Saturday, January 27, 2007

Setting Up For The Workshop - Getting Started

Alrighty – so with the characters and setting and research and storyline all clear in my mind I’m reading to get going with the writing…

And Part Five Of The Workshop dealt with:

Introducing your characters to the reader:

1/ Have you got their names in quickly?

2/ Have you got a description of how they both look filtered into the first few pages?

3/ Have you thought about how their prior relationship will effect how they interact?

4/ Have you given the reader just enough about them to make them want to know what happens next or have you given them so much information they don't need to go any further - or worse still have you had both characters so defensive that the reader dislikes them???

In Last Chance Family I have employed a writing device that I have used in three odd other books now (I think) – I have given it a Prologue


1. a preliminary discourse; a preface or introductory part of a discourse, poem, or novel.

2. an introductory speech, often in verse, calling attention to the theme of a play.

3. an introductory scene, preceding the first act of a play, opera, etc.

4. any introductory proceeding, event, etc.: Appetizing delicacies were the prologue to a long dinner.
–verb (used with object)

5. to introduce with or as if with a prologue.

For me, a Prologue and an Epilogue are devices I use when there is a bit more of a back-story with the characters. Other people may use it for different reasons I know, but for me – that’s the only reason I will permit myself to use them – otherwise they can become addictive… The Prologue in this case not only introduces the characters – it also draws us into the largest part of the *external plot* for this story – the main catalyst for my hero and heroine to be thrown together – so a Prologue makes sense… Hopefully it will also make sense to my Ed when she gets it ;)

I’ve been a good girl and gotten Terri onto the very first page – I have used the external plot to open up some of the reasoning behind why she’s doing the things she is – and I’ve also made it very plain that she doesn’t like the hero a whole heap… I’ve added more description of him than her – because it’s all written in her POV so therefore we’re seeing him through her eyes – (also it's a female readership on the whole so they want to know that the guy is gorgeous from the start, right???) and then when I switch to my hero’s POV in the first Chapter I’ll let him describe her to us…. That way I haven’t got bogged down with too many paragraphs of description and I’ve kept the flow… (And also keeping in mind that in the Romance line its the heroine's story so it's only fitting she should get the majority of the POV...)

Which brought me neatly into Part Six Of The Workshop which dealt with adding descriptions of our characters…

In this one I’m pleased to see that without thinking too much about it, the surroundings and the externals are allowing me to add description without too much difficulty… what I need to be careful about is how thick I layer it on! I want the reader to understand that even though my heroine dislikes the hero so much – she isn’t blind. She knows how attractive he is – she just doesn’t much like the fact that she knows, you know? This can add conflict on an emotional inner level – cos she has the whole physical attraction vs personality clash issue going on… A big part of her character arc will therefore be how her opinion of him changes as the story progresses…

As for him – well I want to hold an awful lot of him back emotionally because when the Black Moment hits, the revealing of all the things he's held back will make it all the stronger, right? – so I want him to be describing her from a very male perspective, straightforward, no frills, matter-of-fact. He hasn’t thought much about our heroine in years, hasn’t spent time with her, isn’t keen on spending time with her and yet knows he now has no choice… So any descriptions he gives of my heroine have to change gradually, unfolding slowly as he very very gradually softens… This helps me to maintain a strong Alpha-side-of-Beta Hero. His personality based on my character sheet tells me what way he will approach the situation and therefore the way he will process things in his mind – which tells me how he will *see* things in his head… Make sense???

So that’s me all caught up with where we were before… And we’re ready to get going with PART SEVEN of the Book With Trish series… YAY!

**** MY NEWS!!!****

For those of you that haven't already noticed - there has been a HUGE REVAMP over at the Website... Thanks to the wonderfully talented Ally Blake who has given me a *make-over*... So, there is loads to go and find - behind the scenes stuff on all the books so you can see how the characters looked in my mind and how the stories came to be - what music I was listening to - there are a tonne more reviews!!!! And still to come (yes, I'm working on them as we speak) there are loads of new links for you to go explore and the writing tips page is being expanded so you don't have to go search the blog every time...

If you visit please do come let me know what you think!!! The official launch for it is 1st February to tie in with the release of Breathless!


Marcy said...

Hi Trish,
I have a question about something I'm struggling with. My CP has commented that I don't have enough description of my heroine in the first chapter, but that chapter is from her POV. How can I let the reader know what she looks like without having her describe herself? I've read book where the heroine is looking in the mirror, but that can't be the only way. So how can I get across enough detail without it seeming forced?


Trish said...


And one I think merits a workshop blog...I may have to reschedule them round a bit... ;)

Gimme an hour or so...