by K.K. Weil
In fact, when I’m working on a new book, I don’t even start at the beginning. When I get the idea for it, I start writing random scenes in my notebooks. Both of my books so far were written in dual point of view, so I had separate notebooks for each character’s narration. Once I have so many scenes compiled that I’m completely confused about time sequence and my head is spinning, I move to my computer and start at the beginning. At that point, I really start to flush out my story, add secondary characters, bring in sensory details, all that good stuff. Many of the original scenes I write don’t even make it into the real first draft. But they serve a great purpose. They give me an idea about where I want the book to go and let me really get to know my characters before I ever officially start the book. I do always jot down chicken scratch notes about big picture things I want to happen, but they in no way resemble an outline.
When I was writing my first novel, At This Stage, I knew exactly what I wanted the premise to be, but I didn’t have a feel for much else. Getting those scenes on paper really helped me to get to know Kaitlyn and Jackson, my heroine and hero. It gave me ideas for moments of tension in the book, so I was able to build up to them when I wrote sequentially. It seems kind of backwards, but it worked really well for me.
Writing Shatterproof was different. Griffin, my hero, was a character in At This Stage. He wasn’t in any of my original scenes and I never expected him to take on the life that he did in that book. But the more I wrote about him, the more I loved him. I knew I had to give him his own story.
When I started Shatterproof, I knew everything about Griffin. I had the basis for his backstory in my mind, and he was already partially developed from my other book. His notebook scenes flowed quickly and smoothly. In fact, I couldn’t get them down on paper fast enough. My heroine, though, was another story. Originally, Shatterproof’s heroine was a completely different character. I’d written a slew of scenes with her. But when I tried to put them into my first draft, I just didn’t connect with her. More importantly, I didn’t like the connection between Griffin and that character. About forty pages in, I decided she just wasn’t working for me. I scrapped the entire thing and started fresh. I kept many of Griffin’s narrations, but created an entirely new heroine, Frankie. I’m so glad I did. Right off, I knew Frankie would be a wonderful fit for Griffin. While he’s dark and serious, she’s light and sees things in a way most other people don’t. She brings something to Griffin he desperately needs. Something the first heroine never could have.
For my current work in progress, I started the same way, with lots of rough draft scenes. Not long into the book, though, I decided I didn’t know my heroine well enough. My editor forwarded me an excellent character questionnaire, which really helped me get to know my heroine better. When I put the questionnaire together with the scenes, she came to life.
At some point, I might try to work from an outline. I’m sure they are very beneficial and are a great organizational tool. But even when I was in school, I never worked well from an outline. So for now, I’ll keep pantsing along, loving the surprises of where my stories take me.
About K.K. Weil
Connect with K.K.: Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Amazon
K.K. Weil's Newest Release: Shatterproof
After witnessing firsthand his parents’ tumultuous marriage, Griffin worries that he, too, harbors an explosive dark side. Can he escape from his father’s rage-fueled ways or is he destined to become part of the cycle?
Unable to persuade his mother to leave and wrestling with his resentment towards her for staying, Griffin volunteers at Holly’s House, a safe haven for abused women. Through sculpture, Griffin gives these women pieces of themselves they’ve long forgotten. Holly’s House is the only place where Griffin finds peace and purpose.
Until he meets Frankie Moore.
Frankie is an aspiring photographer, finding beauty in things most people miss, including Griffin. Griffin is attracted to her free-spirited, sassy attitude but fears Frankie will trigger the most intense part of him, the one he must keep buried.
Frankie’s got to get her act together. Her anything-goes behavior is leading nowhere fast. She’s hopeful that her latest hobby will be a building block for the future. But when a stranger appears on the other end of her camera, looking as complex as he is handsome, Frankie thinks this might be just the change she needs.
Available NOW: Amazon