Do you have any suggestions for writers facing writer’s block?
I always begin by praying to Thoth. He’s Egyptian, but he’s not bigoted in any way.
Beyond that, it depends. If I’m not sure what should happen next in a story, it usually means the conflict isn’t intense or immediate enough. Or it might mean that my character lacks a strong enough motivation, goal, or drive. In either case, the solution really requires fixing what has already been written, more than writing something new.
If you’ve set up a conundrum and then discover you don’t know how to resolve it, that’s actually a wonderful problem, provided you’re not on a deadline. It means you’ve really challenged yourself and your protagonist.
To resolve that sort of problem, you pick a solution that you know won’t work, and you write it out and force it to work. Then, you try a different solution that you know won’t work, and you write that out…. This is how you prime your subconscious to give you the one solution that will work. Usually, it seems obvious once you see it.
Do you have suggestions for coming up with ideas?
Read, write, and keep track of all ideas that occur to you. This is how you feed, exercise, and reward your subconscious. Never shrug off an idea as being without value, because that provides negative reinforcement to your subconscious.
To avoid madness, try to keep all your ideas together. I like to get one of those five-subject, college-lined notebooks. The ones with pocketed dividers are best, because you can keep loose notes and clippings there as well.
It’s good to read through your notebook once a year or so.
Do you have lots of ideas for stories?
I have lots of ideas, but most of them are vignettes, sketches, snippets. Great writers could take two or three such things and turn them into a story, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case with me. Most of my stories arrive only after many false starts and much wandering.
Do you use outlines when you write?
I’ve used outlines several times, and I need to do more. Free-writing is what I prefer, but I have to accept that without planning, such as what goes into an outline, I tend to wander aimlessly. Sometimes our natural inclinations have to be overruled if we want to maximize our abilities. Even in artistic pursuits, discipline is required.
What modern books or authors have influenced you the most?
Roger Zelazny is one writer I admire, especially his Chronicles of Amber. There’s been so much Tolkienesque fantasy written, it’s always a joy to find someone doing epic fantasy that isn’t derivative. Zelazny just had that crazy imagination. He also figured out a way to have godlike main characters in his books without losing the conflict or the sense of balance. That’s hard to do.
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Genre - Erotic Fantasy
Rating – NC17
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