Many authors identify as either plotter, someone who plans the whole plot and all the details before they start writing, or a pantser, someone who flies by the seat of their pants.
I am a proud plantser, so somewhere in between. This means I have a general idea of where the story goes, writing out general plot ideas before I start, but I’m often surprised by my characters.
I tend to scribble notes as I write, reminding myself that the love interest has green eyes and what his middle name is. The scribbles become my ‘bible’ so that I can edit for continuity. K.M. Allan blogged about creating a series bible, but I recommend creating one even for stand-alones, especially if you’re a plantser like me.
Another thing I’ll do before I start is to choose the setting. Setting is extremely important to my writing, almost becoming a supporting character, and I only write about places I’ve been to and know. Yes, I still have to research. I’ll look back over my photos and read my travel diaries and blog posts, and I become a Google savant. For the book I’m currently writing, I’ve been on Google street view, travelling down the roads in the tiny Oxfordshire village my aunt lives in – just to get the details right.
The last thing I always do before I start writing is ‘cast’ my book – always the main character and the love interest, and sometimes supporting characters. This makes it so much easier to write, because I just imagine them in those places and sometimes whole scenes will play out in my head before I write them down. Actions become easier to write when I have the setting and the characters visually locked down.
So, I thought I would share some of my casts – just for fun.
One Summer in Santorini (and the sequel, One Summer in Love): Sarah, James and Josh
My next book, That Night in Paris: Cat (Sarah’s sister) and Jean-Luc
My work-in-progress is a Christmas novela about three childhood friends from Australia, Colorado and the UK: Lucy and Will; Lauren and Matt; and Lisa and Archer
And the next next book is set in Bali and Scotland
Jaelee and Alistair
So, there’s a little of my plantser inspiration for you…