How do you develop your stories? Do you plot in advance, complete with outlines and maybe index cards, or do you drive the book by the seat of your pants, letting the characters sort of lead you around by the nose?
I'm in the latter category. I have no idea in the world how a book will turn out, or where it will take me during the process. I started my current one with nothing but an image: a six-foot, feather-winged angel walking down a crowded street in a Bangkok slum. I'm now almost 90 pages in, and I still don't know exactly who he is, but I'm having a wonderful time.
I'd love to hear from you, and also to suggest (if the subject interests you) that you look at my blog at www.timothyhallinan.com/blog/
, where some really good writers are addressing the question. So far we've had Stephen Jay Schwartz, Bill Crider, Rebecca Cantrell, and Gar Anthony Haywood. Up right now is Helen Simonson, whose first novel, COLONEL PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND has had amazing reviews by everyone from Oprah to Publisher's Weekly and the NY Times, and which entered the Amazon rankings, two weeks before its pub date, at 126.
I'd love it if you dropped by and took a look at the way these folks do it, but I'd also love some replies here. This is a topic I can read about and discuss pretty much any time.