Dramaquill's All Things Writing

June 25, 2010

Character Interviews Part II – Mel

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Here’s the next interview from my upcoming suspense novel.  This time, we delve into the mind of our villain, Mel:

Mel (villain of the novel “When Love Won’t Die”)

1.    Do your consider yourself a villain?

A villain?  You mean a bad guy?  No way!

2.    Do you believe in happy endings?

I try to but it hasn’t been easy.  Maybe this time?

3.    What are your deepest fears?

I’m not afraid of anything!  I want certain things that I can’t have right now, but I’m not afraid.  I WILL get what I want!

4.    Do you consider yourself an honest person?

I don’t lie!  I can’t help it if nobody wants to hear the truth.

5.    Are you a forgiving person?

No.  Why should I be?  Of course there is one exception and that’s my Angel.  I could never turn away from my Angel.

6.    Would your life make an interesting movie?

I don’t care about crap like that.  Movies are a stupid waste of time.  Nobody wants to see a movie when it’s filled with the truth of the real world.  Hollywood wouldn’t make any money on the truth.

7.    How do you feel about children?

Children just get in the way. 

8.    If you could be someone else, who would you be?

I don’t fantasize about stuff like that.  What’s the point?  I am who I am so I’d better learn to live with it.

9.    If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Somewhere private and secluded with just me and my Angel.

10.   What do you think your future holds?

That’s nobody’s business but mine but I know I’m going to make sure I get what I want, no matter what I have to do to get it.

June 3, 2010

Character Interviews Part I – Eleanor

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I got this great idea from some of the authors at my new publishing company and have decided to post interviews of my first suspense novel’s characters in the hopes that you will want to read more about them by buying the book when it comes out.

ELEANOR  (heroine of novel “When Love Won’t Die”)

1.    What made you start writing suspense novels?

Believe it or not, I never really thought I would become a writer as my career.  I initially used writing, in journal form, to deal with some circumstances in my past that continued to haunt me years later.  Who knew I’d get three best sellers out of random journal diddling.

2.    Do you believe in happy endings?

I think a happy ending is all in the perspective of who is looking at it and how it affects them.  I don’t know if any ending is ever completely happy, but when circumstances that affect me cause me to be happy, I would definitely call that a happy ending.

3.    What are your deepest fears?

I have one fear, but other fears stem from that.  My deepest fear is that my past will destroy my present.

4.    Do you consider yourself an honest person?

I do for the most part, however, I know a few people who would disagree with me.  I think, on a rare occasion, sometimes the truth just isn’t appropriate.  But be prepared for the fallout if a lie ever catches up with you.

5.    Are you a forgiving person?

I try to be, but unfortunately there is one person I truly don’t think I can ever forgive.  I wish that person didn’t have that power over me.

6.    Would your life make an interesting movie?

Yes, I’m afraid it would, but that doesn’t make me happy.

7.    How do you feel about children?

If I had one regret in my life it would be that I was never able to have any children.  I guess it wasn’t in the plan and I don’t know why.  My husband and I did try several times but we kept having miscarriages.  I don’t like to think about the emptiness that I feel when I think about not being able to have any children.

8.    If you could be someone else, who would you be?

I was someone else a long time ago.  I can’t imagine being anyone but who I am now…Eleanor Marie Bennett.

9.    If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’m not big on world travel.  As long as I’m surrounded by family and friends, that’s home to me and that’s where I want to be.

10.   What do you think your future holds?

In all honesty I hope my future is quiet, calm and uneventful (laughs).  No really, I mean that wholeheartedly.  I’ve had more than enough (clears throat) excitement, if that’s what you want to call it, to last me ten lifetimes.


July 4, 2008

Why don’t you like me?

Revising my novel has become part of my daily routine.  Even when I’m not re-writing scenes or slicing chapters, I’m constantly thinking about Eleanor, my heroine, and Mel, my villain.  They’re inside my head and they won’t be silenced, each vying for my attention.

