So far I’ve talked about where story ideas come from, naming characters, dramatic story situations, title choices, character charts, brainstorming, chapter charts and organizing the writing. Scroll down for more of this blog series on how I put a book together.
- The information that will carry the story forward.
- The season and time of day if it has bearing on the action.
- POV character and her/his goal and motivation.
- What the characters are wearing and how they appear.
- Conflict that arises between the characters and their attitudes toward it.
- Brief outline of any specific dialogue exchange I’ve heard in my head.
- Effect on the romantic relationship as a result of this scene.
- Snippets of backstory that might have bearing.
- Subtle, or not so subtle, hint of what might happen next as a hook.
- Cop Heroine is in a hurry, resents the traffic jam she comes upon, decides to fix it.
- Describe Amalfi Coast Road, its beauty, problems and dangers. Early evening. Rain. Fog.
- Heroine rescues the cat named Trouble in Italian. Describe cat.
- Enter the hero, describe him, his clothing in heroine’s POV.
- Explore in dialogue their different ideas on how to fix the traffic jam.
- Their mutual cooperation to solve the problem.
- Sensual tension between the two main characters.
- Hero’s POV, describe heroine; his exasperation with her take-charge attitude.
- His backstory of why he has the cat, why it’s important that no one knows he has it.
- Describe heroine’s rental car going over the cliff -- and his satisfaction at the sight.
I’m more likely to do detailed outlines at the beginning of a book. Once I’m immersed in the story I can usually segue from one scene to the next without pause. But I still jot down scene ideas that may come to me while driving, showering, just before going to sleep, etc. Sometimes my computer screen has so many sticky notes attached it looks as if it might fly away! It really hurts to lose a great idea that might have made my scene come alive for the reader.
|Since publishing her first book at age 27, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has gone on to write over 65 historical and contemporary novels in multiple genres. She brings the story-telling power and seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her 8th-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana.|