Today’s WW is KevaD
What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)
A: Learning my characters. I imagine them walking into my living room, and watch their movements, their unconscious habits. This one might rub the side of his nose before he speaks when he’s nervous, another might rub a knuckle, yet another may shift her foot back and forth on the ball of her foot. Does one sniff his food before the first bite? Does the woman across from him demurely sip her coffee, or slosh it over her tongue to savor the flavor? Does the man line up his belt buckle with the buttons on his shirt? Is the woman’s shoe heel scuffed from kicking it off, or polished because she removes her shoes by hand?
While these specific traits may or may not make it into the story, they teach me who the characters are and how they will react in the situations I place them in.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?
A: Be honest with yourself. Make sure you really want to do this. Mom and family don’t exist in the writer’s world when it comes to sales and reviews. Professional editors exist to send the most polished story they can to publication, not to tell the writer how wonderful he or she is. Just because your story is contracted does not mean it’s perfect or even close to ready for publication. Pay attention to what your editors say, as they are a treasure trove of information.
Of course there is another side to that coin. Unfortunately, there are some editors who couldn’t find their way out of a phone booth with a GPS and guide dog. So, if you get assigned to a good, skilled editor, become their best friend; they will make your writing better than it is now.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?
A: That the writer has to follow “the rules” that exist within certain genres. Write the story writhing in your soul, begging to be told. While it may take some searching to find the right publisher, you will find a home for your work.
What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?
A: The one on your shelf you just haven’t found the time for. Bookshelves and e-readers shouldn’t be about amassing collections. Books are meant to be read. We not only do the writer and book a disservice by not reading, but ourselves as well. Find the time. Read.
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