Last week, the excellent Mark Gardner of Article 94 introduced me as the next stop on the Writing Process Blog Tour! Mark is an awesome writer, who pounds out interesting, unique tales with a speed unmatched by any other flash-fictioneer (yeah, I just invented that word) that I have seen, and I’m very glad I happened upon his works! Here’s a bit more about Mark…
Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, two school-aged children and a black lab. Mark holds a degree in Computer Systems and Applications and is currently attending Northern Arizona University. Mark does his writing on an old Apple eMac and iPad utilizing Apple iWork Pages and iCloud. You can check out Mark’s blog here. His books can be found for the kindle at his author page on Amazon here.
And now, on to the Writing Process Blog Tour questions!
1) What am I working on?
World domination? Oh, wait, this is a writing question, so I’ll put away the mind-control ray for a second and get serious. This is my serious face. Right now, I’m working on a lot of things, but the one I am focusing the most on is honing my skills as a writer. I initially started this blog as a means of reigniting the spark for writing that I’ve let smolder for far too long. I’ve had a few novels in progress sitting around for years and years, but always found myself getting discouraged or overwhelmed with life. I realized that I needed to turn writing from a hobby to a habit, and to do that, I would need to write something every day. Thus far, it’s working. I find myself inspired, both by the writing process and the amazing challenges and stories I’ve been reading and participating in since starting this journey. This has me looking hopefully at a couple of my works in progress.
My main focus is on my fantasy novel in progress, an as of yet untitled tale about a charming con-man press ganged into becoming a magically powered assassin, a job title that fits neither his tastes nor philosophy. On the run from the dark and powerful kingdom that created him, he uses his charm, wit, and ability to influence the emotions of others to work himself through increasingly complicated schemes, with the grand goal of finding a way to free himself from the dark powers that would enslave him…if he can manage to keep from succumbing to the demon they fused to his soul.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That it was written by me? I know that sounds like a terribly trite answer, but the truth is, most if not all stories have already been told. What makes them interesting, unique, different if you will, is the voice of the author writing it. Though my fantasy novel deals with some pretty dark themes (forced servitude, demon binding, assassination plots), I approach it with a lot of wit and light-hearted humor, mainly through the first person narration of the main character, who remains optimistic and excessively confident even in the darkest hours of his life. This is, perhaps, a bit unusual for the fantasy genre, and I like to think it makes it fun to read, even if it’s not your usual genre of preference.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Because these are the kinds of stories I like to read. I have always had a fascination with extraordinary worlds and extraordinary people, of many different genres. Though I am most often drawn to science-fiction and fantasy (and the innumerable variations thereof), I try and write and read every possible genre I can. This has allowed me to open my mind and interests, and better, it helps me write in my preferred genres with a different voice, a different form of story.
4) How does my writing process work?
Honestly? I’m still kind of figuring that out. I’ve been writing, off and on, since I was eight years old, and if there is anything I have learned on this journey it’s that there is always something new to learn. Right now, the process that is working best for me is the one this blog was created for; I make myself write something every day. Some days, its poetry. Some days, flash fiction. Some, a post about my life. Some, a rant about something bothering me. Some are about the craft of writing, some are recipes, some are sweet and some are sorrowful. I have a word count that I have to meet each day, a bare minimum of 350 words, which is insanely low, but easy to meet, and that makes me feel accomplished and encouraged. For my longer works, I use basic outlines to keep myself on track, and I write scenes as they inspire me. I’m finding it’s a lot easier to tackle a novel when you write it as a series of connected flash fiction!
That’s it for my part of the Writing Process Blog Tour! Thanks again to Mark Gardner for including me in the tour; check out his current kickstarter for his novel, Champion Standing.
Next week, check in with the following fantastic writers to get a look at what makes their writing minds tick. Though it isn’t a requirement of the Blog Tour, I do want to say that these three are some of my favorite writers on WordPress. They are all three excellent wordsmiths, with unique talents and voices that continue to inspire me to be a better writer.
Kelly Lewis has worked for a leading Fortune 500 company for many years, so most writings up until recently has been professional in nature. Being an avid fiction reader coupled with obstinate voices screaming to be set free to live and breathe lead to writing. No genre is off limits, yet works often slide into the dark and adult side of the spectrum. Engages with the blogging community, and is a member of the California Writers Club.
C. E. Coburn is a complex individual who uses writing as a tool to navigate the labyrinths of thought and darkness lurking in her skull-place. C. E. Coburn is a regular spade-of-all-trades, who attempts without mastery, the arts of poetry, prose, and illustration — peppered with manic bouts of compulsive theorizing for good measure. When not browsing the intwarnets or writing, Charlotte hangs out with her beautiful wife and two obnoxious cats. Also visit her tumblr site at: http://strangecurations.tumblr.com/
Ann St. Vincent is an executive woman living in a big city. The turbulence in the last two years of her life – involving open marriage, affairs, divorce, sexual reawakening, and online dating – has inspired her to write about her thoughts and experiences. She’s not bitter or angry, but after 15 years of a mostly sexless marriage, she *is* exploring her desires. Everything she writes is truth, with names disguised to protect the guilty.