Friday, February 8, 2013

I Have A Guest For You All... Meet Nicole Field

 I have a special treat for you all today.  I have a guest blogger today.  I've been wanting to do this for some time.  I know you're familiar with some of MY views and ideas, but I wanted to give you some points of view on writing from other authors.  So please help me welcome the author of the novel "Gothic" Nicole Field!

Hey all! I'm Nicole, I'm from Melbourne, Australia, and at the moment, I'm busily writing a paranormal romance / urban fantasy series starting with the title Gothic.

Allan has kindly invited me here today to talk about my thoughts on plot and character creation. Lucky for me, I have many ideas on both of those things! 

Many years ago, a tiny nugget of a plot appeared to me in a dream. I remember seeing a vampire standing at the door to a house that he hadn't been invited into and couldn't get in. In the doorway, there was a strong, young woman standing in defence of the person inside the house who was refusing to see the vampire at the door.

This scene stayed with me. I wrote a couple of notes into a notebook at the time to make sure it stayed fresh, but otherwise I left it alone and went onto other things.

About a year after that, I was in the middle of my Honours year. That was a really stressful time. I was having to nitpick and agonise over every word that I was putting together for this thesis. The marks and feedback I was getting from the coursework weren't as good as I could have hoped. I was stressing out, and I needed a distraction. 

I started writing. I didn't care whether the words were perfect or not. I just started writing, all stream of consciousness, about a human girl who was, through no fault of her own, stuck in the middle of several supernatural beings. This girl, later named Dahlia Noone, had a werewolf for a father and a vampire for a godmother. In the course of a week, the first draft of Gothic was written.

At this point, I had about four pages steam of consciousness style. I knew I had enough characters to play against each other and flesh out the world of a story. All I needed now was a story or plot for them to revolve around. 

For that, I needed one last character.

This antagonist surprised me. He ended up being none of the characters who'd come to me in the early dream, nor the later brainstorming. He was, however, in the early drafts. A bit part character I hadn't thought much about, who could, without too much effort, be brought into the forefront. 

It's difficult to say too much more on that character without spoiling the plot for Gothic, so I will finish with two last thoughts on plot and character creation:

Evidently, for me, the plot comes second to the characters that I want to write about, at least it has in this instance. That's not always the case. I've recently written a post on my blog about J. K. Rowlings' new book The Casual Vacancy, observing how that is a character driven story, as opposed to the 'good vs evil' plot that dominated the seven Harry Potter novels.

Finally, the last very important aspect I found for cementing my characters was envisioning the main characters in famous faces of shows I enjoy watching. Melissa George, Ian Somerhalder and Ksenia Solo all appear in my mental cast list. 

Well, that's about all we have time for today. Thanks to Allan for letting me feature here today as an guest blogger. For any interested in Gothic, buy links are included below:


For my own websites, find me here: