Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Voices of Fiction - From Idea to First Draft - Part Four

Welcome to Voices of Fiction. Again, we have a wonderful group of authors to answer your questions concerning ‘From Idea to First Draft’. Let’s begin the introductions.

Jared Gullage, an English Language Arts teacher in Alabama, is the author of Drinna, The Dustfinders, and The Afterknight. Through his father's introduction to books like The Hobbit, Great Expectations, and works by Ray Bradbury, Jared discovered a universe within his own imagination. Jared put his vision to work through role-play games and then storytelling. Following his father's words, "paint pictures with words", this compulsive writer plans to leave his mark upon the writing world, one dent at a time.

Reno Charlton - I'm a full time copywriter, working from home to provide clients around the world with content for websites, magazines and other media. I am also an author, having written and published three children's fantasy novels and two short stories for older readers. The short stories were created under my pen name of Emily Ho. One of these stories, The Journey Home, won a Curtis Brown Short Story Competition. Link, Link, Link

Cindy Huefner Cromer, formally a New Jersey resident, now resides in Stuart, Florida, with her husband, son, and daughter. Cindy works as a laboratory scientist and executive. As the president of a laboratory network, she has written numerous laboratory procedures and research documents. Driven by a passion for suspense and mystery novels, she dreamed of becoming a writer. Her dream turned into reality with the release of her debut suspense novel, Desperate Measures. She is currently working on her second novel, Desperate Deceptions. Plans are in place for her third and fourth books.  Website, Link, Link

Ellen Spain is a retired Federal Investigator, now turned author, editor, and educator. She is active with EPIC, PennWriters, RWA, SCBWI, and the Pittsburgh East Writers.
Website, Link, Link

Carole Ann Moleti is a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her newest fiction is featured in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts and Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires.Website, Blog, Twitter

Pat Andres - author of MAGGIE: A SAVANNAH DOG, Roseanna the Savannah Squirrel, LOVE FROM the ASHES, and It's Hard to Be Crystal: Life in the Tranny Lane. Website

Welcome Authors! It’s wonderful to have you here.

Now, the question is: What steps do you take to move from idea to complete first draft?  

Jared Gullage: It usually depends. Most of the time, however, I like to just get started. I want to find some way of pulling the reader in by making something happening in medias res. I like to make the reader ask: "What's going on?" and hope that I've answered it in such a way they keep asking.

Reno Charlton: In order to complete the first draft of any book, I start out making notes and chapter outlines. I make notes about the general theme of the story, establish the characters that I want to develop, and do a chapter outline. I then try and work on a couple of chapters a week, sometimes more, until the first draft is ready. However, does all depend on how the ideas are flowing – if I am on a roll and I have no other commitments, I just keep going. I wrote the draft of my first book within a couple of days, much of it on the flight home from the USA to the UK.

Cindy Cromer: I create the protagonist first, give him/her an interesting suspenseful story line then write the beginning and the end.

Ellen Spain: When I get an idea for a story, I immediately jot it down and include any action scenes and story hooks. Within a day, I can draft a rough outline for the story, and create the main characters. I don't need their names at this point. From the outline, I write a rough draft with the main plot falling into place. Now I outline the characters: their conflicts, solutions, their personalities and traits, and merge this into the rough draft while also breaking the action scenes into chapters.

Carole Ann Moleti: I'm a hopeless panster. Most of the time I get an idea, sit down, and start writing. Often in the middle of the night. Almost always out order since I get inspirations for some really cool scenes and want to get them down while the idea is fresh. Along the way, I do spend a lot of time on character building and setting up the world. Since I write paranormal and urban fantasy, there is often research and reading I need to do so I don't write myself into plot or credibility problem. Once I have a few chapters drafted, I usually know the denouement and ending. I can take months to fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

Pat Andres:I plunge right in and get ideas on paper. Not exactly an outline, but a guide.

Thank you all for sharing your process with us.

Readers feel free to ask questions concerning this topic in the comments or send questions to chergreen@chergreen.com Subject: Voices of Fiction Question, and have them answered by the participating authors in later editions.

There’s also room for more authors to participate. Drop me an email, Subject: Voices of Fiction.

Part One – Cherie Reich, Joylene Butler, Karina Kantas, Jade Varden 

Part Two – Clara Bowman-Jahn, T. W. Ervin II, Vicki Batman, Thea Landen

Part Three - Barbara Ehrentreu, Catrina Barton, Cara Marsi, Pembroke Sinclair 

(Disclaimer - Bios and answers have been posted as submitted by author)


Kittie Howard said...

Thanks for sharing! It's good to know what others do as it makes one feel like an approach is a good one if it works.

Cher Green said...

Kittie, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the variety of methods makes one feel more comfortable when trying to figure out their own process.

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