Welcome to Rosalie Redd’s blog tour. Today is the last stop, so if you’re just joining us, make sure to check out her other stops. (Links are provided at the end.) I’m going to turn this over to her, and let her describe her writing process. She’s a plotter, so this is a different perspective than what I describe since I’m a panster.
Hey, Kat, thanks for having me on your blog. How do I set up my writing process? That’s a great question. Where do I start? Well, I take a little of this and a little of that, throw it all together and watch what comes out. No? You’re right, it’s more complicated than that. Hehehe…
Every author seems to have a unique writing style and steps that they go through when creating their books. The method involved is as unique as each book, and what works for one person may not work for another. It took me a while to come up with a process that works for me. So, what do I do? Lots of things including a combination of stuff I learned from taking classes along with my own trial and error.
First off, I’m a plotter. I absolutely have to know and understand the characters and where the plot is going before I start writing. You’d think I’d start out with the plot, but actually, I work on getting to know and developing the characters first.
I even have a detailed character sheet that includes such things as physical description, personality, quirks, occupation, pet peeves, species, etc. But the most important aspect of character development is to understand a character’s goals, motivation, and conflict, both internal and external. I spend quite a bit of time on this, including fleshing out each of the main character’s attributes and fatal flaw.
A good example is my hero, Demir in Untamable Lover. Here is a list of his character traits: courageous, loyal, ambitious, decisive, analytical, confident, and bold. His emotional wound is when his father beat him, calling him weak for not performing well with his throwing stars. The lie my hero tells himself, the one that he must overcome, is he believes he is weak. His fatal flaw is that he’s turned callous, putting up a false front, a false bravado, yet his internal need is to be loved and respected, seen as strong.
Once I have the main character fleshed out, I do the same for the secondary character. Often the secondary character will have opposite traits and a goal, motivation, and conflict contradictory to the main character. This puts them at odds, but their internal need is met through their growth together as the plot unfolds. Aramie, the heroine in Untamable Lover, is loyal, protective, disciplined, courageous, and independent. She was abandoned as a child, forced to raise herself and her sister alone. Her fatal flaw is lack of trust, yet her internal need is to believe that someone will stand by her, not abandon her.
Once I have solid characters, I work on the plot, fleshing out the circumstances that will bring the two characters together, test their inner strength, forcing them to grow and overcome their fears. A high level outline with the main plot points is the place to start:
- Inciting incident – what starts the character’s on their path.
- Act 1 turning point – something happens and the characters must move forward. They can’t return to the way things used to be in their old world.
- Act 2 turning point – a dramatic change for the characters. For me, this is often the big love scene.
- Act 3 turning point – this is usually the final battle scene, where the characters fight for their new goal. They face their greatest fear, often called “the dark moment” and must embrace their new selves or fail.
- Resolution – after the characters have overcome their fears, they accept and move forward with their new life.
For Untamable Lover, here are those plot points:
- Inciting incident – Aramie, Demir’s second in command, finds a scripture describing a place called “blue pool” where a magical blue sunstone hides, one that can bring Demir out of his coma. This sets her on a path to find the stone before her Pride leader dies. She defies Demir’s rule, taking some recently trained mated females with her.
- Plot point 1 – Although Aramie finds the precious gemstone, she pays a high price – her sister’s life and the life of a mated female at the hands of their enemy, the Gossum. The stone heals Demir, and he demotes Aramie for her rebellious act, but Aramie, with her independent nature, takes on a solo mission for revenge.
- Plot point 2 – Demir protects his Pride at all costs and tracks Aramie, refusing to let her go after the enemy alone. When they end up in a battle with the Gossum, they are forced to seek shelter for the day in a small cave. Did I mention that plot point 2 is typically where the big love scene happens? Hehehehe…
- Plot point 3 – Aramie and Demir face the enemy once again. Aramie must face her deepest fear, sacrificing her independence by placing her trust in Demir. Demir must believe in himself and trust his internal strength in order to save them both.
- Resolution – Demir and Aramie realize their old view of the world no longer works and they accept their new roles. Demir reinstates Aramie as his second in command. Aramie and Demir become a mated couple.
Now that the character arcs and major plot points are figured out, I start an outline, fleshing out what each scene will entail. Secondary characters are developed and additional plot details are identified. The outline can be quite long, but it has to be sure to cover all the important points and include some foreshadowing. Often, the outline contains forty to fifty lines and each one is the basis for a scene.
Once the outline is done, I identify the point of view for each scene, careful to make sure that the hero and heroine have the majority of time on the page. I’ll move scenes around to make sure the main characters have a voice at least every other scene if not more often.
After I’m comfortable with the character arcs, plot points, and outline, I finally open the laptop and start typing. Most of the time, I take notes along the way—add more detail here, flesh out that dialogue there, etc. and come back to it later. I try to get the first draft written without any major changes. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. There are times when I can’t resist, and have to go fix something or add something right away. Eh, I do what the muse says.
Revisions come after the first draft and then it goes off for content edit. Changes are made based on feedback, and then, finally, copy edits. Can’t overlook the importance of good grammar and punctuation.
How long does this process take? It depends on the book. Sometimes it can happen as fast as three months. Other times it takes longer…sometimes much longer to my chagrin.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this is just the process I’ve found that works for me. Every author has their own method to their madness, so find what works for you and ignore the rest!
A World at War…
Shape-shifting Lemurian warriors battle against a deadly enemy in the dark of night. The prize—Earth’s most precious resource—water, and the fate of humankind.
A reckless leader…
Panthera leader Demir is stuck in a coma after taking a mysterious liquid-filled dart intended for another. Trapped in his own body, memories of his reckless, violent past and his lost mate, Eleanor, haunt his mind. When Aramie, his second in command, takes control of the Pride, she makes a decision which results in devastating consequences. After Demir wakes from his coma, he must impose punishment despite his unbidden desire to claim Aramie as his mate.
A female warrior…
Aramie honed her battle skills defending herself from males hell-bent on making her a mated female, the one thing she vowed never to become. Her hidden feelings for Demir drive her to find a cure for his coma, but her quest results in a painful sacrifice and grief propels her into a solo mission for revenge. After he finds her, they face the enemy together. Now she must decide—submit to him as his mate, or lose him forever.
After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She writes Fantasy/Science Fiction Romance inspired by classics from the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres layered with a good, hot dose of romance.
She lives in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing. When not at her computer, you can find her at Jazzercise, waterfall collecting in the Pacific Northwest, or relaxing with her husband and their pesky cat, Snookums.
She pushed against his biceps bulging beneath his black T-shirt. His strength overwhelmed her, and she had a conflicting desire to bite him on the shoulder, both to cause him pain and to mark him in her own way. The contradictory yearning made her cry out in frustration.
He pulled her tighter, closing the distance between them. “Relax, Aramie, relax.” He practically purred her name.
The vibration rattled over the skin on her back, tickling her bottom. She couldn’t stop her body’s natural shiver.
“Please, let me go.” Even as she said the words, the deepest part of her didn’t want him to ever let her go.
He glanced at her mouth, and his pupils dilated. The memory of his kiss raced through her mind. Unbidden, her tongue slid over her bottom lip, moistening it.
Jason Nuget is shining the spotlight on Rosalie for you
Errin Shanks hosted Rosalie’s interview
Angelique Anderson was able to catch () for a character interview
Zora Marie discussed () with Rosalie
K. Caffee discussed how Rosalie sets up her writing.
Every day a new stop, and something new to discover. Have you discovered them all yet?