When I begin writing a new novel, I generally have no idea where I’m going. My typical start of a story is usually the main character—whether it’s the male protagonist or the female protagonist—and whatever issue they are facing.
From there, I just ask myself questions:
- Why are they having this problem?
- Who or what is directly influencing this issue?
- How will they solve this affliction, ailment, or get rid of the antagonist?
- And lastly, who will help them through it?
The great thing is, just like the reader, I never know exactly what my characters will do. Sure, I know I want a happily ever after, but I also know that not every character will get a happily ever after when I’m finished writing. And the detours they make along the way sometimes even surprise me. Why? Because I allow my story to progress naturally.
I typically write two thousand words a day, and then every night I read the last few chapters to make sure the story flows, marking any areas that need addressing, and then go to sleep, allowing the characters to come alive in my dreams. And ohhh how they do. It’s not unusual for hubby to see me typing on my iPhone’s notepad in the middle of the night. Often it’ll just be a great line or a missing link I was in search of.
When I finally finish writing the novel, I take an entire day and read from beginning to end, making sure the story flows and that there are no holes or contradictions.
Writing is easy, right?
I’ve read this story almost thirty times at this juncture. How can it surprise me, how can it make me cry? And yet, here I am, sitting on the sofa, my afghan curled around me, and I’m bawling over something that happened. Hubby, who has been sitting quietly by his computer—because he knows it’s read-through day—whips his chair around to face me and asks, “Are you okay?”
I swipe away my tears and answer, “Yes, I just can’t believe that happened.”
“Wait. I thought you were reading your book?” he asks.
“I am,” I answer. “But it still makes me cry.”
He shakes his head and goes back to typing his nonfiction.
One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
Well, I’m always surprised, and I always cry when something happens to my characters.
If you enjoy stories that blend happy and sad, romantic and suspenseful, click the link for your favorite retailer below and grab one of my free books. If you’ve read all my books, make sure you pre-order my new release, Erik’s Revelation, at the $0.99 introductory price, so you’ll know why I was crying!
Until next time, happy reading!
Learn more about Carmen on her website: www.CarmenDeSousaBooks.com.
Or visit one of her author pages to grab one of her bestsellers!
Most of Carmen’s novels share her favorite hobbies, mostly, anything to do with the great outdoors. She’s hiked, kayaked, and dined across the US, so she could bring her stories to life. Other than locations you can feel, Carmen concentrates on the human factor. Her protagonists face real issues — and antagonists. She attempts to help her characters find a way out of their situations and find their happily ever after. Because, let’s face it, isn’t that what everyone wants … to find their happily ever after? Visit Carmen’s website to learn more about what she writes: