Today we sit down with author and storyteller Leeann Betts as she brings us inside her house and writing projects. Welcome, Leeann! Take it away.
- When painting a room, the first step is to visualize what color you want on the walls: choose the genre, then the characters and setting. If your book is a romance, you want to choose your hero and heroine and an antagonist who will try to keep them apart. For a mystery, you will choose the problem, who did it, and then create a sleuth to find the solution. Setting includes the time period as well as geographical location. Understand your characters’ goal, motivation, and conflict, and make the goal worthy of the journey.
- The next step in painting a room is repairing the defects: come up with a plot line. Most often, you’ll find that the first thing you think of for a plot will be the easy point. To create a compelling story, you must think beyond that first idea, and ask more “And then what?” questions. Fill in the holes in the plot. Don’t let your hero off the hook too easily.
- Unless you want your entire room the same color, you’ll likely tape off areas: In writing, your outline, synopsis, and elevator pitch will keep you on track. For seat-of-the-pants writers, you don’t have to write a ten-page outline. Even an elevator pitch, fifty words or less, can keep you on track. And for those who love to outline, the joy still emerges when a character says or does something you weren’t expecting.
- Finally, after all the preparation, now paint: Writing requires tools. Included in your toolkit will be something to write on; a notepad and pen; a space where you can write; some software, and patience. Set daily or weekly goals for your writing. Occasionally read over what you wrote the previous day and make a few changes. Keep your outline in front of you to keep you on track. Review your characters’ GMC to make sure your character is changing and moving toward their goals.