What’s Your Creative Process?

I mentioned a couple of days ago how my writing process works when all the stars line up in a perfect world.  Because–that’s what we all have, right?   🙂

Being a character-driven writer, I don’t come up with the story first and then fill in with characters.  I let the characters find me, and the story will come.  I should have known my latest attempt was all back-ass-wards when I spent most of a day on name databases looking for the perfect name for my mc.  That should have been the first clue!

Because yesterday, as I sat on my front porch bench at home, staring across the street at my mother’s old house…the one I grew up in and is now inhabited by strangers and doesn’t look like the picture below anymore… my mc came and sat next to me, stared at the same house, and told me her name is Emily. 

I was full of happy…

Because even though I don’t know what the story is yet, I know it’s going to be about this house, and besides that, I’m getting to know her and that is where the good stuff comes from.

I knew Dani from THE REASON IS YOU long before I knew her story.  I knew her name was Dani Shane, and I felt the weight of the world on her shoulders as she drove down a highway in the heat of the summer in an old car with no air conditioning.  That’s how she started.  I knew nothing else.

Now, I’ll wait for Emily.

So tell me about you.  If you write, are you plot driven or character driven?  If you are an artist, where does your inspiration come from?  Whatever you do…what inspires you?


About Sharla Lovelace

Writer of romantic women's fiction. Wife, mom, and wonderwoman...without the boobs. National Bestselling Author of THE REASON IS YOU, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and the e-novella JUST ONE DAY. Lover of anything red.

Posted on September 22, 2011, in Sharla Lovelace and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I’m totally character first. I think if the characters are interesting enough, I can just throw them in a bowl and report the conflict and the outcomes. But I’m not a pantser. I “watch” the whole drama in an extensive outline to make sure the plot and characters drive together.

    Thanks for your blog, Sharla. 🙂

  2. I’m definitely character-driven in the sense that I have a sketchy idea of what I want the book to be about, but it’s the people in the book and what they’re personalities are that drive the novel forward. I love characters and although plot, of course, is important (duh) I enjoy getting to know people – in books as well as outside of them!

  3. I can’t wait to read about Emily and what happens in that old house. Even the writing in your blog posts makes me happy. Write on!

  4. Hi, Sharla. This stumped me for a bit as usually I think am I plotter or pantser more. So I mulled over this question regarding my WIP and decided character. I focus on her and her journey.

    Good question.

  5. I get an idea for a story, and then look for the best person, character, to tell that story. Then, the character pushes the story forward. Happy writing, Sharla!

  6. I can’t wait to read the THE REASON IS YOU and now I’m excited about Emily’s story. 🙂

    My creative process is a mess. I write the first draft and by the second draft, everything changes. It’s not pretty at all.

  7. Wonderful post, Sharla. Emily will follow you and speak to you in dreams and she will tell you why she came to be your friend. I could never write word one without my characters, stuffed in trunks, stashed in basements and tied with ribbon like cherished old love letters, they dance in my head. Two of them have been pestering me to tell their stories. I will come them soon and we’ll travel along a winding road and find adventure and a great story. Ditto: I can’t wait to read The Reason Is You. Just got Ellen’s The Other Life in the mail and she is calling me 🙂 Have a great time with Emily.

  8. Great post! I am character first; I am always interested in watching poeple and all my stories begin there. I found my latest characer while vacationing in Maine. “She climbed off a Harley with suede chaps–and her story started buzzing in my head. “She” came home with me from Maine. She’s a strong, fierce woman who has worked on her father’s lobster boat.

    I carry her in my head as her story unravels.

    The first glimmer of a story starts with a character. I quickly jot down all the ideas which appear. Then the character and I write her story–definatley a panster.

    I can’t wait to see what develops with Emily.

    Judi w/a Reece

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