...Developing an original Idea into a Novel…
Guest post By S.I. Hayes
Firstly I would like to thank Marilyn Almodovar for the spot on her blog today! It’s always a pleasure doing guest posts. So Marilyn asked me to do a post about how I develop an idea into a novel. It all depends on how the idea comes at me. My Co-Authored work Awakenings: The Wrath Saga started out as a short story called Midnight written by my dear friend and fellow Author Will Van Stone Jr that we worked painstakingly hard on for years before finally publishing back in 2012. For that work we used to sit down and take “control” of our characters talking about scenes and having conversations in “character” to develop more lifelike dialogue and really get into their heads. For descriptive purposes as we both draw we would do that, draw the characters as we saw them. Sometimes using actors and actresses as models as seen here. This of course only got us so far. There was a lot of research in to New Orleans, the geography, the people. I’m a stickler for that. The Google Earth app is AWESOME for traveling and seeing places you’ve never been and can’t afford to go explore. Having a partner can really ease the burden of writing, especially when the major plot points are already figured out. If you have a chance to write with a likeminded person I do recommend it.
The In Dreams trilogy story development was by far a more painstaking endeavor. It began as a D&D campaign, that’s Dungeons & Dragons for those who don’t know. Yes I am a bit on the odd side, as I didn’t get in to it until well into my twenties. (Don’t Judge.) *Grins widely* It was just me and another friend, having a good old time ripping off this game and that scenario. But the Characters were 100% original. When the game ended I didn’t want to give up these amazing characters! So I sat down with them and let them tell me what they wanted to do. They really did feel like they wrote themselves. It took a lot of time to build the worlds, the places only existing in my head. Battles and conversations with myself proved to be frustrating, but beneficial For Centuries of Blood: Becoming I went back into research mode, as it’s a historical. I had to be sure that I got what was going on around the characters correct, as the world around them directly and indirectly affects them. For my new works that are awaiting publication it’s been about spending time with me. Getting into my own head can sometimes be scary. I get backed in to a wall more often than not, often putting the work down. But I almost always know where it is going to end. I always seem to be able to know the beginning and the end of most of my works. It’s the middle where things go haywire... I think that to develop a good story, you have to have an idea of who your characters are when it begins. Then you need to blow their worlds apart so that they can learn something. Be it about themselves, someone else or their world. Themes help to pull the ideas forward. Love, loss, betrayal. Danger, neglect, all conflicts. CONFLICT that really helps one develop the tales. Be it an internal or external struggle, I think that the reader likes to see that a character is flawed in some way. Yeah there are the Archetypes, perfect good, pure evil. But that gets old outside of comics pretty fast. I’m more about the chaos that we all are. I’m currently a whopping six pages into my newest endeavor, my inspiration came from an open submission for a demon love story. LOL, not what I’m actually writing, but it made me think about it, and do a little research on the non-Christian demons that are popular today. And BOOM! Now I’m writing Crossing Shadows <- working title. All I know for certain about the work is that it’s going to need a fast pace, there will be government agencies, creepy creatures, some hot and heavy scenes and my lead gal will do some very questionable things. From there it’s about staring at the screen and flipping coins. I’ll delve into my monster manuals for inspiration and hopefully by the end of August I’ll have a nifty 50k Novella. Getting there by the seat of my pants, lots of coffee and a stroke or two of genius. If you want to really write a story it’s got to be in you. You have to want to tell it, scream it from the rafters, and not care if no one ever reads it but be thrilled when they finally do. Don’t get discouraged by haters, keep telling your tales because you have them to tell. Don’t let anyone deter you. To develop a good story all that has to happen is for you to tell it how you see it. Others be damned.
Shannon (S.I.) Hayes
Shannon (S. I.) Hayes has been telling tales for so long as she has been able to talk, and began writing them down shortly thereafter. She is the singular author of the In Dreams... Series, and a Paranormal Historical Romance called Centuries Of Blood: Becoming. Shannon is the Co-Author to Awakenings: The Wrath Saga, a Paranormal Drama likened to Big Brother meets The Real World of the Preternatural, as well as several blogs and host to her own website. S.I.Hayes.com. In her own words... I have a mind that is easily distracted and prone to wandering. Tangents are my forte, and if you think my characters are going to fit a cookie cutter shape of any kind, think again. They live, they love, they eat, sleep and f***. I believe that people are inherently sexual creatures and my characters be they human or something altogether else are no exception.
I don't adhere to a single genera, I toe the line on several and wouldn't presume to be a master of any. So I suppose you could call me jack-of-all-trade-paperbacks.
I am a truth seeker, in my life, in my work. I’d apologize for it, but I kinda can't help m’self. It's my best and worst personality trait, well mostly, being Bi-Polar I guess you could say that is the worse. But I believe that the disorder has made me, well... Me.
I have taken this life and twisted, carved, shaped and molded it in to the worlds of my characters. Albeit with a chainsaw, and it has made all the difference.