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The Prophecy (A Dragon's Tale, #1)
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Book Discussions > Character Driven - writing

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Boyd | 13 comments As a relatively new author, I am always curious as to how authors develop their styles. The more I write the more that I find myself being "character driven" and getting as many "aha's" during the course of the story development as I hope the reader does with the finished product. I have never used an outline. I typically don't know wholly where the story will end up when I start for the day but I am always pleasantly surprised when I finally see the threads my characters are weaving for me. I sometimes feel like a "newbie" director with a room full of seasoned actors putting the movie together. Does that make sense to anyone else??


message 2: by L.L. (new)

L.L. Watkin (LLWatkin) | 41 comments It does sound familiar. I would rarely start without any outline but commonly it concerns "world events" - ie forces external to characters which are driving the plot, invasions, bombing, political shenanigans and so forth. Within that the characters have to react true to themselves and I leave that very flexible as I go along.


message 3: by Rachel Annie (new)

Rachel Annie (snapdragoness) George RR Martin breaks down his ideas of two kinds of writers in this quote. Pretty neat metaphor.


message 4: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 169 comments Oh love that quote!
I guess I'm a gardener myself. A few times I had plans for the story to go one way and somehow my characters changed it for me, and it always turned out for the better. I guess they know their lives better than I will ever do. :P


message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark Boyd | 13 comments The Prophecy (A Dragon's Tale, #1) by Mark Boyd
That is a great quote. Gardening is much more creative and the universe always sends me the right cast.


message 6: by Marlowe (new)

Marlowe Sr. (Ariindam Chakrabortiy) (mrmarlowe) | 11 comments Mark wrote: "As a relatively new author, I am always curious as to how authors develop their styles. The more I write the more that I find myself being "character driven" and getting as many "aha's" during the ..."

You are just like me, lol! Glad to know I am not a loner. ;)


message 7: by L.G. (new)

L.G. Estrella | 23 comments Mark wrote: "As a relatively new author, I am always curious as to how authors develop their styles. The more I write the more that I find myself being "character driven" and getting as many "aha's" during the ..."

I think it really depends on the writer. I know some people who studiously chronicle every little idea and theme and others, like myself, who wing it a little more. A bit of spontaneity can be a good thing, I think. Besides, it's fascinating watching a character come together before your eyes (and under your pen/keyboard).


message 8: by Humberto (new)

Humberto Contreras | 8 comments I have written a plot.

But my characters soon take a different direction. They don't obey and are most of the time unpredictable.


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic Keeping a list nearby that includes each character's name, along with brief notes regarding personality, quirks, physical or mental challenges, etc., etc. will prevent the writer from inadvertently having a character reapond to a situation or query contrarily.


message 10: by Deidre (new)

Deidre Knight The "aha" moments are what make the whole process so joyful to me as a writer. I do find that if I over-outline a work in advance, it sucks all the life out of the process when I set to work. I try to know my benchmarks, i.e. major plot points (I sometimes think of them as mile markers I'm driving toward), but I try not to outline a work to death so the joy of discovery remains as I work.


message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark Boyd | 13 comments Deidre wrote: "The "aha" moments are what make the whole process so joyful to me as a writer. I do find that if I over-outline a work in advance, it sucks all the life out of the process when I set to work. I try..."

The Prophecy (A Dragon's Tale, #1) by Mark Boyd Diedra, because I've never used an outline, how does one "over-outline?" My writing is like watching a netflix movie. When I stop for the day/evening, the next day I hit the mental remote and I'm back into the movie where I left off. So, it's hard for me to understand what you're saying. I would like to though.


message 12: by Deidre (new)

Deidre Knight Mark wrote: "Deidre wrote: "The "aha" moments are what make the whole process so joyful to me as a writer. I do find that if I over-outline a work in advance, it sucks all the life out of the process when I set..."

Well, what I mean is that if you thoroughly outline a book, every little aspect, by the time you sit down to write it, you feel you already have. I discovered this when I was writing for Penguin, and an editor asked me about a million questions about my next book proposal. I wound up writing up this huge outline that left nothing unanswered...and the book proved no fun to write at all! :)


message 13: by Bradley (new)

Bradley Poage | 13 comments I definitely agree Deidre. When you outline every detail, the unexpected elements dry up. So instead of letting the story come alive, you merely follow it like a reporter. For me, the thrill of writing is when you give the story life and then you experience the turns and the excitement.


message 14: by Bradley (new)

Bradley Poage | 13 comments That's interesting that your character driven Mark. I am too. Typically I start with a concept plot. Later as I write I find that you do have many ah hah moments. Sometimes the plot turns very unexpected. But that's also part of the fun. As the writer you have to decide where the story ends.

I try to outline vaguely, keeping just the idea for the plot in mind. Then you can always shift if you find one of those mind blowing ah hah moments.


message 15: by Mark (new)

Mark Boyd | 13 comments Deidre wrote: "Mark wrote: "Deidre wrote: "The "aha" moments are what make the whole process so joyful to me as a writer. I do find that if I over-outline a work in advance, it sucks all the life out of the proce..."

The Prophecy (A Dragon's Tale, #1) by Mark Boyd Deidra, I do understand that every author has their style of writing and I certainly honor that. It's what makes us all unique. I would find it drudgery though, to work on something after the fun of new or momentary discovery was gone. And by the way, I have a Diedra in my book:)


message 16: by Mark (new)

Mark Boyd | 13 comments Bradley wrote: "I definitely agree Deidre. When you outline every detail, the unexpected elements dry up. So instead of letting the story come alive, you merely follow it like a reporter. For me, the thrill of ..."
The Prophecy (A Dragon's Tale, #1) by Mark Boyd Bradley, I often get visions of plots in my sleep. In fact, the second book in the trilogy I'm writing, came to me about 3am one morning and wouldn't let me go back to sleep until I got up and typed it out on the computer. The story has changed quite a bit since then, but it was a jump start into the book. I should be releasing book 2 in Jan. and am still excited to find out how it's going to end:)


message 17: by Mara (new)

Mara Valderran (maravalderran) | 3 comments I am definitely a gardener. I usually have a general idea of what is going to happen and where I am going, but my characters tend to take me by surprise a lot. I have writer friends who advise me to take control of them and be reminded that I am in charge of their story, but that just doesn't work for me. The fun for me, like some of you have said, is the surprise when you find out where a character is going, or the heartbreak of an unexpected death you *definitely* did not plan. I'm experiencing things with my characters, so if I try to control too much then it ends up being stifling.


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