Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Way I Write

I haven't posted much about writing lately so thought I'd do this writing meme that both Shauna Roberts, Charles Gramlich, and Writtenwyrdd did in the past on their blogs.

What is your genre(s)? I've written a little bit of everything in short form, but my first three novels were all women's fiction. I am marketing my latest creation as a comedic mainstream novel. I am considering working on a creative non-fiction project for my next book length endeavor., but that depends on how the agent search for Plundered Booty progresses.

How many books are you working on now? None, unless you count querying and sending out submissions. I have been going back and forth between two short stories but they are nearing completion. I tried to do two books at once when i first started Booty but ultimately, I abandoned the other story.

Are you a linear or a chunk writer? Linear writer. I can't move forward until I'm satisfied. that is not to say I do not become dissatisfied later but before I jump ahead I must be okay with what I've already written.

What POV are you partial to? Used to be third person, but lately seems like I've been choosing first more. I think that has to do with subject matter more than anything else however. Some stories need first, others can only work in third. Until I become an overpaid professional athlete it is doubtful I'll ever uses second.

What tense do you use? Past, but a bit of present was called for in Booty.

What theme keeps cropping up in your books? Winning by losing. Life never works out the way any of us planned an if you get too caught up in the things that go wrong you just might miss it the first time they go right. Sometimes happiness comes in a form we never expected.

How many days a week do you write? All of them. Maybe it's a line or two, Maybe it's twenty pages, but I write a little bit each and every day. And anytime I have a quiet moment I am writing scenes and dialogue in my head.

What time of day do you get your best writing done? This goes in streaks, Sometimes I get up early and write with great results. then I get in the habit of staying up late. On my days off I tend to write late morning and early afternoon then go about doing other tasks.

Who are your mentors? I have had so many along the way. RWA hall-of-famer Jodi Thomas gave me the initial encouragement to submit my work to agents and editors, Kensington editor Hilary Sares was the first person in the business to say "You have talent and a great voice" and she has offered tons of advice along the way. Deborah Elliott-Upton once put me in the hospital while whipping me into writing shape in a short story course.

Who are your favorite authors to read? This is the hardest question as I have dozens of favorites. Without comment here are the ones that immediately come to mind. Richard Russo, Jodi Picoult, Ian McEwan, Jennifer Crusie, Nicholas Evans, Anne Tyler, Joshilyn Jackson, Carl Hiasson, David Guterson, Kinky Freidman, Jennifer Archer, Maeve Binchy, Janet Evanovich, Mark Twain, J.K. Rowling, Ernest Hemingway and more that I am forgetting right now.

So tell me how we are the same and how we differ. Any of those authors make your favorite list? Who did I forget?


J. L. Krueger said...

I prefer writing fantasy, but I make the most money doing technical writing.

I'm a chunk writer when writing fantasy, which has actually come in handy writing a five book series. Some of my chunks are things that provide background that are not included in the series, but help me keep the characters "in character." I also already have the endings written for the last two books in the series. Everything is working toward those endings.

Some authors: Diana Gabaldon, Katherine Kurtz, David Eddings, Rober Jordan, Raymond Feist in addition to some of the ones you named. I also love reading history, but that list is too long to post here.

Monnik said...

I love a lot of the people on your list, especially Ian McEwan and Maeve Binchy!

My favorite is Steinbeck.

Great meme, Travis!

Bubblewench said...

I prefer to write crap - you've seen my blog!

Interesting view into your style and writing.

Bubblewench said...

Oh, I'm a big John Updike fan. And I'm crazy for Chaucer. Yeah DORKISME.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I prefer writing crime with a strong literary component. Short stories best. I like all the writers you mentioned and Russell Banks, Alice Munro, Richard Ford, Richard Yates, Megan Abbott, Charlies Willeford, Ken Bruen. I prefer writing in 3rd POV close. I prefer witing male POV.

yellowdog granny said...

writing is not into work..need to check out some james lee burke to put on that list of favorites.

Junosmom said...

Diana Gabaldon. Historical fiction with a hot male in a kilt. Doesn't get better than that.

Georgie B said...

I don't have a favorite author per say, so I mostly jump around to different genres. Right now, I'm trying to read some woman's fiction as this is what I currently write in.

I prefer to write in both the first and third person. I do only second when I'm bored and I need a challenge.

Running theme in my writings are the darker side of relationships, mostly of the real world variety.

Kristen Painter said...

I'm a linear writer, too. I also try to write every day. A little is better than nothing.

Shauna Roberts said...

Glad you did the meme, Travis, so we could learn more about you and your work style.

Janna Qualman said...

Interesting to hear your details! And you included Maeve Benchy on your list. Uber cool. :)

Linda McLaughlin said...

I'm a linear writer, too, Travis, and I also like Jennifer Crusie, J. K. Rowling, Janet Evanovich and Mark Twain. Interesting meme.


Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

Mystery, First Person, Past Tense. I like this meme and if I have the time to steal it for a blog post next week, I'll let you know.


Phats said...

I love to read, but I didn't really recognize many of those authors besides Picoult, and of course harry potter lady ;)

I am currently reading an Iris Johansen book about to finish she is probably my favorite author, with Patterson, and King running close behind her.

have a good one, GO HUSKERS! my picks are up

Beth said...

Many of those authors appear on my "Favourite" list - you have great taste!
And I so admire your commitment and dedication to writing.

Melissa Marsh said...

Great meme! I think I'll do it for my Saturday blog post.

Like you, I can't write in chunks. It's linear. Otherwise, I can't move forward with the story.

Ello said...

Good meme! I used to write adult fiction but now I've change to young adult and I think it is coming more naturally to me.

But the querying can really get you down. This was one of those bad weeks for me. But I feel better now.

Janna Qualman said...

Thought I should let you know I referenced this post (with a link) in my own post today. Have a great weekend!

Clare2e said...

I'm too bored with myself to bother sharing my answers, but your having a persistent theme of "winning by losing" made me smile. And feel hopeful.

Janet said...

Seeing as you asked...

I'm writing a Christian fantasy, although I could go more mainstream in the future. We'll see how things go. This one in in multiple third-person, but for the right story, I would be comfortable in first person.

Contemporary authors whose work I would buy just on the strength of their name? Toni Morrison, Guy Gavriel Kay, Charles Robert Wilson, Tracy Groot, John Le Carré. (Yes, I know those are five different genres. Can't help it.) Also love Chaim Potok, Ursula LeGuin, Tolkien, Lewis, and a long, long list of individual titles.