Write Away: Why I Put Pen to Paper (Er, Fingers to Keyboard)

When Vanessa Ricci-Thode of Thodestool Literary Services asked me if I would do the “blog hop”, I agreed, and here we are.

The concept is simple: answer these four questions and tag three writers to do the same. Writing about writing (“second order writing”) is a great way make yourself write something, and the “hopping” encourages others to do the same.

1. What am I working on/writing?

I’m an editor by trade, so I don’t have too much time to do my own writing, but I always get back to it … eventually. Right now, my blog is the thing I work on the most, and I write book reviews, reflections on language, describe events I attend, and discuss various issues related to literature and writing. I recently finished my discussion series on genre and the relationship between science fiction and fantasy, and over the next few months, I plan to look at how the publishing industry has changed over the years and where it might be going.

I write fiction as well, but so far it has mostly been for my own amusement and mostly science fiction.

2. How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre?

I’m probably the least qualified person to answer that question, but I will say this: my fiction tends to be extremely introspective and character-centred. This is not exactly odd for science fiction, which is often used as a window into the human psyche, but I focus very heavily on the characters and their relationships. There’s no story without action, but for me, writing fiction is about getting into peoples’ heads.

(Hmmm, that actually sounds pretty creepy. Like, Hannibal Lecter creepy. Oh well.)

3. Why do I write what I do?

That depends on what I’m writing. My blog is a way to share my knowledge and personal thoughts about language and writing. It’s meant to be part fun and part thought-provoking.

Writing fiction, on the other hand, is a more cathartic creative process, a way to make sense of a world of nonsense in which humans are awash in their own convenient contradictions. We paint our faces pretty and mutilate our souls; we seek happiness everywhere and find it nowhere. In writing fiction, I melt together dreams and nightmares, extract the viscous ectoplasm of raw emotion, and bend it into a sleek surface that can reflect our own distortions back at us, the ones we try hardest to hide from ourselves.

4. How does my writing process work?

  1. Write like hell
  2. Check Facebook frequently
  3. Write myself into a corner
  4. Curse like hell
  5. Stop writing for several weeks
  6. Revise troublesome parts of draft
  7. Repeat steps one through six

Next up:

Kathryn Anthony—Lawyer by day, author by night, supergenius 24/7. Her talent has produced a variety of imaginative works, from the regency romance The Clarendon Rose to the dark, speculative fiction of Konstantin’s Gifts, and now she will tell us just what drives her to weave these wonderful tales.

Dr. Michel Hebert has the unique property of being a truly ethical ethicist, but when he’s not busy guiding companies out of their own quandaries, he has his hands full being an awesome dad, staying fit, and maintaining close ties with his esteemed colleague, Dr. Who.

Natalie Hebert is a philanthropist extraordinaire who contributes to her community through her work with various non-profit organizations and is always looking for ways to promote equality and environmental stewardship. She is going to rule the world someday. Stay on her good side.

About quillsandqueries

My editing experience includes a wide variety of books, articles, and commentary in both fiction and non-fiction. I work with authors of novels and short stories, students preparing for their dissertations, and corporate clients who publish in the financial and education sectors.
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