Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Amber L. Argyle
Hello Amber and welcome to The Writers Voice!
Do you outline? If so how closely do you follow it?
I didn’t used to (I tried a few times and couldn’t figure it out. Aprilynne Pike actually taught me how to do it well—and not until MS # 7), but I got tired of having a plot point not work out, deleting a big chunk of my MS and having to rewrite it. When I outline, I write my first draft much faster with a lot less wasted time. So far, I’ve followed it fairly closely. Little plot points shift, but the main plot has remained the same.
Has being a novelist changed the way you read and appreciate novels?
Absolutely. I can better recognize when an author is brilliant even if they aren’t my taste. I’ve also learned to never say anything bad publicly about a book. I can also see the value in authors that others berate because they aren’t “great writers” but they are exceptional storytellers.
How much do you draw from your own life when constructing your main character?
I’m not really sure. I can tell you that I pick an animal that represents my character. In my current WIP, she’s a songbird. She startles easily, is light and quick, loves to sing, climb trees, and laugh. I also use Hartman’s color personalities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartman_Personality_Profile
How do you get to know your characters? Do you write out a bio, they just come to you or do you have certain facts you always decide on first?
Certain personalities fit specific stories better. You want your characters personality to contradict the mold/story they need to fill. IE Brusenna is quite and shy—and it conflicts with the leadership role that’s thrust upon her. I always have an overview of their personality. Little quirks and tidbits come later. My characters base personality is always there to build from (see above).
Do you tend to reach the word count you want exactly, overshoot or undershoot? How does it affect your editing?
My goal is to hit 70 to 100 k words. I’m usually in there somewhere, but I was short once. That MS sat for 2 years because I didn’t know what else to do with it. I’m almost done with a rewrite though.
To all our readers out there, thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!