On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hanging a Plot on Characters -- Pantzer Style

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAll right, what I'm telling you here is not new and can probably be found all over the web on different author websites under articles. The best you can expect is perhaps a different slant or a different verbage that might perhaps (note the qualifications) click better.

I have two characters in Heart Quest that I'm setting up to be the hero and heroine in Heart Match. I know some of their background, but not all, especially since neither are characters that have been seen before and only one has been mentioned.

As you all have probably noticed, my book is turned in and I'll be working on the option book, which, for me, means NOT a full manuscript, but a proposal -- which is 3 chapters and a DETAILED synopsis, and that means PLOT.

So I started THINKING in my favorite spot (my bed staring at the ceiling), and started plotting from CHARACTER. What is the most important thing in life to Rica? From that I've developed some conflicts between hero and heroine and the beginnings of a plot. No, I'm not going to give examples of Heart Match because the plot is too sketchy and I don't want to reveal it here. I WILL GIVE EXAMPLES FROM HEARTMATE.

What does Danith want most in life -- she is an orphan, she wants to belong to a big family. Now there really is only one BIG family on Celta (due to the harshness of life) and she's hooked up with them and dating one of the guys.

What other things does Danith want? She's always felt she had great Flair (psi power, magic) but when Tested, has never demonstrated this. So it's a dream she's given up on that shadows her heart.

Danith is a Commoner. She LIKES being a Commoner.

Danith loves animals.

So what can we do with this: Danith can get resistence from her best friend who is part of that big family and sister to they guy Danith's dating. Her best friend can think her brother isn't good enough for Danith. If Danith goes through with her plans to accept a marriage proposal, she will disappoint and perhapa alienate her best friend.

Danith can be Tested again for magic (Flair) and find out that she has GREAT Flair, enough to bump her status up in society into noblility. This can also alienate the family (Clovers) she loves. She'll also have to deal a lot more with rules and responsibilites she's clueless about.

Her great Flair can be associated with animals.

Now this is all about Danith. How can we have the hero (T'Ash) affect Danith.

T'Ash, too, is an orphan. But he likes it that way. When he finds his HeartMate, he thinks that they'll be a perfect Family of two, be everything to each other, with no need for other people.

T'Ash can believe in Danith's Flair and test her with the best Testing Stones in the City (made by him), thus bringing her into noble society where he believes she belongs and which she is very wary of.

T'Ash has a familiar (telepathic animal companion) who also likes Danith and wants her in their life.

T'Ash, being possessive, a great noble, rich and powerful, can intimidate the Commoner boyfriend his Family and her best friend as he tries to claim Danith as his own.

T'Ash's Character:
What does he want most of all? He's an orphan, he wants to REBUILD his Family and Family line with his HeartMate. Once he's figured out who that is, he'll go after her until he gets her. This is not exactly the laid-back approach Danith is used to. Also, T'Ash doesn't know much about wooing women due to his rough past, so he fumbles.

What does T'Ash FEAR most of all? Being out of control, especially in a fight -- he's a berserker. He fears fire, which burnt down his Family home and killed his Family as he watched as a child. And he fears revealing these things to his HeartMate, so he tries to hide them. He isn't open with Danith, especially in contrast to her current guy. T'Ash is a lot of work.

So those are points that will lead to actual events in the book:
Danith arguing with her best friend, meeting T'Ash, meeting Zanth (T'Ash's familiar), being caught behind a fire line with him. T'Ash Testing Danith and introducing her to his best friend who witnesses the Testing. T'Ash in a conflict with her boyfriend, intimidating the Clovers, trying woo Danith. T'Ash having to protect Danith in a fight -- and overcoming his berserker nature.

Hope this helps. May all your character and plotting be easy today.


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