Today’s question is: What is your motivation for writing more?
My reply is that I have so many stories tumbling around in my head, I have to keep writing to get them all out. Many of you know I only began ‘writing’ when I came to Canada so I’m now making up for ‘lost’ time! I have always been creative but for whatever reason I had never written ‘stories’ before for the explicit reason of allowing other people to read them.
What is your reason – leave a comment below.
Last week’s question: Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
I’ve done that. Some of my best ideas come to me in dreams. If I was a thriller or suspense writer, I’d have even more writing material. My brain likes to frighten me at night.
So it seems it’s been a week of delays! Here is the question of the week.
Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
My answer: My current WIP is a steampunk novel and the initial scene in it is of a dream I had. It was so dramatic I knew I needed to use it somewhere.
Last week’s question: When creating your stories, do you tend to write your protagonist as the same gender as yourself – or do you use the genre dynamic as a device?
My answer: I do not have a particular gender I write about but in my novel, Life in Slake Patch I purposely used a young male protagonist due to the basic theme of the book – a matriarchal society and a young man’s life within it.
Thankfully we have the interview details now so only a day late 🙂
What inspired your latest novel?
I’m currently working on a novel for a retelling of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham…it has completely gone off script though so I’m interested to see where it ends up!
How did you come up with the title?
I actually don’t have a title yet! I think that’s a first for me actually. Now I’ll have to work on that before I can talk about it. Hmmmm!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I tend to have repeating themes of good vs evil, but also of friendship, love and family. I think it’s important characters are strong but also can rely on their loved ones. That is what gives them the little extra they need to defeat the bad guy.
How much of the book is realistic?
The settings all exist, but there are a lot of fantastic elements. I love myths and legends and magic, so much of what happens in my book is impossible.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Pieces are, here and there, but my characters come into my head and as I write they tell me who they are. I don’t think a single character has been ever exactly one person I know.
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
Not sure yet! Chances are it will have something following it, and I’ve found that many of my characters and books intersect. So highly likely!
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I have a special fondness for my first main character, Cat McLean, but I think I love them all. How can you pick your favorite child?
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I love paranormal. I think it satisfies my wishes for a little magic in regular daily life, and maybe one day, I’ll find I have magic after all!
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I do a little of both. I like to write a synopsis of what I think should happen, but often veer off course – that’s okay though, because I think stories truly evolve as you write.
What is your best marketing tip?
Be consistent- be yourself, be nice if you aren’t a nice person, and keep on working on it. What works for one person doesn’t work for all people, so don’t give up!
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
A bit of both! I’ve met some great writers and readers through it, and it can be helpful at having people find you, but it can also seriously eat up free time that could be used to write the next story
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the act of creation and finding out where a story will lead me. I’m always surprised by the end product.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
Six? As soon as I could read I started writing
Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
Oh it’s so different! When I was young I tried to write reality and magic kept intruding. When I started again as an adult, I was looking for the magic and found it!
What genre are you currently reading?
I read a little everything- fantasy, romance, paranormal, mystery, thriller, self help, philosophy history- basically anything that catches my eye
Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
Mostly for pleasure- I spent twelve years reading for school and now I can read for pleasure again I’m making the most of it.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
It’s a tie- my mom or my husband.
Where is your favorite writing space?
Anywhere my children aren’t haha!
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
In an RV- that way I can see the world!
Do you see writing as a career?
For many people absolutely- for me? No it’s a passion not a career. Maybe some day!
M. Gooden has been scribbling on everything since she first learned how to hold a pencil. While often told that her handwriting was atrocious, she persisted, and upon discovering computers and learning how to type, she realized that she was no longer limited by her (admittedly) messy writing.
Unfortunately, life and work and family have conspired to make it only possible to write in the wee hours or at coffee shops, so most of her love of reading and writing are indulged at times when only vampires and insomniacs abound.
Beginning in October of 2017, her love of writing and the characters in the world she has created burst into public view in her first book, Dream of Darkness, which follows the adventures of a group of girls fighting evil with abilities that H. M. Gooden would love to have. As a result, 4 am has become even busier trying to find out what will happen to her paranormal buddies in the future, and book six, seven and eight are in the works.
