Last time I blogged about characters and how they evolve and change. I would like to add that characters are usually that first spark of inspiration that gets me started on a new story. I will get a glimpse of a person that is special in one way or another, and then things will progress naturally from there.
I suppose that makes me a pantser instead of a plotter. Most of the time, at least. I don’t remember ever writing anything from the beginning to the end. Once I have a few characters and a conflict, scenes develop in my mind randomly, most often during sleepless nights (whether they are sleepless because I keep thinking about the story or whether I think about the story because of insomnia I still haven’t figured out). I try to write them down as soon as I find some time, while they’re still fresh and vivid in my mind.
Of course, the most compelling scenes are the ones that I write first. Once those are done, I have to force myself to write the rest, joining the scenes together, polishing the plot, correcting the story for consistency etc. To get through this dull part, I keep returning to the ‘juicy’ bits, re-reading, re-writing and finding inspiration in them.
Most often, I have a general idea of where I want the story to go when I set out to write it. But that’s a very loose plot. If it’s a complex story, I may even outline a rough plot, but it rarely stays the same throughout the various stages of writing and editing. More often than not, I let the characters and their development lead the story. I like for them to surprise me. I’m just there to tell their story, after all.