About E.R. Arroyo
E.R. Arroyo is an entertainment junkie, equally passionate about books, movies, and music. In October 2012 she self-published her debut novel, Sovereign. She looks forward to the future of her career and connecting with more people in the years to come. E.R. especially hopes to publish more books, and maybe even land a traditional book deal some day (dream big!).
Research, Ideas, and Characters
Hello all, I’m E.R. Arroyo, author of the young adult novel, Sovereign. First, let me say thank you to The Curvy Writer for hosting me today; it’s great to be here! I’d like to share a bit about how I do research and develop ideas and characters.
The creative process for me almost always starts with a scene. It’s usually never a concept or a “what if” kind of thing. I’ll have a scene go through my mind, or a lot of times it’s a dream that really resonates with me. If I feel connected to the character in the scene, I often want to explore it. Sometimes this means I might simply write a test chapter based on that scene or that character. It could be anything from voice to tone, or even a certain emotion or the way one character stroked another’s face. Whatever it is that strikes me, that’s my starting point, and I build around it.
Once I’ve written a test chapter or a few pages at least, I’ll go back through and decide if I really have enough to develop, and if I think it’ll be good. When I’m convinced to move forward, I begin a process called “snowflaking,” which is a certain form of outlining a plot. I’ll come up with a premise, a plotline, and detailed analyses of the main characters involved. I really like to find pictures of actors to put with my outlining material so I have a visual of the characters I’m working with. I look at it from the perspective of, “Who could play the part if this were a movie?” Developing the characters is a lot of fun!
Usually if there is research to be done, it’s in regards to the story’s setting. I think places I’ve lived are boring, so I rarely if ever set stories in those places. Sometimes that means writing in a setting I’ve never been to. And thanks to the internet, I can be relatively well informed about it. A great example is the location I based Sovereign in. Thanks to Google Maps and the satellite view, I could see the actual city in real pictures and satellite images as if I were navigating the city in person. It was very useful.
So that’s a little about my creative process and how I get things going when writing a new story or novel. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Thanks again for having me!
Enter the Giveaway
Chemical warfare has obliterated most of the world, including America, and the survivors have turned into feral beasts, save one colony, Antius, the last remnant of civilization. Seventeen-year-old Cori (aka Citizen 1206) only longs for wide-open spaces and freedom. But Antius has no use for such things, just mindless drones to serve in a place with walls, fences, and laws. A lot of laws, which Cori constantly breaks. So she’s spent years plotting her escape, which is the only thing that will save her from the colony’s deranged leader, Nathan. She isn’t looking to be a hero, and she certainly isn’t looking to fall in love, but she just might do both.