As a fiction writer, working to develop fully rounded characters with quirks and personality traits that may never actually make it to the page, I find the question of what their favorite car might be, just as important as their favorite movie, book or sport. Perhaps more.
Most of my ‘real-world’ characters become amalgams of the people I know, faces and personalities, verbal ticks, cute quirks, a version of a real person that doesn’t exist in the real world.
There is no right or wrong way to go about an interview, but I’m going to share some of my favorite techniques for better understanding, empathizing and, eventually, sharing my characters with the world at large.
To read my books, from the most graphic and erotic to the most staid and sweet, you’d know my feelings on both without my ever spelling them out.
Write drunk, edit sober. The reason for this is that writing is a hell of a lot easier than editing.
I won’t get into the myriad reasons why this is the greatest job in the world, but every once in awhile, it’s necessary to take a step back and get away from the lonely office and misbehaving imaginary friends to regroup and recharge.
Plotters plot and pansters fly by the seat of their pants. I have done both in many genres of writing, including both fiction and nonfiction, and let me tell you–I will never be a pantser.
I don’t need a staycation or a vacation because I’m living a life I don’t want to escape from. I have freedom and opportunity. I control my work and I pick the projects I want to dedicate my time to. I work very hard, but I’m also very lucky and I know it.
Because my family doesn’t just put up with my writing, as they were forced to do all those years ago in Asbury Park. They are an invaluable aid in finding the very best story, character or setting possible.
Each book follows its own journey and that’s okay. As long as I still arrive at the final product, I’m pleased.
That being said, there are still a few rituals I follow for all of my stories, no matter the genre, length or series.