Monday, February 22, 2010

More Than You Wanted To Know About My Writing

I spotted this Meme a while back on somebodies blog and thought it would be interesting so I cut and pasted the questions and saved them as a future post. Sadly so much time has gone by I now forgot where I stole them. Chime in if you wish to take credit.

1)What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
Still plugging away on The Feedstore Chronicles. I have the basic stories all written but now I'm trying to blend them in a way that makes the entire memoir one cohesive piece with an arc to the story.

All of my old journal type stuff went up in flames along with my house last January but thanks to obsessive backing up and saving to thumbdrives I pretty much have everything I've written since 2000 when I decided to start writing for publication.

2) Write poetry?
Not seriously. I wrote a poem about each kid for part of my son's class project and I sometimes make up bawdy limericks for fun. I would love to get with a musician and try some more songwriting but other than that no.

3) Angsty poetry?
I was pretty damn angsty about writing that class project.

4) Favorite genre of writing?
Genre matters not to me, but I am very much a character writer so it's more about finding a plot to plug my characters into than it is bending my characters to fit inside a particular genre.

5) Most annoying character you’ve ever created? Tristan, a whiny eco-terrorist wanna be. He was meant to be a catalyst character for Lindsay my female protag in Waiting on the River but he was so annoying I had to cut him out all-together. In the final draft of the novel he only gets a brief mention as having existed.

6) Best plot you’ve ever created?

Some might say had I ever created a truly good one my name would be on an actual novel rather than simply typed on manuscripts. Actually I still believe in the ideas behind every last one of my five novels. The execution definitely wasn't there on the early ones but I have faith at least the last three will someday see the light of day.

Of those I think Waiting on the River has the easiest plot to define. Woman struggling to accept the abortion she had at seventeen meets and falls in love with widower whose wife died in childbirth after defying her doctors suggestion of an abortion.

7) Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
I'd have to say the idea I have been pondering to fix Plundered Booty. I've made lots of notes but thus far I have not had the chance to incorporate the idea into the novel. And actually I may use this new character as the basis f a whole new novel. What would be sort of a prequel to Plundered Booty. After all, what would go together better than car salesmen and money hungry televangelists?

8)How often do you get writer’s block?
I used to say never, but after struggling to write anything all of 2009 I'll say once a decade. Sure that once last almost an entire year, but like the saying goes everything is bigger in Texas.

9) Write fan fiction?
No. Though the first thing I ever remember wrting was a a cheesy knockoff of The movie Red Dawn. My and my fifth grade buddies rewrote the plot starring ourselves. had the Russians have invaded Amarillo we were ready for them.

10) Do you type or write by hand?
I write most things by hand first and then type and edit at the same time to produce sort of a first and a half type draft.

11) Do you save everything you write?
Almost everything. I have a file of deleted scenes and sometimes I go there to steal a bit of description for a later scene.

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?
Far too often i am afraid. I rarely let go of an idea.

13) What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
I would call it a tie between a short story titled The Simplest of Sounds which was published by Underground Voices and can be read here, and the short story version of Plundered Booty which I have never attempted to sell.

14) What’s everyone else’s favorite story you’ve written?
Most people seem to say Plundered Booty though I think that may simply because it's plot and characters are a bit crazy and therefore a bit more in line with my personality than my women's fiction. Now one ever expects me tow rite women's fiction so that revelation always puts people in shock straight away.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

Romance definitely.Matter of fact every full length project I've taken on has a strong romance element. Including Plundered Booty and yes even The Feedstore Chronicles. What can i say, I am a firm believer that love truly does make the world go around.

None of my characters are prone to instantaneous glittering so I'd have to say no on the angsty teen drama aspect.

16) What’s your favorite setting for your characters?
I've never strayed to far from what I know setting wise so my stories are always in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, or Colorado. And of course I'm gonna choose Texas over those others. You can't be a true Texan without being overly prideful of The Lone Star state.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

I just sent off a short memoir piece for consideration in an upcoming anthology so now I'm back to working solely on The Feedstore Chronicles. Though as always I am pondering other stories and characters and I have began making notes on several other novels as I try to decide what I will write next.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Yeah, quite a few actually but truth is most writing awards do little more than stroke an author's ego. Sure there are some that truly elev ate you above the crowd, and some even come with a prize of publication but a conference win or regional win doesn't seem to have much impact with either agents or editors.

19) What are your five favorite words?
I want to represent you.

Sadly none of the agents I have submitted to have uttered them but I still hold out hope that one day they will. And you better believe they will make me happy. Of course at which point my happiness will then be put on hold until I hear. I just sold your novel.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
Since the question says created I'll forgo the obvious and not say myself in The Feedstore Chronicles. Now it gets tough as every other character I've ever created has at least a tiny shred of myself they hatched from my brain. Blue Riggins from Waiting On The River shared my love of poker. Hank Zybeck from Plundered Booty is fascinated with pirates much like myself and Dillon Konrad from UnLuckLess is a big believer in Fate and Karma as am I. But truth is I purposely avoid making any one character too much like myself.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
Life. I like to play amateur psychologist and often it is these forays into diagnosing others problems that gives me the seed for characters.

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?
No, but I dream often of the characters I've created. So much so that when I am in the thick of writing I rarely sleep well.

23) Do you favor happy endings?
I favor satisfactory ending. that doesn't always mean lollipops and fairy tale kisses but the last thing I want is a reader to finish and say, What the hell? Tears, laughter or a smile are fine but I want them to feel like the story was resolved.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Not much when I first lay the words down. I do lots of editing when I get hung up so there is plenty of time to fix those things later. Besides you've read this blog. That ought to tell you what my first draft stuff is like. Sometimes I run spell check before I post and sometime I don't, depending on how much time I have.

25) Does music help you write?
Yeah listening to great lyrics always gets my creative juices flowing.

26) Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops in your head.

"Hell no they ain't real, but all the lakes around here are man-made and I still like to fish their waters." From Plundered Booty.

Play along if you so desire.


Rick said...

I read this twice, Travis, and I think I'll read it again tonight. It's amazing how casually insightful you can be.

Cloudia said...

Dreams based on your writing?
That's so YOU, Trav!

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Those Russkies knew better than to mess with Texas. Good job, Travis and buddies!

the walking man said...

Keeep pluggin' away Hoss, no dream or desire goes unfilled when properly attended to.

Charles Gramlich said...

Good stuff. I have written some pastiche stuff. Fan writing I guess you'd call it. For Robert E. Howard, Ken Bulmer, and ERB.

Pam Calvert said...

I haven't read your women's work, but you have a flair with humor that would be great in any novel. Humor is hard to find. I hope you tap into that and run with it!

Love your titles! Feedstore Chronicles?? LOL!

pattinase (abbott) said...

My husband has all the good dreams so I steal them. I write based on his dreams. And I never let go of an idea. It offends me.

Colleen said...

Good luck on the short piece you just sent off. You're such a good writer, you'll make it to publication land someday!

Rick said...

Just had to come back and read this one again, Travis! I loved your 5 favorite words.

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks for the insight into your writing. Very interesting!

Mr. Shife said...

I enjoyed this Travis. I know all about your passion for writing but it really comes through in blog post like this. And I sincerely hope you hear the words "I want to represent you" very soon. Keep fighting the good fight.