Normal programming will continue with an author interview. Slight hiccup with the interview being completed. In the meantime I am re-posting this. It is rather apt as I am currently in the midst of editing a sequel myself and also involved with a small NaNoWriMo editing group where five authors and I are going through each other’s manuscripts. Several chapters a month works well for our process.
As writers we love to be immersed in our own creations -weaving plots, planning and following story arcs, creating character profiles as well as their trials and tribulations. Our minds are full of questions : What happens next? How would my character react? Is that plausible or believable? Can I improve on that scene? Have I shown not told? Is there too much exposition? Would the reader have enough description to envisage the scene?
Graph – speedofcreativity.com
All these questions need to be answered but not when we are writing the first draft. This initial phase is the most enjoyable part of creating a story. Remember to give your inner editor time off enabling you to create freely and get the basic story line written. Once you have finished, the ‘real’ work starts. Continuity, grammar, spelling, character development, revisions to scenes etc. the list is long and sometimes overwhelming. Where should you start?
Once the story is complete put it to one side and go onto new projects. Leave it for a month or more (I’ve left two projects for nearly 6 months). When you go back to re-read you have fresh eyes giving you new insights. Your revision process may be to correct everything above as you read each page or you could concentrate on one item at a time, re-reading each time giving you a particular focus. This second method does lean itself to sharpening the process as you are not trying to ‘spot’ numerous revision types at the same time. With your editing done let your favored readers have it. Take note of their suggestions and correct any errors they may find. No matter how many times you or your beta readers go through the manuscript there will always be a word missed, mis-spelt or a continuity slip up. How do you make your manuscript as good as it can be?
A professional editor – if you can afford one – is a good investment. However, one trick that may work for you in finding those elusive errors is to read the book from back to front page by page. Another is to read it out aloud to yourself or a understanding friend (a glass or two of wine helps with this one!) A missed word is very obvious with this technique.
When editing there may be sentences or even whole paragraphs that you know need to be revised or even omitted from the manuscript to help with the flow of the story line or scene. Deleting these is hard – it is your creation and your words were written through hard work. There are different opinions on what to do with these revisions but I think they should be saved in a separate document until you are absolutely sure you do want to delete them and even then you may keep them as a record of how the scene developed. They are a writer’s jetsam so to speak, which is my link to today’s calendar word. I had to squeeze it in somewhere!
These ejected words from our ‘ship’ may float on our hard drives or become washed up in a document folder but wherever they end up they are part of our creative soul and never truly lost. We may pick them up from the shore in the future to use in another piece of writing or they may stay hidden in the depths of our files. No matter which scenario occurs, they are born of you and precious all the same.
As writers we endeavor to produce the very best manuscript or article we can and that is why we endure the editing process. Without this method of correcting and improving, our creations will not be polished and worthy of reading and that is the one thing we all want – our work to be read and enjoyed.
I wish you fortitude in your process to make your work excel and delight your readers.
Today’s question is: When creating your stories, do you tend to write your protagonist as the same gender as yourself – or do you use the genre dynamic as a device?
Last week’s discussion covered the question: Do you make your own vocabulary words in your book or resort to the existing ones?
It’s important in my stories to use the language that the characters would use in whatever circumstances they are in. Sometimes that requires a cliche although I try to avoid those. I don’t think I have ever made up a word to use but I wouldn’t dismiss the idea as it might be necessary to fit certain circumstance. I try always to choose a name for a character that is allows the reader to know an ethnic background or age range that fits the story line so I have been known to make up an appropriate name.
To date, although have written numerous works, I have not invented my own words to suit. No work has warranted that invention, yet… but, I do research to use words in other languages or dialects in order to give my work authenticity. I give characters names that have special meaning. I ensure that usage is particular to the setting and timeline. So, there are many things that are considered when finalizing a piece and the words representing it. Thank you for your question and engagement with the writing community.
Join the conversation – comment below after clicking the post heading. Thank you