Hi everyone! Today I have Jane Toombs on the blog talking about the five Ws of writing and an H.
Janet and I write so differently it’s a wonder we were able to co-author Becoming Your Own Critique Partner. But then, that was non-fiction.
So maybe I should say we write fiction very differently. Janet writes multiple drafts of her stories, whereas I do an overall synopsis for the entire book or series. I may deviate from this synopsis as I go along, but not radically.
However, we both use the who, what. when, why, where and how method of creating.
Who, of course are the two main characters. Three if there’s a villain.
What do each of them want and how that will impact the other?
When is, of course, the time period of the story.
Why is the reason for the wanting.
Where is the physical location of what’s happening.
How is the resulting story.
1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?
I actually don’t know. All I can say is that they’re characters I feel will work with the plot.
2. Do your characters come before the plot? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?
Plot and characters come together. As I write my synopsis, I somehow know what kind of characters will work well with this particular plot. However as I actually write the story the characters take on life and voice, so I do deviate a bit from the synopsis, which can be as fluid as it needs to be.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
Pretty much–in a general way. The ending always depends on how much I deviate from the synopsis when writing the story.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
If I need to do research, once I settle on the setting , I do it before I start to write, because the research often leads to a change in the synopsis. Lately, though, I tend to use settings I’m familiar with or at least have visited.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Both. If I can’t find what I need online, I know my library will have just the right book I need. Besides, I’ve been writing for so many years now that I have books about almost everything.
6. Give a short excerpt from the book you want to promote – 400 to 500 words.
I’ve just taken apart a very long historical California saga and converted it into a series of seven novellas that I had to title. As I was writing this blog, I just realized I used the five W’s and the H to come up with those titles.
Book 1 : The Bastard. And yes, he is, both literally and otherwise. But it’s because he’s illegitimate that he has created goals he needs to fulfill, which is why he does what he does. He founds a dynasty–but at what expense to both himself and others?
Book 2: The Interloper. A woman who enters the family as a companion for a daughter creates consequences that influence the following book due to what she wants as it impacts the others’ goals.
Book 3. The Dancer. This woman believes she’s reached her goal in life–but has she?
Book 4. The Rebel. A teenage daughter rebels with consequences she can’t foresee, causing others’ goals to shift and change.
Book 5. The Fixer. A problem solver for others, until he confronts his own.
Book 6. The Deceiver. The child of The Rebel, now grown. She has no real goals until life smacks her down and she learns what she needs.
Book 7. The Wild Card. A man created by past consequences from the first book forces the entire family to face the past.
Visit Jane’s website to find out more about her books: http://www.janetoombs.com
Thanks for being here, Jane!
June 5, 2013 at 11:58 am
June 6, 2013 at 8:53 pm
Hi Jane, Excellent demonstration of the Five Ws and H. Thanks for sharing 🙂