My stories are always character driven. Before I can tell their story, I have to know them inside and out, as Bobby Stockwood might say. But he wasn't the character that spawned this story.
Abigail Martin whispered in my ear one day that she was in her thirties, never been married, bored with her job and ready to let her hair down, so to speak. She didn't have a name to start with but when I thought about a woman whose biological clock was ticking, the girl next door living in Amarillo, Texas, the name Abigail popped into my head. And since she's on the average side of most everything in life, she couldn't have a very colorful last name. Sorry all you Martins out there but it's a pretty tame, average name.
She needed someone as colorful and unique as she was mellow and average. In walked Bobby Stockwood. Bobby is a redheaded cowboy with a quick wit and a romantic soul. He's been married twice, has a ranch and a family business, loves to dance, sings off key and is damn sexy.
After I had their physical attributes and their personalities entered into my character study outlines, I needed their histories. Much of the history of my characters will never appear in the story. This is one thing that is hard to grasp for new writers. As a writer, you build a good deal of information on both the characters and the back story. It's tempting to show how much you know and all the research done to make the book work. Exciting stuff for a writer. For the reader - not so much. But in order to write believable fiction a writer needs to know it all.
Once I knew them, I could build the story. And if Abigail was looking for a little excitement and change in her life, waking up with a redheaded stranger the morning after her best friend's third wedding was a good place to start. Ah, love at first sight for Bobby the night before. Abigail is of course more pragmatic, especially since the night before is nothing but a blur. Oops!
And as love blooms for her, a problem arises. All stories need conflict. You have to make your characters work for their happily ever after. Life is not all peaches and cream, and if you want your fiction to be believable, your characters must suffer. I can't give it away, but it feels life altering for Abigail. In the end, the resolution is fun.
That's a brief look at how I build a story. The spark comes to me from a word, a phrase, a concept or out of the blue. But once that tiny bit of information is in my head, I build the characters. Their story unfolds, but I usually have to search hard for the conflict and resolution.
Can there really be love at first sight?
Abigail Martin doesn’t think so. Unless the sexy redheaded stranger she wakes up with the morning after her best friend’s wedding is telling the truth.
Bobby Stockwood fell cowboy-hat-over-boot-heels for the brown-haired beauty, and married her in an impromptu wedding ceremony. Now he just has to convince his new bride that the morning after can be the first day of the rest of their lives.
But just when Abigail starts believing the fairy-tale is real, she finds out exactly who Bobby is, and the walls of make-believe start crumbling down.
Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Recently, they moved to prairie country in Arizona and are enjoying the wide-open spaces while tending fruit trees and veggie gardens. They share their space with their dog, Rusty. When Brenda isn’t at her laptop writing, she enjoys hiking, motorcycle riding and the company of good friends.
Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com.
Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about prairie life on her personal blog http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/