Second Time Around
By Lucie Simone
When I started my first novel, Hollywood Ending, back in 2003, I didn’t really know how to write a novel. I had a degree in Journalism and a Masters in Television Production, but earning those diplomas did little to teach me what it really takes to write a book. Luckily, I was able to recognize this and sought out the books, workshops, lectures, classes and conferences that helped me understand story structure, scene and sequence, plot development, character arcs, etc. And I was doing all this work while writing Hollywood Ending, which is perhaps why it took me 6 long years to finish it!
So, after releasing my debut novel, I was armed with a lot of experience and know-how when it came time to focus on my second book, Picture Perfect. The main difference this time around was the fact that I thoroughly plotted out the story, scene by scene, before I wrote a single sentence of prose. I also created character profiles, complete with pictures and back-stories, and I really worked on understanding their personalities, their flaws, and their attributes. It was a lot of prep work, but it really paid off. With all that research done, the writing just flowed almost effortlessly when it came time to sit down at my computer.
I’m not saying there weren’t surprises or changes or challenges along the way. Au contraire! There were plenty. But because I knew my characters so well, and I knew what needed to happen when to keep the story moving along, none of those things threw me off course. And having done all that research before typing, “Chapter One,” actually made the writing of the book more fun. Instead of laboring over a plot point or a character’s motivation, I was allowed the freedom to simply type and let the characters tell their own stories.
Now that I’m working on my third book, Roses in Bloom, which I hope to release in about a year’s time, I am putting all those tools to work for me again. I am deep in the development process, discovering who my characters are, what their stories are, and exploring their relationships with each other and their own hopes, desires, and fears. It’s a wonderful part of the creative process because this is the point where anything can happen, and where I fall in love with each of my characters, even the bad guys. And that’s key for me because, really, if I can’t fall in love with them, no one else will either.
Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, yoga, and writing. She has a degree in Journalism, a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production, and is a certified yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance. Her love of comedy (and living under the delusion that she might one day be an actress) resulted in a stint studying improvisation, which, ironically enough, taught her to be a better writer.
Her short story, A Taste of Italy, won the New York Book Festival competition for best ebook and is a bestseller at Amazon UK. The release of her debut novel, Hollywood Ending, a romantic comedy about life in Hollywood for the not-so-rich-and-famous, marked the launch of her small press, Simon & Fig, which publishes Chick Lit, Lad Lit and Women’s Fiction exclusively.
Lucie lives, loves and writes in the City of Angels, but considers New York City her second home and visits as often as her bank account will allow.
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