Tag… apparently, I’m “It”

A friend and fellow writer, Claire Banschbach, tagged me for a sort of blogger’s ring-around.  Frankly, it came at just the right time, since I’ve got very little to tell you about, otherwise.  The gist of the game is to answer four questions about writing, then tag three other people to do the same.  I’ll have a go at it, but I may not be able to list all three other people.

What am I working on:

Does this mean currently in the works, or what I’m working on….. well, let’s go with both.

My current (and most important) project is a full-length novel of the “Hunter” world.  The “Eye in the Storm” has the same main character as the short stories, but written into a much larger, far more interesting plot.  I’m not going to let any important details slip, but I CAN say that the books starts out with Hunter well in over his head.  Excitement reigns supreme (what else did you expect from him?) as he gradually figures out what’s going on and, in true Hunter style, plays both ends against the middle.  The  main question so far is: is he going to survive it?  Even I’m not sure of that, yet.

My other projects are as follows: two “Hunter” short stories, a stand-alone high fantasy called “Breaking Empire” and “From Each Mountain”, a sequel to my first novel, the as-yet unpublished high fantasy “Every Blade of Grass”.  All of these projects are on hold until the “Eye in the Storm” is finished.  Of the fantasy novels, my personal favorite is “Breaking Empire”, which promises to be a vast, overarching view of a crumbling nation, her brave ally, a vicious betrayal, and a very interesting magical plot twist.

How is my work different from others of its genre

Well, that’s a toughie.  Frankly, my Hunter stories are the real genre-breakers, if you wanted to call them that.  Personally, I term them sci-fantasy.  Hunter’s world is a quick-paced blend of urban-fantasy and science fiction, but without distinct and obvious ties to either.  The original idea was more fantasy than sci-fi, but it gradually evolved into a blend.  I dispensed with the classic urban-fantasy cliches (werewolves, vampires, zombies, fairy underworld) and went for something all my own.  The sci-fi aspect comes in at the same time the magic does, for the very simple reason that the magic is a man-made phenomenon and is more akin to telekinesis than esoteric “muttering-and-foul-concoction” magic.

For my high fantasy novels, they’re markedly different in that magic enters into them only rarely and more as an over-arching plot point than anything else.  There aren’t any wizards stirring tea without touching the spoon, or vanishing here and there.  Any magic you see is more likely to be the benevolent (or malevolent) action of some greater power than humans.  Also, in my high fantasy, I rarely use multiple races, just humans.  There is the occasional fantastic evil creature, but they are always normal beasts twisted by magic.

Why do I write what I do

Because I love a rollicking good adventure.  Growing up with some of the real greats of literary fiction will do that to you.  A well written story is an amazing adventure, even if the characters never leave their own wardrobe.  Adventure is something you can find anywhere, if you just know how to look for it.  Sometimes, though, you don’t have the time to build a pirate ship and scour the seas, or have the cash to fill your dirigible with helium and float off into the sunset.

I like to write my stories so people can do that.  Give my stories ten minutes of your time and you’re not a nine-to-fiver, anymore.  You’re a Hunter, striding through the underbrush of the Piney Woods of Texas, armed with a shotgun and a smart mouth.  You’re the captain of a thousand legions, playing a game of strategy on the last battlefield of a dying world.

In addition, as Ms. Banschbach and fellow tag-ee Ms. Rose pointed out, as a writer, I get to write stories.  That means I control what goes in.  There’s far too much trash in modern novels, especially ones marketed towards children.  My writing may not be geared towards kids 12 or younger, but there’s nothing in them I’d be embarrassed to read to a kindergartener.  Never, ever, forever and amen.

How does my writing Process work:

Well, as some of my readers may remember from my recent post on this, the Process (note the capital P) goes something like this:

Sit down at typewriter.  Say “uh…….” for about thirty minutes.  Realize I don’t have the typewriter plugged in (if it’s an electric) Turn on some music.  After doing this two or three times, I usually start typing.  Once I actually do that, I’m good.  Ideas start to flow and the words follow.  Once I’ve typed up a page or so, I scan it into the computer and correct any transcription errors and really bad phrasing before moving on to the next page.

Now, a lot of writers seem to need a game-plan before starting a story, but I find this just makes me get bored.  If I already know how the story turns out, why finish it?  I “seat-of-the-pant’s-it” coming up with everything on the fly.  Some of you might say “well, how do you keep it from being a tangled mess without a plan?”  Frankly?  I don’t.  I’m a MASSIVELY linear thinker, so if something doesn’t directly follow from the previous plot, it doesn’t go in.  My stories can be complex, intrigue-packed, and full of plot-twists, but I’ve never had a problem with the plot tripping over itself.

I’ve found that planning out a story means I rarely finish it.  I write because I like a good story.  If each new scene is as much of a surprise to me as it is to the readers, then I’m DYING to see what happens next.  If I’ve planned it out already, then I know, so I don’t bother writing any more.  For instance, last week, I discovered (much to my surprise) that one of my “Eye in the Storm” characters is a retired Hunter.  This had, and will have, a very interesting effect on the rest of the story.


So,  I’ve answered the four questions and here are the two people I think you’ll enjoy hearing answer them as well:

Blackdragon80, possibly better known to Twitterites as @scgregory80.

Jenna Willet of Jen’s Pen Den


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