Monday, May 11, 2015

Pre-Writing: Getting Into Character


For May, our OA Writing Tips topic is Pre-Writing. How do you get ready to write a novel?

When I first started writing, I didn't know pre-writing existed. I dove in, head first, and felt befuddled when I bonked my head on the bottom of the pool. Through the years, I've begun to appreciate the idea of pre-writing. My favorite way to get ready for a big project, and the one I'm going to talk about today, is...

Getting Into Character:

So, taking a leaf from Twilight's Stephenie Meyer--who wrote her first book beginning with the intense emotional dream she'd just had: a conversation between a girl and a vampire about how much he wanted to kill her and how hard it was for him to refrain--I like to begin by writing a conversation between two or more characters. This gives me an idea who my main characters are, and why they are at odds with each other. It immediately establishes the main conflict, each character's main motive, and the justification each will use to feel like the good guy in the conflict.

This comes naturally to me because I often feel the impulse to open a new scene with dialogue. It's counter-intuitive for me to do what the experts say and begin by setting the scene. In my mind, it's the conversation that means the most. This type of pre-writing works with my natural inclination and gets the creative juices flowing.

Even if the conversations won't ever feature in the finished novel, they put me firmly in the heads of the characters I'm going to be leading on their wild goose chase of adventure, woe, and resolution.

How do you pre-write?

Look for answers from the rest of the OA gang throughout the month.

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