I don’t like Mel – that’s a given.  He’s controlling, abusive, deranged and unpredictable.  Now, considering he’s the villain in my suspense novel, I guess those are good qualities.

But the revelation I had while working on a chapter the other day was that I’m not sure I really like Eleanor, either.  My critique group has eluded to this once or twice saying things like:

  • Eleanor seems to cry too much
  • Although someone might actually react like this, it doesn’t seem to draw me into her (Eleanor) as the heroine of a book
  • Eleanor often lets someone else help her instead of facing things herself

And the more I re-write and revise, the more I’m beginning to see Eleanor as less than the strong woman I first envisioned her to be. 

So what do I do now?

How can I write passionately about someone I’m not sure I like?

Eleanor can’t help that she was a victim of serious verbal, physical and sexual abuse.  Eleanor can’t help that she’s terrified of Mel.  But, Eleanor can help herself.  She did it once before.  She got away from him.  She has to do it again, not only for herself, but for her readers.

So Eleanor, you’ve challeneged me to review what I’ve revised.  If I don’t like you, how will my readers?

The revision process is a long and complicated one but on the other side of all this hard work a better novel will emerge!

January 14, 2008

Paying attention to your characters

Every writer has their own methods of developing their stories.  For some, they plot and plan everything out on paper before tackling the writing.  For others, they write freely and worry about making it all fit together once they begin their rewrite.

For me, it’s as simple as listening to my characters.

What does my heroine fear most?  What does she want?  What is she willing to do to get it? 

Why is my villain acting and reacting as he does?  How is his life intertwined with my heroine?  What drives him?

I spent a lot of time developing the characters for my suspense novel.  I researched the type of crime I felt inclined to write about and I poured over information about victims of such crimes.  I spoke to counselors and the authorities.  I interviewed someone who’s life situation had similar circumstances to what I had planned for my heroine.

Then, I listened.  As I wrote each chapter, distinct voices emerged.  My heroine shared her innermost fears and desires with me and her story began to take shape in a whole new light.  My villain, who still scares me, took on a dimension of a human person, rather than a stereotypical “bad guy”.  I still really don’t like him, but I’m beginning to understand why he does some of the things he does. 

My characters have been instrumental in helping me create a much stronger manuscript in this final revision.  I feel like I could meet these people on the street and I would instantly know them.  I can see their worlds so visually clear inside my head.  I hear their voices as if we’ve already met.  They aren’t just characters inside my head – they are real.

So what are your characters trying to say to you?  Are you paying attention?

January 11, 2008

Feeling uneasy – my heroine speaks out

Filed under: Creative writing,mysteries,Novels,Writing — dramaquill @ 10:12 PM
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Michael and I haven’t spent any time together in weeks.  We’re both so busy with work right now, which is good for our careers, but it’s putting a real strain on our relationship.

I don’t like these odd phone calls I’ve been getting the last couple of days.  I know someone’s on the other end – breathing – but no one talks.  Michael thinks I’m being silly.  “Just hang up, honey.”  That’s his advice.

I used to love living out here on this quiet country road.  The fall colors are splendid right now and looking out of my office window used to inspire all sorts of creativity.  But the past few days, I haven’t been able to put two intelligent thoughts together. 

Michael’s probably right.  I’m just being silly.

I think I’ll unwind with a game of solitaire.  It’s after 9:00.  Michael should be home soon.

Oh no – the phone again! 


Something fun to try

Blogs are a great way for a writer, published or unpublished, to create a web presence.  Some are very pointed and specific while others run carefree. 

 I recently read somewhere (I know, as a writer I should have written down so I could cite it properly for all my readers) that some authors use blogs to allow their characters to speak out.

And I thought – HEY, what a cool idea!

When I first started this blog, I talked a lot about my adult suspense novel.  I’m still hot and heavy into the final (yeah, right) revision and I wondered if my heroine, and my villain, might have some things to get off their minds.

So, don’t be surprised if they start making an appearance here shortly.

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