So you have your work area. You’re ready to start writing. But what do you do next? What I do is start with my characters. To me, these are the most important thing in your novel. If they are strong and well defined, the plot will come from them.
When I start writing, I know what type of book I want to write. Yes, it’s usually medieval romance. But I need to know a little bit more then that. Is it a book about redemption? Is it a book about family? About loyalty? This is called theme. I’ll talk about this more in another post.
I like to jump right in and begin writing. That’s because I’m a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. For me, writing this way allows me to explore the plot and characters and sometimes, it even holds a surprise for me.
In order to do this, I need to know a little bit about my characters. Their name, what they look like, a little bit about their background. Not everything, just enough for me to be able to relate to them, to sympathize with them. I don’t need this information for all of the characters, not yet anyway. Just for my hero and heroine. For names, their are numerous sites on the web where you can find first names. (Below is a small sample)
Medieval Names - http://www.thinkbabynames.com/search/1/medieval
Top 100 Medieval Boy Names - http://www.top-100-baby-names-search.com/medieval-boy-names.html
Behind the Name: Medieval Names - http://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/medieval
Also places to find surnames. (Below is a small sample)
Medieval English Surnames - http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_surnames.htm
History Learning Site – Medieval Surnames - http://tekeli.li/onomastikon/England-Medieval/Surnames.html
Surnames Meanings and Origins - http://www.lisagenealogy.com/Surmean/surintro.html
What the characters look like is totally up to your imagination. Background, again, is up to your imagination. Below are some helpful links about medieval life that you might find helpful.
Medieval Life - http://www.historyonthenet.com/Medieval_Life/medievallifemain.htm
Medieval Life and Times - http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-life/
Life in a Medieval Castle - http://www.castlewales.com/life.html
At this point, I know just enough to begin the story. As I write, more comes out, more ideas, more background. More story. This is were I begin writing. Remember, characters not only come from your mind, but they are born from your heart as well.