April 21, 2014 edition
The irascible Ken Mooney (I really don’t have any reason to believe he’s irascible…just felt like using the adjective) placed my name at the end of this writer’s version of a chain letter and told me that if I didn’t pass it on, I would be cursed with one dimensional characters for the rest of my writing days…since my characters are already 1.5 dimensions at best, I figured I should probably pass it on.
Good thing it’s only four short questions (which I manage to make into long-winded answers), so you only have to read me ramble about how I write by watching old episodes of Star Trek and trying to find ways to put superheroes into them.
There is, of course, the added fun of this whole thing of being able to go back in the chain (starting by clicking on Ken Mooney’s name above) or forward, by clicking on the people I curse at the end of this thing and seeing if they put something up next Monday or not.
Let’s get on to the questions, so you can hurry up and be done wasting your valuable Monday morning reading stuff on the Internet and get back to the work you so desperately wish you were doing.
1.) WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
Right now, it feels like I’m working on everything. I’m, at this exact very moment, finishing up the first draft on my time-traveling con men story that I like to call The Long Chron. It’s shaping up to be a lot of fun, while being filled with all that headache-inducing paradox creating fun that a good time travel story should be filled with.
Once I finish putting words to paper for that guy, I’m going back to begin the final cleanup on two different books, my novella-length tale of a father trying to find his daughter at the start of the zombie apocalypse, Daddy of the Dead, and the sequel to my debut novel The Legend of Buddy Hero, titled The Rise of the Fat Mogul, which continues the story of Buddy Hero and his companions as they learn about the dark secrets that happened after the memory of the world was erased.
And I’m excited to get through those, because then I will start the official first draft on the sequel to The Agora Files, which I’m already in the early development phase for how that story will play out…and I can assure the fans of the first book that the second won’t disappoint.
There’s a ton more in the development pipeline, but I’m figuring that what I’ve listed there should take me into the summer at the very least.
2.) HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHER OF ITS GENRE?
I like to think of myself as the Hemingway of science-fiction/fantasy. I mean, not that I’m necessarily as skilled of an author as the master of masculinity, but that I try to stick to the action a bit more than description. One of the things that I think traditional sci-fi tends to get bogged down in is explanation. My books are a bit more like a movie, in that regard, where they put you right in the midst of the activity and things are explained/described a bit more organically as the story plays out.
I also try to pretend I don’t have a set genre…but so far sci-fi seems to be where my books would end up in the library of self-pubbed authors.
3.) WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
I write what I write because I come up with a story that I believe is compelling and move from there. I generally have a great pile of random ideas flowing through my head, like, hey, I’d like to write a story that involves the idea of a new American Revolution, or I wonder where I could fit the concept of Hammerspace into a story. These all sit in a giant text file on my hard drive for time immemorial. However, most of these ideas stick in my head as well and being to cling to each other until suddenly a story pops out containing those pieces in ways I never initially imagined.
So…I guess you could say that I write what I do because I have a lot of random thoughts floating around in my head that, at some point, become a bit more structured of an idea.
4.) HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I guess, moving on from my answer to question 3, after I get the initial story inspiration, things take one of several different routes. Now that I’m constantly writing, I find that I have to begin to schedule my future stories a bit, meaning that outside of the four in-progress stories I wrote about for question number 1, I’ve got another three that are schedule to begin getting through the process after that, and those aren’t even counting any possible sequels I have in mind for the other stories.
So, things actually sit for quite some time before I get to work on them, as part of a completely different text document/folder on my hard drive, simply titled notes. In there I put all of the basic thoughts I’ve come up with for the story as well as dropping in new ideas as they come through, because although the idea may have been scheduled for actual writing at some point in the future, my brain has yet to stop thinking about it.
When I actually sit down to write, I begin by putting together a basic ‘bible’, a list of the main characters and what their basic info/motivations are, as well as some basic information about the world they live in. Then, after that, I put together an incredibly simplistic story outline…which I typically throw out the window somewhere about the halfway point of writing the story.
Once I have the basics put together, I begin to see the story somewhat visually, trying to see how I want to open the book, because, as we all know, starting a story is always the hardest. Once I get a feel for the story, though, the opening is never that difficult, because I try to use that same feeling for how the book opens emotionally. From there, it’s really just sitting down daily and getting the work done. I’d like to say it’s not that exciting, but, I honestly get quite giddy during the first draft writing process as I begin to realize new avenues for the story that I never initially considered, which is where a lot of my side plots and concepts come from. In the end, the story usually resembles the initial story I had in mind, but has a much deeper concept to it. That’s when I impress myself 🙂
Of course..from there is the long long road of editing/reviewing/editing/editing/and editing that causes the book to become somewhat enjoyable first draft to a legitimate book. I find that just reading through the story once without stopping to make corrections does a whole lot toward strengthening the idea of the book in my head even further, making the editing process all that more integral to the final story.
So…yeah…I rambled for a bit, but I played the game. Now’s the point in which I point the gypsy finger in some other folks’ directions. From what I’ve gathered…they’ll be required to post their answers next Monday.