Thursday, February 26, 2009

Smacked Upside the Head

One of the reasons I love reading other authors' posts is to *listen* to their writing processes. And, judging by the number of comments on my posts, my 6 blog readers are drawn to the same thing. So this morning, about 4 (not sleeping much these days) I got an absolutely brilliant idea: I would ask the writers I adore if I could interview them on my blog. As soon as the sun rose, I was sending out emails, promising "light-hearted but writerly focused" questions. And every single person I've asked so far has said yes!

I'm not going to give too much away but let me tantalize you with the concept of the Silver Sisterhood -- (think Newbery Honor), among other amazing escritors.

This is a WIP (work-in-progress) so now is your opportunity to send me your burning questions: what is it you really, really want to know?

Keep it writing focused, please, but bring it on.


  1. As an author struggling for her first book contract, I'd love to know:

    How long between "I've got an idea" to "We'd like to publish your novel?" And what happened in between?

    Good luck with your latest WIP:)

  2. Ditto on Emilie's comment. Is there a natural progression from writing essays to publishing in magazines to submitting a book?

    Also, what are your daily writing habits? Do you write in the same place every day? Make coffee or tea before you begin? Take a walk or stare out the window? Freewrite?

  3. Great idea to ask for questions. I should have done that!

    Here's a simple one I wish I would have asked:

    Honestly, how does one know when one is DONE with a novel? As in, ready to send it to your agent/editor. I know authors who say they know they're done when the editor says, "You're done." But other than a deadline, how do you know when you've reached that place of meaningful realization?

    For what it's worth. :o)

  4. All great questions and duly added to the list! I'm thinking the Ides of March will be the launch date. Stay tuned.

  5. When you do an editing sweep of your novel, what are some of the dull words you look for? What do you change them to to make the story more exciting and descriptive?

  6. Tasha, more great questions! I'll add them to the master list. I won't be able to ask each author all the questions, but we'll get responses to all the questions at some point!

  7. Great idea, Kirby! My questions revolve around process, systems, and tools.

    First, how do you keep track of it all? Is there a software program you couldn't live without, a filing system, big sheets of paper on the walls? ;) And, how do you manage the actual working document(s) in terms of layout, structure, and versioning?

    Second, what routines do you have for tapping into your creativity?

    Third, which comes first for you: the story or the theme?

  8. Two more questions for your collection:
    If you were to teach a writing class, what fiction books would be on your "recommended reading list" as excellent examples of various aspects of craft, and why? How about nonfiction how-to guides and reference books?

  9. Great additions, Laurie! I'll add them in.