Writing Process by Suzanne McKenna Link
Writing a book can be a daunting process if you overthink it. It’s a good thing I didn’t know what I know now when I first started out or I might’ve never finished the book!
When I started writing, I had the most rudimentary concept of story structure—escalating conflict, climax and ending— and blissfully ignorant, wrote scenes as I thought of them. They say ignorance is bliss, and in this case, it really was. How amazing it was to write so freely! Soon though, I learned writing a story without a plan leads to lots of rewriting. Internal conflict is first and foremost what drives my storytelling, but it takes many elements to craft a well-told story. Like building a physical structure, forget even one support beam, and the foundation becomes unstable.
One important ‘support beam’ is character backstory. Past experiences make us the people we are today. The same goes for fictional characters. To craft believable characters with believable responses, it’s imperative that an author travel back to a character’s humble beginnings and find out exactly where the wires got crossed. Even if this information never makes it to the light of a page, an author must know what happened to their protagonist well before that first page. It’s how one develops a convincing character with depth.
Prior to writing, I had the idea of my main male character, Toby Faye, in my head. I envisioned him as a young guy ambling through life, unaware of how his negativity impacts his daily life and holds him back. I visualized my female character, Claudia Chiametti, as the perfect contradiction to Toby—a tough and principled young woman focused on goals and achievements over anything else.
I needed to dig deeper, though. I needed to understand what happened to both of them that made them the people they are when my readers first meet them in “Saving Toby." What happened that created the beliefs they now hold about themselves? About the small town the live? About the world around them?
Figuring out character backstory is a time consuming endeavor, but one I enjoy. I like getting to know my characters. Long before I wrote my first chapters of the series, I had a solid perception both Toby and Claudia’s backstories. This helped me imagine how they would react to almost any situation.
I feel like I’ve given my readers a strong and credible sense of Toby and Claudia. Reviews prove it was a worthwhile effort.
Suzanne McKenna Link
(Toby & Claudia #2)
Publication date: June 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
How do you love someone whose past goes against everything you’ve ever known or trust in a future you’ve yet to believe in?
Back home in a town she once fled, headstrong Claudia Chiametti returns to the arms of the only guy ever to awaken her heart. Everything about Toby contradicts her family’s traditions and values, but she’s ready to take a chance on love.
Toby Faye is a new man, and the girl he’s long dreamed of is finally within his reach. With Claudia’s help, he’s put the past behind him. But one last secret hides in the dark corner of his past. The one that could undermine it all.
Can Claudia love him unconditionally … or will the truth cost Toby what he wants most?
Keeping Claudia is the emotional finale to the love story that began in Saving Toby, an unforgettable journey of a couple who discover the only way to love someone is with an open heart.
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard.
Full length, Contemporary Love Story.
Recommended Reading Age 18+
Though part of a series, may be read as standalone.
Suzanne McKenna Link works for a family of newspapers that cover events in and around the South Shore of Long Island, New York. She lives in the town of Sayville with her husband and two children.
SAVING TOBY is her debut novel. The literary love story follows the moving journey of a damaged young man and his love for a girl who might just save him. An avid interest in psychology has Suzanne digging deep into the reasons for her characters’ behaviors. The native Long Islander is fascinated by the how and why of people’s actions. As a result, her characters come to life on the pages.
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