how writers come up with their characters.

My characters come to me in a variety of ways.

Catherine, from Castaway Hearts, came to me via, of all things, a Myspace background in 2006, which I'll touch more on when I post my blog in a few weeks that introduces her. (not sure who this image actually belongs to, but this is where Catherine really started to come to life in my mind)
See, though the story came to me via this "black & blue" image, Catherine Barrett had actually existed on paper since I was a teenager. I wrote what I considered the introductory couple of pages—just one sheet, front and back, but I never got any farther than her stepping up the planks of her grandfather's ship. I knew the story was historical, I knew she was going to sail away to a new world she was not accustomed to, but I hadn't yet dreamed what that story would possibly be. The image above helped bring Catherine from my past to the present. It haunted me as I'd lay down to go to sleep at night. This girl was so forlorn, so heartbroken and I knew the ghostly ship meant something, but what?

But what of all the other characters? Some were born when I gave them names, and their personalities bloomed from there. Literally. Others, names just came to me and I just already knew what kind of person they were and still others, a name has come to me, but they are playing coy and keeping their secrets about themselves a mystery for now.

In my Love By series, the four sisters originally started out as individual book ideas, single titles. There wasn't going to be a series, but their names all seemed "flowery" and this formed a synapse in my brain that said they HAVE to go together, those characters are SISTERS!

Some authors name characters and give them characteristics based on their names, the origins of the names, based on the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of their characters but I go on gut instinct a lot in choosing names. The wrong name can make or break the character, or do little more than create a block when it comes to writing them as they should be. The right name that suits a character feels like it fits them like a second skin, blends with who they are and makes writing and reading them a pleasure.

Tune in next Wednesday for more and questions from Mary Ellen & Katie!

Feel free to leave me more questions in the comments here at anytime.
I'll be happy to answer them.

Happy Hump Day! I can see the weekend from here!

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