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message 1: by Second Wind (new)

Second Wind Publishing (secondwindpublishing) | 44 comments Mod
This discussion is hosted by Suzette Vaughn, author of MORTALS, GODS, AND A MUSE, and BADEAUX KNIGHTS. Suzette says:

My concepts normally start as a scene playing in my head. It could be a simple phrase that sparks the scene, or a random thought, or even a dream but the end is always me running for the computer or a piece of paper.

The priority for me when I start writing is the characters. I need them to pull readers in to their world as badly as I need to get them out of my head. Once I have a book done, I send it off to my sister to read, edit, review and tell me if I’m full of it.

After she shreds my book and I rebuild it, we play a game to get us back on track and not at each other’s throats over edits. It starts off simple with a talk on the people that fill the manuscript. Then it slowly moves to the fun part of putting people we know or people in movies to those roles. Normally my poor sister ends up going, “You know, that one guy in that movie…” and I go searching.

So, since I’m hosting the discussion this week, have some fun with me and tell me your favorite characters in books, including your own and start putting celebrities in their roles. Or, if you are brave enough, admit the last character you slaughtered in a book was the person counting pennies in the grocery line.

I’ll even go first:
Badeaux Knights
The brothers themselves are based on friends of mine.
Marcus is based on a guy I watched at Medieval Times dinner theater in New Jersey.

Mortals, Gods, and a Muse
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message 2: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (doglover) | 2 comments Well, if you want to, we could do like a section of kids books we like and have read. ( Just to tell you, I am a kid. Sorry to mess you guys up if you thought I was an adult.) If you want me to go out of this group go ahead. Thanks!


message 3: by Second Wind (new)

Second Wind Publishing (secondwindpublishing) | 44 comments Mod
Katherine, everyone is welcome! And that's a good idea about a discussion of kids books we like and have read.


message 4: by Ester (new)

Ester (esterlopez) Suzette,
I experience my stories in much the same way, in snippets of scenes or I hear a conversation and eavesdrop. I can't get the characters out of my head until I write down what I see (like a movie in my head). Now writing my stories, I imagine live people as the characters. But when I read other authors' books, I try to picture the hero/heroine the way they are painted in that story.


message 5: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (doglover) | 2 comments thanks!


message 6: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Wheeler (lorettawheeler) | 7 comments My ideas seem to just come...from everywhere, literally:) The novel I just completed (which is in the hands of my critique partner's right now... moan) just came...the unusual thing about it though, was when I went down into New Orleans to do research for a part I just couldn't visualize, I found out the basic story really existed..(I think there's a story in THAT!;) or at least a good trailer:)

Other's I've written popped into my head after seeing something. Siren's Call (a short due out this year in an anthology) came from a comment on someone's blog...the mermaid just wouldn't float on out of sight:)

Dark Pleasures, another short in A Death in Texas anthology (can I say all this?) was something that I'd thought about for a long time..a woman walking home at dusk...and suddenly she's sure she's being followed...

Like you Suzette, I can't stop until I at least get the initial ideas or character's down on paper.

And BTW, it's fabulous you have a sister who edits!

Loretta
http://www.lorettawheeler.com
http://www.lreveaux.com


message 7: by Pat (new)

Pat Bertram (patbertram) | 43 comments Mod
Sometimes I pick an actor to base a character on, which makes it easier to keep track of who the character is. For example, Mary Stuart, the hero of my novel Daughter Am I, which will be released later this summer, was based loosely on Mary Stuart Masterson in the movie Bed of Roses. I liked her dual nature of naivete and competency. Of course, by the time I finished the book, my Mary bore no resemblance to the actress at all, but at least it gave me a starting point.


message 8: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 5 comments I tend to develop my characters from those I know first, then the back stories are a conglomerate of personal histories, some real, some made up.

My characters Neal Archer and Levi Lighthorse are based on the personalities of two real persons, but they have a manufactured personal history.

Writing to me is like being addicted to heroin… it’s hard and it’s mean, but you just can’t stop.



message 9: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Wheeler (lorettawheeler) | 7 comments F.D. wrote: "I tend to develop my characters from those I know first, then the back stories are a conglomerate of personal histories, some real, some made up.

My characters Neal Archer and Levi Lighthorse ar..."


I think that's one of the best descriptions about writing that I've heard in a long time...it's hard and it's mean, and you can't stop. Excellent:)




message 10: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 5 comments Thank you. I dun thunk that up all by myself.


message 11: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Wheeler (lorettawheeler) | 7 comments Well, now! That's cuz you sit and think about all that writing, and every so often a totally unrelated thought slips through like a pearl and hangs there:)

Frankly, I've had similar thoughts about the process myself, but never came up with something quite as profound as yours:) I think I'm stealing it!


message 12: by Victor (new)

Victor J. (victorjbanis) | 27 comments Steal it. Kenneth Clark said (he was speaking of Raphael's clearly purloined angels, but I think it applies to writing just as well): "The artist takes what he needs where he finds it."

