|Photo credit: Paumadou on Flickr|
The inception of that novel idea is often regarded with some wonder, even to writers. For some, the idea begins as a sentence, or a scene, or a world or situation. For others it begins with a character, or a line of dialogue, or a stray echo after a dream.
I’d like to hear from you: where do your novel ideas begin?
I am absolutely a character-based writer. Every one of my WIP ideas has started with a character, with a world and situation built around them. I find it very difficult to build a character to fit a story—instead, the story evolves from the character.
This is likely a large reason why I tend to neglect setting in my first drafts—I focus instead on learning about my characters, what makes them tick, what makes them them and worry about nailing down a setting in future revisions. Of course not all writers work like that, but character to me is the heart and soul of the novel. I could have a fantastic premise, but if I don’t have equally spectacular character to go with it, the idea fizzles away.
I’m well aware, however, that there are many writers who function quite differently—writers who create an intricate, interesting setting and fantastic premise long before they begin to think about who populates the world. And then there are writers who work somewhere in between—those who develop the two simultaneously and integrate them at the same time.
So now you tell me, writers: where do your novel ideas begin?