Q: Do you plot everything out before you start writing?
A: It really depends on the story I want to tell, but more often than not, yes. Over the years, I’ve developed a need for a solid outline so I can connect the dots and successfully see the path from one plot point to the next. It takes the apprehension out of the writing process—I don’t run into many holes that haven’t already been circumvented. Granted, that hardly means the characters are predictable. Sometimes I’ll have a clear view of where I want the story to go, but Character X steps in and does something to upset Character Y, and then we’re off to the races.
Q: Do you start with a plot, characters, or something else?
A: Characters tend to lead me to plot. I might have an idea of the story I want to tell, but I typically need the characters first. I need to know whose story it is before I know what the story is.
Q: Do you write to music?
A: Sometimes I do find music can set the mood of a certain scene. If I’m writing something emotionally charged, I’m more likely to pop in some opera and let the process take me where it will.
Q: What themes or subjects interest you the most?
A: I find I’m most drawn to stories of redemption, and finding redemption through love. I have a major soft-spot for morally ambiguous males and the strong, sassy women that lead them out of the darkness. The storylines to which I’m most attracted typically involve intense struggle and sacrifice.
Q: Is it easier to write the beginning, middle or end of a novel?
A: The beginning and end are pretty evenhanded. With the beginning of any project, I feel a rush of energy and excitement, and my imagination never sleeps. As I approach the end of a project, it’s pretty much the same situation. I’m eager to finish, and even if I harbor reservations about parting with a particular character or storyline, I enjoy seeing everything I planned coming together. However, the meat of the story is in the middle, and I probably enjoy writing that more than anything.
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