Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat

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Welcome!

Thanks to Amy Jarecki author of the Highland Force series for the invitation to land here on the Romance Weekly blog hop.

These questions are from author Jeanne McDonald, who releases The Certainty of Deception today. (Join her facebook release party—Woot! 3p.m.-11p.m.Eastern Standard)

 

How did you go about choosing the names for your characters?

 

images-2Sometimes I go on baby naming sites, like http://www.20000-names.com/ or http://www.sheknows.com/ Most of the time, however, the names just come to me along with the character. Sometimes a main character begins with one name and changes names on the third or fourth re-write. Ruby in Stolen Kiss started life as Vero (pronounced the French Canadian way- rhymes with arrow). Arabella in Stolen Heart began as Annika. But the character that developed in the story didn’t match the name and kind of insisted on switching. People I know can influence name choices. Tukie Cohen was inspired from awesome women in my town with unusual names like Twinkle, Honey and Cookie. The names of the hero and heroine in my WIP came to me very quickly. Dane and Eva. They are such opposites and so much fun!

 

Where did the inspiration for your current book come from?

7784174530_e8da0fc255_mNineteen years ago in March I was holed up in a Norwegian hutel (not a hotel) during a white out, while my husband skied the tops of the Jotunheimen mountain region. After failing the “check-out” I was unable to cross-country ski the distances to go hut-to-hut and stayed put. My newly weaned (for aforementioned trip) ten-month-old daughter (home with grandparents) and I cried about our separation. The story poured out over three days and I tucked the notes away for posterity. (19 years—that’s a generation, right?) P.S. It has nothing to do with snow.

 

What methods do you use to ensure you have no plot holes (journal, storyboard, outline, editor, etc.)?

 

Unknown-1I’m too superstitious to use a word like “ensure” regarding no plot holes, but the method I follow is three fold. The story kernel gets a page. I run this page through the Late and wonderfully generous Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat 15 Beats system. At this point, I usually spin a journal or two for my main characters, so I get to know them, their voices and their problems better. Lastly, (my most recent development) I use Lisa Miller’s Plot Safari guidelines (from the Margie Lawson school) to really develop the plot. By this time, I have a good solid 40 pages to use as a guideline. At any point during this process, I may send off notes to my incredible Critique Partner, the inimitable Sarah Hegger for eyes, Yeas, and Nays. I also have two other really talented CP’s who I hope to continue working with who tell me where I went wrong after the ms or parts of it are completed: Brenda Margriet and VC Monroe (Vicki Mixon). I’m extremely fortunate to have their input. And am open to new ideas to help keep the writing organic and fresh.

 

UnknownI am really curious to see how Regency Romance author Collette Cameron answered these questions. (especially if she reveals how she came up with the hero and heroine’s names for The Earl’s Enticement – swoon) Join me in checking her out by clicking here:

http://blueroseromance.com

 

19 comments

  1. Great answers! Sometimes my characters toss their names back at me and demand a new choice 🙂 I love that inspiration for your book – so unique and now, I want to know more! 🙂

  2. I’m sure I’ve changed some of my character names in the early drafts of my manuscripts but I got scared when you said they changed on the 3rd or 4th rewrite. I would get so confused 🙂 I’m going to check out your book references.

  3. Save the Cat, huh? I’m starting that book tonight! Loved your story of the mountain and the hutel. 19 years is a long time to percolate– a must write story.

  4. What would we do without our CP’s to help us find gaps and boo boos in our stories! I keep a list of names to make sure I don’t name a butler three or four books down the line the same thing I called one before. You’d think I’d be able to remember that.

  5. Wow! I am so impressed by your stay in Norway. I had to leave my 11 month daughter and travel to Brazil, but I was in a hotel and had others around me. Then again- the alone time inspired your novel, so cool.

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