Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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I was writing away earlier and discovered my pirate villain is allergic to cats.

I know writers, excellent writers, who make elaborate profiles of their characters before they start writing: "He's got hair like golden wheat, ice blue eyes, hates beets, and was beaten by his tutor for not being able to grasp the intricacies of French verbs..."

Me, I'm a seat of the pants writer. Though I prefer the more elegant term "organic" writer. I sometimes start with a notion of what my characters look like, but I let them reveal information to me as we go along.

For example, In Castaway Dreams the hero and heroine, and the heroine's small dog are rescued by pirates. There's a conversation between the pirate captain and the hero over rats in the hold, and the hero asks why there's no ship's cat? The answer is because the captain's allergic to cats.

A small plot device, but one that could loom large later. Maybe I'll have the villain end up trapped in a room full of long-haired kitties after the heroine escapes. I'm still working on it. But I'm glad Captain St. Armand told me he's allergic to cats. Makes my life more interesting. And my writing more organic.
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