So, let’s get to the questions and answers, eh?
How do you start your (writing) projects?
The problem with story ideas is that there are too many good ones out there. When I believe I’ve stumbled upon a terrific idea, I’m going to write it. That’s not to say things always turn out as expected, but let’s not quibble over the details.
For me, the fun in writing is creating unique, compelling characters, placing them in dramatic settings and situations and then sitting back and watching to see if they win or lose. It really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other provided they remain interesting and their story comes to a logical, or at least sane conclusion.
Without question I’m no outliner, but neither do I write altogether by the seat of my pants. You might say I’m a hybrid. When starting a novel I establish broad story goals with conceptual turning points, toss a few appropriate characters into the mix, and later identify chapter goals as the storyline develops. Regardless, I allow sufficient latitude for my characters to move and fight their battles in their own distinctive, surprising styles as the story unfolds. While writing, I often find myself reveling in the spoils of creativity as I hurry along to discover what happens next.
How do you continue your writing projects?
You’ve probably heard it said, “write what you know,” but I don’t believe that. I write what I enjoy, and that keeps me planted in my seat, pounding the keyboard. Writing allows me to continue to grow and learn as I discover new places, faces, voices and ideas.
I’m a member of the online writer’s group, Scribophile. Interaction there among fellow writers feeds my many writing interests and keeps me motivated to continually move forward.
Never the less, I often find it difficult to stay on task. Family, friends and my business all take time away from my writing as is only proper and quite okay. I manage to find plenty of time to write.
How do you finish your project?
Sometimes I find it a bit sad to finish a story. My joy comes in writing it, not reaching the ending. But, there is always the next project and I’ll enjoy writing that one too.
Like all writers, my projects require a great deal of final editing, more editing, and more—ad nauseum—using fine grit sandpaper. Only when I’ve convinced myself all the rough spots are smoothed out will I pass it beneath an editor’s nose.
I can’t explain my emotions in that singular moment when following a full year of planning, dreaming, researching, writing and editing, Untreed Reads Publishing accepted my new novel “Waves in the Wind” for publication. It’s scheduled for release this September, and I’m pacing the floor waiting for it to hit the streets around the globe in both print and e-book formats. Only then will I know the project is finished.
If you enjoy a tale where the old Celtic gods come alive within a deadly adventure featuring hope, loss and romance, you can find out more about “Waves in the Wind” by clicking on the “HOME” link above.
Include one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could help with or benefit from.
A writing tool I find useful for building depth is allowing my characters to tell their own stories inside my larger one. People tell “war stories” all the time. You do it, I do it, everyone does. A war story often begins along the lines of, “That reminds me of the time when…” and readers instantly connect to that because it’s a normal part of their everyday lives.
I usually assign this task to secondary characters. Doing so brings them to life as they reveal their unique voice and personality traits. At times I allow two or more secondary characters to come together to share telling the story and that can be especially fun to write as they argue over details. Regardless, a war story should contain all the components of a complete story arc including a beginning, middle and end.
Whether it heightens drama or offers a chuckle, a war story shouldn’t be a mere “info dump” or pointless reminiscence (unless being pointless makes your point). It should offer higher meaning or progression for the greater plot. Maybe the story reveals pertinent backstory in an action-packed manner, presages an event or offers a hint your MC can capitalize on to address a problem—it’s a nifty all-purpose tool.
Passing the Pen
I’m very pleased to introduce my friend, author JH Mae, who will join us on the tour on July 16. I know you’ll want to see what she has to say, so here’s the link to her BLOG.
Her work has been published in a number of places and can be seen HERE. Let me tell you a bit more about her.
JH Mae siphons the frightening contents of her imagination onto paper, making room for new ideas, new horrors, new spectacular possibilities. Her words are just stories. The question is - will you believe they're only fiction?
I wish you all a wonderful summer as you continue to follow the remainder of the tour!