Victor J. Banis
http://www.vjbanis.com


message 13: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 5 comments You need not steal it, Love. I bequeath it to one and all.


message 14: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Wheeler (lorettawheeler) | 7 comments Victor wrote: "Steal it. Kenneth Clark said (he was speaking of Raphael's clearly purloined angels, but I think it applies to writing just as well): "The artist takes what he needs where he finds it."

Victor ..."


I already have! I didn't see a copyright anywhere;) so I copied and pasted that thing into my notes on phrases, names, ideas....you know...all that stuff that drift's through your head and will fall out if you don't WRITE IT DOWN immediately!:)


message 15: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Wheeler (lorettawheeler) | 7 comments BTW do any of you Tweet? I've come on board grudgingly...the writer's loop keep's saying I need to do it so I did...now I'm on Facebook, Myspace, TWITTER, and about 4 loops...sigh. I dread opening my e-mails...anyway...I digress, I'm LorettaWheeler(I'm not sure if it was me that made the name all one word or the program, I set the thing up so late I didn't know who I was:) on Twitter if anyone else on here is doing it.


message 16: by Victor (new)

Victor J. (victorjbanis) | 27 comments You know, over the years (and there have been quite a few of them) many people have "borrowed" stuff from my writing. I'm actually flattered. And what did I write it for anyway, if not to share it with others? It sure aint' so I can be rich and famous!

Victor


message 17: by Marian (new)

Marian (gramma) | 9 comments The Laura Ingalls Wilder books were my favorites when I was young & I used to make up "Further adventures" with Laura, Mary, Ma & Pa & their friends. But I tried to keep them true to character (there was a girl namaed Nelly who was a little brat.)
Looking back, I realize that this was a good exercise in character portrayal. (There was no TV in those days, we did have electricity, so books & reading & comic books were high on our lists of entertainments.)


message 18: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 5 comments Loretta wrote: "Victor wrote: "Steal it. Kenneth Clark said (he was speaking of Raphael's clearly purloined angels, but I think it applies to writing just as well): "The artist takes what he needs where he finds ..."

You would also find it in my quotes section on my profile page.


message 19: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 5 comments Loretta wrote: "BTW do any of you Tweet? I've come on board grudgingly...the writer's loop keep's saying I need to do it so I did...now I'm on Facebook, Myspace, TWITTER, and about 4 loops...sigh. I dread opening..."

I'm a twitter, a my-space and a facebook member. All of them are under fdcrandall


message 20: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Wheeler (lorettawheeler) | 7 comments F.D. wrote: "Loretta wrote: "BTW do any of you Tweet? I've come on board grudgingly...the writer's loop keep's saying I need to do it so I did...now I'm on Facebook, Myspace, TWITTER, and about 4 loops...sigh. ..."

:) Thank you F.D....I'll try and look for you there:) And it dawned on me after I wrote this, I had strayed off of the correct subject in here...so, I'll return to what the area was designed for ( apologies to the moderator:)


message 21: by Carole (new)

Carole (casutton) | 5 comments Loretta wrote: "BTW do any of you Tweet? I've come on board grudgingly...the writer's loop keep's saying I need to do it so I did...now I'm on Facebook, Myspace, TWITTER, and about 4 loops...sigh. I dread opening..."
Same here Loretta -- I haven't made it to Facbook yet, I'm having enough trouble trying to update MySpace. I have done my own web with Tripod and compared to MySpace that was easy. My friends finally dragged me into Twitter. Although it looks as thought they have a lost on nonsense on there, it could have hidden depths. You never know maybe book buyers lurk somewhere there in the deep. If I can find you, I'll follow you. My url is http://twitter.com/cazutt if you want to follow me.



message 22: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Wheeler (lorettawheeler) | 7 comments Carole, I'm following you:) God help us both, who knows where we'll wind up:) feel free to follow me,if you like...I'm going to be hit and miss for awhile all over though, my sis-in-law flies in from Oz today and we're going to be traveling around some with her all through May.

Lo


message 23: by I.G. (new)

I.G. Frederick I.G. Frederick

Twitter can be a useful promotional tool. But like any tool there are those who misuse, abuse, and just don't have a clue how to use. I highly recommend doing a little research before getting on Twitter. Some articles you might find helpful:

http://tinyurl.com/7rsjqt
http://bit.ly/3wo6y5
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcr8ztn...
http://twurl.nl/min67x

I post on a variety of subjects and try to make my tweets either informative or entertaining (to build followers) with the occasional promotional tweet as appropriate.

