When I decided to write Unlikely Venture, I just WROTE. I made some notes here and there but for the most part, I found out what was going to happen as I typed. I didn’t have the whole story mapped out, didn’t use an outline. But that style kind of suits me. I’m impulsive so I don’t like wasting time on the planning. I like to jump in feet first, headed straight toward the action.
I’ve learned a lot over the past year, though. And I’ve determined that maybe a bit of planning can go a long way. So, while I am taking a very short hiatus from my last set of edits, I delved into book 2. I’ve been making notes everywhere, including on my iPhone as I drive (not advisable). Sometimes to avoid potential fender benders, I call myself and just talk through my notes so I have a voicemail as reference. Maybe it’s time to download a voice recorder app.
Anyway, I’ve been working on character sketches for my new book. I didn’t create these up front with book 1; it wasn’t until my editor requested them that I actually sat down to learn about my characters. I love the robust backstories that resulted from that exercise and a lot of the detail made it into the story. Anyway, I now recognize the importance of planning. I could continue my helper skelter writing and eventually, I’d spin out a new tale. But it would lack depth and breadth because I wouldn’t be intimately familiar with my cast of characters. And that’s a necessity! You need to be connected to these people to craft a compelling story about them.
So I’ve been working on Chris, my next hero. But before I can write about him, I need to picture him in my head. So I’ve been Googling and finally landed on this image. It’s exactly how I see Chris in my head. And you know what? The backstory is just pouring out of me now. I just needed to make that physical association before I could really understand what he’s all about beneath the surface.
This pic of Liam totally hits the nail on the head. He is Chris. =)