I often get email from fellow writers but the bulk of them come from readers. To me, there's no higher compliment than having someone read my work and then take the time to send me a note. I always reply, however, depending what I have on my plate, I'm not always speedy about it. Given this, I decided to answer two reader questions on my blog that
I haven't had time to on email.
Do you find it hard coming up with story ideas?
No, ideas are the easy part. It's the writing that's hard.
(ie., I've had three fully formed novels percolating in the back
of mind for a few years now. I just need time to write them).
So far, I haven't had trouble thinking up story ideas, probably because I have an overactive imagination. (ie., When I pull up
to a red light, I almost can't help it anymore; my mind just takes over as I make up stories about the people in the next vehicle. You know... The bald driver is a hen-pecked alcoholic; his wife, sitting next to him, is having an affair with her boss; and their teenage son slumped in the back seat just secretly robbed a grocery store six hours ago. Then -- BOOM -- the light goes green. That sort of thing).
Do you write sequentially?
Almost never, but I do work from a detailed synopsis that lays the story out in advance. My 'writing method' isn't quite so linear, though. Every writer is different, but here's what's
works best for me:
I can't do anything until the first chapter is written (which means I'm the sort of writer who needs to know exactly where the story begins before I do anything else). Then, after the 1st chapter is written, I write the last chapter, which I always know in advance. Following that, I write the turning point, where the main character makes a choice that sends the story in a new direction or something unexpected happens that forces it in a new direction. Next, I write all of the 'big scenes' including anything I wouldn't show my mother. Then I go back to the beginning and start writing the general flow of the story, including the development of sub-plots, the introduction of secondary and/or walk-on characters who help move the story to its conclusion, as well as any bridging that needs to be done between chapters.
And when I'm done, I've got my first draft, with only 3 or 4 or 5 complete rewrites to go!!