Girls Write Out
Sunday, September 04, 2011

It's the first week of the month . . . that means it's time for World of Writing (WOW) week at Girls Write Out! Stay tuned this week for some fun insight into novel writing!

Last week we (Colleen, Kristin, and I) brainstormed Smitten 2 with our editors at a cabin in the woods. (Here we are signing the contract.)

We came up with the main plot for Smitten then we plotted our individual stories. How does a writer begin to plot a story? There are several jumping-off points a writer might use:

1. Setting Setting is always critical, but some authors like to start here and build out. Once you determine setting, you can choose an occupation that's suitable for the town or determine who or what the story is about. Colleen's Lone Star series is an example. Everyone loves a Texas setting!

2. Character No story will go far without memorable characters. When you start here, you let the character's personality determine the direction of the plot. Kristin's Ashley Stockingdale series is a great example. Ashley is just quirky and spunky enough to carry a whole series.

3. Hook This is the "something" about the plot that makes a shopper slip the book into their cart. If you read a one-sentence blurb about a book, the hook is usually in that sentence. Diann's recent release Love Letters in the Sand is a great example. What happens when old flames are reunited by circumstances but separated by secrets? (I'll tell you what happens, you end up staying up way to late to find out!)

4. Occupation All protagonists need one, but in some stories, the occupation is critical to the storyline. Silent Pledge by Hannah Alexander is an example. This story (and many other books by Cheryl) centers around a female physician. When you're married to a doctor, this is a great way to go!

5. Opening Scene Some authors come up with an intriguing opening scene then figure out who the characters are and how they got there. In The Convenient Groom I envisioned a bride being left at the altar and a groom who steps in to save the day. Under what circumstances could that be plausible? Finding out was half the fun. :)

Which of these jumping off points intrigue you most often--as a reader or as a writer?

Labels: ,

Denise Hunter  
posted at 10:02 PM  
  Comments (7)
Delicious Delicious
At 11:04 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Characters! Of course, I've always been fascinated by medicine, even before I met Mel, but I have to begin a novel by getting to know my characters. Once I know them, the rest of the story falls into place more easily. If I try to begin a book by plotting before doing character sketches, I'm stumped before I get past the first page.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Cindy W. said...

As a reader, I'm usually drawn in by the "hook". But what keeps me reading is the character development. I recently read a book (not by any of you ladies)that the plot was great but the characters were flat. I wanted to get to know the characters but there was a lot lacking. Sad.

Have a wonderful Labor Day holiday.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


At 8:46 AM, Blogger Tracy Ruckman said...

It depends on whether I'm traveling or staying home. I'm always inspired by travel, and a place usually tells me there's a story there, and then the character pops up.

But if I'm staying at home, like I have been the last few years, the character forms and the setting comes afterward.

I'm looking forward to Smitten.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

I begin with characters. Plotting doesn't begin until I know their essentials. Then I decide on setting. Once that's in place, plotting begins.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I agree, Cindy. I love a good hook but the characterization makes the story worthwhile.

Interesting input!

At 8:48 PM, Blogger jel said...

as the reader.
Texas is a good Setting , but to me Missouri or Ark, is better. :) then the Character

if u girls write it , i will prob.
read it. once or twice

At 11:25 PM, Blogger stevesmith said...

Thanks for the suggestion..



Post a Comment

<< Home

The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz