USA Today Bestselling Author Roxanne Rustand led a discussion on the Creative Process in Wausau on Saturday June 10th at the Jefferson Street Inn.
During Roxanne’s interactive talk she spoke about what she does in the process of creating new characters and their romance and Happily Ever After. Sparking a lively discussion, she shared several worksheets, such as:
- Kathy Jacobson’s “Conflict Grid,” which explores many different ways for the the hero and heroine to come into conflict: their long range and short range goals, external and romantic conflicts, conflicts of personality and archetype, the emotional danger which each character faces if he/she gives up the old way of thinking and doing and finally the epiphany that frees them from the past.
- “Turning Points in Novels, ” which pinpoints what constitutes a turning point, such as:
- the character has an Epiphany,
- something very important is revealed,
- A serious event that happens to characters and causes changes,
- or a subtle emotional moment that sparks a big reaction,
- or a small thought-provoking event with a big consequence
- finally an action or event that shows that the protagonist is evolving.
- Brainstorming Conflict Chart which asks questions, such as:
- What things can happen to make the external conflicts worse?
- Romance conflicts–What steps make things better or worse for the hero and heroine relationship in each scene?
- How can I add more emotion, more romance in each scene?
- How can I focus on and develop the stages of attraction in each scene?
- How to Map the Locales in a series of books
One take away was when “getting to know your characters,” ask them the hard questions. Roxanne got this from a Jill Barnett workshop:
If your character is not coming to you, or you cannot nail the right emotional moment,
Pick a subject from below and write for at least 5 minutes (by timer) and up to 20 minutes.
Use one of the following topics in context with your character:
Roxanne: “This is one of my favorite ways to find the information that I’m either writing all around or have forgotten in the mad balancing act of plotting and characterization and scene planning and everything else we juggle.”
We thoroughly enjoyed our morning with Roxanne and took away many great tips to help enhance our writing.
USA Today Bestseller, Lyn Cote is an RWA Honor Roll member and the author of over 35 books. You can find out more about her by visiting her website.