Section #3: The Creative Process
BRoP: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
JKC: I've always been a fairly 'organic' writer in terms of characters and story lines. I try to let them be what they need to be. Yes, that sounds like a 'writer' answer, but it's true.
BRoP: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?
JKC: I outline, then write and fall off the outline, so I re-outline. And then I finish and outline again and revise according to that outline.
JKC: My husband reads everything, of course, although that's pretty much it these days. When I have a particular passage that I'm struggling with, I will ask one or two members of one of my groups to read that, but I don't send out entire novels any more.
BRoP: How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?
JKC: Too much. The last several years almost everything I've written has been Historical Fantasy, which means that you have to dive into the setting and try to get everything right. I do internet research, book research, and if I can go to the location, I do. (My husband was kind enough to use our first vacation in five years for me to visit Portugal and Spain back in 2012.)
JKC: I think that, for me, the most challenging part is the action. Not because I don't know how to do it, but because that's what I find most boring as a reader. No, seriously. I skip over fight scenes when I'm reading, skip chase scenes, skip action scenes. I'm all about the dialog.