Q&A with author Margaret Coel discussion

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Generating story ideas

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message 1: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Coel | 20 comments Mod
Where do the ideas come from that keep the Wind River novels fresh and interesting?


message 2: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 3 comments Did you have reservations/worries when you wrote on the topical issue of priest/child sex abuse?


message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenkerschen) | 1 comments In constructing your characters, which personality traits do you find most distinguish one from another? And do those qualities (shyness, rashness, a demanding nature, a more contemplative/thoughtful person, someone who acts without thinking, for example) merge with plot elements as you develop your stories?
Do you outline your entire plot before fleshing out your prose?


message 4: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Coel | 20 comments Mod
The question I always ask myself about my characters is: What does each character want? Basically, Vicky wants to protect the rights of her people and see that they have justice. Father John wants to serve the people, help them in any way he can. He is like a shepherd with his flock. So generally the decisions they make and the things they do will always come out of what they want. This is also true in specific cases. Whatever is happening in the plot, I ask myself: What does Vicky want at this moment? What does Father John want? The answer drives the story.
Before I start writing, I do what I call a road map. I make a very loose outline of where the story starts, proceeds and ends up. There are always changes along the way, but at least I have a general idea of the story I want to tell.
Thanks for asking!


message 5: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Coel | 20 comments Mod
Cindy wrote: "Did you have reservations/worries when you wrote on the topical issue of priest/child sex abuse?"
No, I did not. I wanted to show the way a good man and a good priest who is really a "father" to his people, and like a father, wants to protect his "family," would react when the danger of a pedophile priest is sent into his midst. He was not informed and had no way to protest or to protect his people. Father John was very angry, which I think was a normal response. I'm not sure the Catholic hierarchy yet understands the anger of Catholic lay people and priests who found pedophiles in this midst. The Drowning Man deals with that.


Margaret wrote: "Where do the ideas come from that keep the Wind River novels fresh and interesting?"


message 6: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Coel | 20 comments Mod
Margaret wrote: "Where do the ideas come from that keep the Wind River novels fresh and interesting?"
I get my ideas from two sources: newspaper stories about what is going on in Indian Country and history. The Arapahos were involved in just about everything that happened in the Old West, so there are lots and lots of story ideas to draw upon. I wrote history before I started writing mystery novels, and I love to weave history into my stories.
Margaret wrote: "Cindy wrote: "Did you have reservations/worries when you wrote on the topical issue of priest/child sex abuse?"
No, I did not. I wanted to show the way a good man and a good priest who is really a..."



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