Instead of obsessing over my Kindle Scout campaign (which is going awesome, by the way), I decided to dedicate today’s post by answering a few questions about myself. It only makes sense since I tend to talk to myself, and answer myself’s questions, when I’m alone (I SWEAR I’m talking to my dog). I do hope you find my answers interesting.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn’t associate myself with the title of WRITER. I penciled my first story at the age of six. SIX. At that age, my stories were about pets and animals getting into some kind of shenanigans. I remember writing a story about my family and using photos to illustrate. I also drew some of my own illustrations. I think it helps to have various creative outlets. When one well dries up, I have another well to pull from. If I’m not writing, I’m painting. I got really off track here!
What book are you reading now?
I recently finished CALL ME ZHENYA by Katriena Knights. It wasn’t something I would typically read, but I had nominated her book during her Kindle Scout campaign and got a free copy. It was a really good book. I loved the characters and everything. You can probably find my five-star review of the book on Amazon, so I won’t say too much more here. Check it out. It’s really well written, has a fantastic plot, and a really unique idea I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Now I’m reading THE SILENT CHILD by Sarah A Denzil. It’s a good book so far. The writing could use a little finessing, but the story is solid. UPDATE: I just finished it last night and WOW. What a twist!
Do you have any advice for new writers?
These are all the things I’ve learned in my nearly 30 years (what… thirty? How did that happen?) of writing:
Practice makes perfect (okay, not perfect, but it helps anyway), and really, it takes more than ONE MILLION words to “get there.” I’ve written well over a million, and I still feel like I’m learning as I go! Every story is different! My approach to starting something new has changed over the years and between even depending on the type of story I’m writing. Short form vs long form. Horror vs Fantasy. You have to find your way of doing things.
Learn from your “mistakes.” Mistakes here means the stories you never finish, the stories you give up on. Why did you give up on them? Did you lose passion for the idea? Did you get lost along the way? Figure that out and learn from it.
Don’t listen to what the books say. I’ve tried so many times to follow someone else’s method in a book they wrote, only to find I stall out or become paralyzed by too much too soon. I like to discover the story as I write. Which is probably why it took me so long to get my shit together with THE BLOOD OF SEVEN. I finally found a method that allows me the freedom to discover, while reigning in the side of me that wants to follow ALL THE TANGENTS!
Attend conferences. There are two in Colorado that are decently priced and amazing. Pikes Peak Writers Conference (PPWC) and RMFW’s Colorado Gold. You’ll meet other writers, rub elbows with agents and editors, drink too much, and maybe even pitch your work if you’re ready! Regardless, you’ll learn SO much from the class offerings.
Don’t give up. I spent eight years, EIGHT YEARS, off and on working on THE BLOOD OF SEVEN before I finally felt like it was ready to get out into the world. I really hope my next book doesn’t take that long!
Get out of your own way. If plotting isn’t your thing, don’t plot. If pantsing isn’t your thing, don’t pants. If you want to find the big plot points and write toward those, do that. If a technique isn’t working for you, abandon it (the technique, NOT the story!) and find something that DOES work. When first drafting, don’t stress about the small stuff. Never stress about the small stuff.
Give yourself permission to suck, at least when writing the first draft. Because if you stress over whether you’re using the right word, or wondering what would happen if you took the story in a different direction back on page fifty and you’re now on page two-hundred, go back and see what happens if you write it in that direction. Explore all the nooks and crannies of the story.
I think that’s plenty of advice for new writers. 🙂
Thank you for tuning in! And, you know I can’t help myself, if you haven’t yet, check out my Kindle Scout campaign and give me a nomination (if you like what you see). If you love what you see, please share with your family and friends!
Do you have any advice for writers? Any questions for this aspiring author? Please comment, and your question may appear in a future episode of Ask the Writer!
Peace and Keep Writing,
Claire L. Fishback