Blog Tour - Guest Post by Ann Marie Meyers
What comes first: the character or the story idea?
Personally, I don’t believe that there is one definitive answer. Sometimes the character drives the action and determines what happens. At other times, the story idea itself dictates the type of character or characters who would best fit the action.
In my case, the concept for a book usually comes first. When I start to write, a character is born and is then shaped by the story. A strange thing happens however. At some point, the character takes over and runs the show. There’s no use resisting, even if my character takes my original idea and munches on it as a snack.
One of the exceptions is Up In The Air. From the start, the character of Melody dictated the action. She was the driving force behind the events and the story revolves around her.
I’m pretty sure that most writers would agree that a strong, well-defined character is crucial. A plot without such a protagonist falls flat very quickly. I think that the more a writer knows his or her characters, the stronger the dialogue, the tighter the action, the more dramatic the events and the more irresistible the plot.
As for ‘story inspiration’, well all I’ll say on this is that inspiration comes at any time and in any place, even in my dreams. I’ve learned to always carry a notebook and a pen with me, and to keep some paper on my bedside table to jot down any ideas that defy my attempts at falling asleep.
Whichever way a writer chooses is a personal choice. I allow myself to be open to what happens. So, for the initial draft, I tend to go with the flow until the breakthrough happens and the characters, one by one, take a stand. At that point I know that the plot, tone, action and drama are in good hands, and there’s no holding back.
About the Author:
ANN MARIE MEYERS grew up in Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. She has a degree in languages and translates legal and technical documents from French and Spanish into English. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and energetic daughter. Meyers is an active member of SCBWI and facilitates a children's writing group twice a month.