Thursday, August 21, 2014

Behind The Writing Scenes of a Series

Behind the Writing Scenes of a Series
(originally posted on my personal blog)
By Laura Bradford

Now that my summertime want-to project is written and in the hands of my agent, it’s time to turn my attention back to my contracted work. At this particular time, that contracted work happens to be the first book in a new series (set to debut in early 2016, I believe) which means I’m starting from scratch.

Everything is new.

The world building (in this case, it’s an up-and-coming lakeside community on the border of Ohio and Indiana)…

The main character (I’ll hold off on sharing details about her until it gets a little closer)…

The supporting characters (absolutely loving these people already)…

And the overall feel of the book (which, in this case, will have a nice dose of humor and a strong welcoming feel)…

Which means the colored index cards come out and a card is made for each character–recurring and
otherwise. The card includes basic physical characteristics like height, weight, eye and hair color, as well as quirks and peeves that make themselves known at this early stage. I will sift through the cards as I write, jotting additions onto each card as I go. When the book is done, I’ll put them into a card file box specifically for this series and set it aside until it’s time to write book # 2.

With each new book in a series, new things are added to a character’s card–a new friend, a tragic event, a new discovery, an uncovered reason for a particular peeve/quirk, etc. Because, just like real people, characters evolve over time–growing and changing with each new book.

I love this part of the writing process because it’s really like working with a blank slate. Within a few short weeks, the slate will no longer be blank. The town will feel real, the main character will be
someone very familiar, and the supporting cast will be folks I can’t wait to spend time with again.

It’s always a little sad when a card file box is put away for a while. But I know that, eventually, it will come back out and I’ll get to spend time with those particular friends again. In the meantime, though, it just means one of my other card file boxes (for either the Amish Mysteries or the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries) will get to come out and play.

Any questions?


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