A very long time ago I was walking along the hallway between kitchen and study (my husband’s – I didn’t have such a thing in those days) when a funny line occurred to me. Immediately, a character who had spoken it morphed before my eyes. I couldn’t help giggling at the line and I had to writ it down. I named the character Peggy, and she became responsible for many other lines that became Letters of Regret, a book I’ve never completed. This started my time as a writer.
Peggy determined what happened in her letters by her accident-prone life-style. In the same way, when I wrote novels, my characters caused the plot of their stories, not the reverse. When I started a blog around my book of ironic short stories, Me-Time Tales, I let the characters take the lead. In fact they dominated, as you’ll see if you visit that blog. http://fictionalcharacterswriting.blogspot.com)
Some writers plan in full for each novel. I’m full of admiration; I’d love to. I’m a disorganized person so I’m afraid I just let the narrative roll out. By the end of each chapter I know what’s going to happen in the next and that’s about it. I might just write the ending fairly early on but I’m not a planner. (Groans of assent from those nearest to me).
I find that after reading a plot-driven tale I end up disappointed if I can’t visualise the characters. That’s because I don’t really care what happens to them. I have to lose myself within the perceived experience of the person or persons I am reading about.
Hence the character-based preference and the chosen title for this website. I am not sure how it will develop or whether changes will be caused by me. Who knows, Peggy may seep out of the woodwork and force me to revisit Letters of Regret.