You can find me there at https://twitter.com/eroticawriter

One caveat, do not use the people I follow as good examples of how to use Twitter. Some are. But some I follow because they are personal friends or professional colleagues.


message 24: by I.G. (new)

I.G. Frederick I.G. Frederick

Another good link posted this morning:

Ten Twitter Mythconceptions http://technologizer.com/2009/05/11/t...

"Actually, the best twitterers I know tweet only when they have something interesting to say. And that something is often an opinion, an observation, or a link to something worth sharing, rather than an answer to the question 'What are you doing?' ” -- Harry McCracken


message 25: by S.A. (new)

S.A. (suerule) | 5 comments I usually have one character who intrigues me sufficiently to get me to tackle the blank first page. Most of the fun of writing the first draft is to fill out that character, get to know him/her. The interactions of the main character with others begins to give me the rest of the characters, who can rapidly take on a life of their own and take me off in unexpected directions. Sometimes, one of these "secondary" characters ends up being far more interesting than the one I started with. Kierce, who is really the central character of Cloak of Magic and a dominant presence in Staff of Power, started life as a supporting player in an earlier, abandoned novel.

I "hear" my characters talking a lot; I work out most of the plot in conversations between the characters. I have to go back and put the scenery and the narrative in afterwards!

Sue

S.A. Rule
Author Shaihen Heritage series,
Cloak of Magic
Staff of Power


message 26: by Dellani (new)

Dellani Oakes (dellanioakes) | 14 comments I love this topic! I know I told you once that I wanted Tyler Kitsch for Manuel in "Indian Summer". Well, I saw "Prince Caspian" on DVD today and I changed my mind. Ben Barnes for Manuel - Tyler is going to be Sailfish - pure and simple. Go for the glam! He's classy and gorgeous! I have much more trouble with the women than I do the men. I guess that's going to have to be someone else's problem.


message 27: by Diane (new)

Diane (diane_k) | 2 comments I think I'm out of my league here. I don't write at all but I do read a lot and have done lots of reviews over the last few years.

My favorite characters have flaws. They are human with good and bad all mixed together. Since most of the books I read are mysteries or historical I like to also see where characters are coming from. Why they are the way they are so to speak.



message 28: by Dellani (new)

Dellani Oakes (dellanioakes) | 14 comments My favorite characters have flaws. They are human with good..."

Diane, I feel the same way. I love characters that aren't perfect. My male leads usually have some secret in their lives and are seeking redemption. It's certainly true of Manuel in "Indian Summer".

The main character in my upcoming sci-fi series, Wil, is the baddest of the bad. He has worked as an assassin, done black ops, and killed more people in battle than anyone else he knows. He feels he has no hope of redemption and fully expects to go to hell - that's if he ever dies.

The point I'm making is that both these characters have flaws, but it makes them more 'real' to me and (I hope) to my readers. Can you tell I love these guys?



message 29: by Diane (new)

Diane (diane_k) | 2 comments Dellani, the main character of your upcoming series, Wil, is my kind of guy that I love to read about! They've done all kinds of bad and for whatever reason are now trying to be a better person.


message 30: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Lorenz (lynnlorenz) Characters come to us thru so many things - movies, music, books, tv, even friends or strangers we pass on the streets.

But for me, the story comes first. The "What if I had a mercenary, in the 1200's, who finally admits he loves another mercenary?" (The Mercenary's Tale, Loose Id, 2008)

Then the character forms up, his name comes to me, and I start writing. Once you know your character - really know him - what he wants from life, what he loves/hates, what he believes in, his flaws and his strengths, then you can put him thru his paces, struggle with the obsticles you put in his path, fight for his HEA or a HFN.


message 31: by Joann (last edited Aug 28, 2009 04:47AM) (new)

Joann Muszynski | 3 comments Loretta wrote: "BTW do any of you Tweet? I've come on board grudgingly...the writer's loop keep's saying I need to do it so I did...now I'm on Facebook, Myspace, TWITTER, and about 4 loops...sigh. I dread opening..."

I have twitter but hardly ever log on. I'm not so sure if it's really necessary to be on everything....

As for characters - I, too, find snippets running rampant through my head and them I'm scrabbling. I've never thought of putting familiar faces to any of mine, nor celebrity roles. I will have to try that one day.

Having a sister to help you build, tear down and build again must be a delight and a tool for success.






message 32: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I often include traits of people I know for my characters. Jack in Getting Away With It is a combination of all of the bad or irritating traits of evey man I know. He's my favorite character so far.

My children's books characters are based on my children and those that I babysit. They think it's cool and try to pick out who they are in the stories.

Most characters don't resemble anyone physically, at least not on purpose. I'm sure some of them do and I haven't really noticed.


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