by Margie Senechal
What I’ve noticed about this week’s theme is that it’s basically what came first? The chicken or the egg? Most of the girls have chosen the chicken—er, the characters.
I’m different. For me, it’s the idea that comes first. My characters arrive to tell the story that I’m creating in my head.
My current WIP’s all began with an idea. From the girl who collects suitcases but never goes anywhere to the discovery of dinosaur bones in a backyard that preempt the swimming pool installation.
And the ideas come from anything at any given moment. I thought of the suitcase story because my favorite aisle to walk up and down to dream is the suitcase aisle. But, I don’t have the resources to go all the places I dream of going at this particular juncture of my life and thus Ana was born to tell that story—although very different from mine.
I have a romance brewing based on a plaque I saw last year that read: What happens under the mistletoe stays under the mistletoe. And I thought, “What if it doesn’t????”
As for process, it varies as much as my ideas. Different books have different processes. But, they all usually begin easily—the first couple of chapters springing out of me without a problem.
And then, I have to think. And think. I think they call that plotting. And I brainstorm—probably one of my favorite exercises to do.
The brainstorming might be followed up by a rough outline. By rough outline, I mean a line or two of things that need to happen in the next few chapters. A lot of times I’ll have snippets of conversation come to me in bits and pieces that make it into at least one version of the manuscript—may not always stay.
I am also one of those writers who edits as I go. I write the first draft in hand because I think better with a pen or Sharpie Liquid Pencil—instrument of choice—in my hand and graph paper in front of me. That draft is edited as I type it into the computer and then I print out a hard copy to read and that one will be edited as well. By the time I finish a “first draft”, I will have edited it into the double digits.
So, to sum this up, I am the egg.