Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Hello Constance and welcome to The Writers Voice!
What part of your first novel did you find hardest to write?
Everything. Absolutely everything seemed impossible to pound out the correct way. It’s odd that I’ve read hundreds of novels but creating a coherent world with believable characters and events is very difficult. My first novel, which I didn’t publish, is a testament to how far I’ve come over the years and how everyone struggles the first time. In my more recent novels, I find the ending the most difficult part to write. Tying up loose ends is a mental game and trust me, I’m not the puzzle type.
What scares you most?
Well, learning to swim has been on to-do list for a long time so I am probably still afraid of drowning. Mostly though, it’s the lack of control that is scary. That’s why the publishing industry also manages to scare the hell out of me. You have very little control after you put your book out there. Luckily, it has worked out for me so far as well as handling the fear of lack of control. And I will learn how to swim one of these days...
Do you start writing when you have a plot mapped out or start plotting when you have started writing based off a spark of inspiration?
Plotted out. While I jot down scenes and pages based off of inspiration, I’ve never managed to use these in a logical plotline. The idea for Airborne came from a spark of inspiration but the novel itself was structured carefully. Also, plotting out an entire novel makes me more obligated to finish it. It helps prevent me running against a wall or needing to be crazy creative all the time. With the outline it’s simply time to sit down and work. Kind of like coloring between the lines.
Was there ever a moment when you wouldn’t trade what you do as an author for the world? What was that moment for you?
I actually feel like I’m having that moment in my life right now. I recently decided to go back to school full time and work part time (at a non-writing related job). I found out in the past few weeks that it was nearly impossible to keep my schedule and fitting time in to write. Doing so would downright kill me. But then I can’t not write. It’s an obsession. So at this moment I’ve been pulling ridiculous hours to still do what I love. The three a.m. coffee runs and occasional breakdowns are totally worth it.
Aspiring writers often hear, "Read what you want to write," "Hone your writing craft." and, above all else, "Be patient." What other advice would you give them?
Honestly, stop listening to other people’s advice! Don’t take this as me saying the advice you’re given is no good. This is far from the truth because all the quotes above are very true. But it seems like the newbie writing world is filled with nothing but advice, so much so that new writers don’t think for themselves and are filled with loads of self doubt. I tried to follow every rule I was given and was unsuccessful. Then I made my own rules and did it completely differently (I am an Indie author btw) and this worked for me. The main point is: don’t let other voices drown out your own. Jump in and learn how to sink and swim on your own. That way you’ll learn more than what the advice could teach you.
Is there rhyme and reason to how you choose character traits?
For my harpie characters--absolutely. Their race absolutely must predispose them to traits of pride and bad temperament. Cue Mason, the cocky bad boy harpie. But since not every harpie is the same, they still develop their own personalities. I don’t micromanage my characters. They just manage to grow on their own I think. I don’t like perfect characters. My favorites are the flawed ones.
To all our readers out there, thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!