Interview with a Student

Recently, I got an opportunity to help a high school student by allowing her to interview me for a class project. Here is the result:

Okay, let’s take this one at a time. 🙂

“When and how did you realize that writing was something you wanted to pursue?”

I’ve loved Writing since I was 10 years old. I was raised with books so writing them was a natural progression for me.
“How did you go through the process of getting published, and where did you start?”

I started like most, submitting manuscripts and queries to traditional publishers and agents. I collected a sizable amount of rejection slips for years before I found Amazon and Createspace, which afforded me the opportunity to publish my own content. Everyone involved has been happy with the results.
“When writing, do you plan deeply in detail, or do you write spontaneously?”
I prefer to outline my stories, but when they take on a life of their own, I go with the flow.
“Do you have any tips for overcoming writer’s block?”
Give yourself permission to write badly, try to have more story material than you will actually use, and reread what you already have down on the page. Writer’s Block comes and goes.
“What is the best method you use to develop your characters in detail?”
Characters, although fictional, are people. They love, they live, they work. Creating biographies help a lot because they tell where the character has been, where they are going, and how they go about their lives. I also consider their personalities because how they respond to situations is important to the story.
“Are “fanfiction” type writings often looked down upon in the writing community, and is there any stigma surrounding the “unoriginality” of “fanfiction?””
I think writing Fan Fiction is great as a way to practice your writing. The Writing Community is a very diverse group and the opinions tend to range from positive to negative. I don’t think there’s necessarily a stigma surrounding its unoriginality. I dabbled in it for fun a while back, but I left because I preferred to play in my own sandbox.
“Do you write in a direct storyline, or do you write in segmented excerpts and then join them together?”
An interesting question. I’ll have to go with direct storyline because all of my scenes build upon the next. If I understand your use of segmented excerpts, then no if they involve shifting the POV too often.
“How do you come up with original ideas to write about?”
Original ideas are everywhere. I read, I look at things when out and about, conversations, etc. When you are open to imaginative possibilities, you never run out of ideas.
“What tips do you have for any aspiring writers?”
First off, ditch the “aspiring” label and just write. Aspiring just means getting ready to be and if you are doing it, you are it. Writing is a craft so put in the time. Write, read books on how to write and apply what they teach you. Never give up.
Glad to help you with your project. Happy Writing. 🙂

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