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.
I was watching an old Agatha Christie movie. And I thought what if my amateur sleuths decide to solve a murder, but with much less skill. My ladies are a modern-day Miss Marple with a bit of bite and a lot of humour.
How did you come up with the title?
I’m an avid golfer, but my golf shot does not always go where I want, like down the fairway. Hence the name Wayward Shot. The wayward shot leads the ladies into a wild adventure.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Life does not end when you reach fifty plus, adventure is waiting for you.
How much of the book is realistic?
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, no one I know, but bits and pieces of personalities I have meant over the years may poke up now and again.
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?
I don’t know.
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I guess Mabel, she says and does things we would like to, and Violet is the exact opposite, she holds Mabel back from disaster. Well, some of the time.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
Mysteries, I like the puzzle.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I plan my stories. I start out with a What if. Then I plot out the story line.
What is your best marketing tip?
Your blog for one, you can have a fabulous book. But if the readers don’t know your book is out there. Fabulous won’t help.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
So far it has been good to me.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the what if. I take an ordinary circumstance and then I do the, what if this happened.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started writing in my twenties, romances, but I was never published.
Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
I now write Cozy Mysteries, I found out I was not very romantic.
What genre are you currently reading?
A mystery, but I do read other genres.
Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
Pleasure, but you learn as you read.
If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
Linwood Barclay, his mysteries are amazing I never figure out whodunit. I love his humour too.
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
Right here. except when it’s minus crazy.
What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
A cup of coffee.
Joan Havelange has been writing fiction since her early twenties, beginning with romance stories. Always a fan of mysteries, she is an avid reader and writer of cozy mysteries.
She is an accomplished actor and director of community theater, which lends well to her writing. Joan is a world traveler and enthusiastic golfer. She lives on the Canadian prairies and has three grown children.
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.
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.