Monday, June 16, 2008

How I Write Part 1

How I Write Part 1

You may be asking how I write. Actually you weren't but I'm about to tell you. I've giving some hints in some other posts, but let it lay it out for you.

First I get a good idea. Usually this idea comes from reading science magazines or books. I haven't done much of this lately...I really need to start doing this again. But I'm always thinking of

A) What is the future going to be like
B) What would it be like to travel to the past (with modern tech)
C) Why the M's can't win a game

So I get an what would this or that kind of disaster be like?
My first set of novels was set in a post-apocalyptic future where people fought for survival. I wrote them during college. Now it turns out that I've lost the ability to read those files. I may never work on those again, but it's kind of fun to look back. In those days I wrote non-stop during winter break and complete an entire draft in a matter of weeks.

Now it's much different. I write now and then when I get time. I have no idea what I would do if I tried to write full time. I think I'd go crazy. But the concept keeps becoming more appealing as the years pass.

So I start with just a rough outline of where I want the book to go. I come up with a couple interesting characters, and then introduce more as needed. I don't really plan things out. It's too daunting. The problem is that writing the whole plot first takes the fun out of it. I don't want to know how the book ends until I write the end. I want to have a bunch of ideas and then figure out which one works the best. The spaceship will either land or blow up trying. Which one works the best? I wound up changing Dawn's Rise's ending from what I had originally intended. It's the best twist of the whole book. Maybe the best thing is to write out a plot...then figure out the best way to create another plot that's completely unpredictable. Even your characters should be surprised. "What? The spaceship didn't land, it's hovering right behind me?"

Characterization is tough. A lot of my characters share my traits. I find it hard to write about people who are a lot different. I think I purposely made Dawn about as opposite from me as I could. Or maybe I gave her traits I wish I had. I think bad guys are even harder. I'm beginning to realize that I really need to put more bad guys in my books...and really make them bad and not annoying or whiny or anything.

Ok more about this at another time. Gotta watch BSG on my DVR.


  1. Interesting. There are as many ways to write as there are writers. I have found that the more I read and the more movies I see, the easier it has been for me to create different charactors.

    Constructing "bad guys" has come pretty easy for me. I'm not exactly sure what the says about me. I hope it just means I have a vivid imagination.

  2. It's not just about creating bad guys. It's about creating characters who are deliciously evil: someone you love to hate.
    Usually my bad guys are just petty jerks or knee-jerk morons.
    I may try my hand at writing someone who starts out good but then turns bad due to unrequited love.
    Seem like that may fall into the "petty jerk" category but we'll see.


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