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Characters First


I found it difficult to write a plot line without naming names. Who was this person or that creature? And, who was it he or she would be doing or where were any of them going? Would they want to go?
How without knowing this person or that place, could I reasonably predict his or her movements or reactions?
I have known writers who devise plot and points first. There is no doubt many of these writers are greatly experienced beyond me in fiction, with not even my story fully drafted. Perhaps it is the garden writer in me, how could I write about a garden without first describing the leaves and flowers about?
First, I definitely had to learn about my characters. What was my protagonist’s name? How did she look and act in the many situations she would find herself? And, what was the incident that started my story?
GlenAnne Flannery is the proprietor of and lives in Potter’s Bench Greenhouse. As the story unfolds, she finds Abbie, a corgi dog, and Phoebe, a weeks-old kitten, in a thunderstorm. Abbie’s backstory ends just that morning when she found the kitten in a moldy box under some shrubbery on a wooded corner bi-sected by three-lane roads going in and out of the village.

The originating influence for Life Out of Death at Potter’s Bench Greenhouse is a real-life mixed corgi named Sadie. In the story, Abbie is a corgi and keeps the coloring and characteristics of Sadie.

GlenAnne Flannery’s long red hair tickled Abbie’s muzzle when the tallish woman bends over to ask, “What are you doing out here?” Sandalwood, compost, and lavender fills Abbie’s nostrils; a harbinger of the home she finds.

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