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Wow, it's really late and my eyes are drooping but . . . I feel a bit poetic. I've decided that writing is like painting. The artist starts with a concept and sketches a rough outline onto the canvas. He studies the draft, then begins laying in background. Background first for the artist. For the writer, he should know the backstory before he puts pen to paper and while he won't write backstory first, it's there in the back of his mind so that it trickles onto the paper a speck at a time. Now the artists is ready to begin the body of work. He layers color upon color to build a most vibrant painting. The contrast catches the eye while the focal point begs for a closer look.
Writers layer with words, building until that crucial black moment that snares the reader with emotion. And then the final touch, the HEA.
Yep - can't tell I'm a romance author, can ya?