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Question
How and where do you begin to create characters, plots and settings for a novel, does creating them in a certain order help, and does it help to base some of it on your own life experiences?

Answer
Hello Hayley,

You are asking me, "How do I go about writing a novel?"
I can only tell you how I write a novel.

I have to begin with an idea or a question. I have to have an era, a place, and a setting. I have to know my first character. Then I sit down at the computer and I type a sentence. And I type another. Perhaps these two sentences are not very good, but I continue typing. This exercise releases your creative mind and gets you out of the "editing" mind or into the right brain and out of the left. My characters come as they are needed. They simply show up and they tell me who they are and what part they are to play. I allow them to help me write the story. And here is the most important thing I do. I do not edit, correct, re-write, polish, or even consider doing these things until I have a complete, rough draft of my entire novel. The only thing I do is this: sometimes I feel the story going astray and I have to get back on track. Sometimes the going astray is where the story really needs to go and I go with it. It becomes a matter of "feel". Often I do not know what scene will be next or how the plot will develop or how the book will end until I get there or almost there. I have to trust my creative mind to lead me. It has never failed me.  I also never allow anyone to read the story or any part of it until I have completed at least two rewrites.
Now to the rewrite process. This is where I restructure, cut and paste, delete, add, work for continuity, clarity and correctness. I do as many as 8 or 10 rewrites before I am totally satisfied that I have made it as balanced as possible.
I suggest you try this and see how you go. This may work for you as it does for me, or it may not. You may need to do the outline procedure. (I never use outline and could not if I wanted to.)
Keep me posted and let me know if you are making progress.
Happy writing,
Dorothy

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Dorothy K Morris

Expertise

I can answer questions about writing fiction, creating characters and re-writing. I cannot answer homework questions.

Experience

I am a published author of nine novels in The Mockingbird Hill Series.

Organizations
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR

Publications
NOVELS in the MOCKINGBIRD HILL SERIES: SECRET SINS OF THE MOTHERS, COYOTES OF CREEK CROSSING, THE EIGHTH EVIL, THE TIME IN BETWEEN, DIRTY RICE, TALLY'S NOOK, FROM THE FAR PLACES, NATURE OF THE BEAST, (THE RANKS OF THE INSANE (to come out summer 2016))

Education/Credentials
Studied writing at at American University in DC

Awards and Honors
Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in The World, Who's Who in America.

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