Welcome, fellow writers! We’re an interesting breed, aren’t we? Always an oddity at dinner parties, usually introverted, frequently lost in our own world, sometimes overwhelmed with stress, smart (well, just saying), creative, rarely understood except by other writers, and brave (because in attempting to pen novels we’re attempting an extraordinarily difficult task).
I’ve written several blog posts on writing, covering everything from issues of craft to issues of the heart. I’ve compiled my posts in the Pinterest board below. In order to view the full board, click where it says ‘For Writers’ beneath ‘Christian Romance Author Becky Wade’. Once you’ve arrived at Pinterest, click on any of my posts two times, and you’ll be taken to the article.
Further down on this page, you’ll find that I’ve opened up a few of my computer files to you… just in case you’re interested in knowing more about my writing process, my system of ‘interviewing my characters’, and the dreaded synopsis.
My Writing Process
My novels begin with one small seed of an idea. My Stubborn Heart began with the idea for a ex-hockey player hero who’d been devastated by the loss of his wife. Everything else came gradually, layer upon layer, from that one initial thought. It’s like a spiderweb that starts off with a tiny strand, and then (with lots of work and time) that strand is built into something much, much bigger and more complex.
Once I have my idea, I begin to imagine both my hero and my heroine. When I’ve got a fairly good grasp on who they are, I give them each an ‘interview’. My particular list of interview questions came from an article in a very old Romance Writer’s Report magazine. If I still had that magazine I would credit the author! I typed her suggested interview questions into a document file on my computer years ago and I’ve used them on every hero and heroine I’ve ever written since. Thinking through the answers to each of the questions really helps me understand my hero and heroine better and more deeply. It also helps me hear and see them. As I move through the novel, I consult those interviews now and then. For one thing, I want to make sure I’m staying on track. For another, the interviews jog my memory about a facet of the hero or heroine’s character that I’d wanted to bring to light.
Before beginning the first chapter, I type up a simple bullet point list of every big and pivotal scene that I can envision for the book. That’s my road map. The list may start off short, but over the course of the book it grows and grows as new ideas for scenes drop into my mind. As I go, I switch the font color of the scenes I’ve completed to red. Making that simple change gives me a sense of satisfaction and progress. Also, it’s a quick visual clue to show me where I am in the book and how many scenes I have remaining. I often cut and paste scenes from one location in my list to another. Nothing is set in stone. It’s really a matter of feeling out where each scene fits best and where it will hopefully have the most impact. Some scenes on my list never get written because I end up merging the purpose behind them into another scene or I realize that they’re too inconsequential to matter. Some scenes I do write and then delete later for the same reasons.
Once I have my list of scenes, I begin the first chapter. Personally, I write my books in four sections – four separate documents – and I shoot to make each section one hundred pages long.
If it were up to me, I’d never write a synopsis (a long outline of the book written in paragraph form). But, of course, a synopsis is an important tool for any a writer who wishes to market and sell her manuscript.
Just in case someone out there is interested, here’s a glimpse into a few of my computer files. Below, you’ll find my character interview questions, my synopsis for My Stubborn Heart, and my synopsis for Undeniably Yours. Astute readers will notice that some details changed between the synopsis and the finalized book. Click the below to view….
My Stubborn Heart’s Synopsis